|“||What the hell have I become?!||„|
|~ Raina after her transformation into an Inhuman.|
Raina is a major antagonist in the TV series Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., in which she appeared as a major antagonist in Season 1, an anti-hero in Season 2 and a posthumous antagonist in Season 5. She is a scientist who was initially affiliated with the Centipede Group led by John Garrett, before becoming an Inhuman and a member of the Afterlife led by Jiaying.
She was portrayed by Ruth Negga.
|“||Don't beg. It reminds me of what you were when I found you: hungry, in the streets with just the fairy tales your grandmother told you.||„|
|~ Calvin Zabo|
Raina was born under a long line of humans who had been genetically altered by the alien race known as the Kree, giving them the potential to achieve superpowers. While Raina herself never encountered them, she did hear exaggerated tales regarding the visitors from her grandmother.
During her youth, Calvin found Raina as a beggar in the streets of Thailand with a bunch of friends who called themselves "freaks", holding onto stories that her grandmother told her. From him, Raina learned the truth, or at least to some extent, of the Kree and her origins as an Inhuman.
He also told her about the Diviner, and how it would complete Raina's transformation. In exchange for finding his lost daughter, the man promised Raina that he could make those stories a reality.
Years later, Raina began working for the Centipede Project, the scientific branch of HYDRA behind the Centipede process, mainly as a recruiter due to her persuasion skills. She recruited Michael Peterson to be a test-subject for the Centipede process after he lost his job.
|“|| You need a simpler name. A more powerful name. A name like Scorch.|
Scorch? Are you joking?
Have you ever heard of Steve Rogers? No? But Captain America-- now he's on the news, on a lunch box, on a poster on the wall.
|~ Raina and Chan Ho Yin.|
Raina would later approach Miles Lydon and pay him a million dollars to hack S.H.I.E.L.D. for information about a super-powered pyrokinetic, a Hong Kong native named Chan Ho Yin.
Raina approached Chan after seeing one of his street performances in Hong Kong, and after talking her way into his apartment, abducted him for her mysterious employers. Working with the doctor known only as Debbie, who was attempting to stabilize the Extremis element of the Centipede Serum, Raina assisted in the harvesting of the fire-proof platelets in Chan's blood that kept his power from burning him alive. After getting what they needed from Chan, he was scheduled to have all of his blood drained from his body.
Before that happened, Chan escaped and confronted Raina and Debbie. Raina closed the elevator door that separated her and Debbie and escaped, saving herself, leaving Debbie to be incinerated by Chan.
Raina later visited a prisoner named Edison Po at the Havenworth Federal Penitentiary. She informed Po that with the stabilization of the Centipede Serum, "Stage One" of the project had been completed and that they were moving into "Stage Two". She then asked Po to contact someone known only as "the Clairvoyant" for their mutual employers for any insights he might have as to "Stage Three".
|“|| Will you tell me what he's like?|
Never. The last person who tried to learn such things got a knife for it. I don't want to have to do that again, Raina. You have such pretty eyes.
I understand. You can't even whisper to me about him.
No, I can't.
|~ Raina and Edison Po, speaking about the Clairvoyant.|
Soon after, the Centipede Project arranged for Edison Po's escape. Raina was in Oakland, California, assisting Po and bringing him up to date on the project's progress.
Raina inquired about the nature of the Clairvoyant to Po, who was adamant in not revealing any details about him.
Raina assisted Po in setting up an unsuccessful ambush on the S.H.I.E.L.D. unit under the command of Agent Phil Coulson, where Po realized that Coulson and his mysterious return from the dead was the key to Centipede's plans. Later, at Po's direction, Raina kidnapped the son of S.H.I.E.L.D. trainee and Centipede test-subject Michael Peterson in order to bring about another confrontation.
At the meeting, Peterson betrayed Coulson to Raina in exchange for the safe return of his son. Raina escaped by helicopter with Coulson to a location in the Mojave Desert.
The Mojave Desert
|“|| You didn't just give your life, you gave up your chance at a normal one, at love. And she did love you, Agent Coulson.|
How could you know that?
Do you miss her? Dinners at the Richmond. Do you miss hearing her play? You didn't even have a chance to say goodbye.
I couldn't... I can't...
She cried for days after S.H.I.E.L.D. told her you died. They shattered her heart with a lie, and now they're lying to you.
No. No they're not.
I know you don't want to believe it, but you can't tell me nothing makes you doubt, makes you wonder what happened in Tahiti.
|~ Raina and Phil Coulson, the former attempting to win the latter's trust.|
At the Centipede Project site in the Mojave Desert, Edison Po worked on interrogating Phil Coulson, using a Theta Brain-Wave Frequency Machine designed to unlock hidden memories, while Raina saw to the recovery of Michael Peterson, who survived an explosion set by Centipede back in Long Beach. This lasted until the Clairvoyant grew impatient with Po's progress and killed him, giving Raina the job of finding out Coulson's secrets.
