Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. Review: “Melinda” (Season 2, Episode 17)

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In the mountain hideaway of the Inhumans, Skye learns the other side of the story of “The Cavalry,” the one about how Eva was a candidate for the Terrigen Mist and stole some crystals to expose her daughter and bypass all the Inhumans’ silly rules about preparing candidates in body and mind to receive abilities. Eva’s daughter, like Syke, was an aberration, exposed to the Mist and granted powers without prior preparation, thus resulting in an affair that drew way too much of the wrong attention. Why did Jiaying tell Skye that story? Because she doesn’t want people to think that history is repeating itself.

Yes, Jiaying told Skye “I am you mother,” and it was nice that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. decided to not make a huge production of will she or won’t she reveal that connection. What’s opened up now is the implication that there’s some complex behind the scenes drama amongst the Inhumans, that Jiaying, as their leader, may be seen as having her daughter jump the line and giving her powers on the down low. That’s probably not going to end well, but let’s face it, the pleasant life of quietness in Inhuman-town is doomed since it’s always sunny, idyllic and with just enough wind to make your hair look awesome as you cause an avalanche.

Another thing that seems inevitable is a clash between Raina and Skye, since the former is so heavily embittered against the latter for not only getting an awesome power, but for not looking like a human cactus as a result of it. Gordon and Lincoln are doing their best to make Raina come to terms with her new normal, but she’s too frustrated by having weird dreams on the rare occasions she can actually fall asleep. And if you didn’t guess that the “dream” Raina had about Skye and her father Cal having a nice dinner together wasn’t going to turn out to be a vision of the future, then the writers of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. have got you right where they want you.

Hopefully, this will lead to something more interesting for Raina other than the inevitable cat fight between her and Skye that the show seems to be teasing. Raina post-transformation has been remarkably dull as compared to her pre-cactus self, which has so far been really the sole disappointing development to come with the introduction of the Inhumans. Now the question is what will Lincoln do now that he knows that Raina can see the future?

Overall, the show took a welcome break this week from the S.H.I.E.L.D. vs S.H.I.E.L.D. arc to tell more personal stories that helped highlight the season’s ongoing themes of trust and power. It leaves open a compelling question about how well the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will take the existence of the Inhumans when there’s already been one very memorable, and very horrific clash between the two. And as we get closer to the release of Avengers: Age of Ultron, there’s also the question of what the potentially cataclysmic events of that film will have on the small screen adventures of Coulson and Co.**

**Incidentally, though it was nice that the six main Avengers actors reacted with enthusiasm to Clark Gregg’s offer of TV work on last night’s Kimmel, I wouldn’t hold my breath for an appearance of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes anytime soon.

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