The Ninjabot

Nothing Stays Buried Forever, Just Covered Up – Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Review

Posted on November 19, 2014 at 7:00 am by Amanda Andonian

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Tensions are running high, and the secrets that everyone is trying to keep are going to bubble up to the surface, no matter how hard they try to bury them. All the pieces of the puzzle are starting to come together, and we’re not even half-way through the season yet. “The Things We Bury” keeps the Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. train chugging right along, and we even get a little extra glimpse of what the upcoming Agent Carter will look like. It all starts out with a flashback to Daniel Whitehall in the 1940s when he was still Werner Reinhardt, a Nazi general conducting experiments on people with the alien obelisk. He eventually finds a young Chinese woman who doesn’t die when she touches it, but at that very moment, the war ends, and all the Nazis have to go into hiding.

Eventually, Whitehall/Reinhardt gets captured by Agent Peggy Carter, and we flash forward to the future where Bobbi is interrogating Bakshi for information on Whitehall. He accidentally gives them a clue that leads Simmons and May to an old SSR file on Whitehall before he was Whitehall. Oh, did I mention that the new S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters just so happens to be on top of a giant warehouse of SSR files? I find little coincidences like this a little too convenient, and while I certainly wouldn’t want the show to spend an inordinate amount of time uncovering the mystery of Whitehall, it just takes me out of the story when Simmons or May says something like, “Well, this place was where the SSR first started, and all their files are still here, so let’s go downstairs and find some answers!” It’s too easy and stretches the suspension of disbelief. Not only that, but if Peggy Carter really wanted Reinhardt to be forgotten (like she told him), why not just destroy all files that referenced him? That would definitely ensure that no one would know who he was or what happened to him. Of course, then our heroes wouldn’t be able to uncover the truth, which is really the whole point here.

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Anyway, they find out that Whitehall used to be named Werner Reinhardt, and that he was captured by Agent Carter and locked away for the rest of his life for performing inhumane experiments on innocent people. Unsurprisingly, Hydra broke him out, but now S.H.I.E.L.D. is stuck on the puzzle of how Whitehall/Reinhardt could still be a young man now when he’s supposedly 90+ years old. We know, of course, that he got his groove back by tracking down the Chinese woman from earlier and experimenting on her to find out how she managed to stay young after 40+ years. It obviously has something to do with the city and the obelisk, but we don’t know what yet.

Keeping with the theme of buried secrets, Grant Ward is on a mission to prove to himself that his senator brother, Christian really is the manipulative torturer that he knows him to be. Now that Grant is free and clear of S.H.I.E.L.D., he tracks down Christian, kidnaps him, and forces him to admit that he was the one who really wanted to kill their youngest brother. In my opinion, Christian’s confession is not particularly compelling. First of all, Grant practically tortures it out of him, but even if we care whether Grant really did have murder in his heart as a child, it doesn’t make him any less of a monster now, especially since he ends up murdering Christian and their parents. It hardly matters whether his family manipulated and molded him into a heartless killing machine—Grant Ward is still an unredeemable psychopath. It certainly makes him more dangerous, but it doesn’t make him more sympathetic, so it’s hard to tell what the show really wants us to think of Grant.

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Meanwhile, Coulson, Skye, Tripp, and Fitz go on a mission to hack into a US satellite that will help them map the planet in order to attempt tracking down the city from the alien writing/blueprint. I’m not sure what makes them think that it’s on this planet considering the fact that the information is alien in nature, but lucky for them they were right! Unsurprisingly, Skye is still at the center of things, though she doesn’t really know it yet. We learn from the Doctor that she’s one of the select few who can enter the city, though why that is still remains a mystery. Considering the fact that Raina was able to touch the obelisk without ill effects, just like the Chinese woman Whitehall/Reinhardt found, she has to come back into play at some point as well. We’ll probably see her again once Coulson and the gang go to the city.

Now the real mystery is what the Doctor is really after. We know that he wants to be reunited with Skye at some point, but the last few moments of the episode also suggest that he’s hell-bent on getting his revenge on Whitehall for killing his wife (the ageless Chinese woman, and presumably Skye’s mother) twenty-five years ago. Moreover, what’s Grant Ward’s role in this whole thing? Do he and the Doctor actually know each other already? Grant certainly suggested as much to Skye, and Raina seemed to corroborate his story, but we also know that Grant’s M.O. is all about getting Skye back on his side. Are he and the Doctor working together to bring down Whitehall for their own separate reasons? Or do they just so happen to be on the same track without even knowing it? All these questions and more will just have to wait until after Thanksgiving!

“The Things We Bury” – A

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Season 2 Episode 8, “The Things We Bury,” aired on ABC November 11th, 2014.

You can follow Amanda on Twitter at @reiko516 for more geek news.

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