As we prepare for the big season finale, let’s look at the secrets of the penultimate Agents of SHIELD season 2 episode held. Spoilers for Age of Ultron and what could the ship’s cargo be!?

Sorry for the late entry gang, I’ve been kinda’ busy.

At any rate, this episode’s Art of Evolution is by Marguerite Sauvage, who has done some amazing work with Marvel’s teen supreme, Ms. Marvel!

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Marvel definitely needs to invest in more of these (and please, Marvel, include them with the inevitable DVD release).

The somber tone of the image does a good job of setting the tone of the episode and belies the darker twists underneath.

As for the episode, it was a pretty strong entry. I definitely didn’t see some of these twists and turns happening – betrayals, evil twins, the woiks!

Spoiler-Light Recap: Secrets are shared by people who shouldn’t be sharing secrets and that means people who should be allies are becoming bitter enemies – what is this world coming to?!

On with the Comic Connections

The opening scene takes place in a more innocent time – one year ago, when we all worried about Fitz’s mental health, Ward was safely in prison and SkyMall was still a thing. Blatantly trolling the audience, Sam Koenig’s theme song is Tam Nightingale’s “Robot Tourist” (according to the subtitles), and after discussing killing Spawn (er, rather, spawn kills) with his brother Billy, Sam puts on robot-themed socks. After much speculation that Phil Coulson was an LMD, the internet is now convinced the Koenigs are the robotic duplicate Life Model Decoys, SHIELD staples in the comics. In the not-a-robot camp, Billy likes beer and Sam left himself a note to call “sister.” In the could-be-a-robot camp, LMDs can eat, and it would be cool if Sam’s sister was Agent Cheesecake. On a side note, Sam has Star Wars blankets, because of course he does.

So what was the much-ballyhooed “Theta Protocol”? It was the reconstruction of the mothballed helicarrier from the first Avengers movie! In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, SHIELD was decommissioning the old carriers for the newer model (which was immediately coopted by Hydra). Coulson secretly shuffled SHIELD resources (with money from… where exactly?) to rebuilt Fury’s personal transport which was subsequently used in Avengers: The Age of Ultron. Go continuity! JovialJay caught the ship’s 64 designation, which in the real world was the USS Constellation.

In the present, “real SHIELD” and Coulson’s SHIELD are united by the secrets and lies Coulson kept to rebuild that helicarrier, if only because the ship saved thousands of lives. The first order of business: indexing the Inhumans. Yes, Skye finally says the word, so for the first time in Marvel Cinematic Universe canon, “Inhumans” have been identified by name.

Meanwhile, the INHUMANS are coming into their in the Afterlife. Raina tells a non-powered Inhuman named Michael that his son will go through Terrigenesis and have blue light pouring out of his pores. If Michael’s kid is a character from the comics, he could be Pulssus (shown above), the energy-shooting member of the Crimson Cadre, the elite Inhuman fighting unit, or Dewoz, a young Inhuman who can teleport through mirrors but was briefly used as a pawn by an insane, manipulative Inhuman.

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Speaking of manipulative, Raina informs Jiaying about a giant stone in her visions, then she and Gordon go into SHIELD’s Illiad ship (located using something Gordon calls a “Tether”) to find the stone, a weapon of Kree origin intended to destroy the Inhumans. In the comics, when the Kree Metagenesis plan was scrapped, all Inhumans in the universe were meant to be killed off, but for whatever reason, the Inhumans of Earth (and a handful of other planets) escaped extinction. As to what the giant rock hiding behind red door 47 could be, there are several options:

  • A Nega-Bomb. In the original comics these were created by the Shi’ar aliens to use against the Kree, but in other realities, the Kree originate the Nega-Bomb. It is a potential planet-killer.
  • A T-Bomb. The T-Bomb was designed by Maximus the Mad so his brother Black Bolt could use it as a doomsday device. One version of it ripped a hole in reality, and another version released a Terrigen cloud across the Earth, creating millions of new Inhumans. Is Marvel ready for that many powered individuals?
  • The Slave Engine. This Kree-created device generates Xerogen Cyrstals. Instead of empowering individuals, it can turn humanity into a near-mindless slave race. It was used by the old Inhuman king known only as The Unspoken.

Well, whatever it is, it’s scary and Gonzales says it was discovered nearly a century earlier. Marvel actually did have active superheroes 100 years ago, but time will tell when and how the rock was originally recovered.

Properly freaked out by the teleporter and super-Raina, Agent Weaver uses Hydra’s methods to track Gordon back to Afterlife and begins planning a full assault. Coulson talks them into making peace first, but the rest of the high-ranking SHIELD agents agree Gonzales, not Coulson, should be the one to go, despite Coulson’s better judgement. The team all agree the Inhumans need to be put on the Gifted Index despite the fact Black Widow leaked all of the old index on the internet a year earlier, putting tons of powered people at risk.

Jiaying, meanwhile, is dealing with dire prophetic warnings from Raina, Cal’s animosity toward’s all things SHIELD, and Skye’s obvious hero worship. All of which gives her a pretty clear picture of an evil (or at least threatening) SHIELD.

Before Skye leaves to get in the middle of- sorry, that should say, to help create peace, Fitz-Simmons give her back her hula doll, something her father also had in his office, so a reminder of her old pre-SHIELD life and her biological family all in one piece of swivelly plastic. Also around this point, Mack delivers his resignation after 13 years, as he still doesn’t trust Coulson. He does plan to go to the Illiad first, but will he be there next week if anything happens with that rock?

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A series of Quinjets take off, but one takes off several minutes early carrying only Bobbi and May – or rather, Bobbi and Kara-as-May. See, Kara may have been checked out medically fine by Simmons and distrusted by May (whom she impersonated a lot), but her returning memories means she remembers Bobbi helping Hydra capture her, when led to her current mental state. After a brief fight Bobbi inevitably wins, Ward shows up and shoots her with an ICER, keeping her sedated while he and Kara make other plans.

On another Quinjet, QJ36, the real May, Gonzales and Weaver prepare for the diplomatic mission. Gonzales even takes an “insurance policy.” Despite all suggestions of his nefarious intentions, Gonzales secret isn’t a weapon, but a gift Jiaying intended to give to baby Daisy (Skye). The others so distrust Gonzales, however, that Hunter compares him to Captain Ahab, the obsessive hunter of the white whale. Tsalonich points out that Marvel has its own Ahab, the mutant-hunting cyborg from the Sentinel-fueled future.

These fears seem remarkably unfounded, as Gonzales does everything he can to make this first meeting go smoothly. It seems at first if all will go well, especially with the agreement Cal will give himself up to face charges. Although…. Remember those vials full of green liquid Cal had in Milwaukee? They’re empty now, and Gordon suggested they had “Muscle Milk” inside. Any chance we’ll see the Hulked-out Hyde for the finale? (Pretty please…)

The SHIELD really hits the fan when Jiaying suddenly kills Gonzales using Diviner dust (fatal to humans, harmless to Inhumans). As she’s shooting herself and creating false-justification for a war (does she have the resources to win?), she mentions that the Inhumans only had five Diviners. This matches up with what was learned in “Who You Really Are,” where there were six Diviners. One was taken by Hydra (and eventually empowered Skye and Raina) and presumably another was used to give Gordon and/or Lincoln their powers.

Next Week: This is war.

Hey, if Flash can give us a giant, telepathic, talking gorilla, this show can give us Hyde!