Season2 Episode 15: One Door Closes Preview
It appears that Lucy Lawless' character, Isabelle Hartley, is returning to the show.
How??? She's dead!
But, there she is, scheduled to appear.
Of course, we all know she died early on this season (Episode 2) when the SUV in which she was a passenger was flipped by the Absorbing Man (Carl 'Crusher' Creel). The event left her blank-eyed and unbreathing.
My guess is it's only a flashback scene or two... and depicts something she did for the "Real S.H.I.E.L.D." or for her friend and compatriot, Lance Hunter. So, probably, she's not really back at all.
Or, is she...
In a previous article, I mentioned that I would love to see the producers of the show find a way to bring her back. Lucy is an awesome actress and she was the focusing element in the first episode of this season.
And, there were some out-of-the-ordinary circumstances associated with her death. Could her actual return... happen? That would be most awesome. It would be confusing for a lot of viewers – but, it would be Awesome.
And, while you're at it, bring back Trip...
Well... ok... if I had to choose one or the other, it would be Hartley.
OK, Hartley. Lawless can (and has) successfully carry(ied) her own show.
Update: Check out the "Sneak Peak" above... Hartley is in as a flashback to the day S.H.I.E.L.D. fell and Hydra flowed out of their ranks and into prominence. Hartley, Bobbi and Mack, together, were actively searching the wreckage and mayhem for Commander Gonzales and found him wounded and lying in the rubble.
So, they've been with him from the very beginning!
Are the Dead Resting in Peace?
All of this "death by Terrigen" really leaves me wondering if these characters are really dead. It is such an unknown element in the story, after all.
And, the "dead by gunshot" that were never sufficiently checked to be sure they were, indeed, dead (Daniel Whitehall, Grant Ward & Octavian Bloom) could (and, in the case of Ward, have) come back "from the dead". Whitehall's character, in particular, smacks of hiding out while he recovers.
We even saw “dead by explosion” (Mike Peterson/Deathlok in Episode 10 of Season 1). We all know how that turned out.
And, there is even the "dead by dissection" that can be reappraised and, possibly, reassessed.
Now, the "dead by being gutted" by Garrett (General Jacobs in the mid-season finale), having your head splatted into gravy by Coulson (Garrett in the same episode) and several gunshots to the head by Grant Ward (Victoria Hand in the Season One finale) – those are probably all really, really... dead.
Say g'Bye. Hate losing such vigorous and enticing actors like Bill Paxton (Garrett) and Saffron Burrows (Hand), though.
Two of our heroes have died after contact with Terrigen Crystals: Isabella Hartley & Antoine Triplett. Both have gone down with circumstances that allow for some sort of "divine" (or production team) intervention to bring them back.
Isabella Hartley had the courage to have her arm cut off to prevent the spread of the carterizing / ashefying (is that a word?) effect of touching the Diviner without the required genetics of an Inhuman. The effects of the "poison" entering her blood stream and of having the carbonization of her body being halted mid-stream could allow for something incredible to happen. Maybe she resuscitated in her casket and made her way out and back onto the scene?
If she was ever ... no, she was buried, wasn't she...
If she is back, what would be her purpose? For whom would she be working – Coulson’s S.H.I.E.L.D.? Or, Gonzales’… And, what would have been the vehicle for her restoral? Does Gonzales have a stash of GH-325?
Antoine Triplett died from direct contact with the Terrigen Crystals. For non-Inhumans: Certain Death. And, Trip was an ordinary human.
The fact that he carbonized and foofed away in the percussion of Skye’s emergence from her cocoon seems to indicate that was the case.
But, what if that was his power? What if he was Inhuman?
After all, the Terrigen Mists given off by the Crystals didn’t appear to be affecting him negatively; although, Skye and Raina were both being encased in cocoons at that point and he wasn't. He wasn’t injured until he attacked the Crystals and they blew up impaling him with their shards.
What if his power is to become a phantom? Or, to turn himself into a gaseous being and float through small cracks and the like? We can hope, can’t we?
Probably not. But…
Daniel Whitehall was an effective and dramatic villain in the second half of the first season and the first half of the second. In the comics, his character was also set up as the super-villainous (and super-powerful) Kraken. His loss would mean the potential loss of an imposing super-villain (or, the re-engineering of the Kraken character onto another character origination) and the voiding of an intriguing character in his original form.
All the drama and hoo-haw he generated all those episodes and he just goes down from a single gunshot? In the back? That he never saw coming?
The bullet hit him in the upper back traveling downward and came out just under his collar bone. Generally, that is not a lethal path through one's body.
