Who is Raina?
Perhaps lost in the near-certainty of the revelation of Skye’s lineage in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is the question of who Raina is and where she fits in? Now that the mysterious “alien writing” has turned out in fact to be the directions/blueprints to a city, and what many consider to be Attilan, the ancestral home of the Inhumans, it would seem that the answer to the question of Skye’s background of the character has never been very far away from Earth after all. Skye is half-Inhuman.
As was introduced in the most recent episode “The Things We Bury” the Diviner (or obelisk) is shown for the first time that it is not truly lethal to everyone, and not even to those that have been trained to use it. Skye’s mother was shown for the first time, and she was immune to the effects of the Diviner, and thus likely it is through her that Skye has lineage of something other than only human. Forgotten among this though is that Raina as well has touched the object and also without any ill effects. Perhaps she was taught how by Skye’s father, as he has said that he knows how, but maybe she wasn’t and maybe she didn’t need to be.
Tracing back the character’s past is not easy as little has been revealed about her since the beginning of the series. What can be tied together though might support the fact that she at least knew about this city, if she is not an Inhuman herself. In her initial appearances she was working on behalf of Project: Centipede, run by the man known as the Clairvoyant. As became known later this was in fact just the rogue agent John Garrett, except the question should maybe have been why Raina was so interested in him anyway. As was proven by her discovery of his lack of powers, Raina was disappointed by his lack of true clairvoyant ability. So was she acting in her own self-interest all along, not as a member of an evil organization (as she said, she had nothing to with Hydra) but instead trying to find her own keys to the city, albeit by less scrupulous means than others are. The clairvoyant’s powers could have been a path to what she wanted, but when they weren’t she abandoned him quickly. This same interest could have been what brought her to Skye’s father, clearly only a human, but still one in possession of knowledge which Raina required to complete her search.
Although she has been a small player so far in the series, she could in fact be a key to what the true meaning of the city is. If the city is in fact Attilan, and if she is in fact an Inhuman, then she might even be related in some way to Skye, which could also explain her interest in her and knowing more than what she seemed to all along. In what may not be a coincidence, removing the last letter of the names of both Skye and Raina reveal related objects (sky and rain.) Fans of the series might want to be on the lookout for the character to resume an active role in the series, especially considering the intersection of so many other players and organizations. As the story leads into the question of the mysterious city, both for this series and presumably spilling over into at least one of the Marvel movies, Raina seems to be playing a part, and perhaps playing a larger role than people might have suspected.