Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - Episode 21: "Ragtag" Recap

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - Episode 21: "Ragtag" Recap

MovieBob discusses the specifics of the latest episode of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D..

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So, here's my thoughts on Skye, the G.H. Alien, and Coulson/Garrett's exposure to the blood. Forgive me if this gets too long.

The alien is a Kree (perhaps specifically Mar-Vell or Geheneris HalaSon Mahr Vehl, as he is known in the Ultimates comics). Skye and her family are either part or completely Kree, probably part of an invasion or espionage team to study Earth.

When Garrett was exposed to the Kree blood, he said he sees "the Universe", because in that moment, his mind was exposed to a telepathic link with the Kree Supreme Intelligence which coordinates the various Kree military activities throughout the galaxy:

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The sudden exposure to a consciousness that vast and great would shatter an unprepared human mind like Garrett's and Coulson's. Either the link itself or the absence of it once the blood worked out of Coulson's (and other test subjects') system led to him wanting to desperately to die, until they wiped his memory of that connection. Skye was unaffected because her Kree physiology is either accustomed to the telepathic link or she has somehow been shielded from it (probably by her renegade parents, perhaps including the G.H. alien himself).

I suspected most of this after the episode where Skye was injected, but Garrett's words have only made me more certain. (As much as I would love to see Chloe Bennett in the costume) the Spider-Woman connection was always weak, but I think we could see Skye as "Lucy in the Sky". In the comics, she was a child of two secret alien invaders. While not technically Kree, Agents of SHIELD and the MCU would have no problem fudging that for the sake of a Guardians of the Galaxy tie-in. Lucy in the Sky's typical costume and powers would be very TV budget friendly (especially when she is still trying to figure out how to use them) and she's not a big enough name that the movies will want her any time soon.

Oh, and excellent summary, Bob. Great job.

Actually I think they pretty much gave away the secret to Skye this time, and we have been mostly barking up the wrong tree. It helps if you realize there are 2 provinces in China that sound quite alike to the Western ear. Hunan, which is in centralized industrial eastern China (not alot of remote villages per se.) or Yunnan, a more remote province, which conveniently has a Southern and Western border that is Tibet and the Himalayas.

So what have we got?

- Skye is an 0-8-4. She is herself an object of unknown origin.
- She was found in a remote village in Southern China, possibly near the Himalayas
- The village was slaughtered by her parents. Two "monsters" seeking to reclaim their by all appearances fully human child.
- To date she herself has exhibited no abnormal abilities or powers beyond possibly a tolerance for the GH-325. Which appears to be distilled from a dead alien of some sort. Possibly Kree?

The two monsters being the birth parents of an otherwise human baby in that part of the world is the big tip off in the Marvel Universe. I think we have seen the first teaser of the Inhumans entering the Marvel movieverse.
image
Remember the Inhumans city of Attilan was originally found in "The High Himalayas".

If Skye is a named comic character then maybe Crystal? (Granted unlikely as they run the risk of bumping into Fox's FF license? Not sure how the Inhumans are split out there.) It would certainly fit with the whole "Mary Sue" aspect.
image

Otherwise just a previously unknown member of the Inhumans race. It would make sense. It ties into the Kree. Allows her to be otherwise normal unless exposed to the Terrigen mutagen. Has hooks to both Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy and the Marvel Cosmic stuff. And has that wonderful contrast with Ward involving an actual "child of monsters".

And this is not without some strong possibility. Kevin Feige has indicated that they do have some Inhumans projects under development. The general take would be that the Inhumans were designed as a sleeper cell precursor to an alien (probably Kree) invasion. But they instead acclimated and went native.

Good to see somebody else bringing up the Inhumans. The other nice thing about them is that they neatly sidestep the whole 'mutant' label.