Plus, you tie into the fact that he dissected Jiaying and used her juices and organs to rejuvenate himself and you get a character that very likely didn’t die in the S.H.I.E.L.D. attack on his facilities. He likely has taken on a lot of her regenerative abilities and, possibly, if exposed to Terrigen Mists, would become his comic book alter-ego: Kraken.
Now, there is some drama!
And, if Calvin Zabo finds out Kraken was Whitehall… ?
And, he’s not dead?!
Kraken vs Mr. Hyde?!! Where’s my popcorn? Gimme that remote ‘cuz there ain’t gonna be no channel changing until that one is over!
Grant Ward has already resurfaced. His gunshot wounds when he encountered Skye were not fatal and he was taken off the scene by Agent 33.
He and Agent 33 were both back in Episode 14.
Octavian Bloom is another story. And, his story could unveil one heck of a plot involving Lance Hunter.
Lance is the one who delivered Sunil Bakshi to Bloom posing as a Hydra agent who was sent to kill Whitehall’s former right-hand man who is now languishing in S.H.I.E.L.D. custody. Lance is also the one who shot Bloom in the head with Bobbi Morse / Mockingbird looking on.
Now, what if Lance is a Hydra plant – by Bloom – trying to get information on S.H.I.E.L.D. and set himself up as an agent so that the infiltration Hydra accomplished from World War II up to Captain America: Winter Soldier could be repeated.
Ohhhh, the intrigue… what drama!
His shot on Bloom could have been faked. It really seems a shame to set up such a resonating character just to kill him off in half an episode.
Or, maybe Bloom is something else, entirely?
We saw, in Episode 8 of this season, an ancient Werner Reinhardt released from prison into the waiting arms of Hydra. We also saw where, in previous years, he had taken a Diviner, of which he had gained possession, and was forcing villagers in a remote far-Eastern province to touch the device to observe what happened to them once they did. We also saw one woman who, instead of dying, caused the device to light up.
Jiaying was that woman and we know her as Skye’s mom. We know, from recent episodes, that she was an Inhuman. She had to be as Skye, we have found, is also an Inhuman and her dad, the bubbly and lovable “Dr. Calvin” … is not (proven in Episode 14 this past week when he was referenced by the Inhumans as a “science experiment” and not one of “them” – whew! Harsh!).
Daniel Whitehall (formerly Werner Reinhardt), was an old man following his long imprisonment by S.H.I.E.L.D. He went back to that village where he had found the woman – probably looking for any of her progeny that might have been produced (if he couldn’t find the woman herself). He was stunned to find she was still around – and, she hadn’t appeared to have aged much – if at all.
So, he had her dissected and had her organs, blood and hormones transplanted into his body granting him a return to his youthful form. The remains of the woman were cast into the woods where they were later found by her “husband”, Dr. Cal.
If you are a fan of one of Marvel’s other franchises, the X-Men (currently produced by Fox), you are familiar with Wolverine and his “healing factor”. His body has the ability to regenerate causing any wounds he suffers (including bullets into his brain) to clear any remaining debris from the event and to heal extremely fast – in seconds, in fact.
His brother, Sabertooth / Victor Creed, also has this healing factor. Their healing factor is so extreme, that they even heal from aging (i.e., they don’t age).
Now, what if Jiaying also has a healing factor such as this – maybe not as extreme so that it takes her a while to regenerate missing or taken organs and limbs. What if her discarded carcass then regenerated all its missing body parts, blood and juices and she restores herself to her Inhuman community?
That would foreshadow one heck of a reunion between her and the seismically-enhanced daughter she lost all those years ago, Skye (aka, Daisy). And, other than a possibly remarkable healing factor, we know absolutely nothing else about Jiaying’s other abilities. We do know she is the one who nurtured new Inhuman butterflies out of their cocoons and into their new lives as their mentor.
Skye's Mentor / More Evil Afoot?
The story from Marvel Studios is that the Inhuman, Lincoln Campbell, will actually be the one who mentors Skye through the process of learning herself with her new powers and how to control those powers. So, Jiaying either isn’t available (dead), isn’t available (doing something else) or she is avoiding approaching her daughter not knowing how her young child will accept the fact that her mom is still (or, maybe, again?) alive.
Also, there were rumors of yet another dastardly and evil corporation (Ennilux Corporation) that seeks out “enhanced” individuals – Inhumans in particular – to test and to exploit for profit. The corporation, apparently, is run by Inhumans possibly in a “crime family” format.
Might Lincoln be working for them?
Another already introduced character, Gordon, could possibly also (or instead) be tied into this corporation. Historically (comic book-wise), Reader was an agent of that corporation and he delivered newly-discovered Inhuman neophytes to them and into corporate bondage.
