Check out more from Legion of Leia on their website! Follow Legion of Leia on twitter, here!

agents-of-shield-winter-finale

Legion contributor Christina Janke is recapping and reviewing Agents of  S.H.I.E.L.D. for us this season. Follow them on Twitter @IntrotoGeek!

Hold on to your butts, Agents, it’s about to get bumpy. Last night marked the mid-season finale of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Questions are answered, destinies are realized, people are devastated (and crying in a dark corner). Yeah, major spoilers ahead.

We pick up right where we left off last week when Agent 33 called in the kill order on Agent May’s team on the bus. In true Han Solo fashion May evades Hydra’s missiles by plummeting into some cloud cover, ejecting some anti-missile…thingies, and cloaking at just the right moment to make Hydra think they destroyed the bus. Silly Hydra pilots.

May and crew reroute to San Juan and fill Coulson in on the situation: Hydra has Skye now. Everyone’s in double crisis mode as they race against the clock to keep Hydra from getting into those tunnels. Bobbi leaves to contact her politician friend again, Koenig and Trip come up with a new plan to seal off the tunnels (using some old mechanical detonators circa 1945 that Trip found from his grandfather’s Howling Commando years), and Fitz-Simmons contemplate on how to re-enter the city without getting hurt. The duo’s only hypothesis: the city co-opted Mack to help protect the temple — like zombie ants after getting infected with the cordycep fungus. Yes, that fungus doesn’t just exist in The Last of Us.

Bobbi and Hunter talk about Mack’s fate and their general lack of trust in other people. Usually, I would not have mentioned this scene at all because it just seems like filler character moments. However, Bobbi has been keeping a secret, something only Mack is probably aware of because of their deep friendship. While perusing Mack’s garage, which got trashed during May’s fancy flying, Bobbi picks up a thumb drive. The entire time she’s talking to Hunter in this scene, she’s also trying to keep him from noticing the drive. He does notice it but decides he’s not too concerned with whatever secret Bobbi’s trying to keep from him…for now.

Elsewhere, Ward takes Skye to meet her father face to face. This quickly becomes one of those moments that mess with your head. Should I feel sorry for this guy? Are his actions up until this point justified? Then we get our first huge name drop in this episode: The Doctor’s name is Cal. Suddenly, everyone who has been paying attention to the multiple theories online are throwing their hands up in excitement. I’ll not say it now, because we still need to learn Skye’s real name. By the way, Kyle MacLachlan’s performance is just superb in this reunion scene. It’s hard not to get that lump in your throat.

Cal tries to explain to Skye that her being in San Juan with him is exactly where she is supposed to be. Going down into the city with the Diviner activates a transformation within the “special” few who are able to enter the building unharmed. This indicates that bringing the Obelisk inside doesn’t bring about the world-ending event Whitehall is expecting. Maybe. Before we can get any more details, Whitehall summons Cal. Now that the Hydra leader has served his purpose, the good doctor plans to express his feelings all over Whitehall and his men.

agents-of-shield-winter-finale-1

Meanwhile, Bobbi and Hunter figure out that Hydra has commandeered Bobbi’s contact, Diego, but all is not lost. Diego cleverly slips her a note indicating where Hydra is headed. Hydra is holed in the Ponce de Leon which happens to be practically over the temple. But they shouldn’t be able to get in through that way right? The only access point is underneath a watchtower miles away. In many other situations, you’d be correct, but S.H.I.E.L.D. (and therefore Hydra) has drilling technology that can cut through molten lava rock.

Whitehall calls in Ward, Raina, and Cal for a meeting. He starts by giving them accolades on all their admirable work, but then moves on to the subject of Skye. Why is she even here? He has a theory, and he makes Skye hold the Diviner/Obelisk. He also figures out that Skye is the daughter of the woman he dissected years ago to become young again, and therefore, Cal is the woman’s husband. He already knew of Cal’s revenge plan. He takes everyone into custody except for Raina.

Tied up in the kitchen, Ward tries to strike a conversation with Agent 33. She’s still obviously brainwashed and loyal to Dr. Whitehall. Not Hydra, mind you, but to Whitehall. Interesting. Speaking of whom, Whitehall and his men come in to check on his prisoners. Cal, the only person not bound to a chair, jumps up to attack his captors but he is immediately thwarted by a press of a button on a tiny remote in Whitehall’s hand. They attacked some kind of device onto Cal’s neck that incapacitates the wearer. It does not look comfortable.

While Cal’s writhing in pain on the floor, Whitehall turns his attention to Skye and does the super villain thing by gloating and telling her what he has planned for her. To him, Skye isn’t fated to take the Diviner into the Temple (that’s Raina’s job). No, her destiny is to end up on the dissection table just like her mother.