Through persuasion and emotional manipulation regarding Coulson's former lover, Raina convinced Coulson not to resist and to let the machine do its work. While Coulson was under the machine's influence, his team arrived to affect his rescue. Raina was incapacitated by Skye, and taken into S.H.I.E.L.D. custody.
That S.H.I.E.L.D. was able to take Raina into custody alive would indicate that she was not outfitted with aBackscatter X-Ray Eye Implant.
The Hunt for the Clairvoyant
Agent Skye asked Phil Coulson if, during his time in the Mojave Desert, Raina mentioned the death of his father. Skye had found that information in Coulson's psychological profile; it was called "a defining moment" in Coulson's life. Correlating the two caused Coulson to realize that the Clairvoyant is a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent.
Arguing with Agent Coulson about why Victoria Hand should be killed instead of sedated if she was the Clairvoyant, Agent John Garrett said that Coulson and Raina were both subjects of the Theta Brain-Wave Frequency Machine, a fact that Coulson revealed to no one. This knowledge led Coulson to realize that Garrett was the Clairvoyant.
HYDRA-S.H.I.E.L.D. Cold War
|“|| What are you doing here?|
A gift from the Clairvoyant.
|~ Raina and Grant Ward.|
During the conflict between the S.H.I.E.L.D. remnants and HYDRA, John Garrett organized Raina's release by sending Grant Ward to retrieve her; he even included a new flower-print dress for her. Upon meeting with Garrett, and learning he was the one known as the Clairvoyant at the Barbershop Headquarters in Havana, Cuba, Raina was very disappointed to learn that Garrett was not actually clairvoyant. Garrett won Raina over by presenting her with G.H.drugs recovered from the Guest House, and asked her to move the Centipede Project into "Phase Three".
Raina was unable to make much headway, however, as Skye had encrypted the hard drive containing the files on the drugs so that only she could access them. In response, Garrett sent Ward to capture her. Raina also presented Ian Quinn to Garrett, and seemed to delight in Quinn's discomfort at the situation.
|“||I thought Agent Garrett shared my interest in special people, in transformation, but now I realize he's just afraid to die.||„|
|~ Raina to Grant Ward.|
Raina's scientists recreated GH.325, but they could only make one vial, which she presented to John Garrett. When Deathlok asked her about her motives, she explained that she wanted to help special people achieve their potential.
Then she witnessed as Garrett's body began to fail and Grant Ward ordered her to leave as he helped Garrett's cybernetics take control. When Raina found information from Coulson's Team Hard Drive pertaining to Skye's past, she soon came to realize that Skye was in fact the missing daughter of the man who picked her up from the streets so many years ago. She called Ward and told him about rumors she heard about monsters destroying a village in China and truth that the monsters, or rather monster, was actually Skye's father.
When Garrett's cybernetics failed because of Leo Fitz's use of the EMP Joy Buzzer, he began slowly dying. He revealed to Raina that inside his cybernetics was Raina's Extremis formula which was keeping him alive. He asked Raina to inject the drug into him so he would not die. She agreed and injected Garrett with the last existing sample of GH.325 and she and Grant Ward watched as he was first spasmed, glowed gold and seemed to reject the serum, then he became stronger, claiming he could feel the universe.
|“||I found your daughter.||„|
|~ Raina to Calvin Zabo.|
After Raina let him know that she was not allied with HYDRA, theCentipede Project or him, the enhanced John Garrett convinced her that he could answer the question that she wondered since hearing of the "Clairvoyant"; so she asked him, "What will I become?"
As Raina and Quinn were leaving with the Gravitonium, Ward stopped her, but she told him that chasing Skye was more important. Eventually, Raina reunited with Calvin Zabo and showed him a picture of Skye, telling him that she knew where his daughter was.
|“|| Let me be clear: Mr. Creel is working for HYDRA; I am not!|
Why the break-up? Bad dental plan?
HYDRA only has one thing on their minds: world domination, which is so 1945.
|~ Raina and Phil Coulson.|
Several months later, Raina was given the task of recovering the Obelisk, a mysterious alien artifact recovered by HYDRA in World War II, by HYDRA scientist Daniel Whitehall. She approached Carl Creel, a superpowered man who had been infected by the Obelisk's potent effects, and offered him a carbyne ring to help him fight the effects in exchange for the artifact. Not taking Raina seriously, Creel stole the ring from her, warning her to avoid HYDRA. Unknown to Creel, the ring had a tracking device.
The next morning, Raina contacted Coulson and alerted him that Creel could be tracked. She assured Coulson that she had no loyalty to HYDRA.
