It’s that time of season when everything gets a whole lot more exciting: questions are posed, alliances are made and we still can’t decide whether to trust Ward or not. It’s just a shame that there’s a mid-season break coming in an episode’s time, because we’re probably not going to be able to stand the tension.
Skye has been the cool, sarcastic hacker girl with the dark and mysterious past for some time now. Theorising about what was so dark and mysterious was fun, but ‘…Ye Who Enter Here’ finally supplies some answers. The episode opens with a dream sequence: Skye runs around the SHIELD base unable to find Coulson. She’s wearing a flower dress (interesting) and a music box playing ‘Daisy Bell’ (even more interesting) tinkles in the background. She reaches out to the music box, which is covered in Obelisk-esque carvings and immediately turns to stone before jerking awake.
Coulson drags the team into looking for the underground alien city they found out about last week, but Skye and her mysteriousness linger in the air throughout. Now that everyone knows about Skye’s real dad (Kyle MacLachlan) being a complete maniac she becomes the subject of secretive whispers. With that and the weird cheese dreams she’s been having, Skye can’t shake a vibe that something bad is going to happen.
“I can’t shake this vibe that something really bad is going to happen,” she says. Simmons knocks on wood, which turns out to be plastic. God, Simmons. Way to jinx it.
Meanwhile, some familiar faces make comebacks. Agent 33, the Hydra agent who took on May’s appearance in episode four, returns. But seeing as May electrocuted Agent 33 while she was still wearing the face-changing technology, she’s now pretty much stuck as a May looky likey, which is excellent news if only because we get to enjoy double the Ming-Na Wen. Also on the guest list is Raina, the girl with the flower dress (very interesting indeed), who seems to be having some kind of belonging crisis which she deals with by spending a whole lot of time with Skye, bonding with her and telling her secrets like it’s some kind of big spy slumber party. After revealing to Skye that she can hold the Obelisk without turning to stone, Raina also reveals that she thinks Skye can too. It’s not crazy, she says. It’s their destiny.
In Season One, Raina seemed really together. She appeared to be the top boss in charge for a while, before we found out she was actually working under orders. Now, however, she seems unhinged. Watching her character unravel is fascinating, and it feels as though we’re going to see a lot more where that came from.
While Skye and May play babysitter to Raina onboard the SHIELD bus, Coulson and the other half of the team make their way to the entrance of the underground alien city, which turns out to be a hole in the floor of a dusty temple. None of SHIELD’s super-cool spy technology works inside it, so the team has to send down Mack. Abseiling down to the bottom, on the real floor of the hole in the floor he finds a collection of strange alien markings, much like the ones Coulson ha been carving into his office walls, and the ones that cover the outside of the Obelisk. Nothing good can come of this but, of course, Mack runs his fingers over the indentations in the ground. Suddenly everything goes to hell and Mack is out of control, trying to kill the entire crew.
‘…Ye Who Enter Here’ is a smorgasbord of action and fun, but it also does a brilliant job of setting up the mid-season finale. It dollops a huge blob of mystery in the middle of it all and dips into the mystery with questions that desperately need answering. Hopefully next episode will show up to the feast with those answers (and extra portions of questions), leaving us hungry for the second course. We want the next chapter of the story to go completely out of control, much in the same way that this smorgasbord analogy has.