|“||Take a deep breath. Calm your mind. You know what is best. What is best is you comply. Compliance will be rewarded.||„|
|~ Sunil Bakshi|
Sunil Bakshi is a major antagonist in Season Two of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., serving as one the two secondary antagonists of the first half (alongside Grant Ward) and a supporting antagonist in the second half. A version of Bakshi appeared in Season Four as a minor antagonist in "In the Framework".
He is a high-ranking member of HYDRA, mostly under the leadership of Daniel Whitehall up until his death. He was later kidnapped and brainwashed by Grant Ward, before being accidentally killed by S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Jemma Simmons who attempted to kill Ward. A version of Bakshi from the Framework later appears in the fourth season.
He was portrayed by Simon Kassianides, who also portrayed Yusef Kabira in Quantum of Solace.
According to the research of Bobbi Morse, Sunil Bakshi grew up on the streets of London, probably the Southall district, and refined his accent. He joined the military but was let go when they found something off about him. He then became a private contractor. Sunil Bakshi joined HYDRA and eventually became a confidant and the right hand man of Daniel Whitehall, one of HYDRA's leaders. Bakshi met John Garrett, who spoke highly of Grant Ward.
Serving Daniel Whitehall
Retrieving the Obelisk
Sunil Bakshi acted as HYDRA's handler for their enhanced assassin named Carl Creel. After Creel successfully killed Roger Browning and stole a file containing the location of a dangerous weapon known as the Obelisk which Daniel Whitehall desired, Bakshi called him for an updated and awarded him with a rare, near-flawless musgravite that Creel took pleasure absorbing.
Shortly afterwards, Creel was able to locate and steal the Obelisk from the United States Armed Forces, where it was being protected by Brigadier General Glenn Talbot, and killed two S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents in the progress. Bakshi reported to Whitehall that Creel had successfully procured the Obelisk and had escaped, noting that he was being particularly discreet with this operation as he knew how long Whitehall had been seeking the Obelisk, Whitehall however told him that Bakshi had no idea just how long he had been searching for it.
Bakshi did not show for his meeting with Creel at the Halfway House Cafe, causing Creel to demand a new meeting site. Bakshi called him from an ambulance, where he had taken possession of the corpse of a waitress killed by the Obelisk and killed the paramedics transporting her to ensure their bodies could not be studied by S.H.I.E.L.D. Bakshi assured Creel that although HYDRA was taken extra precautions due to S.H.I.E.L.D.'s increased activity, he would meet him at the appropriate time to obtain the Obelisk and ensure that Creel was well looked after by HYDRA.
They decided to meet outside a plaza where Creel would hand the Obelisk over to HYDRA. At the plaza, the Absorbing Man complained about how the Obelisk was causing him to lose control over his powers and could possibly be slowly killing him. Bakshi reminded Creel of his training and that his "compliance would be rewarded." This catch-phrase calmed Creel enough for him to regain control and fully absorb the Obelisk's power. However, before Bakshi could retrieve the briefcase containing the artifact, Lance Hunter attempted to kill Creel by shooting him in the head and, in the ensuing confusion, Raina stole the Obelisk and Bakshi was unable to catch her.
The Moroccan Mission
Using intel provided to HYDRA by Bobbi Morse, Bakshi found and kidnapped Agent 33 from a S.H.I.E.L.D. Safe House in Europe and presented her to Whitehall. Bakshi was present and took notes as Daniel Whitehall began working on brainwashing Agent 33 to turn her into a loyal assassin for HYDRA.
Jemma Simmons came to his attention when he saw a newsletterfrom the S.H.I.E.L.D. Academy with her, Leo Fitz, and Donnie Gill on the cover from when Fitz and Simmons visited the Academy. Bakshi called her for a meeting, and demanded to know why she did not inform them of her relationship with Gill; Simmons explained that she had been unaware that HYDRA were looking for Gill until earlier that day. Bakshi asked her where her loyalties lied. She assured him that she was loyal to HYDRA; he told her that loyalties could be tested. Bakshi ordered Simmons to accompany him and a retrieval team of HYDRA agents to Morocco to recapture Donnie Gill.
