Who Is Sunil Bakshi on 'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'? Marvel Comics Won't Offer Any Clues
In the season premiere of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., so many weeks ago, we learned that Hydra operative Daniel Whitehall has somehow preserved himself or time traveled from the '40s. This is old news by now in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He could have a fun reunion with Steve Rogers, Bucky Barnes, and Arnim Zola — though I doubt that reunion would end well. The German, played by Reed Diamond and some fantastic spectacles, has been running the show, villain-wise, for the majority of the season. However, he seems to enjoy hiding in the shadows and prefers to be represented by his equally scary right-hand man Sunil Bakshi, played on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. by Simon Kassianides. What is the role of Whitehall's associate, Bakshi? Did he come from the past — is Bakshi 1940-and-late as well? The character did not appear in the flashbacks, however, I have to wonder how someone got to be that high up in Hydra in the length of an average human's lifespan.
There is no Sunil Bakshi to be found in the Marvel Comics canon, though the name may be an homage to the animator Ralph Bakshi. Everything we know about him, we know from the show. Which, unfortunately, is not much. We know he works for Hydra. We know he considers most of his agents to be expendable. He put Simmons in danger, which was not cool. He also didn't seem to care about the safety of Carl Creel, even after the Crusher secured the Obelisk for him. Bakshi is the public face of Daniel Whitehall. His role in the series could just stay there. Every Captain Hook needs a Smee. Every Gaston needs a LeFou. If there's any hope for Bakshi beyond villainous sidekick, I see only one avenue to go down.
That Whole "Comply" Thing
He seems to be a big fan of Whitehall's mind control techniques. Is it possible that Sunil Bakshi is being made to "comply" as well? Maybe Whitehall couldn't find the best lackey for the job, and therefore created one out of Bakshi. That's kind of sad, that Whitehall can't make any friends on his own.
However, it could mean that Sunil Bakshi has the potential to be a turncoat, if the spell was ever lifted and his mind restored. He is very smart and resourceful. He also has a nice face! I would not complain if it turned out he was just a Regular Joe and could be swayed to the good side after some deprogramming. Let's hope that is the case, at least. Because seriously, Bakshi? Hydra is lame. It would be a shame to waste such a character on an evil organization bent on world domination.
I've Got a Bad Feeling About This
On the other hand, Marvel fans have been wondering if the Red Skull will be re-appearing in the MCU. The President of Marvel Studios, Kevin Feige, even hinted at the possibility of his return. While I doubt they would want to give up the gift that is Hugo Weaving, what if the classic Captain America villain is hiding in plain sight? Remember when Bakshi was disguised as Glenn Talbot, and pulled off his face to reveal his true identity? Perhaps that was foreshadowing...