Agents of SHIELD Season 2 Episode 11: Aftershocks Review

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And we’re back!

Has it really been four months since Agents of SHIELD went on a temporary hiatus? I guess having Agent Carter around makes the time fly by. *Sigh* I miss her already.

Sorry. Where was I? Oh, yes.

Agents of SHIELD has returned! And we’re picking up pretty much right where we left off. Agent Trip is dead (Is it too much to ask for an inexplicable resurrection?), Skye is in quarantine exhibiting all kinds of freaky telekinetic powers, and Raina looks like a cross between a porcupine and some kind of exotic, tropical fruit. Mack is back to normal, but prone to anger outbursts due to his alien encounter. All around, tensions are high and everyone is upset for one reason or another . This episode feature shouting matches, attempted suicides, and tears galore. How’s that for a rousing return to the world of SHIELD?

Okay, yes, this episode was a bit of a bummer tone-wise, but overall it was a satisfying return for the series. It’s still amazing to think just how far the show has come since its mediocre beginnings. I can’t remember the last time a show pulled such a drastic about face in terms of quality.

Agents of SHIELD Aftershocks 2

Aftershocks spent most of its precious time focusing on the aftermath of last episode’s big events. (Get it? After-math? After-schocks? Please tell me you get it) It was a bit slower paced, but we still got to see some really cool stuff. First and foremost, we’re getting our first glimpse at the Inhumans. In addition to the strange developments with Skye and Raina, we got a cool flashback featuring Skye’s mother comforting a young teleporter with no eyes. No eyes?? What kind of nightmare-inducing nonsense is this?? I’ll take it!! That same teleporter makes a big save near the end of the episode that has me pumped for whatever the rest of the season may hold. It all culminates in a mysterious ending that suggests a mutiny against Coulson may be afoot.

Even though this episode felt more plot-driven, we still got a few great  character moments. Fitz continues to struggle through his disability, but he had some major breakthroughs this episode which hint that our boy may finally be getting totally back on track. His moment with Skye near the end of the episode was really touching and his willingness to protect her, consequences be damned, makes me love him all the more. There’s also a brief but moving scene involving Coulson delivering the news of Agent Trip’s death to his (Trip’s) mother.

As an added bonus, we got that wonderful “They’ll never take us alive!” moment from Coulson. Gotta love Clark Gregg.

There were some weaknesses here and there – shoddy writing and performances, especially from Kyle MacLachlan whose performance continues to be baffling in its awfulness. Seriously, I know he’s being set up as the ‘Big Baddie,’ but is there any way we can kill him off sooner rather than later? It’s like he’s off acting in his own movie and it’s completely out of key with everything around him.

Weaker performances and awkward dialogue notwithstanding, Agents of SHIELD is back in full force and things are looking bright for the second half of Season 2. With Daredevil joining the fray in April and Avengers: Age of Ultron due to shake things up in May, it’ll be very interesting to see how all these different things affect one another and, in turn, what part SHIELD has to play in the grander picture of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

About Author

One of Shawn Eastridge's earliest memories is sneaking out of bed during naptime at the age of 4 to watch Superman II for the first time. Between that and repeat viewings of Back to the Future and Return of the Jedi, his life has been a downward spiral ever since. Shawn loves all things movies, music, books, video games, and TV and he will find any and every excuse to discuss all of these things as often as possible. He's been writing film reviews for the past seven years and has a Bachelor's Degree in Cinema/Television. He hopes to one day get paid to discuss all the things that make him geek out on a regular basis. He is currently the full-time Social Media specialist for a trade association. His all-time favorite TV shows are Freaks & Geeks, Arrested Development, Breaking Bad, The X-Files, Doctor Who, The Simpsons, Undeclared, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Spaced, and Avatar: The Last Airbender.

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