Reader, though, had his eyes cut out by the Inhumans because his ability to change reality based on words he “reads” was considered far too powerful to be allowed. Gordon, on the other hand, metamorphed to a face that didn't have eyes as part of the process of his transformation into his new being. And, Gordon’s abilities clearly includes teleportation.
I don’t think Gordon is Reader.
Now, might Gordon be scarfing up newly-transitioned Inhumans to deliver to Ennilux? Is Lincoln? There is a dynamic here of which the story is only just now beginning to unfold.
Is Skye in danger from her exposure to her new mentor?
Mom? Are you back on your feet, yet? Maybe you can straighten all this out!
Also Upcoming in Episode 15: One Door Closes
We just discovered there is a new, “real” S.H.I.E.L.D. ostensibly run by former S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Robert Gonzales aided by Agents Calderon and Weaver. We also discovered Bobbi Morse / Mockingbird and Alphonso “Mack” Mackenzie are working on behalf of this newly discovered organization in undercover roles to undermine the group headed by Phil Coulson as proscribed by former S.H.I.E.L.D. Director, Nick Fury.
And, they want the Toolbox Fury gave to Coulson. And, they want Coulson removed from the equation – it is not specified as to whether that will be by administrative or some more permanent (fatal?) means.
Who is this New S.H.I.E.L.D. Organization?
It could be Hydra
Since Hydra exposed themselves in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, they have attempted to expand and grow building an empire out of the ashes that used to be S.H.I.E.L.D. We also are being led to believe they are focused on Coulson’s group as the remnants of S.H.I.E.L.D. that is still causing them grief.
I’m sure they are furious that Coulson’s machinations cost them all five of their “cell leaders” (Whitehall, Bloom, the Baroness, the Banker and the Sheikh). Could this new S.H.I.E.L.D. be Hydra’s attempt to impose their position over Coulson’s group leveraging S.H.I.E.L.D. out of the competitive position in which Coulson has managed to place his team?
It’s possible. And, if it is them, does Lance work for them as a mole in Coulson’s flavor of S.H.I.E.L.D.? And, is Octavian Bloom still alive and kicking… ?
It could be Nick Fury
Fury has this intense aversion to relinquishing control of anything – especially, if that “thing” is his brainchild, S.H.I.E.L.D. He constantly delegates responsibilities and tasks then works in the background to insure those undertakings are successful. He doesn’t trust. He doesn’t walk away.
He doesn’t stop working to protect the citizens of America and, by extension, of the world.
But, he wouldn’t send in operatives to steal back the Toolbox he gave to Coulson for safekeeping. He would just go back to Phil and issue a proclamation that he needs it back and Phil would comply. His respect for Fury is unwavering – even with the fact Fury brought him back from the dead against his wishes.
That would be how Fury operates.
It could be the Government
The United States Senate is notorious for creating whatever Departments, Bureaus or Agencies they feel is necessary to insure the safety of the nation (and, by extension, their continued status as decision-makers in our society). Some bureaucrat could have contacted Gonzales, knowing he was a high-ranking member of the previous iteration of S.H.I.E.L.D., and assigned him the task of building a new organization (under close Senate supervision, of course) to find this “Hydra” group responsible for destroying their precious S.H.I.E.L.D. in the first place and bringing them to justice.
Such an organization would be highly distrustful of any- and everyone who might have an agenda other than keeping the current government in power.
Then, when they discover there is a “rogue operation” conducting business under the banner of the former S.H.I.E.L.D., they probably dropped a couple of calves and a dozen or so bunnies and puppies. Kittens would have skittered all about that bathroom where they would have crapped their britches.
It would be imperative this stray element be investigated and reined in as quickly as possible – and, any resources they might have would have to be confiscated, immediately.
It could be the Government.
But, then, why would their prized hunting dog, General Glenn Talbot, not be knowledgeable about that group? Why would he not confront Coulson insisting on determining why there are “two S.H.I.E.L.D.s” in operation? And, by extension, why would he not inform Coulson (in no uncertain terms) that his agency is not sanctioned by the Senate?
Still, it could be the Government. How many different departments, bureaus and agencies in the government are there that have absolutely no idea what another department, bureau or agency might be doing – or, that they even exist?
It could be Tony Stark
Using his association with Maria Hill, who is now serving as his Chief of Security, Stark would be a legitimate contender for undermining Coulson’s team.
Stark is a control freak. If the world has a bad guy who would be dangerous, he wants to execute said bad guy to prevent him from becoming a danger to anyone – before the guy even got the thought of doing anything dastardly. Stop the hurt before the hurt occurs. There is no way he would allow someone to grow into a threat if he can avoid it.