On a HYDRA freighter in Morocco, Bakshi gave Simmons an earpiece and told her to repeat to Gill what he told her to say. During her conversation with Blizzard, Bakshi gave Simmons the necessary catchphrases to reactivate Gill's brainwashing. When Gill resisted and tried to freeze Simmons, she ran to Bakshi who finished the speech. With Gill back under HYDRA control, Bakshi and Simmons walked towards his helicopter. Simmons noticed Skye in sniper position and pushed Bakshi from harm's way and escaped.
At HYDRA Laboratories, Bakshi informed Whitehall of their failed attempt to recruit Donnie Gill and that Simmons deserved a promotion. Their meeting was interrupted by the now compliant Agent 33, who served Whitehall and delivered him some paperwork and informed him she was happy to comply and was loyal to HYDRA. Once Agent 33 had left, Whitehall asked Bakshi about Jemma Simmons' loyalty to HYDRA, telling him that she could be reprogrammed if they deemed it necessary.
Words of Creation
Daniel Whitehall sent Agent 33 and Bakshi to Miami, Florida to retrieve a painting that had the Words of Creation inscribed on its back. Using the Photostatic Veil, Bakshi impersonated Glenn Talbot attended the fundraising gala held for Santa Maria de las Flores. There he was approached by Phil Coulson who asked him not to interfere with his mission, Bakshi feigned drunkenness to hide his ignorance of Coulson.
Fearing time was quickly running out for him to complete his mission, Bakshi used Talbot's clearance level to retrieve the painting from the vaults before Coulson could find it and phoned Daniel Whitehall to update him on the situation, informing him of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s presence. Bakshi asked if Whitehall wanted him to evacuate before he could be caught, but instead Whitehall ordered him and Agent 33 to go ahead with a plan to use the Photostatic Veil to trick S.H.I.E.L.D., destroy the Bus and kill all the agents onboard.
As Phil Coulson and Melinda May were making their escape from the gala having discovered the painting was gone, Bakshi approached them and, continuing his disguise as Glenn Talbot suggested that they were leaving because he got his hands on the painting before S.H.I.E.L.D. could, he went on to suggest that Coulson work with him to translate and understand the painting's markings. Coulson agreed but informed him that he would first need to check in with his team, which Bakshi allowed, giving him his hotel room.
Melinda May followed the disguised Bakshi to his hotel room to see if "Talbot" was setting a trap for her and Coulson. While there she discovered Agent 33 looking through HYDRA documents and attacked her, believing HYDRA had killed Glenn Talbot. During the fight Bakshi was hit in the face, causing the Photostatic Veil to malfunction and reveal his true face, May then ripped the mask off him and knocked him back. However the reveal distracted May long enough for Agent 33 to render her unconscious using a taser and they discussed completing Daniel Whitehall's mission.
When May awakened, Bakshi began questioning her as to what S.H.I.E.L.D.'s interest in the Words of Creation were as well as demanding to know who was running the organisation and where their base was located. As May remained confident and promised to kick Bakshi's ass momentarily, Bakshi threatened her with torture with electrical wires to learn S.H.I.E.L.D.'s secrets, promising her that she would soon meet Daniel Whitehall who would make her comply. He then began to use the electric cables to burn her skin, causing her great pain, however she remained silent and refused to give him any of the information he desired.
However, as Bakshi went to investigate the commotion outside his room from a fight breaking out between Phil Coulson and Agent 33, the moment alone allowed May to break free of her ties and attack Bakshi. However as May went to rescue Coulson by attacking Agent 33, Bakshi fled with the painting with Coulson chasing him, Bakshi called for reinforcements and a HYDRA extraction team, but Coulson shot him with an I.C.E.R. and took the antique before they could arrive, leaving Bakshi behind.
Hunt for the Mole
Bakshi organised an experiment at the wedding of Pete and Mariah Leitner, where HYDRA operatives disguised themselves as the waiter staff and poisoned the champagne. After the mission was complete, it was reported to Bakshi that it was only a partial success. He told them to report to Daniel Whitehall personally.