During the commotion that Lance Hunter caused trying to assassinate Creel, Raina stole the briefcase containing the obelisk before Sunil Bakshi could get it and presented it to Calvin Zabo. He insisted that she touch it, and she hesitantly did so. When she was unaffected by its power, Zabo told her that it allowed her to live and all will be explained upon delivery of Skye.
Raina booked a flight to Florida to find a painting with the Words of Creation inscribed on its back. Before she could leave however she was captured by Daniel Whitehall. He placed a Control Device onto her hand which paralysed her and caused her great pain. He told Raina he was not a man to be underestimated and that she had 48 hours to return the Obelisk to him as he relayed a story of how he kept a woman alive and conscious for a week as he performed painful invasive surgery on her.
|“|| If you ask me, Coulson let you off easy.|
I didn't ask.
|~ Lance Hunter and Raina.|
Raina ran to Calvin Zabo and begged him for the Obelisk, scared of what Daniel Whitehall would do to her. He grabbed her by the throat and asked her if she feared Whitehall more than him. Loosening his grip, he told Raina to plead to Whitehall for her life.
Raina went to the HYDRA Laboratories. Upon entering, she saw Jemma Simmons and followed her as she sent a message to S.H.I.E.L.D. Raina then called Phil Coulson to set up a meeting.
Lance Hunter, Skye, and Melinda May took positions in a restaurant as Coulson met with Raina. She told him that she would transfer a picture file showing Simmons betraying HYDRA to HYDRA Laboratories unless he released Skye to her custody in two minutes. Coulson refused and allowed the picture to be sent. Raina was shocked by his actions and pleaded with him to let her take Skye. She revealed the true purpose of her meeting. Coulson then had Hunter tag Raina so, if Whitehall ever found her, he could also find her, allowing him to rescue her and take down Whitehall. She revealed where Skye's father stayed and was allowed to leave. When Skye asked Grant Ward how he could find her father without Raina, Ward assured her that he could.
Chased by HYDRA
Raina went to Vancouver to spend time with Chad to convince him to take her to China. While in the coffeehouse, she approached a familiar looking woman. Thinking she was talking to Melinda May, Raina told the woman in sunglasses that the point of a tracker was not to be stalked. Agent 33 removed her shades and told her that Daniel Whitehall wanted her. Sam Koenig used the Cloaking Umbrella to hide Raina before she was issued a S.H.I.E.L.D. Lanyard to enter the Vancouver safehouse.
Phil Coulson sent an extraction team to collect Raina. Skye exited the safehouse with Raina and was forced to fight Agent 33. After the fight, Raina explained to Skye that she could touch the Diviner and Skye can too. When Raina learned that Whitehall wanted her alive, she attempted to surrender to HYDRA, but Melinda May prevented that.
Aboard the cloaked Bus, Raina discussed her past with Skye and her grandmother's stories. She debunked Skye's belief that she was an alien. Four HYDRA Quinjets then surrounded the plane. Grant Ward was able to trace the tracker to find Raina. Raina agreed to go with him, but Ward wanted Skye, too; the women decided to go to avoid a fire fight.
|“||We finally get to find out what we become.||„|
|~ Raina to Skye.|
Grant Ward took Raina to HYDRA, where she was waiting beneath the Ponce de León Theater in San Juan as HYDRA was using a Plasma Drillto dig directly into the temple. She was then summoned to see Daniel Whitehall, along with Ward, Skye, and her father, Calvin Zabo. Whitehall thanked them all for their aid in this moment, but then asked how Skye was important. Ward explained that he needed a hostage to prevent an attack, but Whitehall informed Ward that he knew he spared the Bus, having to counter the order himself. Whitehall then theorized that Skye was able to lift the Diviner and asked her to pick it up. Skye was able to survive touching it, but then she used it to petrify the nearest guard. Zabo used a scalpel to kill another and Ward shot a third. Despite their attempt to escape, the three of them were detained, while Raina returned to the drill.
Once the drill finished the tunnel, Raina took the Diviner and a light into the tunnel. There, she encountered a possessed Alphonso Mackenzie, who led her to the temple. Skye followed her and found Raina waiting with the Diviner. It then levitated out of her hand and onto a pedestal, prompting the chamber to seal itself, but not before Agent Antoine Triplett was able to get inside. The Diviner opened, revealing Terrigen Crystals that produced amist that encased both Raina and Skye in cocoons. Triplett tried to stop it by kicking over the pedestal, but not before the two women were covered. A piece of the Diviner embedded itself into Tripett's chest, petrifying him. As Skye used her newfound power to break free of her cocoon, Raina's began falling away from her to reveal clawed hands, golden eyes, and black barbs on her skin.
