Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., S2 Ep08 – The Things We Bury

Since the start Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s second season, several new elements have been added into the mix, making this season feel significantly different than the last. Some of these elements include Daniel Whitehall, the current face of HYDRA, Skye’s father, who is referred to as The Doctor, and the revelation that Coulson’s drawings are a blueprint for a certain city. “The Things We Bury” turns out to be one of this season’s more important episodes, as it addresses all of these elements, filling viewers with enough knowledge to keep them interested in finding out more.

Ward and his senator brother

Ward and his senator brother

While a lot went down in this episode that all worked well in pushing Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s overall story further, the least compelling subplot of this episode dealt with Grant Ward and his brother, Senator Christian Ward (Tim Dekay). Perhaps this subplot could’ve been handled better if more time was devoted to it and there wasn’t so much already going on else where. The subplot, which sees Grant kidnap his brother and walk him out into a forest, concluded with them digging up the well which was first acknowledged in the 8th episode of season one. After much torment from Grant, Christian admits to convincing Grant to throw their little brother down a well when they were only children – an event that has weighed heavily on Grant’s conscience for years.

Another subplot in “The Things We Bury” focused on Bobbi interrogating Whitehall’s lackey, Backshi (Simon Kassianides), whom Grant captured in last week’s episode. Like Grant’s subplot, not much went on here except for an interrogation that only led to Backshi attempting to commit suicide, the team discovering Whitehall has seemingly not aged since World War II (which we already knew), and Bobbi and Hunter rekindling the romantic fire they once had. As much as I didn’t care much for this subplot, it’s always nice to see more Adrianne Palicki, who has been a pleasant surprise addition to the series, and I’m glad Coulson’s team now finally knows something we were already privy to in the season premiere.

What we didn’t know about Whitehall was how exactly he gained his apparent immortality. “The Things We Bury” provides a significant amount of background for this season’s villain, as we are given flashbacks of his time served as a prisoner of war being interrogated by Agent Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell). The big revelation concerning Whitehall was that in the 1980s he was able to reverse his age after brutally dissecting a mysterious woman who had the ability to never age herself. Why this woman, played by Dichen Lachman (The 100, Dollhouse), had this ability is unclear, but what is clear by the conclusion of this episode is her connection with Skye’s father.

In this week’s pivotal stinger scene we see that Skye’s father was in a seemingly romantic relationship with the woman Whitehall stole his immortality from, who might even be Skye’s mother. This adds a nice degree of complexity to the villains. Even though Whitehall, Grant, and Skye’s father are now working together, Skye’s father secretly seeks to take down Whitehall. Also, considering Grant might still want to get on Coulson’s good side, he may end up betraying the both of them soon enough.

REED DIAMOND

Daniel Whitehall interrogated by Agent Carter

“The Things We Bury” also saw Coulson, Skye, Tripp, and Fitz go on a side mission in search of the city discovered in last week’s episode. Overall, the subplot was compelling, supplied a lot of this episode’s action, and included an intense scene between Coulson and Skye’s father with Tripp’s life hanging in the balance.

The subplot concluded with the team finding a match for the city they’ve been looking for, but we won’t know what that city is until the next episode. Considering Coulson’s connection to the blue alien revealed in season one which may be of Kree origin (the same race Ronan the Accuser was in Guardians of the Galaxy), the city they’re looking for may actually be Attilan – a city which holds heavy significance to the Inhumans. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves just yet. If it is Attilan, Marvel deserves a lot of credit for planting seeds for their eventual Inhumans movie premiering in theaters November 2, 2018.

“The Things We Bury” was a great episode which not only answered some questions viewers already had, but supplied even more questions for fans to ponder on. Was the character portrayed by Dichen Lachman Skye’s mother? Who was she that she was able to never age in 40 years? What city have Coulson and his team discovered? Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is doing a great job at keeping viewers interested, while possibly planting seeds for Marvel’s cinematic universe. I’m looking forward to seeing where this season takes us.

Unfortunately, Agents of S.H.I.EL.D. will be taking another week off its regular schedule. Expect the next episode, titled “Ye Who Enter Here,” to premiere December 2. Check out ABC’s official promo for the episode below, and feel free to let us know what you thought about “The Things We Bury” in the comments.