Agents of SHIELD: Afterlife recap – S2, Ep. 16

Skye gets to experience life like a mutant Inhuman, an old cast member returns, Coulson and Hunter spend a night over whiskey and SHIELD ver. 2.0 proves they’re far too stupid to be in charge of anything more involved than the cookie jar. Tonight’s episode had a lot happening, but did it all work? Let’s break it down!

Hunter & Coulson on the run with nothing but their marked differences in handling problems is a far better take on ‘The Odd Couple’ than whatever CBS is pushing right now. It’s also provides the episode’s best moments. Coulson and Hunter’s humorous approach in dealing with a used car salesman is pretty funny as is their banter while holed up in the SHIELD safe house.

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With SHIELD and Skye lost, Coulson is running out of options, but figures fighting is better than complaining and trips the alarm to alert SHIELD ver. 2.0 and steal their Quinjet — presuming his backup arrives.

J. AUGUST RICHARDSHunter questions this plan as the SHIELD ver. 2.0 troops surround the cabin — I’m sure it’s easy for costume reuse sake but the show needs to update the SHIELD ver. 2.0 uniform so they don’t look like Hydra soldiers.  Coulson assures him everything is under control as the house was built to withstand the Hulk, but for some reason it can’t handle a SHIELD ver. 2.0 battering ram. Since the backup hasn’t arrived, Coulson uses a page out of the ‘Superman II’ playbook and uses Trip’s Howling Commando grab bag to create a hologram of he and Hunter playing cards so they can knock out the SHIELD ver. 2.0 soldiers.

Then they pay homage to Sam and Frodo as they dress up in SHIELD ver. 2.0 gear and try to waltz into the Quinjet. This plan seemed to make sense, but somehow the soldiers know they’re in disguise. I keep waiting in vain apparently for a shocking appearance by Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye and figured this would be the perfect opportunity for him to save Coulson and Hunter. It’s the only reason the return of Agent Peterson aka Deathlok — in a slightly better outfit — was a bit of a disappointment. Coulson now has a one man army and general competence so the odds in his fight against SHIELD ver. 2.0 have dramatically shifted in his favor. But to find Skye or SHIELD, Coulson has to turn to the one person he never dreamed he’d need help from again – Grant Ward. Pretty sure super computer cyborg Deathlok could find them just as easily, but we’ll let it slide since this means another appearance from fangirls’ favorite bad boy, Evil Ward.

EDWARD JAMES OLMOSIn the other interesting subplot this week, SHIELD ver. 2.0 has a problem. Apparently when Hydra attacked their unit, all of the computer geeks were the first to get killed leaving them at a decided technological disadvantage to anything more complicated than downloading apps. As such, Gonzalez tries to appeal to Fitz and Simmons’ loyalty to SHIELD to help him open Nick Fury’s toolkit. If they’re not interested, they’re free to go. That’s a spectacularly awful sales pitch. Bobbi gives it another try with Simmons and her sincere desire to help Skye get control of her powers convinces Simmons to stay on and help open the toolkit.

Mack breaks the news to Fitz to try and get him to stay and shows him Simmons’ handiwork so far, which leads to Fitz confronting Simmons and other SHIELD v.2 members and saying they’re all just afraid of the toolkit and people like Skye. Question: exactly when did the writers decide nervy, spazzy and interesting Fitz was no longer convenient and switched him back to normal? Simmons tells Fitz if he won’t go along with SHIELD v.2’s objective maybe he should leave. The writers make this payoff a bit too obvious though and sure enough, Fitz leaves out with the real toolkit and a sandwich and a note from Simmons telling him to be careful.

MING-NA WEN, EDWARD JAMES OLMOSGood for Fitz/Simmons, who apparently have smoothed out all their season-long differences in between episodes, but how bad does this make SHIELD v.2 and Bobbi in particular? This isn’t the second time in as many weeks that Simmons outsmarted her and she remains completely oblivious. I get that SHIELD v.2 aren’t the ‘heroes’ and have to make bonehead moves, but they are consistently made to look like goofs first in letting Hunter escape their custody, not having enough guards on Coulson allowing May to help him escape and now getting fooled by some Fitz/Simmons sleight of hand.

Gonzalez asks May to join the SHIELD v.2 board, which will help determine Coulson’s fate when they bring him in. Good luck with that. May appreciates his straight-forward approach and agrees to help bring Coulson in, but knowing this show, May is clearly lying and just saying she’ll catch Coulson to get away.

JAMIE HARRISAnd now time for the star of our show in the weakest of the three subplots. Among the 732 issues with ‘X-Men: The Last Stand’ was Rogue whining about not wanting her powers. Skye is our reluctant hero in the mutie-less Marvel Cinematic Universe and is full of questions. She awakens on a mysterious island mountain with only Lincoln (Luke Mitchell) — a blonder, blander version of Evil Ward — to give her the nickel tour of the Inhumans mountaintop retreat. Lincoln reveals Skye’s powers are irreversible and she essentially cut the line of other humans awaiting their exposure to the mists to get her powers. Lincoln has some nifty static electric powers that allow him to levitate Skye and presumably make quick work of ironing.