Taken By The Eyeless One
Terrified and humiliated by her appearance, Raina moved through the temple, slaughtering four S.H.I.E.L.D. scientists on her way out. She survived several shots by Jemma Simmons, and fled the temple via lift. She located Calvin Zabo, and angrily blamed him and Skye for her transformation. Not caring at all about Raina's predicament as he felt she had gotten what he had always wanted, Zabo abandoned Raina, leaving her morose and heartbroken.
Raina, still devastated by her transformation, attempted to commit suicide by walking out onto a highway. However, she was intercepted in her attempt by S.H.I.E.L.D. agents sent to retrieve her. She told them they would have to shoot her. Before a potentially bloody altercation could ensue, an eyeless man suddenly materialized in a field of blue energy, whisking Raina away from the scene. The man, Gordon, promised to help Raina cope with her new form.
After allying with Jiaying, Raina awaited her fate in her room where she would be killed by Jiaying after.
Powers and Abilities
Raina is an Inhuman, and therefore has the potential to achieve superhuman abilities when exposed to the Terrigen Mist. Her transformation seems to be mainly physical, as her outward appearance has been altered drastically becoming animal-like and covering her with quills and thorns. Her new form is also apparantly uncomfortable even for her, as her insides feel malformed.
- Precognition: She is able to see future events, like when she saw Skye sitting at dinner with her parents and when she saw the conflict between The Avengers and Ultron.
- Enhanced Strength: Raina's new physiology has granted her enhanced strength to a high degree. She was able to grab and disable different scientists, killing them. She was also able to hold Calvin Zabo by the throat; however, her strength was not equal to his after she angered him.
- Enhanced Durability: Raina's new appearance seems to have enhanced her natural durability, as she was unaffected by multiple confirmed gunshot hits from Jemma Simmons.
- Claws: Her fingernails have morphed into curled talons that were sharp enough to rip through a man's throat even when he was wearing a hazmat suit.
- Quills: Raina's upper body, such as her face, head, and hands, is coated with black sharp thorns that are able to cut any type of solid flesh. Zabo slammed Raina on the ground and cut himself from the top layers of the thorns on her head.
|“|| I'm surprised you got him to cooperate.|
He has dreams. I told him they'd come true.
|~ Debbie and Raina.|
- Persuasion: Raina is extremely persuasive and is highly skilled at making people think that what they want is what she wants or would ever have or hope yet to happen and to even consciously get inside people's heads whether it be by mood, emotion, sense of direction, perception, choice making even strength of will. This ability was key in the plans of the Clairvoyant, who made her the Centipede Project's recruiter. Unlike Lorelei, whose enchantment is magical in nature, Raina's persuasive skills and high charisma come from sounding sympathetic, caring and sincere about what her mark desires until it ultimately becomes what she desires. An example of this was her persuasion of Phil Coulson into using the Theta Brain-Wave Frequency Machine. Those who have studied her methods, such as Daniel Whitehall, do not allow her to talk in order to stay ahead of her. Raina is also gifted at convincing people into believing anything she says, doing things that may have a risky effect, or into doing things for her favor though this is most likely due to accurate and relevant information she brings out that comes into place.
- Gifted Intellect: Raina can quickly determine the best words, thoughts and ideas to say to help her situation for any case; she uses her intellect either scientifically, psychologically or persuasively to get what she wants done, to trick and deceive people, to buy or sell out other people for their properties and for her well being or for the purpose of nothing phasing her in her path. She is also very proficient at operating secret agencies and a high tech facility and great at her ability to direct and instruct her operative workers or subordinates. Raina also seems to be skilled at creating strategies and at tactical analysis seeking out plans ahead of time even recognizing and correcting the slightest flaws and mistakes in transactions unnoticeable.
- Expert Scientist: Raina was one of the creators of the Centipede Serum and was instrumental in creating an army of Centipede Soldiers. She was able to view a blood sample of Skye and learned her relationship with both Calvin Zabo and herself. Raina's research allowed her subordinates to create a vial of artificial GH.325 while Jemma Simmons could not, due to lack of resources. Raina even had answers about the carbine, the Gravitonium with assistance from John Garrett, the Extremis serum with the help ofDebbie and even the Diviner. She is very knowledgeable in fields of science such as physics, chemistry, biology, anatomy and medicine.
- A character called Raina appears in the comic books. She is a member of the Hauk'ka from the Savage Lands. This is referenced in Beginning of the End when John Garrett tells Raina that they are "prehistoric creatures".
- Over the course of the series Raina has had fourteen different outfits and all of the them, except two, have been dresses with flowers on them.
- During production, Girl in the Flower Dress was going to be titled Scorch, but by the time it was shot, Ruth Negga's performance as Raina impressed so much the producers that they renamed the episode to reference her character.
- Raina's new appearance since her exposure to the Terrigen Mists slightly resembles the Ultimate Universe version of Gorgon, an Inhuman with hypnotic powers.