Coulson and May storm Hydra’s little hiding place, and the obligatory yet exciting fire fight begins. After everyone leaves, Ward distracts the one guard while Cal overcomes the extreme pain and takes off the chip attached to his neck. Then Cal sneaks up on the guard from behind and kills him. Instead of freeing everyone else, he decides to keep them where they are; they’re safer if they stay away from what he plans to do with Whitehall.

While all of this is happening, Fitz-Simmons and Trip (they’re wearing hazmat suits so the same thing that happened to mack doesn’t happen to them) are installing the four vintage bombs in designated areas inside the city. Realizing they’re running out of time, Fitz decides to go off on his own, taking one of the bombs with him while the other two install the last one.

agents-of-shield-winter-finale-3

Cal finds Whitehall alone. Before they have their epic showdown, Coulson comes up from behind and kills Whitehall. Cal is enraged by this and takes his unleashes his now directionless emotions out on Coulson. Take my word for it, you want to see Coulson brawl with this dude.

Meanwhile, Ward breaks loose from his bonds and frees Skye. He has full intention of getting her out safely, but Skye has other ideas. While his back is turned, Skye takes up a gun and shoots Ward several times. Damn, girl! Looks like she picked up May’s ruthlessness in her S.H.I.E.L.D. training. Ward didn’t die, but he’s definitely stunned and very wounded. Later, Agent 33 finds him and takes him in.

Skye breaks up Cal and Coulson’s fight. She wants to shoot Cal too, but instead she sends him on his way. Before he leaves, however, he reminds Skye that he will be waiting for her once her “transformation” begins. Only he will understand what she’s going through. Then he drops her real name: Daisy. OH SNAP! We’ll get to why this is important later.

Devastated by what’s happening, Skye wants to put everything right by retrieving the Obelisk and stopping the drill on her own. Once she gets there, the drill has already broken through and the Obelisk is gone. And thus, Raina continues to be a thorn in everyone’s side. Inside the city, Raina runs into Mack, alive and well, and still very much under control. Zombie Mack recognizes Raina as a chosen one and leads her to the temple.

Skye enters the city after Raina, and then later Coulson runs in to find Skye. She still doesn’t know about the plan to blow up the temple, plus he’s pretty damn curious to see what all the fuss is about.

Time is literally running out for our heroes; they have ten minutes before the bombs go off. May contacts Trip and lets them know about the current situation. Wanting to give his friends more time, Trip goes back down into the city without Fitz-Simmons to diffuse the bombs. He succeeds with half a second to spare. Meanwhile Coulson comes close to finding the temple, but he runs into Zombie-Mack. Here we go again.

agents-of-shield-winter-finale-4

Skye is already confronting Raina at the temple, but it’s too late. Once Raina came close to the pedestal in the middle of the room, the Obelisk activated on its own. The temple then starts to close itself off, Trip makes it inside just in time, but Coulson is a second too late. The Obelisk opens up and reveals a crystal inside. So it is a box! But is the object inside another Infinity Stone? As of this moment, we don’t know. What we do know is that once the crystal activated, both Raina and Skye turn to stone. Trip is the only one not affected by this. Thinking that his friend is dying, Trip kicks the crystal off the pedestal, causing a tiny explosion. His efforts, he believes, were in vain. Both Skye and Raina are fully encased, and now Trip has a shard of the Obelisk inside him. Now he’s turning to stone. Excuse me while I cry for a SECOND time.

The temple begins to collapse on itself. At the same time, Raina and Skye break out of their stony cocoons. Although we don’t get to see Raina’s transformation in full form, we get little snippets that she definitely has a new appearance. Skye on the other hand does not look any different, but the way she breaks out of her case indicates a new power. This scene in itself was a little heartbreaking. As Skye’s casing crumbles out of the way, she has to watch Trip’s body turn to dust and fall apart. She’s crying, we’re crying, and the Whedons are wringing their hands over another successful death of an endearing character.

But wait, there’s more. The coda of this winer finale reveals that the Obelisk was not one of a kind at all. In fact, there is at least one more. The wielder is also a “special human” who already activated the power inside. How can we tell? He has not frikkin’ face! He’s on the phone with someone else, saying that “another has appeared.” He means Skye and/or Raina.

So here’s the importance of the names Cal and Daisy: they’re both established characters in the Marvel comic book universe. Cal is Calvin Zabo, aka Mr. Hyde. He’s a brilliant medical researcher who can turn into a hulking rage monster. Daisy is Zabo’s daughter, whose alternate alias is Quake. She has the ability to manipulate seismic energy. She’s also a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who has a close relationship with Nick Fury.

While her comic book origin is still vastly different, TV’s Daisy/Skye is definitely someone you need to keep an eye on. Not only will she (and Raina) usher in a new dynamic this show has been building up to, but we may actually find another way to present powers without having to utter the word “mutant” in the MCU — not that they had a choice anyway.

Check out more from Legion of Leia on their website! Follow Legion of Leia on twitter, here!