Here you go, Bob:

Ward couldn't bring himself to shoot Buddy up close because I mean, look at that face. They're trying to make Ward into a sympathetic villain (failing miserably for me, because I cannot forget all the people he killed). So, he fired the shot to have Buddy run off. He wasn't trying to scare him. Remember, when Ward shot the deer, Buddy took off to go look for it. Buddy just thought that he was going off on another hunt. That way, Ward wouldn't have to stare into the eyes of his the first thing that loved and trusted him and he stabs in the back.

I'm sorry, but anyone who kills a dog like that, as some sort of a test, is beyond saving. Ward must die. Painfully. Here's hoping May finishes the job.

Fitz and Simmons are both still alive. The plane was flying too low for the impact to have killed them, and I'm sure there's a homing device or something on it. They'll be fine. I will be shocked if that turns out to not be the case, but still, I highly doubt they'll kill either one of them.

So looking forward to Fury showing up. I hope he hears what Ward said about Hill--and him--before punching Ward's ticket himself.

Is everyone gathering that I think Ward needs to die? Have I made that clear? :-)

Sniper Team 4:
Fitz and Simmons are both still alive. The plane was flying too low for the impact to have killed them, and I'm sure there's a homing device or something on it. They'll be fine. I will be shocked if that turns out to not be the case, but still, I highly doubt they'll kill either one of them.

Fitz has one half of a homing beacon/tracker/two-way walkie talkie thing, with Triplett in possession of the other half: it was the last thing Fitz grabbed before they split up. The fact that they made a point of including that he took that would seem to hint that that's how they'll be found and rescued. More likely, they'll use the trapped-in-a-small-crate-sinking-to-the-bottom-of-the-ocean thing as an opportunity for Fitz to finally admit his feelings for Simmons straight-up and tie up one extra plot thread so there's none of that lingering relationship stuff for season 2. Whether this is before he remembers he has the tracker, thinking they're both going to die there and thinking "fuck it, why not," or right after he gets in contact with Triplett and realizes they're going to be okay, I don't know. But that's the most likely end result. They'll make it out of the crate...though that would literally be Fitz's last hanging plot thread being cut, so Bob might be right in thinking Fitz doesn't make it out of the finale alive. He's a nice enough character, but admittedly he isn't very relevant at this point.

Well, whatever happens, the post-Winter Soldier part of the season has been really fun and I'm going to be sad when it's over, but I'm looking forward to seeing how they wrap it up and what direction they'll point the show in for next season. It looks like the questions relating to Coulson's resurrection will probably be answered since Fury will be showing up, which just leaves Skye's identity/abilities as far as the 'big questions' go...and honestly, that one line from Rayna - "the baby's parents were the monsters" - revealed something interesting: finding out Skye's origin likely won't be the end of that plotline, even when it does happen. In fact, it will probably lead directly into an attempt to track down her parents. Considering the 'monsters' line and all of the different theories people have been throwing around - Kree, Atlanteans, Inhumans, etc. - that could be really fun in and of itself.

I'll be ticked if Fitz dies, especially because he hasn't had much story development. And come on, we did have that episode where him and Ward invaded a base together. That was pretty good.

Sniper Team 4:

Ward couldn't bring himself to shoot Buddy up close because I mean, look at that face. They're trying to make Ward into a sympathetic villain (failing miserably for me, because I cannot forget all the people he killed). So, he fired the shot to have Buddy run off. He wasn't trying to scare him. Remember, when Ward shot the deer, Buddy took off to go look for it. Buddy just thought that he was going off on another hunt. That way, Ward wouldn't have to stare into the eyes of his the first thing that loved and trusted him and he stabs in the back.

That's the most likely explanation. The other option is that by having to use the rifle to kill the dog at range, he gave it a chance. He could have missed or lost sight before he had the shot. Similarly, he knows Coulson wouldn't send any of his people into harms way without a way out. As you said, the Bus was fairly low when Ward dropped the container, it's not as guaranteed a kill as he could have made it.

I suppose I do feel sympathy for Ward. He really got the shit end of the stick in his life. Bad childhood, mentored into adulthood by a manipulative nutjob. I'm still going to enjoy seeing him be taken down though.

