(That last sentence works best in a Jerry Seinfeld voice.)
So, about Skye...
Here's what we know so far:
- She was/is part of cyberterrorist group Rising Tide.
- She's a Mary Sue.
- She's an 0-8-4 (an object of unknown nature).
- Her special blood allowed GH.325 to work.
- Monsters (her parents?) destroyed a village in Hunan Province looking for her.
So what does all that mean? At this point, it's anybody's guess.
First, let's clear up what she obviously is not:
- She's not an LMD.
- She's not a mutant (the m-word belongs to Fox, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe prefers the term Registered Gifted™).
- She's not She-Hulk.
- She's not Captain Marvel or Ms. Marvel. The company is trying to build brands here, and they know Captain/Ms. Marvel could potentially be a major property, so they wouldn't give her a low-profile TV debut.
In fact, the same goes for any major Marvel character - it's highly unlikely they would introduce a potential movie property as a slow reveal in the show.
So what could she be?
There are a lot of potential answers. Skye actress Chloe Bennet seems to think the potential for her character is "limitless." Lofty expectations to be sure.
Let's run down some potential explanations from the Marvel Universe, both individual characters and potential origins.
There is actually a pretty neat fan-theory that she might be Mantis, a mysterious woman from Southeast Asia whose innate skills and preternatural knowledge brought her to the Avengers' attention. Eventually she was revealed to be the "Celestial Madonna," who would give birth to the "Celestial Messiah," a being destined to cause great change in the universe.
While it is highly unlikely Skye could be a major character like Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel, it is altogether possible she could be descended from Mar-Vell/Captain Marvel. Phyla-Vell is the alternate reality artificially grown psuedo-daughter of the classic Captain Marvel - it's a long story that hasn't actually been told yet - but more importantly, she became the Death-avatar hero called Martyr, a hero of cosmic significance who is often overlooked. The main connection here is that Phyla is half-Kree, and Kree are the likely donors of GH.325 - more on that in a bit.
My own pet theory - although one I admit is highly unlikely - is that Skye could be Mavis Trent, aka Payback, from the True Believers mini-series. Mavis is a SHIELD analyst who is secretly part of a group of anonymous hacktivists who work to expose the dark secrets and lies of supposedly good heroes and organizations; her group is so good at hacking, they can crack even Reed Richard's secrets without getting caught. Sounds like Skye and Rising Tide, don't it? Mavis acquires suit made from an artificial organism (based on Symbiote biology) that has a mind based on that of her dead father (whom she calls "Max"). With it she has any number of abilities. So she's an orphan as well. Of course, even if they brought the Payback concept into the show, they couldn't mention any connection to Symbiotes, as that probably falls under Sony's Spider-Man character. Of course, the Max creature is unlike any existing alien Symbiotes.
A member of the Kree
Even if Skye doesn't turn out to be related to Mar-Vell, she could still be Kree. The implication is that she responded so quickly to GH.325 is that she might have some genetic connection to the donor. The show has already confirmed that the "Guest" was an alien (and people connected to the show have called the alien "Kree"), so could she be Kree? It's possible, as the Kree have a long history of leaving spies or agents on unwitting planets. Ultra-Girl, for example, was left on Earth as a baby and raised by adoptive parents without any knowledge of her Kree heritage. Of course, beyond that she shares no similarities with Skye (so far anyway). It should be noted that many Kree females have an innate ability to seduce and control men - which would be an interesting way to explain Skye's Mary Sue-like ability to make everyone like her no matter what.
A member of the Asgardians (or the Nine Realms)
Thor's people have already been a big part of this series, so could Skye be an Asgardian? Or even part of another race in the Nine Realms? After all, "monsters" came looking for her - Frost Giants maybe? And it's possible that the quick-healing abilities of Asgardians helped Skye adapt to GH.325 without the side-effects others felt. On the other hand, this isn't "Thor-adjacent character the Series," so it seems unlikely they would add more Asgardians. Too much of that and Asgardians could be the go-to source for powers as mutants became in comics.
A member of the Inhumans
These guys haven't shown up in the Marvel Cinematic Universe yet, but the Inhumans are major players (originally created by the Kree aliens) who remained hidden from humanity for centuries. Each Inhuman is different, both in powers and physical appearance, and while most Inhumans are raised in a secret society far from the rest of mankind, it was recently revealed that thousands of Inhumans have been secretly living amongst the general population, unaware of their genetic heritage. It seems as if Inhumans are poised to take the place of mutants as the go-to explanation for troubled superheroes - why not introduce this concept through Marvel's TV show?
A Chinese pop singer
EDIT: Ghost in the Machine pointed out that Chloe Bennet, aka Chloé Wang, was (is?) a Chinese pop singer. It would be great if this actually entered the plot of SHIELD somehow, as SHIELD has hired pop stars before, however, it's also possible this is a secret she'd rather not share.
So, what's the final answer?
Only time will tell.
Hopefully this will be addressed next week. Agents of SHIELD's ratings have been going up as the quality of the show has improved. Unfortunately, most of the recent episodes have relied heavily on events from earlier in the season. If AoS is to survive, they'll need to have a second season opener that is new-viewer friendly.
The best way to do that is to go against conventional wisdom and not end with a cliffhanger. Wrap up the major season one plot threads (chiefly those related to Centipede and Skye's parentage) and move forward with new stories and events.
Of course, the real question in all this is, do audiences care enough to keep up with these mysteries? If next season is anything like the past several episodes - they will.