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TV Review: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - Season 2 Episode 16 "Afterlife"

04.08.2015

EPISODE 15: "Afterlife"

SYNOPSIS:  As Robert Gonzales makes his move, Coulson must do whatever it takes to protect the future of S.H.I.E.L.D. Meanwhile Skye’s journey to control her powers takes a surprising turn when she meets the enigmatic Inhuman named Lincoln.

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

Things continue to be difficult for Coulson as he struggles to save S.H.I.E.L.D.and Skye, both tasks he is failing to accomplish. The episode picks up where last week left off, with Coulson and Hunter stealing a car to head up to The Retreat to find Skye. Instead, they find the remnants of her defensive attack on the Other S.H.I.E.L.D. and Coulson feels guilt over losing her.

But, Skye is not truly in danger. Instead, the mysterious Gordon took Skye to a remote city known as Afterlife. The architecture and original name of Afterlife is Chinese in origin which could mean Skye is back where she was born. Soon enough, the eyeless Gordon hands Skye's transition over to an Inhuman named Lincoln who walks Skye through what it means to have been exposed to the Terrigen Mists.

We learn a lot about the Inhumans this week, specifically that there are thousands of people who have the Inhuman DNA but are awaiting approval from The Elders to transform. In fact, Skye's transformation was the first in a long time to actually occur using a Diviner in a Kree Temple. Skye is less than enthused about her powers but does learn that the transformation is irreversible. Lincoln does share that he has been transformed as well and his power allows him to control electrical currents. Skye seems to be warming up to Lincoln even though she learns that Raina is at Afterlife as well which results in a battle between the two new Inhumans.

But, the fight is broken up by none other than Skye's mother. We know it is her from previous episodes but she is obviously not dead like Cal explained to his daughter. In fact, she seems to have a nefarious purpose which both of Skye's parents are aware of. What comes next seems to be that Skye will flirt with the dark side before coming back to her senses and rejoining Coulson and S.H.I.E.L.D.

At S.H.I.E.L.D., the focus is still on trying to open Fury's Toolbox which Gonzales needs both Fitz and Simmons for. While Simmons is more willing to work with Bobbi and Mack, Fitz feels his friend has fully backstabbed him and refuses to help. Gonzales tries to convince May to turn on Coulson and have him and Skye both added to the Registry. May obviously refuses but Gonzales hints that he knows the story behind how she became The Cavalry, a tease for next week's episode.

Back at The Retreat, Coulson and Hunter hide out and await S.H.I.E.L.D. to come and get them. They use some tricks built into the cabin to protect Bruce Banner when he stayed there but are eventually captured by agents only to be saved by the backup Coulson called for: Deathlok. He helps Coulson and Hunter steal the Quinjet and sets off with them to both save Skye and retake S.H.I.E.L.D. The episode ends with a tease of Fitz having left S.H.I.E.L.D. and it is revealed that he took the real Toolbox with him.

We do learn a lot about the Inhumans and their wide ranging population as well as a group of Elders that control their decisions. This episode did feel like a lot of talking and not a lot of action, but there is a sense that a lot of building is being put together for a showdown between the Inhumans and a soon to be unified S.H.I.E.L.D.. It is hard to tell if Skye's mother is going to end up being the new big bad on the show, but I hope they decide soon as having so many factions dealing with so many minor plot elements is not doing the show any favors. Still, the series is more interesting and worth watching now than it has ever been. Here's hoping the big finish coming in a few episodes is worth all this build-up.

MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE REFERENCES: Lots of Inhumans references as well as callbacks to Bruce Banner/The Hulk having stayed at The Retreat.

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

Episode 14 "Melinda" (Airs April 14th) - The story of Melinda May’s transformation into “The Cavalry” is revealed as she finds herself at a crossroads in the war between Coulson and Gonzales. As Skye learns more about her true heritage from Lincoln, the truth about the Inhumans will send her in a new direction

Source: JoBlo.com

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8:17PM on 04/08/2015

Good episode....

Which of course means that instead of the usual 9, they're giving it a 7. Everything about this episode was cool. Fitz & Simmons little ploy was awesome, Coulson's choices were cool, the stuff with Skye is getting even better, and I liked the real tension between the competing visions of SHIELD. There was no bad in this, other than the still lame-looking Deathlok and them crawling back to Ward. Honestly, they made him interesting again for 5 minutes, then threw him to the side, now I don't
Which of course means that instead of the usual 9, they're giving it a 7. Everything about this episode was cool. Fitz & Simmons little ploy was awesome, Coulson's choices were cool, the stuff with Skye is getting even better, and I liked the real tension between the competing visions of SHIELD. There was no bad in this, other than the still lame-looking Deathlok and them crawling back to Ward. Honestly, they made him interesting again for 5 minutes, then threw him to the side, now I don't care again. They probably should just move on. The male leads now are so much better than him.

