With only one episode to go before the fall finale, the stakes are getting higher as Coulson and his team race to find the secret of the city. Meanwhile, Grant Ward, still on the run from pretty much everybody, kidnaps his brother Christian in an attempt to make him relive the torments of the past. If you’re looking for an episode that once again demonstrates just how much Agents of SHIELD has changed over the past eight episodes from the previous season, then The Things We Bury undoubtedly falls into that category. It’s one of the best episodes of the show so far, delivering an action packed, tense and heavy serialized installment that keeps viewers on the edge of their seats eager for more. Like I’ve mentioned before, it’s the kind of thing this show should have been since Day One.
Let’s start with what is probably the best part of this week’s episode, and that was the Peggy Carter flashbacks (with Hayley Atwell really impressing ahead of her debut in the highly anticipated World War Two-era Agent Carter that hits ABC next January) plugging the gap between the breaks of SHIELD. With The Things We Bury, things are certainly increasing, and they continue to build to the mystery behind the possible (and most likely inevitable) Inhumans reveal that may or may not come next week. The flashbacks were the strongest moment of the show, with Whitehall getting plenty of development this week as well and watching the character interact with Agent Carter was handled very strongly indeed. It’ll be interesting to see what direction Agent Carter takes when it hits, but based on what we’ve seen so far, it looks like it’s certainly on the right track.
Another great part of this episode was the appearance of Dichen Lachman. It’s not the first time she’s cropped up on a Whedon show, with a role in Dollhouse and also more recently, the non-Whedon written The 100, which is an equally awesome show that dare I say, is one of the best science fiction shows on television right now falling only behind Person Of Interest and Orphan Black in my favourites list for that genre at the moment (I’m counting all the comic adaptations in their own category). So you should certainly go and watch that show if you want to see more Lachman, as she puts in a pretty good performance here with the revelation that she is in fact, Skye’s mother.
Sticking with Skye’s family, Kyle MacLachlan, her father (seriously, Skye has some awesome actors playing her parents), put in his best performance yet. It was great to see his scenes and along with Lachman and Atwell, that’s what really made the episode stand out for me. They were all super impressive.
The scenes between Christian and Grant Ward were handled pretty well as both brothers went to blows, with Tim DeKay also putting in a strong performance. It was good to see that the show averted the seemingly inevitable moment of Grant throwing Christian down the well, instead giving us a development that was far more intriguing. We’re not quite done with the Ward family yet.
The Coulson scenes were pretty fun this week as well. There were lots of good action moments going on and plenty of stuff pulled off across the board. All in all, it led to a pretty action jam-packed episode, with plenty of awesome Marvel Cinematic Universe references to boot. We got the Red Skull name-dropped more than once, Peggy Carter mentioned in the present, and even a mention of Alexander Pierce. These references are so much more effective than the ones that SHIELD used to drop at the start, as it struggled to frequently remind us that it was part of the MCU. Now it doesn’t need to.