My working theory for a while about Skye now is that she was a pink-skinned Kree, and the GH alien was a blue skinned Kree, which is why the serum worked well for her with no apparent side effects so far. With Raina's reveal in this episode though, I have to agree... Her origin seems most likely to be one of the Inhumans. It really does fit all the plot points we've seen so far, and explain why she doesn't seem to have any special powers. Inhumans seem just like ordinary humans (being alien-human hybrids) until they reach the age of maturity and are exposed to Terrigen Mist as their coming of age ceremony. And that often changes them physically to what could be described as 'monsters' by the people of a remote village. Especially in a pre-superhero universe.

It's quite clear that Garret is a master of manipulating people subtly, getting them to 'decide' to do what he wants them to do and making it seem like it was their own decision. Kind of the reverse of what Ward did to make sure he was on the Bus. He found a disturbed, angry young man with a violent streak and poked, prodded and guided from a distance using a combination of 'tough love' and ego stroking to turn him into a killer with no loyalty to anyone but Garret. Still, some shred of human kindness remains. He is still capable of feeling emotional connections to people or animals. Buddy, Fitz/Simmons and Skye. But he's been taught that feeling is a weakness. One that needs to be destroyed. I don't think we'll be seeing a full redemption here. At most he might go down in a 'heroic sacrifice' if he realizes Garret really doesn't care about him and has been using him his entire life. I don't think he's been set up as a continuing villain at this point though, or someone who will be redeemed at season end. And to much has been invested in his back story at this point for him to just be killed by one of the agents.

My bet is on Sky and their M word are actually Inhumans. The GH-325 stuff is clearly an offshoot of MGH steroids from 616, but with the M dropped because it stands for the M word. Inhumans aren't technically the M word, but their powers can manifest when they're exposed to that mist. Which Loki's staff could probably stand in for. I know Marvel's said that Scarlet Witch and Quick Silver aren't Inhumans, but Marvel's full of professional deceivers.

I really enjoy the write ups for the show, please keep doing them in season 2 (if there is a season 2). Question, if Fitz dies, who could he come back as?

If they were going villain I could see Fitz as Wizard (a lot of Wizard's tricks are similar to tech Fitz has encountered/studied) or possibly Techno.

I'm pretty sure Fitz/Simmons are still alive. Didn't Tripp give him like a communication device with basically a GPS in it? (I thought that was the quarter we saw when he pulled out the EMP) so they'll probably be found and things will be fine.

I am thinking Tripp might die though. I don't have any real evidence to suggest this could happen, but I'm going off the conjecture that A. This is a Joss Whedon show, so SOMEONE has to die, and B. Tripp is fairly liked by audiences and by the characters. He's just big enough in the show that his death would have a good impact on the characters and the audience, but small enough to where his death won't have any super lasting effects on the show itself.

While there are no guarantees, I've seen many a show where characters like that tend to have a higher mortality rate. I'd name some examples, but that would be spoilers for several unrelated shows.

As for the whole Ward becoming Taskmaster thing, let me just say...NO, NO NO NO FUCK NOOOOOOO!!! That would be stupid beyond all belief! Now maybe I'm just a bit sensitive about this one because Taskmaster is actually one of my favorite comic book characters. I love Tony Masters, and I would love to see him in this show, but there is NO good reason to have Taskmaster and have it be Ward over Masters.

And lemme be clear, it's not because I don't like Ward. I'm very intrigued by the character he has become, and even back when he was just the boring handsome agent that everyone hated, I thought he had some decent moments (none of those moments included him making goo goo eyes at Skye though)

But seriously...let Ward be Ward and if they DO bring in Taskmaster (which I would seriously love by the way) bring in Tony and let him be him. There is absolutely zero good reason for them to completely re-write the Taskmaster backstory just to make Ward into him.

