There be spoilers here.
Welcome back, UK Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. fans. After a three month absence, Coulson and co are back on our screens. As ever, I will endeavour to give you the show analysis that matters the key insights and critiques that can be derived from those tense forty-three minutes of television…
Ha, just kidding. No, what I’ll really be doing is talking about the five things I loved and hated in this episode. So what did I make of season two episode “Aftershocks”?
LOVED: The change
The episode opened with some teenager teleporting around a room, against his will. After seeing this poor kid’s torment and agony at what was happening to him, I began to feel sympathy towards him. The realisation then, that there was some kind of group that is out there, helping people that have come into contact with the Obelisk, who help shepherd people through a “change”.
HATED: Remembering that Trip is dead
I know it was a low point for me during the last episode aired in the UK, but being reminded again that Trip is dead was just… The flashbacks to that moment, from Skye’s point of view, it’s like all her confidence is gone. The price that has been paid is too high and no one quite realises the whole of what has been lost. And then when we saw his “remains” being wheeled away in a wheelbarrow at the site of the alien structure, and what remained of his face sitting on top – just no. I do not need to feel those feels right now.
While I obviously didn’t think everyone understood what they had lost, I loved Coulson’s impassioned rant to Skye. It was good to see him there, fire in his belly, determined to take action and make Hydra pay. I expect to see Coulson punch someone over the next few episodes and enjoy punching them, he seemed that ready to get hands on.
HATED: Hydra announces open season
Of course Hydra is going to go after the remnants of S.H.I.E.L.D. yet again, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. It was kind of silly how they were all like let’s take down S.H.I.E.L.D. and let’s ignore the discoveries that Whitehall had made. It did seem incredibly short sighted of the organisation, but then they were proven to be incredibly short sighted so…
LOVED: Cheesy lines while tricking Hydra
The dramatic Bakshi pick up was a highlight. Once I realised just how over the top everything was going, I realised something was up, but what made it all the better was Coulson’s final lines before being “shot”. That was then topped by Coulson telling Agent May that if they’d relied on her to write the script for “attack”, no one would have said anything.
Okay, I’m sad that Trip is dead, but I don’t blame any of the team members. Meanwhile, we have them all at each other’s throats, arguing over why it went down like it did and dishing out blame and being all generally despicable. But I especially didn’t like where this evolved with Simmons’ line of thinking, where she eventually went off on on one about powers and how they just couldn’t let people walk around with them and that S.H.I.E.L.D., she, needed to do something about them. Considering the changes we find out about Skye, it was like hearing someone advocate a form of genocide.
LOVED: The Doctor’s response to Skye’s news
I don’t know how many people like The Doctor as a character, but I like his manic ways. So when The Doctor finally learns of Skye’s news from Raina, his response was just perfect. He still wanted the family thing to happen, hoped to show her the light and so on and so on. But considering what Simmons was saying earlier, The Doctor’s knowledge of what organisations like S.H.I.E.L.D. can be like to those with powers was interesting – he knows they can often find it difficult to see the person really there.
I get that Raina had to be transformed as well, but having the whole monstrous evil thing happen to her seems so cliché. I’m not saying that I wanted to continue seeing a beautiful female character and that was all I enjoyed Raina for. No. My issue is that it’s been overdone over the years where a similar process has affected someone who comes down on one side of a story’s notion of good and someone else on the side of bad, and the bad guy (or woman in this case) becomes a grotesque.
After Simmons outburst earlier in the episode, I was so glad that Fitz felt sympathetic towards Skye and the fact that she had been affected by the Obelisk. In a way, considering how little control he’s had during much of the season, it was nice to seem him being able to decide and take a positive action of his own volition. To see their bond go that far was just really, really nice.
HATED: People deciding powers are bad
When Simmons let her “theories” be known to Coulson and co, and the recommendation she made for dealing with Raina… I didn’t like how no one called Simmons out on what she was saying. And it’s obvious that a new “us vs them” plot is being cooked up. And while I am all for dramatic tension, I think I would have rather a plot where people were jealous of people with powers.
That’s it for now. I hope you’ve enjoyed the return of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as much as I have. If you have any thoughts on episode 11 or the show as a whole, let me know in the comments below.