Official synopsis for Bouncing Back:
“No longer able to keep powered people out of the public eye, Daisy and Mack press forward to find more Inhumans, building a team of secret warriors whose mission is to train and protect powered people. However, the growing presence of Inhumans proves to be a polarizing issue, and the S.H.I.E.L.D. team must face conflicting public opinions and defend their team from groups who have a more extreme ideology.
The divide between those who want to protect Inhumans and those who seek to destroy them is constantly widening, and Hydra, now strengthened by Grant Ward, looms once again. However, Ward is no longer the same villainous traitor that they once knew, and the team faces an all-new enemy, whose motivations, goals and strengths are unclear. Uncertain about who (or what) they are facing, the stakes for S.H.I.E.L.D. and their assembled group of Secret Warriors are higher than ever, bringing some members of the team closer together and driving others apart. Will S.H.I.E.L.D. be able to stop one of the most powerful Inhumans to walk the Earth?”
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returned last night and asked a lot of questions that will need answering in the back half of the season. What’s going on in the random ‘3 months ahead’ flash-forward? Are they teasing the possibility of another dead agent this season? Whoever’s blood that was, I hope it’s not the newcomer to the series, Yo-Yo (Natalia Cordova-Buckley), because her appearance last night was one of the coolest to date.
There were notable moments from the series’ return last night, but nothing to get too excited about… yet. Bouncing Back felt a lot like set-up, which will hopefully pay off in the last half of the season. Having said that, for me, the return of the show was disappointing. The only real highlights were Brett Dalton returning as Hydra’s terrifying new villain, Hive, and the introduction of Elena ‘Yo-Yo’ Rodriguez to the show. We know from interviews that she’s the Secret Warriors comic character Slingshot but, as with Quake, we’re still waiting for this name to be acknowledged in canon.
Yo-Yo Rodriguez is a badass, and that’s due in no small part to the work of the visual effects team this week. The SHIELD team is sent to Columbia to investigate someone they suspect is Inhuman stealing weapons from the police. It emerges that the police are corrupt and the Inhuman, Yo-Yo, is simply trying get rid of the weapons. We meet another Inhuman who can freeze people with a look, taking Bobbi and Hunter down during the mission, in another cool visual. The overall mission was unfortunately a snooze fest, but we got a couple of cool Inhumans out of it.
Yo-Yo is somewhat limited as she can only be a speedster during each heartbeat, but she’s a vital part of the team before leaving at the end of the episode. Since her comic equivalent is an integral part of the Secret Warriors, I’m crossing my fingers that she’ll be back. It seems that she’s also going to play the part of Mack’s love interest, which should be interesting given his suspicion of all things Inhuman. It looks like we’ll have to wait for that to pay off though.
Speaking of pay-off, we’re still waiting on some for Fitz and Simmons. After three seasons they finally kissed, but after everything they’ve been through, they decided to start over last night. Does this mean we have to wait three more seasons to see the two kiss again? One of the only storylines on the show that I find truly satisfying is that of Fitz and Simmons, so I’m praying that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. doesn’t ruin it for us.
I didn’t find the subplot of Fitz feeling guilty for Will’s death at all believable. It doesn’t make any sense to me for Fitz to feel guilty, since he find out that Will was dead long before Hive took control of him. Fitz essentially killed nothing more than a vessel for the ancient Inhuman. Am I missing something?
After the hiatus announcement that a Marvel’s Most Wanted pilot with Bobbi and Hunter is going ahead, I can’t help but speculate how they’re going to leave the show. I suppose there is a possibility that they’ll be doing double duty and appearing on both shows. For now, however, as Mack says, Bobbi and Hunter deserve each other.
During Bouncing Back a brooding Director Coulson continues his usual antics, still mourning the death of Rosalind Price. Did he think murdering Grant Ward would somehow give him closure? It didn’t, and the world moves on, with a new head of the ATCU being picked by President Ellis. Guess who? General Talbot. Talbot returning to the show should be hilarious since he’s long been on the anti-Coulson train and, by extension, suspicious of SHIELD.
One of the biggest surprises of the episode was seeing Werner von Strucker again. Despite being in some sort of vegetative state, Coulson elects to put him through the tortuous memory machine of season two. Strucker provides enough information to Coulson to lead to an eerie phone call later in the episode with Malick. It’s clearly not going to be an easy undertaking for Coulson to find Gideon. When he does though, Coulson’s going to end up face to face with his demons and I hope that one of them will be Hive.
The midseason finale left me wondering what Hive can actually do, and what that might mean for the agents. We only got a glimpse of Hive’s powers at the end of last night’s episode, but it was enough to get me speculating. I also want to applaud the man who portrays the Hydra villain, Brett Dalton. When I first saw Hive in that isolated room, I felt nothing but the anxiety coming from Malick. Once I saw the dead glare coming from Hive’s eyes, it truly gave me chills, and that’s thanks to the portrayal of this new character. Finally we seem to have a formidable villain that’s not only terrifying, but also mysterious, as we have no idea whether the show’s direction with Hive will resemble that from the comics. Either way, I’m looking forward to seeing Dalton’s continued stellar performance as Hive.
So why was I disappointed and how can the show get better? By stopping the continuous tease of the Secret Warriors and actually giving us the real deal. It’s fun to see Daisy with Joey during the field mission this week, allied with people who have similar strength to her, and seeing Daisy fight alongside Yo-Yo is thrilling. Let’s have more of that!
Overall, Bouncing Back was a mediocre return for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. My most memorable moment was seeing Hive for the first time, and one can only imagine what it’ll look like once its regained its strength. I’m also relieved to see that there is finally major set up for a Malick and Coulson showdown.
Did you enjoy the return of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. last night? Comment below and send us your theories for the back half of Season 3.