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Recap / Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S2 E10 "What They Become"

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SHIELD and HYDRA race to find the temple while Skye meets her father and Raina has her own plans.


Tropes in this episode:

  • Badass Boast: When Whitehall figures out who Cal is and has the soldiers under his command train their guns on everyone, Cal responds with one. And unlike most of the other times he gets mad, he speaks in a soft yet harsh voice just dripping with cold-blooded hatred:
    Cal: If my daughter wasn't here, I would tear you and your men to pieces.
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  • Beauty Equals Goodness: Both Skye and Raina are changed by the Terrigen Mists. Skye seemingly gets earthquake powers without as much as a hair out of place. Raina, on the other hand, gains yellow eyes, claws, and what appear to be quills sticking out of her face.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Raina wanted to know what her dormant powers were. Becoming what looks to be part-reptilian probably wasn't what she had in mind.
  • Big "NO!": Triplett lets one out after Skye's petrification.
  • Body Horror: Whatever Raina's become after her exposure to the Terrigen mist, it has claws, yellow eyes, and facial quills.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy:
    • Mack, as in the previous episode. The programming seems to break once the Diviner is in place.
    • Ward is threatened with this by Whitehall, but Whitehall doesn't live to follow through.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Whitehall thinks he's completely in control the entire time, despite the Doctor flat-out telling him that the only reason he hasn't slaughtered everyone in the room is because he doesn't want his daughter to see it. Whitehall later gets casually gunned down by Coulson before the Doctor can tear him to pieces.
  • Call-Back:
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    • Skye reminds Ward that things didn't go well for him the last time he kidnapped her.
    • The title is a call back to "Beginning of the End" where Raina asks "What will I become?"
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Skye does this beautifully to Cal. She calls him a monster that leaves death in his trail and is working for HYDRA. To his credit, he says she's absolutely right and is ashamed of that.
  • Character Death:
    • Whitehall gets dispatched rather quickly by Coulson, much to Cal's fury.
    • Triplett ends up turning to stone after having one of the Diviner's shards embedded in his chest, then crumbles apart from the earthquake moments later.
  • Conspicuous Trenchcoat: Just like the Koenig brothers did in the previous episode, Bobbi and Hunter immediately identify "covert" HYDRA agents due to their penchant for wearing black suits.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Cal's comments about the "change" to come over Skye (Terrigenesis) is extremely similar to "The Talk", especially his comment on how "change is terrifying" and that she would learn about her changes best with her father by her side, and that he loves her no matter what she is.
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  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Whitehall is killed by a single bullet from behind by Coulson, seconds before a climatic fight with Cal. It's Played for Drama, as Cal takes this badly.
  • Dungeon Bypass: HYDRA doesn't bother with the lone air shaft leading to the underground city, instead opting to use a plasma drill to burrow into a corridor adjacent to the temple.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: As Skye watches the temple collapse after emerging from her cocoon, a shot of Raina's quill-covered face can just barely be made out through the dust.
  • Enemy Mine: Whitehall to Skye, Cal, and Ward. None of the latter three like each other, but they all hate Whitehall more. It's made a lot simpler when Whitehall leaves them alone in a room together with only one guard. Once Cal kills the guard, he leaves the other two tied to chairs (because he doesn't trust Ward nor does he want Skye to see what he does to Whitehall). Once Ward and Skye get free, he's set to lead her out, but she shoots him in the back and makes her own way.
  • The Exit Is That Way: After Fitz suggests they split up to get the charges laid quicker, he heads off and then quickly corrects himself and goes the opposite direction.
  • Eyeless Face: The man with the second Diviner in The Stinger.
  • Fake-Out Make-Out: Morse and Hunter use this to avoid the attention of some HYDRA agents walking past them, recalling the time Black Widow and Captain America did the same.
  • Forced to Watch: Whitehall tells The Doctor/Cal that he plans to kill him, but only after vivisecting Skye in front of him.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Skye's mother used to sing a song to her when she was a baby. The song? "Daisy Bell".
    • The Inhumans are officially introduced into the MCU, four years before their movie was set to be released, until it was reconfigured into a limited TV series that premiered in fall 2017.
  • He's Dead, Jim: Cal examines Whitehall after Coulson shoots him to make sure he's dead. Being a doctor, he's qualified to make such a call. Given his vendetta, he also really doesn't want him to be; he had a much more elaborate death planned.
  • Improvised Weapon: Within seconds of discovering that she can safely handle the Diviner, Skye starts hitting bad guys with it. Unfortunately, Whitehall had several people with guns standing outside of striking range in case she tried to do this.
  • In the Back: Coulson shoots Whitehall in the back (fatally, to Cal's outrage) and Skye shoots Ward in the back (non-fatally, since the bullets that didn't hit his arm were stopped by his bulletproof vest).
  • It's the Best Whatever, Ever!: When Cal gets to both see Skye for the first time in person and (he believes) kill Whitehall once and for all, he declares it the "best day ever".
  • "Join the Army", They Said:
    Hunter: Join SHIELD. Travel to distant, exotic lands. Meet exciting, unusual people. (Beat) And kill them.
  • Just in Time: Triplett manages to pull the last detonator moments before it goes off. He then makes it into the Diviner chamber moments before it seals up completely. Coulson, on the other hand, is a few seconds too late.