Afterwards, Bakshi ordered Jemma Simmons and Kenneth Turgeon to attend a meeting Whitehall was having with his top scientists including Dr. Lingenfelter. He gave them paperwork on the experiment to replicate the power of the Obelisk based on the skin cell samples of a waitress. He and Bobbi Morse searched for a mole within HYDRA. Eventually, Simmons was discovered and Bakshi pursued her. Simmons was saved though by Morse, who was revealed to also be an undercover Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., and Antoine Triplett in a cloaked Quinjet.
While discussing the evacuation of HYDRA Laboratories, Bakshi and Whitehall were approached by an unnamed man. Bakshi ordered two guards to remove him, but the mysterious man killed them both with minimal effort, only to apologize moments later. When Bakshi went for his weapon, Whitehall stopped him in order to listen to the Doctor's offer. The Doctor revealed that he had brought the Obelisk with him as a gift. The Doctor promised to teach Whitehall how to understand and use it, as long as Whitehall helped him kill an enemy they both shared, Phil Coulson.
Captured by S.H.I.E.L.D.
Grant Ward's Betrayal
Later on, Bakshi received a call from Grant Ward, who requested a meeting. Bakshi, along with two guards met Ward in a bar, run by a member of HYDRA. During the meeting, Ward asked Bakshi to whom he answered, to which Bakshi replied that he answered to Daniel Whitehall. Ward also asked if he could meet Whitehall, as Baron Wolfgang von Strucker was overseas. Initially, Bakshi told Ward that Whitehall was busy, but after Ward told him that he could get them close to Phil Coulson, Bakshi seemed intrigued.
However, Ward did not come through on his promise and instead he seemingly betrayed HYDRA as he murdered Bakshi's security guards, as well as the bartender before knocking Bakshi unconscious and tying him to a chair, leaving him behind with masking tape over his mouth with a message that read For Coulson. Bakshi was found a few hours later by a S.H.I.E.L.D. team, led by Melinda May and Lance Hunter. Bakshi awoke with a start when he realized his fate and was captured and taken back to the Playground where he was placed in Vault D to be questioned.
Questioned by Bobbi Morse
As Skye was hacking Bakshi's phone for information, it rang; Grant Ward called and greeted her. He told her that he will continue to give presents like Bakshi, until he can regain her trust. Meanwhile, Bakshi was interrogated by Agent Bobbi Morse, although Bakshi tried to keep himself from revealing any information about HYDRA, he did reveal that Daniel Whitehall had been trained by the Red Skull himself, leading S.H.I.E.L.D. to get some information about who Whitehall really was and his origins.
As the interrogation became more intense, Bakshi threatened to expose Bobbi Morse for her crimes and betrayals she had commited while working for HYDRA, in response Morse revealed that they had learned key details about Daniel Whitehall's history from Bakshi's earlier comments. Not wishing them to learn anymore and demonstrating his loyalty to HYDRA, Bakshi attempted to commit suicide with a Cyanide Pill embedded in his cheekbone. However, Jemma Simmons was able to stop his suicide attempt.
Although his suicide attempt failed, Bakshi's life remained in danger and he fell into a coma and was put on life support while Jemma Simmons took charge of his care, as S.H.I.E.L.D. regarded him as too important an asset to allow to die. While Bakshi remained in his coma, Grant Ward boarded the Bus to retrieve Raina and capture Skye to bring to Whitehall and Calvin Zabo, during this time Skye noted that Ward captured Bakshi for S.H.I.E.L.D., but was capturing Raina for HYDRA and told him to pick a side. Ward however assured her that he had.
Bakshi recovered from his suicide attempt and was put back in his cell. One morning he was awakened by Phil Coulson and Melinda May when they entered his cell; they had Glenn Talbot on the line and wanted to trade Bakshi to the United States Government for Talbot's continued assistance in destroying remaining HYDRA cells. Talbot told Coulson that Bakshi was found connected to the Naval wedding massacre, the Attack on the United Nations, and impersonating an officer.