Sadly the mountain is only populated with pretty people just like pre-Grant Morrison X-Men. This hideaway needs more freaks like Raina, who thankfully is hanging here wallowing in self-pity over her less than model look. Spikes protruding from your face? That’s a real problem, but Skye doesn’t have any sympathy. Apparently Skye has mastered enough control of her powers to focus an attack on Raina and seems willing to kill her when Jiaying (Dichen Lachman) see also Skye’s momma, comes to Raina’s aid and offers to help Skye control her powers.

Jiaying goes to Cal’s more or less prison room and says he did as he promised in getting Skye here. But how is Jiaying still alive and does that mean Whitehall also isn’t dead since he has her blood/cells?

CHLOE BENNET, LUKE MITCHELLSHIELD JV’s ineptness really hurt what was shaping up to be a strong rival for Coulson’s team, but we did get some fun Hunter/Coulson scenes. A little less Inhumans teasing would be helpful though as the show doesn’t need to veer too far into super-powered characters that it ignores the initial concept of the show — regular humans dealing with a quickly evolving world. There’s six more episodes to go so hopefully we’ll get a better indication of the future direction and an unpredictable finale.

  • My favorite part is Simmons giving a sandwich to Fitz, it’s a nice call back from season 1 and especially since their relationship has been rocky lately. Really predictable though that Fitz walked away with the cube. The other nice part of this ep is the Hunter / Coulson chemistry. I’m looking forward to Ward’s return next episode.

  • That was a nice moment. I really wish SHIELD JV were smarter though…

  • keith

    I cant lie, this was a good episode to me. Just enough skye, not toooo much. Honestly I really thought fitz was leaving and i guess im slow then. i didnt even see the switch. the sandwhich note was sweet( if fitz is back to normal than maybe just maybe by season end she give him some of those lips.. he earned it.. sorry creepy moment but as much as fitz bored/annoyed me in season one, give him some relief). I love the twist of skye’s just as attractive mother pops up out the blue. I dont know what she ever saw even in pre maniac hyde. personal I already like blander ward better than ward. He is at least trying to help skye who people keep trying to hitch like that is the freaking point of the show. Here you are fan girls.. I nice sweet guy with powers even.. and he is a healer. Not a mass murdering traitor with a good looks. But hey I know fantasy is differnt for us all. Even though real shield is kind of stupid but maybe they kind of smart too. They didnt fall for the banana in the tail pipe, but i did like the cameo, but I was expecting hawkeye too when they said one man. But hey im all for brothers getting reoccurring roles in well funded shows. Cheers Mike! Im glad that he looks better and not well like a power rangers extra. Now if he doesnt die like im sure Mac will( a looooot of internet people want him too.. go figure.. hmm yet no death threats on bobbi) I say keep him around as a somewhat regular. Shield needs to wrap its head around powered folks outside the avengers. I get it they have to monitor them but this will get old if the figure out their own allies. I want that option resolved at season end that mike gets cleared with coulson. Especially since Skye got his azz blown up and torn from his family in the first place ( bleeping rising tide or whatever b.s she was in that dont even remotely matter any more once the writers were freed from that crap)

    Oh and keep Gordon. dude is nailing, funny and kind of scary at the same time with charisma. Thats an actor.

  • keith

    skye… the hot biracial girl black men in marvel need to avoid. death follows.. lol

  • I’m not sure what they did with her makeup this week, but Skye looked all parts of the Marvel version of Helen of Troy this week.

  • I keep trying but am failing to get invested in this Inhumans subplot mainly because Gordon and Raina are the only unique looking ones so far and I’m far more interested in seeing Black Bolt, Madusa, Gorgon and crew than Skye with a bunch of regular looking folks.

    People don’t seem to like Mack because he’s loyal to bogus SHIELD while Bobbi is at least showing some regret over her actions.

  • keith

    So i take it hot lol. but clearly she is the most desired object in this world as Helen was. She was loved by many men and the King (coulson) loved her much as a daughter

  • keith

    yeah i didnt really care about the normal people.. .WHO ARENT SKYE lol. Its bad when the bit actor/models are like damn this needy chick. its my turn to get in the goop. I think the elders are just going to kick her butt out of the inhuman family so she can disappear to never never land after this season. Since its clear that they cant be alllies yet until black bolt “say so” and that may not even happen in the movie. Too bad this couldnt have tied in with the FF. cartoon did it so better for 4 more years of what we know may happen.Since they are the marvel mutants and well I cool with the xmen in their own world away, they will have to be hated and such. So im sure that will be the gist of Inhumans movie. I think in the mean time when these people disapper for bit, can they introduce the HOOD?? we have daredevil. Hood has his own bad guy gang and lets face the Avengers arent stooping to level in the movies, let shield team of skyquake attack them and frightful four?? I mean smartly they introduce Creel. Just plug him in somwhere.