It worked fine with turning Mike Peterson into Deathlok because there have been multiple Deathloks anyway, and this made for an interesting take on the character. I just can't see that happening with Taskmaster.

Also a small part of me hopes that Ward ends up killing Garrett by the end of the season. Not because it would give Ward some redemption, not because Garrett is a villain I want to see die, not for ANY reason you'd think...but just because Ward has already killed Hand and Koenig. By killing off Garrett he'd be 3 for 3 on killing ACTUAL Agents of SHIELD from the comic books.

The past two eps where very mediocre, but this one was top notch!
The spy gadgets are great fun, the impersonation bit is also a hoot ("You're... old".) and I felt a real tension when Raina was alone with the guy who dissapointed her. If she'd withheld the injection he would be dead unless Ward jumped in.

"Get ready for a large file transfer!"á<= This made me LOL so hard!

"which seems to work since it's intercut with a reveal that he couldn't bring himself to shoot Buddy - instead he fired into the air to scare him off.á" You're wrong. It is clearly stated the dog always runs off when Ward shoots his weapon because it means there is a killed animal for the dog to bring back. It would not be scared, and is clearly just running off leasurely/eagerly instead of with it's tail between it's legs.

"are Fitz/Simmons dead". Well, it was said they had to hover super low for some time to not trip RADAR. This means slow speed and not a big fall. However, in reality that drop inside a metal box would totally kill them. But in a show like this... they could easily emerge alive both. If you think Fitz dies, he could cushion her fall with his body "heroically" (in reality that'd be 99% more likely to be co´ncidental).

CAPTCHA: "love-hate". Love this week, my dear Captcha.

PBMcNair:
That's the most likely explanation. The other option is that by having to use the rifle to kill the dog at range, he gave it a chance. He could have missed or lost sight before he had the shot. Similarly, he knows Coulson wouldn't send any of his people into harms way without a way out. As you said, the Bus was fairly low when Ward dropped the container, it's not as guaranteed a kill as he could have made it.

I thought it was "he couldn't do it face to face". That's why he turns away, uses a scope, finds someway to avoid the personal touch when it's someone he cares about, even a little bit.

Ickabod:
I really enjoy the write ups for the show, please keep doing them in season 2 (if there is a season 2). Question, if Fitz dies, who could he come back as?

"If he dies, it'll only be for a bit, then he'll return in a new and exciting form." I love comics sometimes.

I don't know if they would bring him back, but if they did I suspect it would be as an AI-style talking head; the tech clearly exists in this universe, it ties in with the whole "computer genius" aspect of him, it throws more curves into his attempted love affair with Simmons, and it's as good a reason as any for them to fight to have the Bus back (because it doesn't seem like they really need it now).

Ward and Raina tend to Garrett's injuries, which involves popping open his rather delightfully cheesy-looking cyborg torso-plate and glowy techno-organs (ye gods, ABC, give these people some money for Season 2!)

I wasn't actually bothered by this. It didn't look fake, just pulp science, which totally works for this show. I haven't actually noticed any obvious budget cuts in some time, despite Bob's comments.

thetoddo:
If they were going villain I could see Fitz as Wizard (a lot of Wizard's tricks are similar to tech Fitz has encountered/studied) or possibly Techno.

The Fixer / Techno would be the more likely option. He has always been a SHIELD villain until he ended up with the Thunderbiolts. He premiered during the Steranko's run on Nick Fury Agent of SHIELD. Wizard is traditionally an FF villain and as the leader of the Frightful Four, is probably currently under Fox's control.

jabrwock:
I thought it was "he couldn't do it face to face". That's why he turns away, uses a scope, finds someway to avoid the personal touch when it's someone he cares about, even a little bit.

Like I said, avoiding the personal touch is the most likely option. I just notice that both with Buddy and Fitz/Simmons, he turned clean, guaranteed kills into... well less guaranteed kills. I suppose it depends on the properties of the container they were dropped in. Is it water-tight ? Will it float ? Is whatever was stored in it going move during the fall and injure someone ? Dropping them and flying off just seems so unprofessional.