During the ride to become a prisoner of the military, Bakshi remained silent, only looking up when he overheard that Daniel Whitehall was dead. Soon afterwards, the car was hit by a truck. Bakshi watched a shootout occur between Phil Coulson and Melinda May and a set of mercenaries from inside the truck. Melinda May shot most of the attackers but one more appeared who shot both Coulson and May, seemingly killing them. This mercenary claimed that he was hired by HYDRA and sent to retrieve him. Once Bakshi had stolen a gun for himself, the pair left the carnage in the car.
Assassination of HYDRA Leaders
The mercenary allowed Bakshi to call Octavian Bloom and set up a meeting, but as soon as Bakshi hung up the phone the man held Bakshi at gunpoint, telling him that he was hired to free him from S.H.I.E.L.D. but then kill him. Bakshi offered the man money which the mercenary refused claiming he had multiple people paying him, leading Bakshi to believe that many of the heads of HYDRA were responsible for the assassination attempt. Bakshi then offered him a higher position within HYDRA if he escorted him to his meeting. The mercenary agreed.
Upon arriving at Bloom Estate Winery, Bakshi told Bloom what the mercenary told him: he had a kill-order to eliminate him from leadership contention. Once they had confirmed their theories with Doctor List, Bakshi and Bloom sent kill-orders for the other leaders of HYDRA as they believed that the kill order could only have been sent by them. Within moments the Banker, the Baroness and the Sheikh were dead and the leadership of HYDRA fell purely onto Bakshi, Bloom, List and Baron Wolfgang von Strucker.
Suddenly, Bobbi Morse and the mercenary entered the mansion and killed Bloom. The mercenary revealed himself to be another S.H.I.E.L.D. agent named Lance Hunter who told Bakshi that had he not been promised to General Glenn Talbot, he would be dead too. Bakshi realized that he had been deceived by Phil Coulson into killing the leaders of HYDRA for S.H.I.E.L.D., crippling the organisation almost beyond repair. Horrified at his incredible blunder, Bakshi offered no resistance as he was taken away by Morse and Hunter to be handed over to General Talbot.
Agent 33's Revenge
Undergoing the Faustus
Bakshi was taken to Talbot's base and locked in a prison cell there. After a few days he had a visitor, Agent 33, who had broken into the facility. Bakshi was initially delighted as he believed Agent 33 was still loyal to HYDRA, however he was horrified and confused when Grant Ward also arrived. Realizing that Agent 33 was working off her own orders now, Bakshi attempted to say the catchphrase to reactivate Agent 33's brainwashing; he was stopped when she hit him, knocking him out. He was taken from the base in a wheelchair.
Ward and Agent 33 took the captured Bakshi back to their hotel room; once there he was tied to a chair and forced to undergo the Faustus method, his eyes forced open. As Bakshi tried desperately to resist the brainwashing, which he had forced upon so many others, Agent 33 and Ward spoke to each other, sharing an intimate moment as 33 allowed herself to look upon her own face for the first time since Bakshi had ordered her to put on the Photostatic Veil. Bakshi asked Agent 33 if his compliance would be rewarded, she told him it would not and it should not be his main concern at this time.
Return to HYDRA
After succumbing to the Faustus method and falling under Ward's control, Bakshi was stuffed into the back of Ward's car. He was released when Ward struck a deal with Phil Coulson to infiltrate HYDRA.
They developed a plan in which Bakshi would have a meeting with Doctor List so they could learn the location of Baron Wolfgang von Strucker. Grant Ward and Agent 33 helped Bakshi infiltrate HYDRA and instructed him to act as he normally would. Bakshi sat quietly on the Bus waiting for orders from Ward, he witnessed Leo Fitz attempt to attack Ward and accuse him and Ward and planning to betray them. It was decided that Mike Peterson would go with him to act as his bodyguard, despite the fact List had ordered Bakshi to come alone, Ward assured Coulson however Bakshi could persuade List to ignore the detail as he could be highly persuasive.
Bakshi, with Mike Peterson posing as his bodyguard, were able to meet Doctor List aboard his private plane. Bakshi was able to talk his way in and convinced List that he had nothing to do with the deaths of the other heads of HYDRA, claiming that he was captured by the US Government and was only recently saved by the HYDRA war machine Deathlok. As per Ward's instructions, he then offered to give Deathlok to List for his experiments. He then listened to how List had been tracking a teleporter who was transporting gifted people around the world and how they wished to capture him and learn what had given him his gifts.
