Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD Recap – “Afterlife”


Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD really hopes you like Inhumans with your Inhumans, and SHIELD with your SHIELD because they put Inhumans in your SHIELD while your Agents of SHIELD SHIELDs with SHIELD.

Moving on…

Not-So-Short Summary: Let’s follow Coulson first. He attempts to buy a new car with a pained expression that epitomizes every car-shopping experience for every person ever. Instead of buying the Apu Firebird the salesman points out, Hunter steals the dude’s car and bickers like an old married couple with Coulson along the way. The Hunter sass is great in this episode. They take off to Banner’s cabin to discover what happened to Skye, and Hunter wonders what happened in the lowly seven days he was gone.

When Hunter wakes up the next morning, the sound of a quinjet meets his ears. Other!SHIELD has arrived because Coulson invited them. They have an hour before Other!SHIELD breaks through the front door with their battering ram. Their coup of holograms playing cards while they actually sneak up from behind to knock out the agents had me going for a second, especially since Coulson kept mentioning “backup” was on the way and I kept waiting for arrows to shoot through the windows because Hawkeye.

Coulson and Hunter steal the technical gear of the Other!SHIELD agents in an attempt to blend in. It doesn’t work, but as they board the quinjet as prisoners, “backup” arrives in the form of Deathlok. I had no idea we were seeing Mike Peterson again, and while it wasn’t Hawkeye, I was still pleased with this. Mostly because his upgrades are pretty sweet.

After they take off, Deathlok puts them on autopilot and asks where to. Coulson has to make a decision on where to go next and gives Hunter the bad (and only) option: Grant Ward.


Skye’s at Inhuman HQ, known as Lai Shi, or Afterlife, and she’s been there two days. We are introduced to Lincoln McHandsome (not sure how legitimate that last name is), her transitioner, who explains about the Terrigen Mist and her transformation. Basically, 1000 years of evolution took place inside Skye in an instant, and they are giving her treatments to help her body adjust to its radical change. Skye is eager to leave to get a message to her friends, but Lincoln reminds her that she’s being hunted.

Lincoln also calls Afterlife a “Way Station,” and I don’t think they’re about to run into Roland Deschain, as cool as that would be. Skye asks why everyone is staring at her, and Lincoln explains most people who are in Afterlife are waiting to be selected for the Terrigen Mist. Their transformations will happen, but they have to be chosen and basically bred, and Skye jumped the line and went through Terrigenesis in the most old school way.

The following morning, Lincoln takes her to the best view in the neighborhood to clear her mind and talk about her powers. He offers his hand and shows his powers: he can manipulate the static electricity in his cells. He even floats Skye in the air a couple feet and tells her not to walk away from her powers.

And then Gordon shows up and also skirts Skye’s question about Raina and Cal, though we then get Cal, bloody knuckles and destroyed room. It’s the most unhinged Cal we’ve ever seen, and the most badass Gordon as well. Gordon reminds Cal that he sealed his fate and his daughter’s as well. That doesn’t sound good.

Of course, Lincoln slips up about Raina and Skye discovers her immediately and the emotional showdown that results gave me goosebumps. Skye blames all her recent troubles on Raina and continually calls her a monster for murdering so many people. We see Raina begging for death (nothing new) and Skye ready and willing to give it to her, shaking Raina’s body from the inside out…until her mother shows up and tells her to stop.

Except she doesn’t know it’s her mother. Jiaying arrives to say she has chosen to be Skye’s guide, only asking for a few days to train her before giving Skye the chance to leave.

That’s when she goes to visit Cal in his prison and confirms it is, in fact, their daughter, and brings out a sweet tender side of Cal we really haven’t seen yet. He’s so close to reuniting his family, though now I wonder if there’s some Wolverine in Jiaying’s blood since Whitehall gutted her and left her mangled remains out in the wilderness.


Fake!SHIELD is really, really serious about breaking into Fury’s Toolbox to see what secrets are in there. Gonzales and Bobbi try to recruit Fitz to do it, but he says he’d prefer to pack his bags. Even Simmons believes in him, which is nice to see them getting along (and it only gets better).

Gonzales is also attempting to interrogate May, and she answers nothing and tells them they waste their time on a stupid, pointless witch hunt. That’s when Gonzales throws down the Bahrain folder, where she became the Cavalry. I know this is a show “about superheroes,” but there’s a lot of anger and resentment towards Specials. He assures May that he just wants to stop Coulson and Skye before something drastic happens, and May says they don’t need to search for Coulson; he’ll find them when he wants to.

It ends with Gonzales giving May a loaded gun and telling her if she believes he’s a traitor to shoot him then and there and get it over with. If she doesn’t shoot him, she can have a seat on his board because Coulson will need a strong advocate when they bring him in.

Somehow, Bobbi manages to get Simmons to work on Fury’s Toolbox behind Fitz’s back (Mack blows that one), so before he leaves, Fitz runs in to challenge her head-on. Simmons mentions she wants things to go back to normal and Fitz says that because of the box, because of the fear it instills, nothing will go back to normal. He calls her out on wanting him to leave, so he does.

Post-Credits Stinger: Simmons can’t open up Fury’s Toolbox, tells Bobbi so, and we flash over to Fitz headed to the airport…with Fury’s Toolbox, courtesy of Simmons. Plus his favorite sandwich. Are we getting FitzSimmons back?! I think we’re getting FitzSimmons back!

Badass Moment of the Week: The fight scene between Cal and Gordon because I was fooled and thought Cal would actually be able to land a punch when he had Gordon pinned to the floor.

Best One-Liner: “At some point, you might have mentioned that ‘backup’ was a lethal cyborg,” Hunter mutters.
“Truthfully, I just wanted to see the look on your face when he showed up. …Priceless,” Coulson answers.

I had lots of notes at the bottom here from watching the episode last night asking what FitzSimmons were up to. Simmons made a good jab at Bobbi at the start, but then sided easily with her later and it didn’t add up until that post-credits stinger. It’s nice to see her and Fitz working as a team again, even if it’s not in the same regard.

I have to believe Fitz will meet up with Coulson and Hunter by the next episode and not be so happy with Grant Ward’s presence, but maybe it will help Fitz work out some lingering issues/questions.

Lance Hunter is my new favorite character. I couldn’t write down all of his hilarious jabs and comments, except for calling Gonzales the “Love Boat” captain and also referencing Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, which had me squealing like crazy. Please make him a regular character, Agents of SHIELD. He brings the perfect humor to the show.

Jiaying… I wish I could show you guys my face when she walked into the room. I’m not too surprised that she’s alive after all this time, even after all that Whitehall did, but that begs the question of whether Cal knew and when he found out.

Anyone else have a feeling if May sides with Other!SHIELD, as soon as Coulson’s back, she’s taking out every agent in the room with her? We may not have to wait that long to see that either. Next week’s episode, aptly titled “Cavalry,” will give us the backstory of just why Melinda May came to have that awesome nickname, and I doubt it has anything to do with Mulan.

I know this week’s Agents of SHIELD lacked a lot of badassery and focused more on storylines, but I don’t think next week’s episode will give us any time to breathe. Enjoy the calm before the storm.

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