Strain42:
I'm pretty sure Fitz/Simmons are still alive. Didn't Tripp give him like a communication device with basically a GPS in it? (I thought that was the quarter we saw when he pulled out the EMP) so they'll probably be found and things will be fine.

I am thinking Tripp might die though. I don't have any real evidence to suggest this could happen, but I'm going off the conjecture that A. This is a Joss Whedon show, so SOMEONE has to die, and B. Tripp is fairly liked by audiences and by the characters. He's just big enough in the show that his death would have a good impact on the characters and the audience, but small enough to where his death won't have any super lasting effects on the show itself.

While there are no guarantees, I've seen many a show where characters like that tend to have a higher mortality rate. I'd name some examples, but that would be spoilers for several unrelated shows.

As for the whole Ward becoming Taskmaster thing, let me just say...NO, NO NO NO FUCK NOOOOOOO!!! That would be stupid beyond all belief! Now maybe I'm just a bit sensitive about this one because Taskmaster is actually one of my favorite comic book characters. I love Tony Masters, and I would love to see him in this show, but there is NO good reason to have Taskmaster and have it be Ward over Masters.

s.

Snipped for brevity.

I think they sort of insulated Tripp for the time being. By making him the legacy character for the Howling Commando's they pretty much took him off the table as both a villain or as cannon fodder for the short term. They are setting something up there. And his backstory makes him more useful and interesting alive. (I still think they may turn him into the MCU's Eli Bradly "Patriot". )

Ward will not be Taskmaster for a very very simple reason. They are putting Ant Man on the big screen. Ant Man has very very few notable foes, and the Scott Lang Ant Man even fewer. Taskmaster tops the list. (Granted we have already seen and met Whirlwind in "Hail to the King")

PBMcNair:

jabrwock:
I thought it was "he couldn't do it face to face". That's why he turns away, uses a scope, finds someway to avoid the personal touch when it's someone he cares about, even a little bit.

Like I said, avoiding the personal touch is the most likely option. I just notice that both with Buddy and Fitz/Simmons, he turned clean, guaranteed kills into... well less guaranteed kills. I suppose it depends on the properties of the container they were dropped in. Is it water-tight ? Will it float ? Is whatever was stored in it going move during the fall and injure someone ? Dropping them and flying off just seems so unprofessional.

As a small note, he DID try to make Fitz open the door. I'm assuming that the glass in the door was bulletproof so he couldn't shoot them and just standing outside waiting them out would be too time consuming so he didn't really have another way to kill them. I think that with Buddy it was so that he didn't have to see him face to face. As for Fitz and Simmons being able to survive, I think that is more because the show wants to keep them alive more so than Ward wanting to keep them alive.

My money is on Garrett being the one behind on the scope.

Speaking of Taskmaster, I remember reading a Taskmaster series a short while back where every time his memory got messed up enough to where he had no idea what was going on he would call a number. The person who answered was Mercedes Merced, his SHIELD handler who posed as a criminal organization that would guide Taskmaster through his memory loss and gather intelligence on other criminal organizations. Also,

I think if Ward turns out to be Taskmaster it would be brilliant if Skye ends up being Mercedes Merced,

I kinda like the idea that Skye is......Moondragon.
G.O.T.G. is just around the corner and all. I could see her being Drax's kid.
I know it's more likely she's a Kree or Inhuman but it would be a cool tie in.

That was a great episode. I definitely enjoyed it more than any of the others so far.

Sniper Team 4:
[snip]
I'm sorry, but anyone who kills a dog like that, as some sort of a test, is beyond saving. Ward must die. Painfully. Here's hoping May finishes the job.

+1.

Here's hoping, too, that Fitz/Simmons being dropped in the ocean has actual consequences beyond them needing to be rescued.

Argh. "You're guess"? *shudder*

 

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