- "The higher you go, the scarier it is."
- ―Kenneth Turgeon
Obtaining the Obelisk
Sunil Bakshi, the right-hand man of Daniel Whitehall, one of leaders of HYDRA, contacted Carl Creel to be informed about Creel's mission of obtaining a file from Roger Browning. The file contained information about the Obelisk, an item that Whitehall has been searching for many years.
Creel informed Bakshi of his success, as the file was already uploading for being sent to them, so Bakshi revealed that Whitehall sent Creel a musgravite, one of the rarest gemstones in the world as a reward for both that assignment and the next one. Bakshi informed Creel he would find the structure of the musgravite pleasurable, being addicted to the feeling the absorption of different materials caused on him, and Creel answered Whitehall was right in believing so.
Though Creel was imprisoned in the Storage Warehouse, he managed to escape and retrieve the Obelisk, so Bakshi entered Whitehall's office on one of the upper levels of the building in order to inform him of the success. Bakshi revealed that instead of making Creel come to deliver the item himself, he ordered Creel to contact them and meet at a drop site, as Bakshi wanted to keep the whole operation as discreet as possible, knowing how long Whitehall had been searching for the Obelisk. Cryptically, Whitehall told Bakshi that he had no idea of how long it had been.
Brainwashing of Agent 33
Daniel Whitehall managed to capture former S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent 33, and tied her to a machine in order to submit her to the Faustus method and brainwash her into an operative loyal only to him while Sunil Bakshi overviewed the technical details of the process.
As Agent 33 tried to resist the efforts, Whitehall told her a story to illustrate his patience, how he drank a sip of a cheap whiskey when he enlisted into the German Armed Forces, but he had a hunch it would become very valuable over time, despite being bland and immature at the time. He spent $10 in a case, and now each bottle $2,000, and both him and the whiskey had benefited from his patience.
Whitehall approached to Agent 33, expressing his belief in second chances, and his desire to work together with her, making her become a valued member of HYDRA, and he started reciting the trigger phrase of the Faustus method: "Surrender and you will find meaning. Surrender and you will find release. Take a deep breath. Calm your mind. You know what is best. What is best is you comply. Compliance will be rewarded. Are you ready to comply?"
Agent 33 resisted the attempt to brainwash her, angrily saying she would never work for HYDRA, but Whitehall had already expected it would take a long time to brainwash her, so he decided to drink a little. Whitehall ordered Bakshi to start again with the whole process from the beginning, quoting the song Do-Re-Mi from The Sound of Music saying the beginning is "a very good place to start". Whitehall was not worried for the delay, as both he and Bakshi knew the Faustus method took time and Whitehall had plenty of it.
Jemma Simmons arrived at the HYDRA Laboratories, having begun to work within HYDRA as an undercover agent for S.H.I.E.L.D. under Phil Coulson's orders. Simmons greeted Theo, the doorman at the front desk, as she arrived, handing him her purse to be checked. Theo complimented her smile as he inspected the purse, handing it back to her.
Kenneth Turgeon, her supervisor, was surprised to her earlier than expected, as Simmons wanted to complete an analysis on cell samples, though Turgeon dismissed her explanations, prompting her to finish the analysis as soon as possible and leave a report about them on his desk.
Later that day, Turgeon came to Simmons ordering her to give him all the information she had on the set of cell samples she was analyzing. Simmons told him that she had not finished the analysis as she had to test a second set of samples, but Turgeon, visibly panicked, told her to give him what she had until now, and explained that their superiors had ordered him to immediately present every data they had.
Simmons offered to accompany Turgeon and present her analysis, but he warned her not to do it, as it could become dangerous and scary. Simmons then gave him a piece of information she discovered about the cells, that they had the ability to create trace amounts of liquid nitrogen, an anomaly that according to the DNA markers was had an environmental origin instead of genetic.
As Turgeon wrote down the information in the file, Simmons recognized the image of the subject whose cells she had been analyzing, Donnie Gill, a former S.H.I.E.L.D. Cadet she met at the S.H.I.E.L.D. Academy of Science and Technology. However, as she tried to ask Turgeon about Gill, he dismissed the question, saying Gill was just another acquisition for HYDRA.
