Agents of SHIELD: Bouncing Back

After the big cliffhanger int he Winter finale that Coulson and Fitz had failed to stop the Inhuman monster from returning, and that he now inhabits the body of Grant Ward, we return to our third season, already in progress with…a cliffhanger of things to be. Three months from now…. Well, we know that just under two months from now, on May 6th, Captain America: Civil War will drop. And though the Avengers sequel didn’t have more than a glancing effect on the TV series supposedly happening at the same time in the same universe, the last Captain America movie turned the entire program up on its axis, from which is has thankfully never recovered. This chilling vision of floating blood droplets to be…is this tied to the events of today/ or is it tied to the events of Civil War? Or is it tied to events we can’t know until things have be once again reoriented upon a new axis?

The President: “Fox News won’t shut up!”

 Meanwhile, back in present day, Coulson’s eyes are cold and scary. This goes for whenever we see him, whether it’s meeting with the President of the United States, dragging Fitz off to do terrible things to people in the name of chasing down Gideon Malick or having a drink with May. Coulson is a changed man, clearly., It’s just a matter of time to see if that coldness snaps when he learns the truth is he failed in his mission–either to kill Ward, or stop the Inhuman from returning.

MARVEL'S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. - "Bouncing Back" - In the midseason premiere, "Bouncing Back," in the aftermath of his trip to Maveth, Coulson is more determined than ever to get to Gideon Malick and put an end to Hydra once and for all. Meanwhile, Daisy and the team encounter more Inhumans who have powers like they've never seen before, but will they be friends or enemies of S.H.I.E.L.D.? "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." returns for a game-changing second half of Season Three, TUESDAY, MARCH 8 (9:00-10:00 p.m. EST) on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/Eric McCandless) WILLIAM SADLER, CLARK GREGG

Speaking of that Inhuman. Ward (It’s going to be a while before I can call him “Hive” which is the name of the Inhuman inhabiting Grant’s dead body) doesn’t do much this week, other than sit around and watch the History Channel and catch up on the centuries of human evolution he missed. I will say this though–when you’re scary enough that the bad guy Inhumans are frightened of you? It’s a pretty effective performance.

Bobbi: “Powers are the new normal.”
Mack: “Are you jealous?”
Hunter: “Damn straight I am!”

Since Ward is now Inhuman, and the stage is being set for that aforementioned Civil War movie, it wasn’t a big surprise this week that everything focused on those undergoing terrigenesis. The “monster of the week” character was an Inhuman, finding Malick required a quick boost from another Inhuman (Lincoln.) Even the actual bad guys were assisted by Inhumans. And when there weren’t Inhumans on-screen (or even when there were), the others were talking about it. Bad fish taco jokes and fish oil pill references were everywhere, as those who by this point probably would have turned from sheer exposure to the plot line grapple with the fact that they aren’t going to even be special in that way.

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As for our “monster of the week” she turned out to be no monster, nor just limited to this week. Though it was hard when she first appeared not to make Speedy Gonzales jokes, that quickly dissipated once we got to know a bit about Elena “Yo-Yo” Rodriguez. Actress Natalia Cordova-Buckley is a fine addition to the cast, and brought both heart to the proceedings, as her first act upon being given this “gift from God” was to steal all the guns from the police and throw them in the river, a peaceable activist if there ever was one. Also, she’s having FUN. This is the first time we’ve really seen a newly turned Inhuman enjoy their ability and throw themselves whole heartedly into the action hero they’ve accidentally become with a smile as bright as the sun across their face. No wonder Mack loves her a bit. I did too.

Hunter: Andrew was a lovely headshrinker before he turned into a not so lovely serial killer.

Sadly, she’s not going to be a weekly regular. Perhaps realizing that adding an entire new wing to the cast was not doable on a network budget, “Yo Yo” decides that she wants a 21st century lifestyle to go with her 21st century powers and to be able to work remotely from home. Coulson might not have been able to wrap his head around the concept that fast, but Daisy’s original plotline of being a hacker comes in handy–after all, it’s not like hackers come into the office everyday either. This not only gave the show an excuse to divest themselves of Rodriguez but also third wheel Joey Gutierrez, leaving Daisy and Lincoln alone on base to try to make us believe in their badly acted relationship.

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Speaking of relationships! By the end of the episode we had everyone in one or at least in a friendship version. Mack has his crush on YoYo. Hunter and Bobbi are once again on speaking terms. May and Coulson are drinking together. Lincoln and Daisy are furtively kissing in locker rooms. But in the best relationship on-screen in any Marvel property, Fitz and Simmons decide it’s time to start over. No, they won’t return to 16 and painfully shy. But Fitz has been nothing but amazing this season. (Including “creating” an arm so that Coulson doesn’t have to wear that awful prop anymore.) And Simmons is ready to start this like adults. I look forward to this reboot, and hope it works out this time.

 

May: Maybe you’re not supposed to get over it. Somethings you can’t move past. They scar you. Change you permanently.

It should be noted that this week saw a brand new idea introduced around the Inhuman story. Both Lincoln and Mack are given the opportunity to discuss that perhaps the changes aren’t random. Lincoln brings it up as the teaching from the Inhuman colony, while with Mack it’s more about Christian fate and an act of God, inspired by Yo Yo’s insistence that her powers are a gift from the almighty. Even Coulson by the end is considering that for ever “hero” Inhuman they get on their side, there’s one on the side of Hydra. I’m curious where this line of thinking is aimed to land.

 

 

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