Agents of SHIELD Review: “Aftershocks”

Agents of SHIELD

Spoiler Review

“Aftershocks” felt much like an aftershock would: not as strong as the quake that preceded it (in Agents of SHIELD’s case, “What They Become”) but it still manages to resonate on several levels.

Agents of SHIELDTrip’s death is affecting the group in ways you’d expect, but there are some unexpected reactions as well. Coulson is in super-pissed off mode, coming up with a somewhat simplistic plan to take out Hydra that works too easily; Simmons is basically a different person because of Trip’s death, as she’s now looking for ways to eradicate all alien technology and potential power creating artifacts/diseases/etc, instead of studying it and trying to understand it like before. It’s a powerful switch for her character and it works, especially thanks to the delivery by Elizabeth Henstridge. And now we play the waiting game to see how she’ll take learning Skye has been changed and is carrying alien DNA in her… which somehow I don’t see going over very well.

Agents of SHIELDInitially I was surprised no one knew about Skye’s new powers, but as “Aftershocks” unfolded, the evidence the team had collected made it easy for me to believe they wouldn’t guess Skye was the cause of everything (and because she didn’t tell them). But thanks to Fitz, even after he uncovered the truth and got pissed at her for it, Skye’s secret remains as such for the time being and for good reason: he’s noticed the group is on edge and tempers are high, so he chooses not to reveal she’s changed as it would probably bring about the worst possible response. Though waiting until it’s too late can also be bad, and only time will tell if hiding this for the time being was the right choice or not. Their scene together, where they hug it out, was one of the best moments of “Aftershocks”

I really didn’t want Bobby and Mac to be up to no good, but it certainly seems like that’s the case now. However, they don’t seem to be working for Hydra, as I’d think they’d be against helping the plan which successfully killed off all the heads of Hydra. Though they could be working for von Strucker—who got name dropped again—as taking out the others to gain full power probably wouldn’t be outside his wheelhouse. In the end though, I’m suspecting a yet unnamed third party, especially since they seem to be more worried about Fury’s toolbox…whatever that is and whatever that contains. Probably a really nice wrench, like gold plated or something.

Agents of SHIELDThe opening scene had a few nice tidbits, introducing us to a young Gordon, the blind Inhuman we met at the end of “What They Become,” and how Skye’s mom, Jiaying, was basically the foster mom of the Inhumans. In a nice bit of bookending, the episode ends with the reintroduction of adult Gordon using his teleporting powers to pick up Raina just before she committed suicide by firing squad. See, Raina got the short end of the terrigen mist stick, coming out as some spiky mutant. After escaping the alien city she goes to Cal for help, who happens to be more concerned about his daughter and his lack of revenge against Whitehall still, and basically writes her off. Heck, he even tells Raina if she wants to kill herself, do it. As usual, Cal is an insane man and insanely fun to watch and his interaction with Raina didn’t disappoint. And with Raina, I’m really happy she didn’t die, as she’s got some interesting places to go this season.

Here are a few other things:

  • Since Coulson believed she had some alien in her, couldn’t he have guessed or considered Skye caused the quake, not the mists/Diviner?
  • Hope we get more flashbacks of Skye’s mom training Inhumans!
  • I thought Bakshi was a much smarter man until “Aftershocks” proved otherwise. He was duped into helping SHEILD’s plan way to easily.

 

Agents of SHIELD returned from an extended winter break, and the excellent Agent Carter series, with “Aftershocks” in an attempt to deal with the fallout from the game changing events from the mid-season finale. For the most part it succeeded in that mission, giving us new plots to consider, character changes for better or worse, and a continued focus on the Inhumans which has carved out AoS a nice little important slice of the MCU pie.

+ Fallout from Trip’s death

+ Fitz helping out Skye

+ Gordon bookending episode

 Taking out the Hydra heads seemed way too easy

Ryan is Mynock Manor’s Head Butler. You can follow him on Twitter @BrushYourTeeth. You can follow the website @MynockManor.

MARVEL’S AGENTS OF SHIELD REVIEWS:
Season Two: 2.1 Shadows | 2.2 Heavy is the Head | 2.3 Making Friends and Influencing People | 2.4 Face My Enemy | 2.5 A Hen in the Wolf House | 2.6 A Fractured House | 2.7 The Writing on the Wall | 2.8 The Things We Bury | 2.9 …Ye Who Enter Here | 2.10 What They Become | 2.12 Who You Really Are | 2.13 One of Us | 2.14 Love in the Time of Hydra | 2.15 One Door Closes | 2.16 Afterlife | 2.17 Melinda | 2.18 The Frenemy of My Enemy | 2.19 The Dirty Half Dozen | 2.20 Scars | 2.21,22: S.O.S.

MARVEL’S AGENT CARTER REVIEWS:
Season One: 1.1 This is Not the End/1.2 Bridge and Tunnel | 1.3 Time and Tide | 1.4 The Blitzkrieg Button | 1.5 The Iron Ceiling | 1.6 A Sin to Err | 1.7 SNAFU | 1.8 Valediction