Jemma Simmons tried to follow Phil Coulson's advice to make friends in order to rise her rank within HYDRA as part of her undercover assignment, planning to befriend her supervisor Kenneth Turgeon. As Turgeon approached, Simmons quickly invited him to a karaoke to know each other better, but Turgeon told her she was required upstairs for questioning regarding a security matter.
Two armed guards arrived to escorted Simmons, and Turgeon asked what did she do. Worried, Simmons told him that she had not done anything, so then Turgeon was confident she had nothing to worry about. The two guards escorted her to the 25th floor of the building.
Sunil Bakshi invited Simmons to have a seat, and told the two guards to leave them, but stay nearby in case there were any consequences. Bakshi coldly told Simmons she had been lying to them, as she was a Clearance Level 5 S.H.I.E.L.D. agent before S.H.I.E.L.D.'s fall, a fact she never hid, but Bakshi accused her of omitting other facts.
Simmons explained that she did not hide anything intentionally, though Bakshi confronted her about her analysis of Donnie Gill's cell samples for Project Blizzard without informing his supervisor that she personally knew Gill, showing her The Daily Cadet, the newspaper edited at S.H.I.E.L.D. Academy that included an article about how she and Leo Fitz saved Gill's life.
Simmons excused herself with the truth, saying she learned she had been analyzing Gill's cells when she saw a photo in Turgeon's file, as she wanted to avoid corrupting her analysis, as she did it before knowing who the subject was, and even with that, she only knew him a little despite having saved his life, just because she was at the Academy giving a lecture.
Bakshi noticed Simmons' nervousness, which she acknowledged, as she had been escorted by armed guards, and perfectly knew who were her employers. Bakshi then asked her why she joined S.H.I.E.L.D., and she revealed that she joined because she had earned two PhDs by the age of 17, and she still had a million questions, so she joined S.H.I.E.L.D. as the agency had the resources to answer them, and now that it was HYDRA who had them.
Simmons cleverly answered Bakshi's question about her loyalties, saying that her loyalties are with science, and HYDRA was allowing her to do the work she wants to do, so as long as she could continue doing it, her loyalties would be with HYDRA. Satisfied enough with her answers to continue letting her be alive, Bakshi told her that loyalties could be tested.
Daniel Whitehall continued with the brainwashing process of Agent 33, who had been awake for days tied to a machine. Whitehall asked why she still held onto the founding principles of S.H.I.E.L.D., as freedom, equality and individual rights made mankind become a plague.
Meanwhile, Agent 33 tried to liberate her hand from the machine she was tied to. Whitehall presented the analogy of a forest caught by fire, where mankind would fight the fire to save every individual plant, without realizing the fire was perfect and would allow more magnificent plants to be born, like a giant sequoia whose seeds need the heat to crack open and rise from the ashes.
Whitehall realized her attempts to liberate herself and grabbed her hand before she could do anything, and told Agent 33 to stop burning, rise and be born in a new life. Sunil Bakshi interrupted Whitehall in order to ask for permission regarding the evaluation of Jemma Simmons, as he wanted to act with the proper authority. Whitehall fully trusted Bakshi about the matter, being confident in that he would do what was needed to be done.
As Bakshi left them alone again, Whitehall said the trigger phrase of the Faustus method: "Are you ready to comply?", making Agent 33 to angrily shake in the machine, trying to set herself free before being effectively brainwashed.
The two guards took Jemma Simmons to a hallway where Sunil Bakshi was overseeing the preparation of a full tactical team. Bakshi asked her if she had warmer clothes, offering to take something for her, as she was going to leave with him and the team.
Simmons asked where was she supposed to go, and Bakshi revealed they found Donnie Gill, and they had a second chance to recruit him, using Simmons as a friendly face to gain Gill's trust. Seeing the heavily armed team, Simmons realized Gill was dangerous, but Bakshi told her not to worry, as they would protect her in every moment. Bakshi handed her a tactical jacket to suit up, as Gill would have surely made their destination to be a cold place.
Daniel Whitehall reunited with Sunil Bakshi following the unsuccessful attempt to recruit Donnie Gill in Morocco, with Whitehall being concerned that S.H.I.E.L.D. was starting to become a problem for them, but they still did not know the identity of its new Director.
