At the beginning of The Things We Bury, this week’s episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. viewers learn quite a lot about HYDRA head, Whitehall. He has got a cruel streak, about a mile wide from the look of things although fans of the MARVEL verse will know that already. The time is 1945 and a Chinese woman brought in and forced to make contact with the obelisk survives. The HYDRA leader has already shown his obvious maliciousness when he tells the male prisoner moments earlier that it is okay to touch the artifact he has searched for so long. He will soon show that this streak is a constant in his personality.
That prior chpa who touches the artifact was almost instantly turned to stone. The woman survives only to learn that she is going to be studied so Whitehall’s scientists can learn why she survived. In present day Whitehall has his agents bring in Skye’s father after he finds out that his specialists have learned nothing new about the dangerous alien object.
After “The Doctor” is brought in, Whitehall proves instantly that he does not trust the man’s control over his temper, which is deadly, but that he is also afraid of what the madman can do. Meanwhile, Coulson has Bobbi questioning Bakshi and Mack reveals to Fitz that after what he saw of the director last week, he is uncomfortable with Phil in the role of S.H.I.E.L.D. leader. Out of all the other agents Mack is the one who knows the least about Coulson and his history. Even Agent Morse, who is the latest recruit, knows more about the director than Mack does.
Grant Ward meets up with his brother, the senator, and a lot of sibling issues come to the fore while the two take a trip down memory lane. It is not a pleasant interaction for Senator Ward. Melinda May is left back at the base while Phil, Skye, Triplett and Leo all head to Hawaii. Fitz is given a six minute task, he has to set up a transceiver and Coulson sends the other two agents off on two separate errands. When Skye asks about the watch she has been given Phil tells her if it starts to leak fluid to drop it and run. Triplett is told not to put the coat button in his pocket if he ever wants to have children.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. The Things We Bury then returns to May and Simmons with a splendid “tie-in” to the upcoming series of Agent Carter, which airs January 2015. In this episode Jemma finds references to a report by Peggy Carter about the artifact and a man called Werner Reinhart. It turns out that the super agent interrogated the man, who was Red Skull’s right hand man, and then “buried” him in a prison where he was to stay until he died. Coulson and the rest of team are in Hawaii.
The man was released in 1989 by agents of HYDRA. Back in 1945, while still in custody, Reinhart tells Carter about things they found and talks of aliens bearing a gift to “save mankind.” He then reveals the story is wrong and that the blue aliens came to conquer. In present day, The Doctor tells Reinhart/Whitehall that he has the story wrong as well, Skye’s father explains that the aliens came to destroy not conquer. The reference to blue aliens is an obvious nod to the “classification” of aliens which have been encountered in “real life” with at least two classes being broken into the “Blues” and the “Greys.”
Grant gets his older brother to confess to being the one who forced him all those years ago to put their younger brother down that well to punish their mother. After making Christian dig up the well, Ward finally “breaks” his sibling. Back in the bus, Fitz keeps practicing on putting together the transceiver. Trip and Skye return from their errands and Phil comes into to tell his agents that their next stop is the Australian Outback.
Back at the base. Hunter finds the Reinheart file and Simmons recognises that he is actually Whitehall. The little group see that the man appears to have “turned back the clock” and a flashback shows Peggy Carter telling the HYDRA agent that he will never leave the prison known as The Rat. Fast forward to 1989 and the Nazi/HYDRA agent is out and the evil organization have found the woman from 1945 who survived her encounter with the obelisk and she has not aged a day.
Lance gives Bobbi the file that they found on Whitehall and while being questioned by her Bakshi attempts to poison himself with a capsule embedded in his cheekbone, but Agents Morse and Hunter stop him from completing his suicide bid. After learning that Christian really was the instigator, as Grant has always said he was, it is revealed that the watch and button work together as an EMP which will take down the Hawaii base leaving the Australian satellite feed available to hack and this will allow the team of agents to track down the alien city from last week’s show.
As Coulson and his group infiltrate the Australian facility they come into contact with HYDRA agents. While Fitz is putting the transceiver in, Trip gets shot and The Doctor shows up offering to help. He reveals himself to be Skye’s father and he uses Agent Triplett as a bargaining chip to insure his escape. Skye’s dad reveals the limits to Whitehall’s imagination and knowledge of the obelisk, he also says the secret to the artifact is in the city.
By the end of his interaction with the three agents, Coulson, Trip and Fitz, it is plain that The Doctor is insane. Reinhart/Whitehall has a flashback to when he gutted the Chinese woman to turn back time on his own ageing process and she dies. While having this memory, he is talking to Grant Ward about second chances. As the two men are interacting, a news report says that Senator Ward and his parents have been found dead in a suicide/murder.
Lance and Bobbie reveal that they still fancy the pants off each other and the satellite hack reveals the location of the alien city. The Doctor comes in to meet with Grant and Whitehall where he learns that Ward knows Skye. Grant says he heard that The Doctor got into a bit of bother with Coulson and Skye’s father says it was not a complete loss. Looking at Whitehall, he says that it is always good to look your enemy “right in the eye”. Before Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. The Things We Bury ends, The Doctor has one last memory, one where he finds the remains of the Chinese woman and he swears revenge on whoever “did this to you.” The implication seems to be that the murdered woman is Skye’s mother.
By Michael Smith