The back half of Season Two kicked off with just as many twists and turns as the half-season before it. Seriously, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. doesn’t know how to slow down. And while the action barrels onward, the show also takes the time to say goodbye to Tripp as the episode ends with the gang hanging out, drinking, and sharing their favorite Tripp stories (#RIPTripp). You know. The stuff they never bothered to show us before they killed him off. Anyway, that nitpick aside, “Aftershocks” is an extremely solid way to kick off this run of episodes, as Coulson (Clark Gregg) comes up with a plan to hit HYDRA — including newly-introduced HYDRA leader, Det. Sgt. Rick Hunter, er, I mean Octavian Bloom (Fred Dryer) — where they live. It’s kind of a weak-ass plan, and succeeds mainly because it seems Bakshi (Simon Kassianides) is an idiot, but it does allow for a hilarious moment or two as Agent May (Ming-Na Wen) is gunned down and Coulson lets loose with a “Noooooo!” that had me laughing out loud. What? Agent May is gunned down? No worries. Like I said, Bakshi is pretty much an idiot and both May’s death and his own escape are just a plot to turn the heads of HYDRA against one another. If I have any complaint, it’s that Coulson’s plan works a little too well. The mysterious HYDRA leaders introduced in menacingly cliché fashion are disposed of so quickly, that we don’t get to know any of them by names other than The Baroness, The Banker, and The Sheikh. It’s not a bad thing; it’s just very quick. And with that, HYDRA seems to be no more. Except for good old Baron Strucker over in Europe. I wonder where we’ll be seeing him pop up later? With that loose end tied up, the rest of the episode splits its time between a transformed Raina (Ruth Negga) on the run after killing and maiming a bunch of SHIELD agents in the sunken city. As predicted, you can kiss those Tigra rumors goodbye. She’s covered in razor-sharp quills and in constant pain so bad that she’s ready to kill herself before she’s discovered and teleported away by the Inhuman with no eyes, Gordon (Jamie Harris). In a flashback to his transformation, we see that Skye/Daisy’s mom (Dichen Lachman) had been easing teens through their disturbing and frightening transformations for decades. It’s a nice touch and a great way to bring Lachman back for a possible continuing recurring role. The timing of all this is interesting, seeing as how the Inhumans movie isn’t on the schedule for at least four more years. That’s a long game Marvel Studios is playing and indicative of where their head’s at when it comes to building up the Marvel Cinematic Universe. They’re not content to just cram as many new characters and concepts into the films without laying the groundwork first, either with casual references (Doctor Strange for example) or by giving characters their own TV series (the Netflix slate) before teaming them up and possibly introducing them to the wider range of properties. By bringing the Inhumans out into the open this early, it seems that Marvel wants to start priming the pump and introduce its own brand of tortured, mutated heroes and villains (since Fox has the rights to all their actual mutants). Can anybody else smell a Terrigen Bomb on the way at some point? As this was all going on, Cal (Kyle MacLachlan) casually mentions his plan to round up a bunch of supervillains with whom he plans to take down S.H.I.E.L.D. Wha??? Looks like we’re going to have our first real super villain team introduced the MCU! I wonder what sort of repercussions this will have on other franchises? Meanwhile back at SHIELD HQ, Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) has taken Tripp’s loss pretty hard, turning her into a cold-blooded anti-powers advocate, seeing the Inhuman transformations as a disease or affliction that should be cured — by any means necessary. While it’s nice to see her start to develop some backbone, it’s still disturbing. To watch a character who was all sweetness and light suddenly start advocating murder was shocking. I’m not sure if it plays naturally, but I can see how the writers and Henstridge can justify the development. Plus it allows our sweet boy Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) to show some compassion when he discovers that quarantined Skye/Daisy (Chloe Bennet) has changed into the earthquake-causing Inhuman, Quake. Of course, their plan to keep her secret safe doesn’t seem set to last much longer than the new HYDRA leadership, if the previews for next week are to be believed. But that’s cool. I kind of like the high-speed plotting that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has embraced. There’s no decompressed storytelling going on here, that’s for sure. And it makes me wonder just how long it’s going to take to find out what Bobbi (Adrianne Palicki) and Mac (Henry Simmons) are up to. There’s not a lot of good you can do with Fury’s toolbox, and now that they know where it is, we should be getting some revelations soon. And I’ll bet we’ll get them thanks to Hunter (Nick Blood) not buying Bobbi’s counseling group story. That went over a little too smoothly for my liking. Agents of SHIELD 2.11 "Aftershocks"Paul's Rating4.0Overall ScoreReader Rating: (0 Votes)Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.