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'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' recap: 'Who You Really Are'

Secrets are spilled, memories are lost and regained, and cosmic revelations come to light.

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Kelsey McNeal/ABC

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

type:
TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
tvpgr:
TV-PG
seasons:
4
run date:
07/19/13
performer:
Clark Gregg, Ming-Na Wen, Chloe Bennet
broadcaster:
ABC
genre:
ActionAdventure

“Who You Really Are” offers a bit of a bait-and-switch. While it first focuses on the return of Lady Sif to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the story reaches far beyond Asgard and Midgard. A flesh-and-blood Kree—and not a partial one in a tube—is on the loose, and the team has to figure out 1) why he’s there, 2) what Sif has to do with it, 3) and what that means for S.H.I.E.L.D.

“Really Are” sets itself up as a moment for everyone to take a breather before diving back into the many problems they face. May is helping Skye control her emotions (even if she doesn’t know exactly why Skye needs that help). Lance is thinking about sticking around permanently, and Coulson wants to do right by every team member.

But, as S.H.I.E.L.D. has so often proved in this second season, there’s little time to rest when the fate of the world (or worlds, in this case) is at stake.

Let’s start with the good Lady Sif, though. “Really Are” picks up with her on the beaches of Faro, Portugal, where she emerges from the sea to briefly terrorize a group of kids around a bonfire. Why is she attacking this bunch of strangers? Well, that’s the thing. Everyone’s a stranger to her, as she’s suffering from amnesia, only remembering her mission involves someone or something named “Chava.”

Sif’s appearance attracts Coulson’s attention, however, so he and a select group, including Mack, who he’s asked to join them in the field, head to sunny Portugal. There, Coulson attempts to refresh her memory with photos from their last meeting in season 1 (let’s just ignore that those images almost look like stills from an episode of TV…), but, other than Chava, all she remembers is her Asgardian heritage, and whatever she was taught as a child.

Luckily, Coulson isn’t the only one who’s taken notice of Sif. A few videos appear online of her fighting a man wielding what looks like a tiny hammer on a pier. Their bout ends in this mystery man tossing her into the ocean. Fitz and Simmons spot some blue liquid spouting from his chest when Sif strikes him, but otherwise his identity is as uncertain as are the rest of Sif’s memories.

What they also don’t know is that the mystery man, whose got a blue skin condition, is looking for information at a local hospital. When he doesn’t find the answers he’s looking for about someone who has “changed” on Earth, he attacks the nurse behind the counter and wipes out her memory.

Meanwhile, the S.H.I.E.L.D. team investigates the pier, discovering some of that blue goo on a lamppost when Lance touches it and splits the post in two. (Mack assures him no one would ever believe he was that strong on his own.) Simmons analyzes a sample and determines it’s liquid nitrogen.

While Coulson, May, and Sif are interrogating a beach balloon vendor, Bobbi and Skye find the man at the hospital. He takes on Bobbi, making quick work of her, but the frenzy becomes too much for Skye. She loses control of her emotions as she pulls out her gun, and a series of tremors kicks up. Rather than helping her, they cannibalize any attempt to stop this man, allowing him to flee instead.

The team regroups and reassesses the situation. All the evidence points to this unknown assailant being Kree, and Sif reinforces this leap in logic by revealing that “Chava” is a Kree word meaning “keys.” (Apparently Asgardians learn alien race’s entire languages as children, a revelation that simultaneously surprises Coulson and shames the entire American school system.)

They also determine that Chava may point to Chaves, a city in Portgual, which also conveniently appeared in Whitehall’s SSR files. They figure it out just in time, as the team corners the Kree, carrying a massive metallic chest, and hauls him back to their base.

Interrogating the Kree (played by Eddie McClintock), Vin-Tak, he reveals the weapon he was carrying, a truncheon, can wipe a person’s memory, and also restore it. As a sign of good faith, he returns Lady Sif to her pre-amnesia state and explains he came to Earth after being alerted to the Diviner and Terrigenesis Bomb set off in the first half of the season.

Vin-Tak goes into a bit of an exposition mode, but it’s all a crazy amount of backstory that sets a lot of the groundwork for future Marvel films and shows. A rogue group of Kree genetically modified species on different planets, and while most of their efforts failed, they succeeded on Earth. The Kree had thought they put an end to this group’s plans, but he knew the bomb’s detonation meant someone had to clean up the rogue Krees’ mess before a series of “abominations” (his word) could be activated by more Diviner/Terrigen Mist activations.

NEXT: Skye’s secret is out!