  • Let's Split Up, Gang: Fitz suggests this in the city, so they can cover more ground and plant all the charges. Surprisingly, nothing bad happens as a result.
  • Literally Shattered Lives: After Skye breaks free from her Terrigen cocoon, the resulting quake causes Triplett's petrified body to crumble apart.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: The Doctor/Cal furiously beats the crap out of Coulson for robbing him of the chance to take revenge on Whitehall.
  • No-Nonsense Nemesis: Ward is a Stalker with a Crush and is all set to lead Skye to safety after he unties her. She, wanting nothing more to do with him, picks up a gun and shoots him multiple times in the back.
  • No One Could Survive That!: The HYDRA pilots assume that the Bus was destroyed because their missiles went off, despite knowing that the Bus can cloak and was actively evading them moments before. Apparently when you hit a giant cargo plane with missiles there's no burning wreckage left behind.
  • Not Quite Dead: Turns out Mack is still alive in the tunnels. For a given definition of "alive", anyway. He appears to recover fully once the Diviner is placed on the pedestal.
  • Not So Stoic: Raina, who's usually calm and composed, is outright giddy about the Diviner finally activating during her and Skye's confrontation in the chamber.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Cal really wanted to kill Whitehall, and didn't take it well when Coulson did it instead.
  • Out-of-Character Alert: Bobbi suspects Diego is trying to give her a warning when he shows up to meet her dressed in a business suit, because she says he never wears a suit. She's right.
  • The Reveal: Multiple.
    • Skye's father's name is Cal and Skye's name is Daisy; the writers have confirmed that they are, respectively, the MCU version of Calvin Zabo / "Mister Hyde" and Daisy Johnson / "Quake".
    • The reason why the Diviner doesn't have any adverse effect on Raina is that she's an Inhuman, as is Skye.
    • There's at least one more Diviner on Earth.
    • Whitehall knew about Cal's identity and plans all along.
  • Self-Deprecation: Cal saying "I liked myself" shows a good amount of self loathing.
  • Senseless Sacrifice: Trip spin-kicks the crystal, shattering it, in hopes of freeing Skye from the stone covering her. It fails, and he's hit by some of the Diviner shards which turn him to stone, thinking Skye died as well. On the other hand, at least it prevents the Diviner from releasing even MORE mist, limiting the people mutated to Skye and Raina.
  • Spanner in the Works: With a Gambit Pileup happening in San Juan, many characters turn into this. One among them is Raina, whose sojourn to the altar is indirectly responsible for Skye's transformation and Trip's death alongside the plan to blow the temple up being scuttled. Coulson gets a nod here as well, as getting in the way of Cal's revenge could only end badly.
  • The Stinger: A man with no eyes holds another Diviner, saying to a woman over the phone "Are you seeing this? There's someone new... Tell the others I'm on it."
  • Taken for Granite: It happens to everyone in the Temple when the Diviner activates. With Skye and Raina, it's a side effect of the Terrigen Mists, creating an outer shell that breaks off after a minute or so. Triplett, on the other hand, is hit by a shard from the Diviner when he destroys the crystal in an attempt to free Skye, turning him into solid rock.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: The Doctor/Cal has this mindset with regards to Whitehall. He didn't take it well when Coulson beat him to the punch.
  • Thicker Than Water: Though Skye holds a gun to Cal to get him to stop beating up Coulson, she admits to Coulson in private that she couldn't bring herself to shoot him. Likewise, Cal holds no ill will towards his daughter for this, only promising to be there for her.
  • Title Drop: When Raina activates the Temple, she tells Skye that now they will learn what they become.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Ward recognizes this in Skye, observing her noting possible exit routes, number of HYDRA troops and their equipment while passing by. Obviously, she does so at the end of the episode when she becomes the MCU version of Quake.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Zig Zagged by Whitehall. He is aware that Cal is a physical threat to the HYDRA soldiers and himself, as evidenced by having him knocked out rather than just restrained, but once he thinks he has control over him he mocks him about never getting his revenge and says he is going to do to Skye what he did to her mother. Once Whitehall leaves the room, Cal tears off the device keeping him paralyzed and brutally snaps the neck of a HYDRA soldier keeping guard. It was probably a favor to Whitehall that Coulson killed him before Cal could get his hands on him.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Cal absolutely loses it when Coulson takes down Whitehall, thus denying him his vengeance.
  • The Voiceless: Somehow all of Diego's conversations — with Bobbi and with the Hydra agents who show up — end up taking place just offscreen.
  • Wham Episode: Skye and her father's true identity are revealed. The Diviner is heavily implied to react to Inhuman DNA, making Raina and Skye Inhumans. Whitehall and Triplett die.
  • Wham Line: A major one related to Skye's true identity; if Skye's father introducing himself as "Cal" didn't do it, then this line absolutely blew the mystery wide open:
    Cal: I will always love you, Daisy.
  • Wild Card: Ward and Agent 33 are set up to be this in future episodes; Ward because now he works on no one's agenda but his own, and 33 because she was programmed to be loyal to Whitehall who's now dead.
  • You Called Me "X"; It Must Be Serious: After Coulson kills Whitehall(thus denying Cal revenge for his wife's torture and murder), Cal unleashes a savage beatdown on Coulson instead. An armed Skye shows up and pleads with him to stop, but in his rage he ignores her. Desperate, Skye yells out "Dad!" and Cal instantly freezes.
  • You Can Barely Stand: Stated word-for-word by May after seeing Coulson's condition following his beating by Cal. He decides to go after Skye anyway.
  • You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry: Cal tells Skye he doesn't want her to see him when he gets to Whitehall. In a variation, it's not because he's not warning her about what he'll do, but saying he doesn't want her to see him like that.

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