The latest episode of ABC's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.," A Fractured House," was so packed with action and excitement— the Ward vs. Ward conflict, the dust-up in Bruges, the confrontation between Fitz and Simmons, the Avengers: Age of Ultron clip — it's almost hard to remember the head-scratching stinger at the end. For those of you who already forgot (and spoiler alert for those who aren't caught up), the scene went like this: A stranger walked into a tattoo parlor, revealing a set of alien symbols etched into his skin. The credits reveal that the tattooed stranger is Carver/Sebastian Van Holt, but who can that be in the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. universe? This is especially confusing, because the character's name is so similar to the actor's, Brian Van Holt, who you may recognize as Bobby Cobb from Cougar Town.
But what are the chances that an actor gets to play a character with the same last name? Could it be a red herring? Who could this other Van Holt be, and why is he being identified by two names? I've got some theories.
Do the Comics Give a Clue?
There have been a few characters named "Carver" in the history of the Marvel Universe. One of them was even a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent. But, sadly, the comics seem unrelated in this case. The comics' Carver is found in Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, and she didn't seem to have a dual personality or any alien tattoos. Ditto Carver the Morlock; Bill Carver, who becomes Thunderbolt after being hit with a a Stark Industries cobalt ray; or the Centurious Carver. And the name "Sebastian Van Holt" seems specific to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. This time, it looks like the comics won't be any help.
He Doesn't Bode Well of S.H.I.E.L.D.
As if you couldn't tell from his intense demeanor and enjoyment of pain, this Carver/Van Holt guy is not going to be a good dude. According to Screen Spy, it looks like the same alien symbols are going to start showing up on the corpses of murder victims in coming episodes. Yuck. If this is going to be some kind of creepy villain that the S.H.I.E.L.D. team has to take care of, it makes sense that they wouldn't use a previously established character.
He's another test subject from "Project T.A.H.I.T.I." (Man, do these guys love their acronyms or what?) The tattoo gives us a clue: He's getting the "Words of Creation" (that's what's written in the alien language) etched into his body. Agent Coulson was able to write down the same words of creation after being exposed to the GH-325 drug, and so was John Garrett. It makes sense, then, that this Carver/Van Holt person has been exposed to the same drug. As for what he plans on doing with it, that's anybody's guess.
Images: Adam Rose/ABC; Giphy (2)