But I was encouraged by this episode, and the upswing arc in Arrow and The Flash. The last month of comic-book shows is going to be crazy-good!
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6:07PM on 04/08/2015
I'm confused about these "reviews". The actual review consists of the last paragraph, which leaves six paragraphs of just explaining the step-by-step of the episode. Is there a point to just re-writing up the episode every week with no opinion on any part of it? Usually reviews are the other way around, with a paragraph of catch up followed by the other 6 being an actual review. Others will have the 6 or 7 paragraphs narrating what happened, but weigh their opinion in on each segment, leading
I'm confused about these "reviews". The actual review consists of the last paragraph, which leaves six paragraphs of just explaining the step-by-step of the episode. Is there a point to just re-writing up the episode every week with no opinion on any part of it? Usually reviews are the other way around, with a paragraph of catch up followed by the other 6 being an actual review. Others will have the 6 or 7 paragraphs narrating what happened, but weigh their opinion in on each segment, leading to an overall conclusion, again so that it forms a cohesive review. I could be missing something here, maybe there are site goers that don't like watching the show but just like reading what happened in on it? But then why bother calling it a "TV review" when then actual review itself is an extremely minor element.
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6:03PM on 04/08/2015

nice episode !

And what if the toolbox to "rebuild" the shield is not something tie to ultron !? Like an artificial intelligence in a box or a key to restart an old shield program called ultron !?
And what if the toolbox to "rebuild" the shield is not something tie to ultron !? Like an artificial intelligence in a box or a key to restart an old shield program called ultron !?
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2:43PM on 04/08/2015
I'm hoping Age of Ultron will effect AoS in some way. It feels like they deliberately placed the final episodes in May to tie-in with the movie.

And that probably won't be the case with Ant-man.
I'm hoping Age of Ultron will effect AoS in some way. It feels like they deliberately placed the final episodes in May to tie-in with the movie.

And that probably won't be the case with Ant-man.
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9:17AM on 04/08/2015

gotta be honest

I'm on Gonzalez's side here.
I'm on Gonzalez's side here.
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3:35AM on 04/08/2015
Another solid episode. I will agree with the reviewer that this episode was more talk centric rather than action. But hey can't have Skye knocking down every forest in the country week after week lol. I love what this series is building into. Its really laying the ground work into two different upcoming movies. Obviously now its going to delve deep into what the Inhuman lore is and will be. On a slightly more subtle note, the seeds for Civil War are also starting to sprout nicely.

On the
Another solid episode. I will agree with the reviewer that this episode was more talk centric rather than action. But hey can't have Skye knocking down every forest in the country week after week lol. I love what this series is building into. Its really laying the ground work into two different upcoming movies. Obviously now its going to delve deep into what the Inhuman lore is and will be. On a slightly more subtle note, the seeds for Civil War are also starting to sprout nicely.

On the Inhuman front I love it. I remember the Inhumans from when I was young and collecting comics, but I don't remember them well. I don't remember anything besides the royal family when it came to stories. So seeing a more expanded universe is pretty cool for me. Its telling a story I don't know in a universe I do. I am curious how tied in to the Inhuman movie this will be. Also I'm curious if the royal family is located on earth (instead of the moon) will Skye possibly be in it? They have several years to keep building Skye up. It might be that by the time the movie comes, Skye is so in control of her powers that she will be a major force to be reckoned with and a liaison for shield to the royal family. When it comes to AOS though I am liking seeing the other powered people potentially guide her. But Skye's mom I am betting will be a major evil presence over the course of the season. We all though she was dead and chopped up into parts leatherface style. Well she's back and with the scars on her face making her look more like Punisher villain Jigsaw. There is obviously something nefarious going down there with her intentions and sort of being on the same page as Cal. I'm still waiting for Cal to transform into Hyde. They better fucking do it, and we better not get a budget excuse why not. For fucks sake the Flash cranks the level of TV effects up to an 11, there is no reason why Marvel with all its money can't give us Hyde. Either way I am loving the time spent in Afterlife, looking forward to it. Oh and it was nice to get a look at Raina in the light. Its an amazing practical effect make up job. I like it even if my hate for her character still exists.

