There be spoilers here.
Welcome, UK Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. fans. We’ve had Coulson and co back on our screens for six weeks now. As ever, I am endeavouring 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, as per usual, is talking about the five things I loved and hated in this episode. So what did I make of season two episode “Afterlife”?
LOVED: Coulson having to buy a car that isn’t Lola
The salesman in this opening scene did crack me up a bit, asking whether Coulson needed a ride that would help him unleash his inner tiger. The idea that Coulson hasn’t had a risky car, because unless you know him he just looks like some well-adjusted, middle class, gent who’s got a well kept lawn and a bunch of irons to get back to. When Hunter turns up in the salesman’s 4×4 and the salesman begins to panic, it was just priceless when Coulson said, “Tiger’s been lose for a while.”
HATED: Powered acupuncture
When we were introduced to Lincoln in this episode, as Skye realised she’d dug herself into another hole, her new “transistionary” came off as a bit of a creep to me. It’s just that first scene we see them together, Skye is in a really vulnerable position, having things done to her that she didn’t explicitly give consent to. Accupenture is pretty invasion and Skye wasn’t given the opportunity to say yes or no. Instead, she’s forced into seeing it as something normal by Lincoln, who also goes out of his way to emphasise Skye’s current situation as very black and white: “Remember, you’re being hunted.”
LOVED: Simmons and Fitz being hostile
Giving Gonzales and Bobbi the cold shoulder and being openly pissed at the both of them. We don’t get to see them angry very often and so to see them as being anything that wasn’t meek was great. When Gonzales was all like, “There are no prisoners here,” you could tell that neither Fitz or Simmons believed his bullshit. And so I liked seeing them stand up for themselves and snarl at the face of authority.
HATED: Gonzales and genocide
I will probably continue to bring this up every week until some kind of resolution is found or the genocidal characters are removed from the frame. The way Gonzales is all, “Powers of that magnitude,” and using words like “freak” means that I will never have any sympathy for this character. Through Skye and the Avengers, the audience have grown to accept people with powers and it’s getting kind of uncomfortable to be faced with a character like Gonzales each week.
LOVED: Coulson’s crazy tactics
Yes, let’s go to the last place that the other SHIELD had any real face down with Coulson and Fury’s SHIELD. Yes, let’s go and invite the other SHIELD to come into the cabin. And then go and getting tooled up so that we can go after a Quinjet. Still, what a cabin, though I did have difficulties believing that the thing could have held a Hulk after seeing some of the stuff that happened in Avengers: Age of Ultron.
HATED: Trying to up-sell Afterlife
It’s all pretty and calm and isolated… and Skye feels naked and Lincoln can’t see how the situation isn’t necessarily an improvement for her. The situation Skye has been placed in this season sees her not only having to adjust to having powers, but also mentally adjust to feeling powerful and powerless at the same time. And people envying Skye’s way of coming to her powers was just kind of “Wha?” and also the fact that Skye tried to tell Lincoln that the whole thing was some fudged up Kree weapon and she was just silenced instead.
LOVED: Showing off gifts
Okay, despite how much I have been hating on Lincoln in this episode, I did like the way he want and took Skye to a nice view and then showed off his abilities to manipulate electrical energy. It was kind of cute and made the character a little more likeable. Though I still wouldn’t trust him as far as I could throw him (and not being the Hulk means that I can’t throw him very far).
HATED: It’s only been a week
I did not realise that’s how little time has passed since things went downhill. It felt like everything had been far longer. If they were going to bring up the passage of time like this, they should have done more to emphasise how little time had passed in the previous episodes. Because it feels like more has happened than that amount of time could have allowed for.
Just when it looked like Coulson and Hunter wouldn’t be getting the quinjet, Deathlock a.k.a. Agent Peterson – Mike, turns up and is all like “boom”: there’s your problem solved. Of course what was even better was Hunter asking why Coulson hadn’t told him who back-up was, and Coulson just getting his sass on and saying, “I just wanted to see the look on your face when he showed up.”
HATED: Skye going off on one
I’m not about to start a pro-Raina club, but Skye came off a little like some petulant child in her inability to understand Raina and her own position in relation to everything. Not that I trust everyone at Afterlife, but it seemed a bit much to try and take Raina, not on an emotional level, but on a powers level. Like, Skye hasn’t got control yet, but can instinctively deflect a bullet and set about crushing a person? Bit much.
That’s it for now. I hope you’re enjoying Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as much as I am. If you have any thoughts on episode 16 or the show as a whole, let me know in the comments below.