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Recap / Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S2 E12 "Who You Really Are"

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S.H.I.E.L.D. discovers Lady Sif is back on Earth, but has lost some of her memories. Together, they must help her recover her missing gaps and find out what she was doing.


Tropes:

  • Always Chaotic Evil: The Kree have this reputation in-universe, though Vin-Tak counters that they're just being characterized by their most extreme factions.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Fitz, to Simmons, when she argues that despite her attitude towards Raina - that she's "a plague to be eradicated" - she would never have treated Skye as an enemy due to them being friends:
    Fitz: I was your friend. And then I changed. How did you handle that?
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  • BFG: The Destroyer gun is used to subdue Vin-Tak long enough to use his own truncheon against him.
  • Blatant Lies: Fitz trying to convince Simmons that his analysis of Skye's DNA is a simulation.
  • Both Sides Have a Point: The confrontation between Fitz and the other agents plays out like this. They do have a valid point in being informed that one of their teammates just developed superpowers but Fitz also brings up that their recent Fantastic Racism behavior was a legitimate reason not to tell them.
  • Break His Heart to Save Him: Mack insists to Bobbi that she would be better off alienating Hunter before things go bad, as he isn't convinced Hunter wouldn't kill her if it came to that. This backfires when she follows his advice, only for Hunter to realize that they're up to something and confront Mack over it.
  • Continuity Nod:
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    • Fitz manages to track down the Destroyer gun and uses it on Vin-Tak during the Kree warrior's second fight with Bobbi.
    • Vin-Tak mentions that his people were involved in a long-lasting war, likely referring to the conflict between The Kree and The Xandarians, which had recently ended with a peace treaty, but was implied to have been dragging on for quite a while before that.
    • Coulson introduces himself to Sif as Thor's nickname for him, Son of Coul, hoping she'll recognize it better than his actual name.
    • The truncheon Vin-Tak uses resembles a miniaturized version of Ronan's hammer.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Mack chokes out Hunter on the Bus, then realizes he just incapacitated a fellow agent in S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters. The episode ends on that note.
  • Dramatic Irony:
    • Sif still doesn't know that she isn't taking orders from Odin.
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    • When it's discovered that Fitz kept Skye's transformation a secret, the two people arguing most strenuously that keeping secrets from the team is always harmful are Bobbi and Mack, who are keeping a secret from the team.
  • Everybody Lives: Vin-Tak isn't here to kill anyone (except Skye) and his other victims are simply mind-wiped. Thus, this is a rare episode where nobody dies.
  • Everyone Has Standards:
    • When Sif mentions that the Kree are Always Chaotic Evil, Vin-Tak refutes that it applies to all Kree but does acknowledge it is a fitting description of the most extreme factions.
    • Hunter's response when he sees that Skye heard everything they said about her implies that while he may have agreed with them about being told about her powers he disagrees with their beliefs about how to deal with her.
  • Face Palm: Easy to miss, but Hunter and Bobbi, while in the background, do this after everyone sees that Skye heard everything they said about her being a danger to The Team.
  • Fantastic Racism: In addition to the issues with Skye's transformation, the episode reveals that the Asgardians and the Kree are prejudiced against each other.
  • Glamour Failure: Vin-Tak uses a liquid nitrogen rig to make his blue skin turn pink. It fails a couple times after Sif damages it.
  • Go Through Me:
    • Coulson, to the people trying to take Skye. Never mind that she'd just revealed her superhuman abilities.
    • May does this later after being cornered with Skye in the holding cell.
  • Gun Stripping: Skye accidentally does this to her sidearm through Power Incontinence during the first confrontation with Vin-Tak.
  • He Knows Too Much: Mack chokes Lance into unconsciousness when the latter begins to cotton onto what he and Bobbi are up to and asks a few questions too many.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Bobbi induces memory loss on Vin-Tak with his own truncheon.
  • Human Weapon: The Kree experimented on many primitive races, using the Terrigen Mists to turn them into superpowered soldiers to fight in their wars. Earth was their only success, but the project was shut down. Vin-Tak warns that if the modern Kree Empire finds out about the Inhumans, the project will be restarted.
  • Hypocritical Humor: When Vin-Tak asks for his truncheon, Sif gestures dramatically with her sword while saying, "How very like a Kree. He needs a weapon to make his point."
  • Hypocrite: Mack: "Secrets don't help any of us." This coming from the man who's been keeping a big secret from the rest of the team with Bobbi.
  • I Call It "Vera": The Destroyer gun is apparently named "The Bambino".
  • Inherently Funny Word: Truncheon, according to Hunter. Bobbi is having none of it.
  • Internal Reveal:
    • The rest of the team discovers that Skye has been transformed and gained superpowers.
    • To a larger extent, S.H.I.E.L.D. is informed about terrigenesis and the Kree by Vin-Tak.
