By Felicia Kudronowicz
After a two-month hiatus, it’s time to welcome back Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD with episode 2.11. The episode is appropriately titled “Aftershocks,” and sees the team dealing with the aftermath of the last episode. (As a recap, Triplett and Whitehall are dead, while Skye and Raina were infected by alien gas before the underground temple exploded.)
The episode opens with a flashback to 1983 and a teenaged boy in a chamber who keeps disappearing and reappearing. Oh and he doesn’t have eyes. Two people walk into the room and talk about how this boy, Gordon, is going through changes. The woman (Skye’s mother!) reassures that she is there to help him through the transformation.
Next up, we finally get to check back in with our team. Even though it’s been months for us, it doesn’t seem like much time has passed for the SHIELD team. Skye is in quarantine and everyone is dealing with the loss of Trip. Simmons is down in the temple cleaning it out, when she discovers that Raina is still down there but has transformed and is now completely covered in a green thorny skin. Simmons makes a comment that Raina’s DNA has completely changed, which it pretty terrifying. Simmons tries to take Raina down and even though she’s a pretty good shot, Raina manages to get away.
We also find out that HYDRA is having a little competition regarding who should now take Whitehall’s place. They decide to give the position to whoever is able to defeat SHIELD.
SHIELD has a meeting once the whole team is back together and it only ends in an argument about who was at fault for Triplett’s death. Here we get our first sign of Skye being a little … off. The more rattled she gets, the more her surroundings do too, with a soda can appearing to judder across the lab table, unseen by the others as they trade loud and angry accusations. She is completely freaked out when she realizes she is somehow making that happen.
The team still has a HYDRA hostage and they agree to make a trade, but on the way, they are ambushed by a semi and gunmen that shoot down May and Coulson. I’ll admit to some panic at seeing some rather realistic blood spewing from Clouson’s back (Hey, it’s not the first time Coulson’s been killed!).Thankfully though, it’s all act to trick HYDRA, and we watch as the HYDRA agents then turn on each other in an attempt to claim victory for taking down SHIELD. Finally Coulson and the team have had a successful mission.
Then we finally meet up with Skye’s dad. Raina has tracked him down, confused about what has happened to her. Calvin doesn’t care though; all he cares about is Skye whom he believes is going through a similar but better transformation. He tells Raina there is no going back and she has to deal with it.
Meanwhile back at the lab, Fitz has figured something out about Skye. He knows the story doesn’t quite add up. Skye was in the center of the explosion and yet she wasn’t harmed. As Fitz is talking, Skye gets anxious and a light blows, revealing that she has in fact changed and that she was actually the cause of the explosion. The test results confirm that Skye’s DNA has completely changed from her initial blood sample. Fitz, however, decides to cover up this fact from the rest of the team and he fudges the results. It was very sweet of Fitz to do that, but it’s clear that Skye’s condition is unpredictable, uncontrollable and dangerous.
In the very final scene, we see Raina surrounded by SHIELD agents as they attempt to take her in, but Gordon (the no-eyed guy from the opening) comes to rescue her telling her in turn that he will help her adapt to her new self.
Overall this was an amazing episode coming back from such a huge break. It has answered so many questions and raises expectation for the second half of this season. I am really curious about Skye’s condition and even more curious about this no-eyed guy. It seems like there is some organization in place for people affected by this transformation and I definitely want to learn more about that, as well as how people get different powers from the same source.
SHIELD is definitely finding its footing this season. Each episode feels like pieces of one puzzle, instead of disconnected fragments. I also want to mention the highlight of this episode which was the Fitz and Skye moment as he says “You’re just different now and there’s nothing wrong with that.”
Such a sweetheart, that Fitz. I can’t wait for next week’s episode where we see more of Skye’s destructive powers.
Also, where the heck is Ward?