[SPOILERS for those not caught up on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. ahead.]
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season two picked back up with this week's episode "Aftershocks" - and the resulting, emotionally-charged, chapter in the ongoing story of Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) and his team of agents was maybe the Marvel TV show's finest hour to date, depending on who you ask. It also set things in motion for more drama to ensure in the next episode, titled "Who You Really Are", much of which will be related to the episode's main setup: Asgardian warrior Lady Sif (Jaimie Alexander) showing back up on Earth, with no memory of who she is or how she found herself in this situation.
Meanwhile, Skye/Daisy (Chloe Bennet) is having identity issues of her own, in keeping with the next episode's title/central theme. S.H.I.E.L.D. executive producer Jeffrey Bell has offered some insight on the matter, regarding how the Skye and Sif plot threads parallel each other. Those comments are from an interview Bell conducted for the next installment in the "Art of Evolution" S.H.I.E.L.D. poster artwork series - continuing the evolution theme from last week's one-sheet, featuring Raina (Ruth Negga) in her newly-acquired Inhuman form.
Much of the drama in "Aftershocks" came from the various agents' reactions, now that the Inhumans population has emerged from the shadows. Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge), for example, has reached the conclusion that pretty much any (make that all) extraterrestrial-related beings are threats that should probably just be eliminated (following Triplett's death), while Fitz (Ian De Caestecker) was more sympathetic - in the aftermath of having gone through some permanent changes himself - and helped to keep Skye's "secret" under-wraps for the time being.
Bell told EW that the next episode on S.H.I.E.L.D. will continue to explore related ideas as other characters learn about Skye's newfound super-powers, saying:
[The] way everyone reacts to the situation [with Skye] is different, and different types of concern and different types of fear, and different types of determination…and I think all of our characters are reacting in very different ways to that, which is the whole point of doing it. When one of your best friends comes out as a superhero, how do you react to that? And just trying to find out, “Oh, my friend changed, they’re different, and how do I feel about that? And this is cool, but it’s scary, and I don’t know how I feel about that. And it’s wonderful, and why can’t I have that? Or, I don’t want that. Or, does Skye want that?” It just, to me, captures a whole bunch of questions, which is what we try to do.
Sif's appearance, by the sound of it, will end up just stirring that pot even more. On that note, you can check out the aforementioned S.H.I.E.L.D. poster artwork before, with the Sif drawing having been done by the Eisner-winner Marco Martin: a comic book artist known for his work on such comic properties as Batgirl, Amazing Spider-Man, and Daredevil, among others.
Click for Full-Sized Version:
Bell also provided the following food for thought, when asked how Sif will respond to Inhumans like Skye, given her current amnesiac state:
That’s a really good question. The other thing is that technically, Sif’s an alien. Technically. So we as S.H.I.E.L.D. have been experiencing a lot of alien weirdness towards the first half of the season. And we don’t know much about it. And suddenly, we have a person here who might be able to help, but doesn’t have any memory that’s really helpful. So there’s potential to learn things about other alien stuff, and perhaps we also presume that she doesn’t remember much…so that might be part of why this character is here now.
Once Sif recovers, however, she ought to have some useful information to provide Skye, regarding not just the Inhumans' history on Earth, but also their powers and/or where they stand, as far as their place in the greater cosmos of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is concerned. Sif's previous appearance on S.H.I.E.L.D. may've amounted to mostly a fun one-off featuring a fan-favorite Thor movie supporting character, but her return in season two will have a more clearly-defined purpose - something true with most everything that happens on the show nowadays, thankfully.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. continues next Tuesday with "Who You Really Are" at 9/8c on ABC. Check out a preview for the episode, below: