Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD Character Review: The Inhumans


Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD’s second season can almost be thought of as two separate seasons. The first half covered the deterioration of Hydra and Coulson’s psyche, ending with a huge bang — or, if you will, shake. The second half covered the discovery of the Inhumans and superpowered people.

Because there’s been so much character development this season (and since we have the time to kill), let’s dive in and take a trip down Agents of SHIELD memory lane, character by character.

Miss a post? Get caught up: Melinda May  |  Grant Ward  |  Fitz  |  Simmons  |  Bobbi Morse  |  Lance Hunter  |  Cal Zabo  |  Alphonso “Mac” MacKenzie

It’s tough to do a generic overview of the Inhumans as a whole from this season, and not just because they didn’t arrive on-screen until the second half. Instead, I’ve divided it up among the main Inhumans we’ve seen (though Lincoln gets his own because he’s been bumped up to a series regular). Here we go!


The Positive: For a guy with no eyes, he sure could get around. He had a knack for appearing at the most opportune moments, coming to Skye’s rescue before fake!SHIELD could capture and study her. Plus, he brought pizza straight from Chicago.

His powers impressed us from the start, mostly because he popped up at those opportune moments to save the day (see: Skye, Raina, Cal … ) and showed how powerful he truly can be. As a voice of calm reason at the start of things, we trusted his guidance — especially once Raina came into the picture and stated messing things up.

He was definitely the most interesting Inhuman we encountered this season.

The Negative: When someone guides you through a trying time in your life, more often than not, you trust them. Gordon’s relationship with Jiaying seemed the same … until Raina and SHIELD came into the picture. Then he seemed to morph into a lackey, doing Jiaying’s bidding without question.

I mean, he killed a couple of SHIELD agents in a quinjet, then used it to “fire” on his own people. No second-guessing Jiaying, nothing. Plus, when you go up against SHIELD, we’re probably not going to side with you.

He became nothing more than a pawn in a larger game. Honestly, I forgot he was killed until I started writing this.

Where He Started: B+
Where He Ended: B-
Overall Grade: B. With a strong start, Gordon’s character fell flat by the end of the season.


The Positive: So this is Skye’s mother. Personally, I never anticipated her still being alive, so that reveal was one of the better ones of this second season. She began almost as a symbol of perfect: a calming nature, a guiding hand, a support system. She was everything Skye’s mother should be.

Jiaying gave Skye a glimpse of what her life could have been had Daniel Whitehall not interfered. For anyone who has lost a loved one and wanted nothing more than to see them again, this resonates quite well. That is, until her darker nature came out. She proved just how much she would sacrifice to protect her people from having the same thing  happen to them that happened to her.

Honestly, she remained a mystery until the very end, and that was most of the fun with her character.

The Negative: Her evil plan didn’t really make sense, exposing all of SHIELD to the Terrigen crystals. What if some of them are Inhuman and don’t know it? What if no one showed up for the distress signal? What if someone, you know, betrayed her and stopped her? Drawing them in put her people in more danger than she really thought.

When her dark nature came to light (no pun intended), Jiaying felt like a caricature of herself, much like Gordon. It wasn’t a crazed flipped switch like with Cal nor over-the-top enjoyable like Garrett in Agents of SHIELD Season 1, and it didn’t quite add up. And then she was suddenly cool with murdering her own daughter? It isn’t completely believable.

Where She Started: B+
Where She Ended: B-
Overall Grade: B. A mystery from start to finish, but still with some characterization issues that left some lingering desires.


The Positive: Any time she appeared onscreen, I became irrationally angry, which means Ruth Negga did a fantastic job playing the character. Raina fell into the same category as Grant Ward — a wild card with her own agenda, showing no allegiance and generally messing with everyone.

She had a way to infect an entire scene and turn everything on its head. When she showed up in Afterlife and started pulling strings with her visions, we had no idea whether to trust her or not. Same went for the first half of the season when SHIELD kept an eye on her/had her in custody. That mysterious nature worked so well for her character. You loved to hate her.

And changing her appearance just made her a cold-blooded killer, until she discovered her true powers.

The Negative: While the writers did a decent job at keeping her visions very minimal, it still felt like an easy cop-out for several different situations. Oddly convenient, really. As soon as she started having her visions, she became less and less of what she once was, the peace her character found seeming too easy and just not meshing in the right way. She was too complacent too fast, accepting her changes as if she hadn’t been about to kill herself a few episodes prior.

Where She Started: B
Where She Ended: B
Overall Grade: B. Yet another wild card character. Adding in the visions both added and detracted from the Raina we had come to know.

Overall Inhumans Grade: B. A solid glimpse at what may easily be the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe; the future is blown wide open with those Terrigen-infused fish oil pills. It will be interesting to see how Agents of SHIELD handles that plot twist.

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