Episode Title: Afterlife
Original Airdate: 7-4-14
It seems like Marvel’s ‘Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ is hell bent on correcting all the mistakes that they made from Season One. Titled ‘Afterlife’, this episode brings back some familiar faces, has some cool surprises and a lot of back-story about the Inhumans and how powered people before Skye live within this Marvel Cinematic Universe. Edward James Olmos’ Gonzalez also creates some ripples within his new S.H.I.E.L.D. as this episode sets the stage for the finale and we near the end of this season.
While Clark Gregg’s Coulson and Nick Blood’s Hunter are left to their devices as fugitives on the run, they seem to have very good chemistry with some cool witty bantering back and forth. This episode focuses on them trying to capture a S.H.I.E.L.D. Quinjet, to further their plans of retaking the organization back from Gonzalez. J. August Richards returns as Deathlok and provides a great visual contrast of just how far the show has come since Season 1, when we see just how much the terrible depiction of that character has improved in Season 2.
As Chloe Bennett’s Skye awakens in, what I can only describe as an Inhuman safe haven, we’re treated to a lot of back-story about the Inhumans. Apparently, the haven known as Afterlife are where individuals that are the descendants of the original humans that were experimented on by the Kree come while waiting to change or have already changed, much like Lincoln. Lincoln is a new character introduced as another Inhuman after the teleporting Gordon, with his has electric powers and scruffily disarming good looks, he acts as Skye’s guide, (and maybe potential love interest?) as he provides insight into how Gordon and other Inhumans operate. Apparently they have elders that Gordon works for, protecting other Inhumans that have powers. We’re also treated the return of yet another Joss Whedon alum as Dichen Lachman re appears as Skye’s mother.
This episode provides a lot of setting up the stage, but is not nearly as boring as the previous attempts of doing so. Internally, Gonzalez’s character ends up calling a truce with May while getting her to be tentatively on his side as well as Coulson’s at the same time. And, for the first time this season Fitz-Simmons are finally back on the same page as they devise a way to get Fitz away from Gonzalez & crew, and take Nick Fury’s toolbox with him, which is is the whole reason that Gonzalez and his team have taken over. It was cool to see Simmons supporting Fitz for once, given the rest of this season her actions and demeanour have been concerning. So now we’re left with a fractured team, shady character like Gonzalez in charge, with a super powered organization apparently, and a promise of Ward returning as well.
‘Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ has grown to become one of the best shows on television. This is a bigger achievement considering that unlike most successful shows on TV right now, this show is based on a comic book universe, with original characters and stories tying into larger stories unfolding in feature films. Next week’s episode promises to give us the origins of May, and reveal why she’s called Cavalry, in what looks to be flushed check out the trailer below and let us know what you thought about this episode.