Bakshi informed Whitehall that Gill's brainwash was unstable, though it ultimately held, and also asked his superior for authorization to promote Jemma Simmons, believing her talents were wasted in the laboratory and having earned his trust, though Bakshi said that if he was wrong about her, she could be brainwashed too.
Daniel Whitehall was contacted by Sunil Bakshi, disguised as Glenn Talbot, to inform him the he managed to take possession of a miracle painting displaying the same symbols as the Obelisk despite S.H.I.E.L.D. was trying to obtain it, sending him a picture of Phil Coulson and Melinda May.
Whitehall ordered Bakshi not to return to the Laboratories, as the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents did not pose any trouble yet, so Whitehall devised a new plan to take advantage of the situation.
Weaponization of the Obelisk
Jemma Simmons and Kenneth Turgeon performed an analysis on a strange carmine milk produced by a cow nicknamed Bessie. Sunil Bakshi arrived in the middle of the analysis, and ordered both Turgeon and Simmons to come with him, handing them a file over the experimental weapon to assist a reunion with other high profile scientists.
While reviewing the files, Turgeon noticed Daniel Whitehall outside of the briefing room, being surprised by his presence, and explained to Simmons, who did not know who Whitehall was, that he was one of HYDRA's new leaders.
Whitehall entered the room with Doctor Lingenfelter in order to request their help and opinions regarding their latest project. Lingenfelter explained their attempt to reverse engineer the effects of the Obelisk using tissue samples from the Waitress accidentally killed by Carl Creel. However, despite the results were not as satisfactory as hoped, Lingenfelter was glad with the obtained results, having killed United States Navy officers from an anti-HYDRA unit.
Whitehall was less than pleased by these results, comparing his desire for obtaining the Obelisk with Johann Schmidt's desire for obtaining the Tesseract. Whitehall noticed Simmons concentrated examined the files, and called her by her name in the middle of the reunion, saying that Bakshi had told him about her passion for science.
Surprising all assistants, Whitehall asked what did she thought that Lingenfelter had done wrong, to which Simmons answered she was not sure Lingenfelter had been wrong, as she considered that alien technology often interacted with human cells in ways impossible to replicate without a sample of the technology.
Pleased, Whitehall asked her that if she considered it viable to weaponize its effects using the Obelisk itself, to which Simmons thought it was. Whitehall gave the order to prepare everything for that acquisition, and left the reunion.
Turgeon was envious of Simmons, as Whitehall in person knew her name. Simmons in turn was worried that the Obelisk could be turned into a massive destruction weapon, and kill millions or even billions of people. However, instead of as worried as Simmons was, Turgeon was excited with that possibility.
Raina went to the HYDRA Laboratories, in an attempt to negotiate with Daniel Whitehall in an attempt to reason and convince him not to fulfill his threats if she did not hand Whitehall the Obelisk. However, as she entered the building, Raina watched how Jemma Simmons left the building in a hurry, and decided to follow her.
Simmons sat in a nearby park, seemingly just to eat, but she contacted Phil Coulson at the Playground using a Flex Screen, to inform him that HYDRA planned to develop massive destruction weapons using the Obelisk, and they should act in order to avoid an extinction-level event.
Raina realized it was an opportunity to blackmail Coulson, so she took a photograph of Simmons to use it as leverage, and called him, demanding a meeting in order to discuss a very urgent matter.
A Mole in HYDRA
- "We have a mole, ladies and gentlemen. Right here in our very facility. Someone has been sending S.H.I.E.L.D. messages right under our noses. I specialize in finding them. Bakshi here... well, he makes them suffer. Until that happens, no one leaves."
"HYDRA does not tolerate traitors. Anyone caught in possession of contraband will be punished accordingly."
- ―Bobbi Morse and Sunil Bakshi
Morse announced there was a mole at the Laboratories, as she found evidence that someone had contacted S.H.I.E.L.D. using a Flex Screen, warning that she was a specialist in finding those kind of messages, and the culprit would be interrogated and punished by Bakshi.
