WARNING: This article contains spoilers for the this week's episode of Inhumans, "Divide and Conquer," which aired Friday on ABC.
Deposed as king of Attilan, stranded on Earth and then thrown in jail, Black Bolt was in desperate need of an ally. And on this week's episode of Inhumans, he found one with a connection to the events of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. -- and a wider knowledge of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Following his confrontation with Honolulu police in the ABC drama's two-part premiere, the silent Black Bolt (played by Anson Mount) is sent to Oahu County Correctional Jail with a target on his back: The guards want revenge for the injuries suffered by police, while wealthy geneticist Evan Declan (Henry Ian Cusick of Lost) has his own plans for the Inhumans king. To that end, Declan places a phone call to an inmate named Sammy (Faleolo Alailima), who appears intent to dole out some jailhouse justice of his own.
However, when Black Bolt is placed in his cell, Sammy quickly reveals there's more to him than meets the eye.
"Where you from? Because I know you're not local," he says. "How'd you get your abilities? [...] Were you experimented on? Did you get bit by a radioactive bug? Or maybe you woke up one morning covered by a funky rock-like crust?"
Sammy's mention of a radioactive bug is clearly a reference to Spider-Man, who was integrated into the Marvel Cinematic Universe with 2016's Captain America: Civil War. But before you get too excited about "rock-like crust," know that it's not a nod to The Thing and the Fantastic Four; it's instead another link to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Inhumans were introduced in the second season of that ABC drama as the descendants of Homo sapiens, genetically altered by the alien Kree millennia ago. When a crate of terrigen crystals fell into the ocean in the present day, it contaminated Earth's ecosystem, triggering spontaneous terrigenisis across the globe. (It's some of those newly emerged Inhumans that Triton was secretly sent by Black Bolt to bring to Attilan.) As depicted on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the terrigenisis process causes the subject to become enveloped by a rock-like carapace; when the crust crumbles away, the Inhuman emerges with his or her powers "unlocked."
Sammy knows all about the process because, as he reveals toward the end of "Divide and Conquer," he is one of those Inhumans -- who are mysteriously disappearing, presumably around the world. He's in jail because when his powers manifested, he lost control, and accidentally killed his family. But now he may be the best friend Black Bolt has, at least until he can learn Declan's intentions, or reunite with Medusa.
Airing Fridays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on ABC, Marvel’s Inhumans stars Anson Mount as Black Bolt, Iwan Rheon as Maximus the Mad, Serinda Swan as Queen Medusa, Ken Leung as Karnak, Isabelle Cornish as Crystal, Eme Ikwuakor as Gorgon, Mike Moh as Triton and Sonya Balmores as Auran.