  • Interplay of Sex and Violence: A scene with Skye and May sparring violently is immediately juxtaposed with one of Lance and Bobbi immediately after sex.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: For all the Fantastic Racism that the people who are upset about Skye's transformation express, by any objective standard they're right: Skye is a threat to everyone around her so long as her powers are out of control. The real problem lies with the fact that so few members of the cast are willing to make the effort to help her get that control so that she stops being a threat to the team.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Vin-Tak's truncheon can erase the memories of anyone it hits, or restore them if it already has. The victim can't remember their own name or basically anything they've learned past childhood, though basic skills remain intact.
  • Loyal Phlebotinum: Vin-Tak's truncheon is coded to his DNA. In any hands but his own, it's just a mallet and not even a particularly heavy one.
  • Modesty Bedsheet: Bobbi and Lance while in bed together. They even each have their own, different-colored sheets!
  • Moral Myopia: Bobbi and Mack lecturing Fitz for keeping secrets.
  • My Species Doth Protest Too Much: Vin-Tak acknowledges the Kree can be jerks, but insists that they aren't all jerks. It isn't helping his case that he refuses to explain himself, but he is right to assume he won't get much in the way of cooperation from an Asgardian.
  • Nothing Personal: Vin-Tak has absolutely nothing against Skye personally. He wants to kill her because he thinks she's the human equivalent of an atomic bomb, not out of any malice on his part.
  • Papa Wolf: Coulson is willing to fight Sif, who's an Asgardian, to keep Skye safe.
  • Power Incontinence: Skye continues to be unable to control her power.
  • Red Herring:
    • Bobbi and Mack's reveal as moles in the previous episode came right on the heels of HYDRA losing most of its leadership, suggesting that HYDRA might have gotten one up on the team. In this episode, it's made clear that they aren't working for HYDRA.
    • Vin-Tak sets himself up as an enemy for half the episode. Once he's taken into S.H.I.E.L.D. custody, it even seems like he tries to pull an I Surrender, Suckers moment by mentioning how he can restore Sif's memories, provided his truncheon is returned to him. As soon as he sees an opportunity, he immediately grabs the truncheon... and does precisely that before surrendering again, though not without quipping how they were getting nowhere if he didn't take the opportunity.
  • Right Behind Me: Mack rants about how Skye is a threat to the team... only for everyone to look out the window and see Skye listening to every word.
  • Rubber-Forehead Alien: The main distinction between the Kree Vin-Tak and a human is blue skin and mild forehead ridges.
  • Running Gag: The amnesiac Sif knowledgeably explains concepts that are confounding Team Coulson, saying that such topics are actually basic things that are taught to Asgardian schoolchildren.
    Sif: (after explaining exactly how many intelligent species in the universe require primarily nitrogen to breathe) I learnt that as a child, did you not?
  • Ship Tease: While amnesiac Sif doesn't recognize the name Thor, she does acknowledge that it makes her smile for some reason. May knows exactly why that is.
  • Take a Third Option: When Skye's powers are exposed, Sif and Vin-Tak attempt to kill her while May takes her to Ward's old cell and tries to get her to remember her training to calm down. When things get down to the wire, Skye takes May's ICER gun and shoots herself in order to stop her powers.
  • Token Good Teammate: Vin-Tak, to an extent. He's not as violent as the other Kree, and he only wants to kill Skye because he sincerely believes she's too dangerous to let live.
  • The Un-Reveal: Bobbi and Mack's secret allegiance lies... not with HYDRA.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Vin-Tak only came to Earth to make sure the other Kree wouldn't find out about the Diviner being activated and decide to restart their weapons program. Then at the end, he only wants to kill Skye because he sincerely believes she's a threat, and acts surprisingly nice despite these issues.
  • Wham Shot:
    • Vin-Tak recovers a case containing apparently all Terrigen crystals left on Earth. Not only are the crystals missing when Simmons and Fitz open it, there are slots for six of them (at least, since the size of the crate implies multiple layers), meaning that S.H.I.E.L.D. has at least five more to track down, including the one Gordon possesses (which they don't know he has).
    • Skye locking herself into the Bus's holding cell after listening to Mack go into a Fantastic Racism rant, not knowing she's Right Behind Me.
      Fitz: We should be protecting her!
      Mack: No, Fitz! We're the ones that need protection from her.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The Kree came to Earth because he detected a transformation, and S.H.I.E.L.D. mentioned that it was Raina. As things turn out, there was a second transformation, Skye, that they did not know about. Sif, who agrees on the danger, accepted to leave her under the protection of her teammates, instead of killing her or taking her to Asgard. But they forget about finding Raina, the first transformation they were seeking.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: The team gently chastises Fitz for keeping Skye's new powers a secret from them, which he immediately turns around on by reminding them of all their Fantastic Racism rhetoric from the last episode, or how they treated him when his condition was at its worst.
  • You Called Me "X"; It Must Be Serious: Skye calls Simmons "Jemma" for the first time when she apologizes to her on the way to the cell.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: Sif tells Coulson that "there are tides in the universe you cannot swim against," though she's noticeably hesitant to call it fate. After she leaves, May does point out that it's a little coincidental that they recruited a nascent Kree Human Weapon, after Coulson got brainwashed with Kree blood to find the city that would activate her powers, and then she ended up down there despite their best efforts to the contrary.

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