The story so far:
2013 marked the first season debut of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. Here we saw the return of fan favourite character Agent Phil Coulson. Despite the rocky start, to the show, the overarching mystery of Phil’s death and comeback kept fans entertained. The word T.A.H.I.T.I. will always be a double entendre for years to come among fans. The new characters the show introduced kept some of us intrigued and interested with all the twists and turns.
One of the most standout parts that amped up the show was the fact that Ward is HYDRA! This added a layer of depth to a character nobody thought would ever be a bad guy. Many have cheered while others have mourned that he may never get to 3rd or 4th base with Skye, because apparently being a secret villain isn’t a turn on. As we progressed into Season 2 we see new additions, new threats and a new kind of action still going to this day. One notable arc is Skye’s past. We’ve had many hints that Skye was a wild card that is going to play a big part in events to come. Well the show has answered one of the many fan theories about her right from the pilot. She is…Inhuman.
Season 2 Episode 11-Aftershocks.
This episode continues off from the events that took place in “What They Become”. We see the consequences of Skye’s metamorphosis along with Raina’s. As well as this subplot, in the wake of former HYDRA leader, Daniel Whitehall’s death, Coulson takes a more aggressive approach to HYDRA using prisoner Sunil Bakshi(Simon Kassianides) to find their high-ranking leaders and agents.
One of the key take-aways long-time Marvel Comics fans and audiences can get out of this episode is that it satisfies the wait for the Inhumans movie in 2019. Flashbacks to Skye’s mother Jiaying (Dichen Lachman) talking about the “Terrigenesis” process and the exploration of the mythology of these people will please Marvel fans in knowing that the future properties aren’t at all forgotten until their time comes at the end of this decade and would be used in present day stories when they can. It gives me hope that maybe we’ll see a tease to a certain web-crawler?
In regards to Skye’s arc on the show, it was natural that she would be feeling the way she is right now with her being the group outsider once again. One interesting parallel within the episode was the scene of the group argument. Here it was seen that Coulson’s team started to have some disagreements with how they should do things. It would remind audiences of a similar argument back in The Avengers when they were all onboard the Hellicarrier. Right afterwards Skye acts out with her powers as well as Bruce Banner as the Hulk. I guess this was their way of highlighting that for most of what’s left of this season, Skye would be the group freak. I can imagine that with the recent episode, Skye would keep her abilities a secret from most, by why not Coulson?
On the other hand, it’ll be interesting to see Raina’s arc play out in the coming episodes. All this time she was looking to become greater but now she’s become a monster. The make-up that went into her appearance was good as it was for a television budget. Her last minute save by the pseudo-Nightcrawler George was a cool visual moment. It’ll be worth watching to see parallels between Skye and Raina’s journeys as they both embark upon their journeys into their Inhuman nature, especially given Luke Mitchell(former cast member of The Tomorrow People, another show about people with powers) will be mentoring Skye.
As seen in previous episodes, “Aftershocks” offered some decent, no-holds barred spy action in a more aggressive style, clearly highlighting the loss of Tripp which is felt throughout the episode. It was illuminating to see our agents shoot down the heads of HYDRA without much mercy. Also it was worth noting that the elaborate “hoax” Coulson and co. pulled off did come across as a little obvious, especially when it came to the script writing with lines like “You’ll never take us alive!”. But then again, May did call him out on that, creating a sort of funny meta-reference.
A new arc of what Bobbi and Mac’s “support group” in the form of a secret mission to access Nick Fury’s materials which was left to Coulson was left on an intriguing note for audiences. Hopefully it’ll be different to the double agent arc previously done by Melinda May.
The only gripe I had with this episode was Simmons’ over acting of the threat the Inhumans pose. In one scene alone, she uses the words “epidemic”, “plague” and “terminate”. Yes we get it that they’re dangerous but just one of those words would be fine moving forward.
Review by Thanura Ravindra