Now onto the Tale of Two Shields. Saying it like that sure makes it sound like they aren't even trying to veil the Civil War references lol. But I am loving hard lines of divison already drawn, but also the fact that there are some characters second guessing their choice so far. Mockingbird seems to be selling that Coulson is still a good man. She seems to roll her eyes and ponder when Gonzalez emphatically states that Coulson needs to be locked up or put down. Whereas Mac, the dick, doubles down on how Coulson's is crazy and they are right and Coulson's shield is a pretender to the throne. Then you have the game of thrones style whose side are you on Jemma acting like a bitch to hate, only to be playing Gonzalez Shield like a fiddle. Doing so by using her known old awkwardness with Fitz to trick them in a way they never saw coming and getting Fitz out with the toolbox. I gotta admit I didn't see that one coming since they've laid so much groundwork of the division between Fitz and Simmons. Good job on that. And finally Deathlok come back and looking less corny terrible cosplay and more super powered agent. I missed him this season and was wondering if he was just written out. Glad he made a return and he is liking his upgrades lol.
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2:08AM on 04/08/2015

I liked it

I like this series and can't get enough of it! Huge nod to Superman II at the retreat, no?
I like this series and can't get enough of it! Huge nod to Superman II at the retreat, no?
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8:28AM on 04/08/2015
Yeah, I thought so too. A little odd that marvel would reference a DC film. Then again, since the show seems aimed at a younger audience maybe they thought some of them wouldn't realize it's from Superman II?
Yeah, I thought so too. A little odd that marvel would reference a DC film. Then again, since the show seems aimed at a younger audience maybe they thought some of them wouldn't realize it's from Superman II?
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1:12AM on 04/08/2015
I stopped watching this show a while ago, just didn't really have time for it and hadn't been too impressed with what I'd seen so far. I check up on these reviews every once in a while just to stay somewhat in the loop, and I'm hoping you won't have to have seen this show to really understand the whole Inhumans storyline when the movie comes out. It seems like if they keep revealing too much info on the Inhumans then the movie will either feel like too much retreading for fans of AoS or too
I stopped watching this show a while ago, just didn't really have time for it and hadn't been too impressed with what I'd seen so far. I check up on these reviews every once in a while just to stay somewhat in the loop, and I'm hoping you won't have to have seen this show to really understand the whole Inhumans storyline when the movie comes out. It seems like if they keep revealing too much info on the Inhumans then the movie will either feel like too much retreading for fans of AoS or too little backstory for those who don't watch TV religiously. Then again, like I said, I don't watch it...
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3:00AM on 04/08/2015
You're doing yourself a disservice by not watching this, the second season anyway. The first season sucked for the first half. The second half was good but not great. You already know what happened in season one with the Winter Soldier movie so you can skip it. But watch the second season. Its highly entertaining and is setting up not just the Inhumans movie, by giving us more back story than the movie will ever be able to give us, but the Civil War movie as well. I don't think it will be to a
You're doing yourself a disservice by not watching this, the second season anyway. The first season sucked for the first half. The second half was good but not great. You already know what happened in season one with the Winter Soldier movie so you can skip it. But watch the second season. Its highly entertaining and is setting up not just the Inhumans movie, by giving us more back story than the movie will ever be able to give us, but the Civil War movie as well. I don't think it will be to a point in the Inhumans movie where show watchers will feel like they've seen it already, but they will understand far more than the movie goers. The Royal Family is what the Inhumans movie will concentrate on, and if they follow the comics they won't be on Earth. So the show is concentrating on the earthbound ones. So you'll see multiples sides of the same story.
3:07AM on 04/08/2015
What Wopolopolus said!
What Wopolopolus said!
10:28AM on 04/08/2015
I was in the same boat. About half way through season 1 I just said screw it and stopped watching. It was tedious, and it seemed to exist in the same universe as the MCU in theory only.

It was a huge mistake on my part. I can tell you this is now one of my very, very few (like 3) must watch shows every week. Since the second half of season 1 they have stepped up their game 100 fold. I'm a big fan now.
I was in the same boat. About half way through season 1 I just said screw it and stopped watching. It was tedious, and it seemed to exist in the same universe as the MCU in theory only.

It was a huge mistake on my part. I can tell you this is now one of my very, very few (like 3) must watch shows every week. Since the second half of season 1 they have stepped up their game 100 fold. I'm a big fan now.
11:20AM on 04/08/2015
Actually, I do find the series a bit tedious. As Wopolopolus said, they are setting up Captain America: Civil War but that's a movie that comes out next year. We also know that the Civil War storyline won't be resolved in Captain America: Civil War, that we are going to have factions right up until Avengers: Infinity War Part II in which everybody comes together to fight Thanos. It's frustrating. I feel like nothing will get resolved in this series, that we are just going to have Gonzales
Actually, I do find the series a bit tedious. As Wopolopolus said, they are setting up Captain America: Civil War but that's a movie that comes out next year. We also know that the Civil War storyline won't be resolved in Captain America: Civil War, that we are going to have factions right up until Avengers: Infinity War Part II in which everybody comes together to fight Thanos. It's frustrating. I feel like nothing will get resolved in this series, that we are just going to have Gonzales and Coulson fighting until the series finally gets cancelled. What they could do is give us one more full season of Agents of SHIELD and then replace it with Agent Carter. They could always do an Agents of SHIELD mini series while Agent Carter is on hiatus the way the did for Agent Carter this year and presumably next year.
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