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TV Review: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - Season 2 Episode 11 "Aftershocks"

03.03.2015
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EPISODE 11: "Aftershocks"

SYNOPSIS:  Coulson's team must deal with the consequences of their war with HYDRA as shocking revelations threaten to tear them apart, and HYDRA makes a dangerous move that may involve a traitor in S.H.I.E.L.D.'s midst.

BREAKDOWN: (The following column contains MAJOR SPOILERS, so I don't recommend reading this if you haven't watched this episode).

After a brief hiatus that saw the stellar first season of AGENT CARTER show us how good an original Marvel series could be, AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. returns to pick up with the birth of the Inhumans.  Before getting into the transformations of Skye and Raina, the episode opens with a flashback to 1983 where Skye's mother comforts a young boy with no eyes named Gordon.  She speaks to an elderly man and they discuss how long it has been since Gordon passed through the Terrigen Mists.  Jiaying draws the boy to her despite his uncontrollable superpower of teleportation running rampant.

In current times, Coulson watches over Skye as she has nightmares about Tripplet dying in the Kree temple.  Skye laments what happened, saying she failed but Coulson tells her she did not and he will find someone and make them pay for what happened.  The crew moves on and begins to catalog the temple and the city, trying to find uses for what they have there.  One of the S.H.I.E.L.D. scientists is attacked and killed by an unknown attacker.  The only thing we see is a gnarled hand come around the wall.  It seems safe to assume this is Raina.

We also get to meet a cabal who mourn the death of Whitehall and wonder where Mr. Bakshi could be.  Assuming he has been captured, they decide that whoever can take out S.H.I.E.L.D. will be the new leader of HYDRA.  One of the men also says he will look into Whitehall's research into arcane artifacts to see if anything will be of use to them.

As Simmons meets with the agents in the temple, Raina attacks and kills most of them.  She gets a brief glimpse of herself in the mask of a HAZMAT suit and we can see she is not very pretty anymore.  Simmons gets a shot off but she escapes.  Simmons notifies Coulson and May that it was Raina and she was covered in thorns.  As they gather their forces, they decide to go after her while also trading Bakshi.  Mack has an outburst amongst the team about whether they should have gone to the city in the first place.  As they all argue and fight, Skye's heartrate skyrockets and things begin to shake.  Coulson diffuses the argument and no one but Skye noticed what was happening.

As May and Coulson head to deliver Bakshi to General Talbot, their car is hit head on by a truck.  Driven into a warehouse, the agents take fire as mercenaries try to retrieve Bakshi.  The mercenaries shoot and kill May and Coulson and one leads Bakshi away.  In the car, the merc is revealed to be Hunter and the entire operation was faked to lure Bakshi into leading them to HYDRA.

At a shipping yard, Raina sneaks up on Cal, Skye's father, as he tries to escape.  He apologizes that she didn't evolve but she says she did.  She grabs him and reveals her face which looks cat and lizard like and asks what she has become.  Raina tells Cal that Skye was safe after emerging from the Mist and he celebrates that she is okay.  Raina blames Cal for her current state and says Skye stole what was rightfully hers.  Cal tells her this is her dream and he cannot changer her, sending her off on her own.

Hunter and Bakshi arrive at the home of the HYDRA benefactor.  Bobbi arrives as Hunter waits.  Back at HQ, Simmons suggests that the team hunting Raina kill her instead of letting the potential contagion spread.  Here begins the eternal Marvel struggle between treating Inhumans/Mutants as a sickness versus human beings.  Sides will be taken, mark my words.  Back at the HYDRA contact, Bakshi video-conferences with the leaders whom are referred to as The Doctor, The Banker, The Baronness, and The Sheik.

Fitz reveals that he saw the heartrate on Skye's monitor and questions how she could have survived unharmed when everything around her was totally destroyed.  Calling her inhuman, Skye begins to get scared and everything in her containment cell shakes, the lightbul exploding and sending Fitz running in fear.  At the same time, Coulson delivers the sad news of Tripp's death to his mother while various HYDRA agents take out the leadership Mr. Bakshi referred to.  After all of them are killed, Hunter and Bobbi recapture Bakshi and take him into custody.

