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Recap and Review of Agents of SHIELD Episode 216: Afterlife

After last week’s episode, in the war between the two SHIELDs, what happens in Agents of SHIELD Episode 216: Afterlife? What is going to happen to Skye now that she has been teleported away by Gordon? Spoilers follow.

[divider]Recap of Agents of SHIELD Episode 216: Afterlife[/divider]
Coulson and Hunter know that they need to get to Skye, and after some witty banter with a used car salesman, they ultimately just shoot him with a tranquilizer and head to Skye’s cabin.  They quickly learn that Skye isn’t there because Gordon teleported her away. Coulson intentionally triggers an alarm to get the other SHIELD to come get him.

Ywbth-790x444But before that, the other SHIELD is hard at work trying to open Fury’s Toolbox.  Fitz and Simmons are both recruited but when Fitz learns he is free to go, he heads for the hills. Simmons on the other hand is hard at work trying to open the black Rubik’s cube looking device.

Mac comes back and tries to apologize to Fitz in an effort to recruit him, knowing the science may be what draws him back.  When he shows Fitz the work Simmons has done on the device, Fitz plays along and goes to the lab. While there, he works a little sleight of hand and leaves with the device. It is revealed that Simmons clued him in on what to do, as she has packed him a delightful prosciutto and mozzarella sandwich, along with a note to be safe.  More on this later.

Agent Gonzalez is trying to break May, who is still captured and arguing with Morse, who seems to be thinking that Coulson isn’t the monster that Gonzalez thinks he is. But Morse is also smart enough to know that when Coulson triggered the alarm, it was on purpose and she encourages them to heighten the number of people inbound.

When the first team arrives, Coulson uses a holographic projector, allowing him and Hunter to take down the first wave. When they head towards the Quinjet, which is the whole target of the operation, Coulson says help is on the way.

It seems like they are captured by a 2nd wave and headed for SHIELD prison, when the back-up arrives: Deathlok aka Agent Mike Peterson from season one.  Deathlok takes care of business, clearly being on version 2.0, and he hacks into the Quinjet and they are off. Hunter wants to know where, and Coulson needs to know more about this rogue element of Hydra they never tracked down, plus he needs someone who knows SHIELD as well. So they are going to find Grant Ward!

MING-NA WEN, EDWARD JAMES OLMOSGonzalez and May come head to head and it ends with him giving her a loaded gun and an opportunity to be one of the seats on the board that is running the other SHIELD. He gives an excellent speech about the whole thing needing to be bigger than one man, which when you take a step back and consider it, makes perfect sense. Some of the issues with SHIELD pre-Winter Soldier is that it was too Nick Fury focused. Gonzalez sees the problem with that and wants to make a new way. It seems May is considering it.

Interspersed with all of this is Skye and the Inhumans.  Skye wakes up a couple days after the teleporting. She has had acupuncture done and she meets Lincoln, who will be the one who helps her transition.  During her time in this oddly oriental themed spa, she learns some things:

  1. agents-of-shield-afterlife_article_story_largeMost the people there haven’t had ‘the switch’; they are only being prepared and rarely is anyone chosen to undergo it.
  2. Some group of elders make that decision.
  3. She is a bit Harry Potter at Hogwarts year one, a celebrity.
  4. Lincoln takes her to a majestic hillside and shows her his powers, where he can control energy, even helping Skye levitate with it.
  5. Gordon took her dad and Raina to the same place.

Calvin – Skye’s dad – is locked up, and pissed about it. He has some appropriate to the character rants with Gordon; they get into some fisticuffs but Gordon is pretty good at teleporting to dodge.

Skye never does see Cal, but she does find Raina and they have a conversation. Skye is furious, saying that the two of them are radically different, but Lincoln says that they will nurture any Inhuman, even Raina.  Jaiying busts in, trying to talk to Skye, who clearly has no idea the scarred woman in front of her is her mom!

[divider]Thoughts on Agents of SHIELD Episode 216: Afterlife[/divider]

So, I give this episode a 6.5. I don’t dislike it but it also is one of the episodes that you have to have sometimes, moving around pieces and setting up what is eventually going to come.  That said, it did have some highlights and thoughts:

  • Deathlok! It was awesome to see Agent Mike Peterson back, in charge and upgraded. Coulson is going to need some help and this is great, smart superhero addition to the cast, even if just for a few episodes.
  • Fitz and Simmons. I like when brains outsmarts brawn and these two ran a great scheme. I hate that Fitz seems to be perpetually friendzoned by Simmons. I know all about that. More on that never.
  • The Inhumans that we see are doing an interesting thing in terms of species-ism. To put it simply, they seem to be more Magneto and less Professor X. Sure, Cal is a crazy guy but to lock him up in a box like that? And when Skye points out all the evil that Raina has done, they clearly don’t care, seemingly because Raina is an Inhuman and that is all that matters. (Super crazy long arc: Jaiying is Magneto and Skye is Professor X. Begin your fan-fic now!)
  • Next week’s set-up: It seems we will get some flashbacks about how Agent May became known as the Calvary, Skye will move forward in her training and I hope we see Agent Ward, who I think is at the heart of the show narratively. His redemption and healing is going to be an important piece. And because this is Whedon show, I fully expect him to die immediately afterwards.