Morse approached Jemma Simmons, being suspicious of her due to her work history, having assisted at S.H.I.E.L.D. Academy and spending time as a field agent. Morse noted that, unlike most HYDRA operatives that were working in S.H.I.E.L.D., there was no evidence she worked for HYDRA while S.H.I.E.L.D. still existed, and having been affiliated with S.H.I.E.L.D. most of her life, it made her look suspicious.
However, as Simmons assured that her loyalties were with HYDRA, one of the guards found a Flex Screen in Kenneth Turgeon's desk, having being placed by Simmons to avoid getting caught. Turgeon tried to deny that the screen was his, but Morse ordered her guards to knock Turgeon unconscious and take him out the room, leaving with them.
Jemma Simmons hid in a stall at the bathroom to calm herself once her cover was almost blown and he had to frame Kenneth Turgeon to avoid being tortured. However, as she exited the bathroom, Bobbi Morse, head of security, was waiting for Simmons in order to interrogate her, noticing her nervousness, that Simmons simply attributed to her presence in the bathroom.
Morse wanted to speak to Simmons, as Sunil Bakshi informed her that Simmons and Turgeon were partners at the laboratory, though Simmons specified that they only worked together on some assignments. Some of their superiors believed that Turgeon was not working alone as a mole, so Morse directly asked Simmons if she was cooperating with him, or if she blamed him placing the Flex Screen.
Though Simmons denied the accusations, Morse noticed she was a bad liar, and threatened to investigate her hard drive, though Simmons was not worried, as it contained nothing more than HYDRA files. Before departing, Morse warned Simmons that HYDRA was everywhere.
Sunil Bakshi arrived with two armed guards, ordering to quickly grab her. Simmons escaped from these guards, but she saw Bobbi Morse approaching her from another hallway. Simmons believed she was going to be captured because the guards drew their guns, but Morse drew a pair of battle staves and defeated both guards.
Simmons was still stunned by the outcome, as Morse revealed that she worked for Phil Coulson, and he had a plan for her. Simmons thanked Morse for her help, who introduced herself and explained that she was too undercover in HYDRA, keeping an eye on her.
Morse explained her plan to take her to the roof, as an extraction team was waiting for them, but as Morse went to get rid another guard, Bakshi found Simmons, who was forced to flee and blow Morse's cover too.
At the rooftop, Simmons found there was nobody waiting for them, and Morse had to engage in a gunfight to defend themselves from the security guards, while contacting the extraction team to wait for them at the southwest corner of the building. Morse took Simmons and they both jumped from the building to a cloaked Quinjet waiting for them.
Inside the Quinjet, Antoine Triplett welcomed Simmons, who, amazed by Morse's skills, asked why they were both tasked with infiltrating HYDRA; Morse's cover gave her access to HYDRA security, but not to its high-level projects, like the weaponization of the Obelisk, projects she managed to retrieved from Simmons' hard drive.
Calvin Zabo arrived at Whitehall's office, casually talking about the moving boxes, and apologizing for the interruption. Bakshi immediately told the security guards to remove Zabo, but though he asked everyone to stay calm, he easily killed the two guards using a scalpel and simple brute force.
Zabo apologized again, cleaning a stain on Whitehall's desk, and though Bakshi was about to draw his weapon, Whitehall told him not to do it with a gesture, intrigued by Zabo's reasons to be there. Zabo revealed that he had brought the Obelisk, to Whitehall's surprise, revealing its name as the Diviner in its native language, as one of the information he had about the artifact.
Whitehall asked Zabo to teach him to use the Obelisk. Zabo told Whitehall that he would teach him to survive it, in exchange for killing a common enemy, Phil Coulson, along with every other who stood in his path, which included, unbeknownst to him, Whitehall himself.
In chronological order:
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
- The scientists working in the laboratories all wear HYDRA lapel pins similar to what Arnim Zola wore.
- In his office, Daniel Whitehall had displayed a HYDRA flag behind his desk and a HYDRA symbol on the wall.
Behind the Scenes
- Scenes of the exterior and lobby were shot at the Los Angeles Center Studios in down Los Angeles California.
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2.01: Shadows
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2.03: Making Friends and Influencing People
- ↑ Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2.04: Face My Enemy
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 2.05: A Hen in the Wolf House
- ↑ The Southern California locations where Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is filmed.