Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2 Episode 11 Review: Aftershocks

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The Inhumans are finally here!

The opening scene of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2 Episode 11 is all the proof we needed that the second half of the season is our introduction to this mysterious (and mostly unknown) corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The series has certainly come a long way since the slogan "Not All Heroes Are Super." Okay, so we're probably not going to see Iron Man, Cap or Thor any time soon, but the Inhumans' powers are good enough for me.

It's a shame it took the writing team so damn long to figure out this is the show fans wanted.

It was fantastic seeing Skye's mother again, and learning that for generations she helped young Inhumans after Terragenesis (the change). We realized later on, that Gordon – the man with no eyes on his face – who we first glimpsed in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2 Episode 10 seems to have taken on Jiaying's role. The real giveaway, was the line "It's okay beautiful, I'll show you the way."

Naturally, we cut to Skye and hear Jiaying in voiceover say, "they would be lost." That was a major clue Skye is probably going to struggle with her transformation throughout the rest of this season. However, it's going to be phenomenal meeting all these new Inhumans. The teleporting effect was cool, wasn't it?

Reliving Trip's death and Coulson visiting his mother was heartbreaking. Skye is also going to be dealing with tons of guilt moving forward.

Skye: I keep thinking Trip is going to come see me. Make fun of me for being stuck in quarantine. Call me a goldfish or hamster or something. And every time I wake up, I remember all over again. I just can't believe he's not coming back. He should not have been down there.
Coulson: You both went in for a good reason. To prevent Hydra from starting a cataclysm.
Skye: He was trying to save me.
Couslon: He may have saved all of us. The Obelisk triggered a massive earthquake. Imagine how much worse it could have been if he hadn't destroyed it? He died a hero.

Coulson brought us up to date pretty quickly. Clark Gregg's exposition felt organic and not overdone. Remember how exposition-heavy Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1 was? The writers seem to have found a nice middle ground now.

While Simmons prepared to flood the ancient city's tunnels, Raina caused some trouble. I'm glad we got to see what she became, rather than them keeping her cloaked for a few episodes. Skye thinks she has problems, poor Raina; she wasn't pretty and that's got to hurt. The makeup job was phenomenal though, wasn't it?

Is there a comics version of Raina? A little research turned up Raina of the Saurid race with ties to the X-Men, but no porcupine quills. Guess we'll learn more soon enough.

The Hydra scenes were a little off this week. Much of the acting felt over the top and cartoony, like on Gotham (which I dropped midseason).

Hydra planned to replace Whitehall with whoever does away with S.H.I.E.L.D. I'll be honest, I'm much more interested in the Inhuman angle now. Hydra will still be around, but it doesn't seem they'll be front and center anymore.

Mack seemed overly aggressive in the midseason premiere didn't he? I didn't like that he took it out on Fitz.

Fitz: Well it's not good to keep things to yourself Mack. I know what you're going through.
Mack: Really? You know what it's like to lose control? To be trapped inside your own body unable to tell it what to do? To watch yourself hurt the people that you care about?
Fitz: Yeah.
Mack: I'm sorry buddy.
Fitz: It's okay.

The episode is titled "Aftershocks," which is clearly a reference to Skye, but was Mack experiencing some kind of after effects as well? "He's just coming down from the worst alien acid trip of all time" Hunter said trying to lighten the mood.

Still, Mack blamed Coulson for the team being in that alien city in the first place. He verbalized what most of the team were probably thinking, but ultimately I'm hoping the purpose of that scene was to get Skype riled up so things began to shake. I didn't like this bitchy Mack, did you?

I think Coulson took control of the situation rather well, but has a seed of mistrust been planted?

I'll admit, the Bakshi trade off threw me for a loop. I did wonder why Coulson and May were so obviously discussing plans in front of the Hydra villain. It was all a setup, and a really cool twist. By the way, how kickass was Agent May in that sequence? Wowza!

May: They'll never take us alive; really? A little over the top, don't you think?
Coulson: I only had a day to come up with this whole thing. Besides, if I let you write the script no one would say anything.

I thought that entire scene was fantastic and Coulson's witty line cracked me up. There were several great moments like that this week. Another example is when Cal met with the transformed Raina and told her, "You always did like flowers" when she spoke of her thorns.

Speaking of Cal, he's out for revenge eh? I knew the Director made a big mistake taking out Whitehall. Will Cal catch up with him?

Skye had some touching moments with both Fitz and Simmons this week. Simmons let us know that Raina's DNA had been altered and it's possible this was the start of a plague. Fitz figured out Skye had changed as well, but decided to release herf rom quarantine. Will this choice come back to haunt him? Is it possible she might lose control and hurt someone?

I loved that Fitz informed Skye her heartbeat was almost 300 bpm during the temple collapse and called it "inhuman." That gave me goose bumps.

I'm still not sure what Bobbie and Mack's little secret is. I didn't buy the support group thing for a second, but are they working for Fury or Hydra?

Ultimately, the Hydra leaders we met at the top were assassinated by other Hydra agents. I'm not clear how (or why) all this came about, but Bakshi was spared since Coulson had already promised him to Talbot.

Raina was saved by teleporter Gordon, and I can't wait to learn more about the Inhuman world. Any specific characters you hope to meet? Do you think a member of the Royal Family might make an appearance?

What did you think of the midseason premiere "Aftershocks"? Did Fitz make a huge mistake lying about Skye? Excited to meet more Inhumans? What's in Fury's toolbox? You're up guys, hit the comments below and share your thoughts with me. Look for our Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. round table later this week.

As always, remember you can watch Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. online online via TV Fanatic if you want to re-watch the midseason premiere.

NOTE: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2 Episode 12 is titled "Who You Really Are" and airs on Tuesday, March 10.

Aftershocks Review

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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2 Episode 11 Quotes

Fitz: Well it's not good to keep things to yourself Mack. I know what you're going through.
Mack: Really? You know what it's like to lose control? To be trapped inside your own body unable to tell it what to do? To watch yourself hurt the people that you care about?
Fitz: Yeah.
Mack: I'm sorry buddy.
Fitz: It's okay.

Skye: I keep thinking Trip is going to come see me. Make fun of me for being stuck in quarantine. Call me a goldfish or hamster or something. And every time I wake up, I remember all over again. I just can't believe he's not coming back. He should not have been down there.
Coulson: You both went in for a good reason. To prevent Hydra from starting a cataclysm.
Skye: He was trying to save me.
Couslon: He may have saved all of us. The Obelisk triggered a massive earthquake. Imagine how much worse it could have been if he hadn't destroyed it? He died a hero.