Agents of SHIELD ended its first season last night, and while it spent most of the episode wrapping up loose ends, it definitely managed to squeeze in a few tantalizing teases at what’s to come.
The two big questions left hanging after the finale concluded were, who are Skye’s parents, and what the heck were Garrett and Coulson drawing?
I’m still pulling for Skye being an Inhuman, and I don’t think anything we saw in the finale that debunked that theory. I already outlined my thoughts on the idea here, so for brevity’s sake, let’s focus on the latter mystery.
Garrett seemed pretty confident that whatever was in his head was the key to the universe. Looking at what the show has set up so far, he might have meant that literally.
What do we know so far?
Well, we’re pretty sure that the blue alien guy from which the GH-325 serum is derived is a Kree, since Chloe Bennett straight up calls it one in an interview (around 1:30):
In the comics, the Kree are a humanoid alien race that usually have blue-tinted skin, although sometime they’re pink because reasons.
It’s not too much of a surprise considering at least two Kree characters will be appearing in Guardians of the Galaxy later this year.
The Kree aren’t the only aliens in the galaxy though. Aside from the Chitauri in The Avengers, Agents of SHIELD has also given us some evidence that the Skrull are also in play.
In episode four, Ward infiltrates some kind of military/scientific installation in Russia, pretending to be one of Cybertek’s agents. In the basement of the facility, he finds a room with a bunch of guys doing calculations or something. On the chalkboard is a drawing of something that should look really familiar.
Check this out:
See those wacky characters on the right? It’s almost certainly Skrull writing, which has appeared in comic book form a number of times. It’s even been translated, with a Skrull-English translation key making the rounds a couple of years ago.
Sadly, the blackboard text translates to gibberish, but just the fact that it’s Skrull text is intriguing.
So whose research facility was that? It probably wasn’t HYDRA, since a Cybertek operative was sent to infiltrate it. Maybe it was a Russian government installation, or more likely, some third faction that has yet to join the fray. Maybe it could even be a Skrull-controlled operation.
No matter what, most of us didn’t think much of the strange chalk drawing until Agents of SHIELD made a huge deal of it in the finale. If that’s the note they want to end the first season on, it probably means something.
It’s worth noting that the symbols on this diagram have appeared at least one time prior.
Check out this screengrab from episode 11. It appears during one of Coulson’s memory flashes (it’s worth noting that it’s preceded by Coulson getting injected with GH-325).
Those markings seem to match this bit of the drawing exactly.
Let’s not forget that in the same episode, Coulson’s trippy “flashback” literally takes him into space.
It seems that no matter what way you shake it, exposure to GH-325 puts those schematics in your head; and more likely than not, they relate to something from beyond our solar system.
So now that we’ve exhausted the clues the show has provided with us, let’s put together a few theories.
1. Kree-Skrull War
The Kree and Skrull went to war with each other in a very famous comic book arc in the 70s. While it almost certainly wouldn’t be adapted directly (it involves a lot of characters that don’t have a place in the MCU yet), it could be some fertile ground for Whedon’s Marvel crew to mine for ideas.
Speculating a little bit, perhaps the GH-325 serum is giving people access to some of the memories of the dead Kree (maybe networking with the Kree Supreme Intelligence?). The diagram could be related to some kind of invasion plan, or perhaps, a means by which the Kree could travel from their homeworld to Earth (and in that vein, for our Earth characters to travel deep into space).
Meanwhile, the facility in Russia could be a Skrull base of operations, and the diagram Ward discovers is their attempt at figuring out the Kree’s plan is.
2. Secret Invasion
Secret Invasion was a fairly recent comic book arc that centered around an invasion of Earth by the Skrulls. Using shapeshifting powers, they replaced a number of Marvel heroes with Skrull sleeper agents over a period of years, leading to a turbulent time of suspicions and distrust.
Betrayals have been the name of the game in Agents of SHIELD since The Winter Soldier dropped, so Secret Invasion‘s tone would be right in line with the show. It’s a pretty big story though, one that might be difficult to tackle within the confines of a TV series. We’ll see though, there’s no reason that the show couldn’t just draw from a few of the comic’s elements.
To add to the mystery, in a weird little twist, one of the taglines for Secret Invasion was “Embrace Change.” In episode 11 of Agents of SHIELD, Fitz tells Simmons to, “embrace the change.”
It’s a small line, but it’s one that was used extensively in the marketing material for the episode. I would say it’s probably just a coincidence, but you never know with Marvel…
3. None of the Above
Let’s not forget that the entire roster of Coulson’s team (including Coulson himself), and one of the main antagonists, Raina, are all original characters. That’s a pretty strong indication that the Agents of SHIELD team isn’t afraid to step away from the comics once in a while.
There’s more than enough reasons to believe that season two’s answers to these questions will be something completely unexpected. Whatever they do come up with though, some kind of Kree and/or Skrull involvement seems increasingly likely.
Bringing things back down to Earth for a second, let’s take a rapid fire look at a few of the other mysteries Agents of SHIELD presented us with last night:
- Nick Fury gave Coulson a “toolbox” filled with the info he’ll need to restart SHIELD. At the end of Captain America: The Winter Soldier though, Black Widow leaks all of SHIELD’s files to the web. Could Fury’s black cube be data so secret that it wasn’t even a part of the organization’s records? And if so, what else is in there?
- Is Koenig a Life Model Decoy? Probably not. He mentioned he played video games with his brother, and now we’ve met the brother (who’s also in the secret SHIELD base business). It’s a nice little twist that I like a lot more than cramming LMD’s into the mix. I wouldn’t rule it out though, it’s certainly not outside the realm of possibility.
- What’s up with Fitz? He’s alive, but they made a point of not showing him before the end of the episode. Either the writers haven’t figured out what to do with him, or his character is about to go through some big changes. Is he brain dead? Paralyzed? In a coma? It’s hard to say right now, but no matter what, FitzSimmons is probably going to be a bit different next season.
- Why was Skye’s dad all bloody? Was it his blood? Someone else’s? He seemed pretty humanoid, what exactly about him makes him a “monster?”
- Why didn’t Coulson ask Nick Fury about the blue alien? Dammit Phil, way to drop the ball.
Agents of SHIELD returns this Fall.