When Werner Reinhardt was captured after World War II, it was hoped he and HYDRA would be forgotten. It wasn’t the case, and both have re-emerged in these times. This week’s episode explains why that happened, and there’s a connection with the second Captain America movie. Also, both Ward brothers discuss what really happened at a certain well.
The episode starts in Austria 1945, as Reinhardt (Reed Diamond), before he changed himself into Daniel Whitehall, talks to a prisoner about the alien obelisk known as the Diviner, Reinhart asks the prisoner to touch it, and the prisoner dies. Then, a mysterious woman who speaks Mandarin is brought in, and she looks a lot like Sierra from Dollhouse. That’s because she’s Dichen Lachman, and she’ll play a big role in this story. She is forced to touch the obelisk, but she is not harmed. It somehow decided she should live, as it did with Reina a few weeks back. Reinhart orders her to be caged, just as news that Red Skull has been killed.
Sixty-nine years later, Whitehall is upset his HYDRA scientists can’t learn more about the Diviner, but Skye’s father (Kyle MacLachlan) says he can fill in the blanks. He also says if someone who is worthy can bring the Diviner to a certain place, it will do something more than destroy. Whatever it is, he promises it will be unforgettable.
Back at SHIELD, Coulson is planning something, while Bobbi Morse (Adrianne Palicki) is trying to crack the newly captured Bakshi (Simon Kassianides). He gives her the HYDRA company line, while she notices that he refers to Whitehall as a disciple of Red Skull, not just a fan. The answer is located in old SSR files somewhere in SHIELD’s current base.
All the while, Senator Christian Ward (Tim DeKay) is relying on his people to find his brother Grant. He thinks using SHIELD would hurt his political image. As he gets to his family’s summer home, Grant is there, to talk about old times in a very violent way. Grant accuses Christian of manipulating him when they were kids, while Christian thinks Grant can’t reconcile his many sins with his desire to be a hero. For all we know, both brothers could be right, especially when it’s revealed both mom and dad were rough on the two brothers, but Mom liked the youngest, Thomas, the best. As it was revealed last season, he was the victim of a near-drowning at a well that Christian and Grant each claim is the other’s fault. Christian is forced to re-open the well, and admit what really happened,
The Bus lands in Hawaii, and Coulson sends Skye to a watch repair shop and Triplett (BJ Britt) to a dry cleaner, while Fitz is asked to put together a transceiver in less than six minutes. It’s part of a plan to break security and use spy satellites to locate the hidden city that may have a connection with the Diviner and the blue alien host that is the source of GH-325.
With some help from Agent May, the crew find info on Reinhardt/Whitehall when he was interrogated by Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) in a SHIELD prison known as “The Rat”. He tells her in 1945 that he’d like to make a deal, but she declines. He does tell her of an ancient myth about blue angels coming from the heavens to save mankind. He says they really wanted to conquer us, not help us. Back to 2014, Skye’s Dad says the aliens were more interested in ending mankind, and letting certain people live. That’s why the Diviner decides who’s worthy, like the woman and Raina, and who isn’t. Skye’s Dad says Whitehall can have the world, but he wants to kill those who took his family away from him, Then, he’ll be reunited with them….after death.
When the SHIELD crew does find Reinhardt’s picture, Simmons tells them that it’s really Whitehall. But, how can it be? In another flashback, Reinhardt was sentenced to life, and Carter tells him she will bury him. He got unearthed by HYDRA in 1989 with the help of an undersecretary named…who else…Alexander Pierce. Whitehall also finds out the woman he caged for experimentation is still alive…and still looking young. He’s got to know why, so he can resurrect himself and HYDRA. He succeeded, but at a terrible price that she had to pay.
There’s some other secrets, like the ones Bakshi is willing to reveal about Morse, and what she did to convince HYDRA to hire her. She isn’t worried. She says Bakshi joined HYDRA as a second chance after crossing Whitehall, and she wonders what he’d do. He shows his loyalty by cracking a cyanide capsule embedded in his cheekbone that the crew missed. He doesn’t die, but it’s close. Even if he does live, how likely would it be that he’d help SHIELD?
As for the brothers, Grant does get Christian to admit he did want Thomas to die because he wasn’t tortured by Mom and Dad. It leads to both brothers embracing and letting go of the past, but that’s not the end of it.
SHIELD lands in the Australian outback, near a satellite backup installation, Coulson set up a blackout at a major facility in Oahu with the help of a button and the watch he gave to Triplett and Skye. Once that happens, the Australian facility will take over for six minutes, and that’s when SHIELD will hack in to it to use it to find the hidden city. When they get to the facility, HYDRA is there, too. A firefight leads to Triplett getting severely wounded, but none other than Dr. Skye’s Dad is there to help. He also wants to find that city, and to look at Coulson, the man who supposedly ruined the doctor’s life. They have a very interesting conversation, and the doc is more interesting than Whitehall. Triplett is saved, and the satellites do find the hidden city, but the doc gets away.
Hunter and Morse argue about what Bakshi didn’t say about her, and also discuss trust issues. They also have hot sex, which some have expected for some time.
Whitehall discusses the importance of second chances…to Grant Ward. He has made peace with his family by arranging the “murder/suicide” of Christian and their parents. Now, Grant Ward has decided to join HYDRA, or maybe take it over when Whitehall isn’t looking. Maybe if Bakshi finds out Ward has his job, he may change his mind about being loyal to HYDRA.
Skye’s Dad joins in with them, so he can get revenge on Coulson. It’s revealed 25 years ago, he found the body of his wife, mutilated beyond recognition. This, of course, also confirms that the woman Whitehall captured in 1945 and 1989 is Skye’s mother. It seems likely Skye will be in the middle when HYDRA tries to unleash the real power of the Diviner. She has the attention of her father and Ward, and they just happen to be with Whitehall. More than ever, it is all connected.
The show will take a break until December second, when they head to the mysterious city. It’s also revealed someone who looks like Agent May has been found, but it’s likely Agent 33 still pretending to be May.
One more thing: some have complained about the tag line for Agent Carter: “Sometimes the best man for the job is a woman”
They should. Granted, the show will depict Peggy Carter being underestimated by everyone in the post-war era except Howard Stark, but they should come up with a better slogan. How about “See how SHIELD began, through the eyes of its forgotten founder”. That sounds better, and at least her real contributions were revealed in Captain America 2.
Finally, Entertainment Weekly has more on the episode from the producers, and what to expect in December. TV Guide, though, has confirmation of where the blue host came from, although that fact will also be revealed on the next episode.