When May sees Skye's injured hand, they begin to get paranoid, but Fitz returns and covers for her, saying her DNA is normal and releases her from quarantine.  Fitz tells her he switched her samples until everyone can calm down so she can be safe.  Skye hugs Fitz and collapses into tears saying she is sorry and she could have stopped Raina, saying there is something wrong with her.  Fitz says she is just different now and there is nothing wrong with that.  At the same tiime, Raina walks into traffic to try and kill herself but instead is surrounded by soldiers who say they want to take her in.  She says they have to killer her but before she can attack, the man with no eyes teleports in and takes her to safety.

In the stinger scene, we see a toy car in Coulson's office open up and begin to scan the room while the team chats.  Bobbi and Mack discuss their operation and that they will make their next move soon.  The team thinks about Tripp and lament his passing.

MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE REFERENCES: Several Inhuman references and a veiled comment about Iron Man.

REVIEW:  This felt like a bit of a letdown after the major cliffhanger introducing the Terrigen Mists and the concept of the Inhumans.  The introduction of a new group of leaders for HYDRA only to kill them alll off in a single episode felt like a waste, but we did get the first step in the humans versus Inhumans debate that will likely plague the Marvel Cinematic Universe for years to come.  Coulson took a backseat this week as Skye and Raina took center stage in very different capacities.  It is still unclear if Raina is based on an existing Marvel character or who the eyeless Gordon is, but it feels like AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. has abandoned the conceit of being a Marvel show without superheroes to instead embrace the superpowers and comic book stories everyone wants to see.

NEXT ON MARVEL'S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.:

Episode 12 "Who You Really Are" (Airs December 9th) - Coulson and team come to the aid of a confused Lady Sif, who has lost her memory after fighting with a mysterious warrior whose true mission will send shockwaves through S.H.I.E.L.D. Meanwhile, Bobbi and MacK continue to hide their true mission from everyone close to them.

TELL US WHAT YOU THOUGHT OF THIS EPISODE BELOW!

Source: JoBlo.com

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2:07AM on 03/04/2015
Ok that was fucking great, aside from Skye's mom's acting as Des1 said cause fuck that was horrible lol. The Hydra storyline is over and done with for this show and most likely the MCU as a whole. They introduced the leaders to get rid of them so they could wrap up the Bakshi angle and hydra as a whole. This show was about turning directions toward the future and tying up loose ends of the past. And I think it did so in spades, and yeah that was Fred Dryer taking over between the eyes
Ok that was fucking great, aside from Skye's mom's acting as Des1 said cause fuck that was horrible lol. The Hydra storyline is over and done with for this show and most likely the MCU as a whole. They introduced the leaders to get rid of them so they could wrap up the Bakshi angle and hydra as a whole. This show was about turning directions toward the future and tying up loose ends of the past. And I think it did so in spades, and yeah that was Fred Dryer taking over between the eyes lol.

First the eyeless guy is an inhuman named the Reader. He is someone not much is known about. There were two different versions of him as well. One version he was sighted and anything he read would come to life. The Inhumans blinded him because they believed him too destructive and powerful. So he learned how to read braille. The second version, and the one they appear to be using here, is guy who can sense new Inhumans. He can seek out and find them. He then begins to educate them on what has happened to them and how to control and use their powers. He couldn't teleport in the books if I remember so that is new. But the twist with this version is that he worked for an entity, a group that might be considered bad guys, and he was tasked by them to bring them new Inhumans to become part of their army. Might that explain how and why Quicksilver and Scarlett Witch are captured? Based on what I see with Raina, she definitely isn't Tigra, but my guess was Naja. Its possible she could be Naja, but Naja was a little more reptilian like. So we'll have to wait until we see what her powers are before we can figure it out. Naja could turn invisible, she was chameleon like, and I think she had some poison powers. But Raina got shot multiple times and is seemingly none the worse off for it. That would make me think lots of regeneration happening Wolverine style. Reptiles are known for that.

Now what I found most interesting about this was Simmons reaction to all of this. The fear of what could happen to humans. I have to watch it again, to see what exactly was said, but I think I heard registration at one point. Considering the storyline for Civil War, I wonder if AOS is going to be not only leading to the Inhumans movie, but also be a bit of a precursor to Civil War and the registration act idea. Sort of soften the audience up to the idea. The fact that the doctor in the Winter Soldier credit scene with Von Strucker and the twins appeared in this episode as the guy meeting with the Hydra council might be a sign of this. It might potentially mean they are tying the twins to Inhumans and it might be that "special" powered people that spark the scare to register. When you think about it the current lineup of the MCU the only "special" powered people on earth the world knows are lab created. Cap is a hero created by science, same with the Hulk though it was an accident. Iron Man is a normal man in a suit. Thor is an alien who is only here once in a awhile. So the Inhumans could be a spark to lead to the registration. Super powered people laying in hiding and all around and no one knows who they are, how many there are, and who is good or bad.

