Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. Review: “Aftershocks” (Season 2, Episode 11)


Fear not, though, as there was humor in the episode, too. This season’s been really great about exploiting the chemistry of Clark Gregg and Ming-Na Wen, as we’re treated to the S.H.I.E.L.D. dinner theater production of “Bakshi’s Escape.” We’ll let it slide that Bakshi didn’t pick up on the obviousness of the idea that Coulson and May were putting on a show, especially when we see Coulson go all James Cagney and yelling at the fake HYDRA mercs that, “You’ll never take us alive!” May was amused by Coulson’s improv, but the director gets her back by saying that if May wrote the script, “No one would say anything.” You’ve got to love how these characters know each other.

On another subject, is HYDRA gone now? Coulson launched a bold gambit to capitalize on the sudden demise of Whitehall, because like the mythical beast of many heads, HYDRA’s whole catchphrase is that if you “cut off one head and two more shall take its place.” Coulson’s solution? Cut off all the heads. The result of the day’s endeavors was the death of almost everyone else that ran HYDRA with the exception of the often-mentioned Baron von Strucker, who, as you may know, will appear in Avengers: Age of Ultron.

Presumably, Strucker can pull strings from aboard, but even without a head (or heads), HYDRA has still got to be pretty dangerous, considering they’re a loose coalition of crazies with access to advanced technology and weaponry. But if HYDRA is gone, it seems rather anticlimactic, even if the intent of the show is to wipe the deck clean for a showdown between Coulson and Skye’s father, who gleefully teases the notion of using S.H.I.E.L.D.’s “index” of super-baddies to get revenge on the guy who ruined his revenge against another guy.

Of course, Mr. Hyde (Skye’s father’s comic book code name) will need new associates after he discards Raina, who’s angry that her transformation wasn’t as “divine” or “angelic” as was advertised. It was a bit sad that the typically ambitious Raina had broiled herself down to petty jealousy (Skye stole my powers!), and then decided to throw herself into traffic because she couldn’t deal with being the Inhuman version of the X-Man Spyke. I understand that you didn’t expect to come out of the next phase of evolution looking like cactus plant, but unlike Skye, Raina went into her transformation with eyes open. Working with Mr. Hyde had to have suggested the possibility that being an angel wasn’t necessarily in the cards.

Don’t expect Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. to take a breath now that the cliffhanger’s resolved. With the no-eyed Inhuman (say hello to Luke Mitchell from The Tomorrow People) saving Raina, how long will it be before he tracks down Skye? How long will it before we learn what the scheming of Bobbi and Mack is in aid of and what they want with Fury’s tool box? And how long can Fitz and Skye keep her own Inhumanness from the rest of the team? Those are all some heady questions with heavy implications, but all that may have to wait for next week’s requisite yearly appearance by Lady Sif. Hopefully, Coulson will be in a mood to handle Asgard when next Tuesday rolls around.