And, Stark likely created the Toolbox Fury gave to Coulson. So, he knows about it. And, with the collapse of S.H.I.E.L.D., it would make sense that he would make it a priority to insure it didn’t fall into the hands of any dangerous element.
But, Maria Hill knows that Phil Coulson is alive (we don’t know that Stark – or any of the other Avengers – is aware of that fact). If Tony knew that Phil was alive, why would he send in agents to steal Fury’s precious device. He would, more likely, stroll into Coulson’s office in full arrogance and inform dear Phil that Stark and his organization are now in need of the device and it should be handed over to him. That would be if he was even aware Fury had presented the device to anyone else.
He would, by now, be aware that some remnant of S.H.I.E.L.D. persisted. What that remnant is or what might be its capabilities or leadership may not yet be available to him. But, wouldn’t he realize that Toolbox might be in their possession? Or, might he fear the device may be subject to the further efforts of Hydra and its agents?
Who has it?
Stark’s involvement with the subterfuge would make sense only if he had put the operation into place prior to hiring Maria Hill as his Chief of Security. Instructions might have been to locate the device using whatever means are available and get it secured. Otherwise, he would have assigned the project to Hill and she would more likely have undertaken the project in an entirely different way. I could see her seeking the assistance of General Talbot and other government resources.
Hmmm… and, it would make even more sense if she wasn’t aware Coulson had the device. Orders are given, agents disbursed then the wait until they bring something back. Still, there would be updates and reports…
Why would she create a second S.H.I.E.L.D. when she already knows there is one in operation? She would have been more likely to have asked Coulson to find the device emphasizing the danger of its falling into the wrong hands.
A great article by Savior Lava titled “Is Tony Stark using them to someday take over S.H.I.E.L.D.?” seems to think this is a viable option.
But, I don’t think it’s Stark.
It could be Captain America
The logo used by Gonzales’ organization appears to be modeled after Cap’s original shield that he used early on in World War II. And, the placement of the stars seems to pay homage to the one Steve Rogers wears on his chest and that adorns the center of his current shield.
And, if you remember Fury’s interaction with Cap in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Fury handed the reins of S.H.I.E.L.D. over to Rogers placing Cap in charge.
And, Cap thinks Coulson is dead.
Could Steve have tasked some faithful and presumed loyal S.H.I.E.L.D. operatives like Gonzales, Calderon and Weaver to find whatever resources might be available to put together a viable, new organization and has tasked them to build it in a way that is "transparent and forthright"?
Sounds like Steve Rogers to me.
Transparent. And, forthright.
In this case, Gonzales wouldn’t be in constant need of reporting his status to Rogers – he would be running S.H.I.E.L.D. in proxy for Rogers assuming all responsibilities and processes required to get the job done. And, now there is this “other” S.H.I.E.L.D. out there drawing headlines and garnering attention and… it’s run by Phil Coulson?
Isn’t he dead?
So, Gonzales and team research through their accesses to S.H.I.E.L.D.’s archives and discover what happened to ol’ Phil. They contact the doctors and scientists who were present when Coulson was revived and they determine that they are reckoning with a renegade (and potentially unstable) man who wants to build back the Nick Fury version of the organization.
And, that organization died a horrible death hemorrhaging Hydra agents all over the place.
And, Gonzales could well have been high enough in Fury’s brain trust to know about the Toolbox. If he is not aware of Fury’s persistence in breathing on his own (he’s alive!), he may feel that this “other” S.H.I.E.L.D. operation may have discovered and appropriated the Toolbox. In Gonzales’ opinion, this would not be an event that would spin positive results.
He would need to get such an all-encompassing knowledge base out of any unstable or, potentially, troublesome hands. The video preview even more leads to believe Captain America is the one who set up the "other" S.H.I.E.L.D.
Continuing the Story
Gonzales’ group seems more in line with Jemma Simmons of Coulson’s team: enhanced or meta-humans need to be restricted and controlled and not allowed to be a danger to the community. If they can’t be controlled, they would need to be eliminated either by incarceration or by termination.
And, they’re after Skye.
And, Skye is in a panic over her inability to control her powers.
And, May warns her "they're coming" (meaning the other S.H.I.E.L.D.)
And, she runs.
Could this next episode be the one where we see Skye open up and blow out her powers in order to protect herself from Gonzales’ team? She is in a relatively safe (unpopulated) area where her concern for the safety of innocents would be assuaged, somewhat.
We’ll soon see her new mentor, Lincoln Campbell. Does he present an avenue of learning and growth for Skye? Or, might he be the road to destruction and enslavement in the iron grip of a fiendish corporation…
Here we go!