The stinger was interesting. I admit I have no idea what Mac and Mockingbird are doing. My only guess is Fury is wanting his little box of surprises back and tasked them getting it back from Coulson on the down low? Aside from that I am clueless. Regardless its great to have the show back. After how shitty Gotham has been, Flash on hiatus, and Carter all done, it was nice to have something comic booky to watch and look forward to.



p.s. I gotta admit, and I'm gonna get heat for this, I loved the almost Godfather like simultaneous executions of the entire head of Hydra while it cut away to the sympathetic scene (Tripp's Mother and Coulson holding her while looking at the photos knowing revenge is being exacted ). Yeah I know this series isn't on the same plane but it reminded me of that watching it.
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9:45AM on 03/10/2015
I loved that part too, the whole plan to have Hydra cut off their own heads while Coulson tells Tripps mom about him. It was sweet showing the humanity of Shield and a badass way to remove Hydra from power.
I also really liked Skye/Fitz thing, where at first I thought Fitz went nuts about the inhuman thing but had Skye's back to protect, really everyone. Didn't see it coming. I thought he was gonna be like Simmons at that point, all so anti-alien thing they have been looking for.
Overall, I
I loved that part too, the whole plan to have Hydra cut off their own heads while Coulson tells Tripps mom about him. It was sweet showing the humanity of Shield and a badass way to remove Hydra from power.
I also really liked Skye/Fitz thing, where at first I thought Fitz went nuts about the inhuman thing but had Skye's back to protect, really everyone. Didn't see it coming. I thought he was gonna be like Simmons at that point, all so anti-alien thing they have been looking for.
Overall, I really liked this episode. Still curious to see what Mac and Bobbi need Fury's toolkit for. Possible Avengers related?
+1
12:57AM on 03/04/2015

Hunter

Was that Fred Dryer? Is so, then it's a pretty good inside joke ;)
Was that Fred Dryer? Is so, then it's a pretty good inside joke ;)
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+1
12:14AM on 03/04/2015

Well, we know Skye's mom's superpower wasn't.....

....acting. That was seriously some of the worst acting I've seen in a prime-time TV show. Just cringe-inducing.

The show was okay, but it didn't seem to tie up anything I cared about, or introduce anything I am going to care about. And if the next Phase of Marvel is humans persecuting inhumans, count me out. Been there, done that, moved on. I have no interest in X-Men 3 revisited.
....acting. That was seriously some of the worst acting I've seen in a prime-time TV show. Just cringe-inducing.

The show was okay, but it didn't seem to tie up anything I cared about, or introduce anything I am going to care about. And if the next Phase of Marvel is humans persecuting inhumans, count me out. Been there, done that, moved on. I have no interest in X-Men 3 revisited.
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3:49AM on 03/04/2015
God that was awful. Now I know why she hardly spoke in the flashbacks. She makes Keanu Reeves look like he has an Oscar caliber range lol. I loved this show but I was slack jawed during her "lines" despite the great special effects of the Reader pulling his best Nightcrawler impression.
God that was awful. Now I know why she hardly spoke in the flashbacks. She makes Keanu Reeves look like he has an Oscar caliber range lol. I loved this show but I was slack jawed during her "lines" despite the great special effects of the Reader pulling his best Nightcrawler impression.
10:09AM on 03/04/2015
She reminded me of Tamlyn Tomita. Tamlyn Tomita became famous after she played the love interest in The Karate Kid II. Of course, in that movie all she had to do was look pretty because her character could barely speak English. When Tamlyn Tomita grew up and appeared in movies and TV shows it was clear that her acting was terrible. I remember, for example, how terrible she was in the Babylon 5 pilot: as far as I know, she was the only one from the pilot who didn't come back as a regular on
She reminded me of Tamlyn Tomita. Tamlyn Tomita became famous after she played the love interest in The Karate Kid II. Of course, in that movie all she had to do was look pretty because her character could barely speak English. When Tamlyn Tomita grew up and appeared in movies and TV shows it was clear that her acting was terrible. I remember, for example, how terrible she was in the Babylon 5 pilot: as far as I know, she was the only one from the pilot who didn't come back as a regular on the show.
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