Battle at Calvin Zabo's Building
While on-route to Wolfgang von Strucker, List's scientists intercepted a signal informing them of the teleporter's location, Bakshi traveled with List and his men to Milwaukee to capture him. Bakshi led the attack, ordering his men, including Deathlok to capture the teleporter alive. The team was attacked by Calvin Zabo and a team of Inhumans as well as Phil Coulson and his small unit of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. Though the teleporter was not present, Bakshi then seemingly double-crossed Coulson and Ward when he came across Peterson and an Inhuman named Lincoln Campbell fighting. Bakshi ordered his men to capture them both.
Working with Doctor List
Bakshi traveled with List to the Arctic HYDRA Research Facility. Once there, he and List discussed Deathlok and Lincoln Campbell; Bakshi explained Deathlok's history but admitted Campbell's DNA was something he did not understand. Bakshi quoted Daniel Whitehall's motto of discovery requires experimentation but he and List expressed their sadness at Whitehall's death. Secretly, Bakshi gave Coulson's Team information allowing them to infiltrate the base.
When the Bus was spotted on HYDRA's radar, Bakshi maintained his cover and recommended to Doctor List to shoot them from the sky. List gave the order and the Bus was destroyed; however Bakshi was aware of Coulson's plans to escape using a Quinjet before sneaking onto the facility. Bakshi went to meet Phil Coulson, Grant Ward and the rest of the team but was followed by one of List's men. Bakshi managed to overpower the guard and knocked him out before finding Ward who managed to calm Bakshi's mind. Bakshi revealed the location of Mike Peterson and Lincoln Campbell to Coulson before requesting to work alongside Ward on the mission.
During the mission, while Grant Ward stood defenseless with his back turned while continuing his part of the mission to help Deathlok, Bakshi caught Agent Jemma Simmons sneaking up behind Ward and attempting to assassinate him with a Splinter Bomb. At the last second, Bakshi warned Ward and attacked Simmons in order to protect his master, forcing her to push the splinter bomb into his shoulder. Within seconds and with a scream of agony, Bakshi disintegrated completely.
Sunil Bakshi was deeply loyal to his superiors at HYDRA, specifically Daniel Whitehall, as he even displayed the willingness to kill himself rather than digress any information to S.H.I.E.L.D. after his capture by crunching the hidden Cyanide Pill in his cheekbone. Bakshi always presented himself with a calm, confident and somewhat sophisticated demeanor. Even whilst submitting prisoners to the Faustus Method or other horrendous torture, Bakshi was able to keep his dignity and calamity. However, in a situation without control, Bakshi would lose his cool completely, as he was clearly in a state of shock after his own transport from S.H.I.E.L.D was hijacked by "HYDRA" and when being held at gunpoint by Lance Hunter, Bakshi had instinctually panicked and desperately bargained to not be killed. Even so, Bakshi's calm head and high intelligence allowed him to not be overcome by panic in these rare moments he would lose his demeanor as he was able to successfully bargain with Hunter to spare his life while being threatened with death at the same time, although at the time, Phil Coulson had staged the entire rescue and Hunter was never going to kill him in the first place.
After being kidnapped by Agent 33 and Grant Ward then submitted to the Faustus Method, Bakshi's personality remained virtually the same but he was now completely loyal to 33 and Ward as he now referred to him as "sir". His loyalty was such that he willingly came between Ward and a Splinter Bomb, allowing himself to be killed.
- Expert Combatant: Bakshi has a large knowledge of hand-to-hand combat taught by the British Armed Forces, that he demonstrated while fighting Phil Coulson in Miami.
- Photostatic Veil: Bakshi used the Photostatic Veil to disguise himself as Glenn Talbot.
- Simon Kassianides later appeared in 2015 short film Trust No One alongside fellow Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. co-stars Brett Dalton (Grant Ward and Hive) and Brian Patrick Wade (Absorbing Man).