Cast: Clark Gregg, Ming-Na Wen, Chloe Bennet, Elizabeth Henstridge, Nick Blood, Iain De Caestecker, Brett Dalton, Henry Simmons, Adrianne Palicki, Edward James Olmos
Writer: Craig Titley
Director:  Kevin Hooks
Network: Airs on ABC, Tuesdays @ 9 p.m.
Original Telecast: April 8, 2015

Chloe Bennet as Skye, Luke Mitchell as Lincoln and Dichen Lachman as Jiaying in MARVEL'S AGENTS OF SHIELD | © 2015 ABC/Kelsey McNeal

Chloe Bennet as Skye, Luke Mitchell as Lincoln and Dichen Lachman as Jiaying in MARVEL'S AGENTS OF SHIELD | © 2015 ABC/Kelsey McNeal

Things are again heating up on MARVEL’s AGENTS OF SHIELD with the show firmly divided into two plotlines that will no doubt come together in future episodes.

The first plotline in “Afterlife” involves the Shield vs. Shield fight going on with Coulson (Clark Gregg) leading the merry band we have been following for two seasons now and another group claiming to be the “real” Shield headed up by Admiral Adama, er Robert Gonzales (Edward James Olmos). Gonzales’ Shield was formed during the attack from Hydra where a group loyal to the spy agency – including Bobbi (Adrianne Palicki) and Mack (Henry Simmons) – helped defeat Hydra on board an air craft carrier and retook the ship.

Now, Gonzales wants to end Coulson’s Shield because he believes what he is doing undermines everything the agency stands for and because of some of the outlandish things that have transpired while it has been operating. You know, things like following an alien blueprint for an underground maze filled with crazy alien gases, or bringing Skye (Chloe Bennet) back from the dead with alien blood, or allowing the agency to get comprised time and time again by multiple hydra agents and multiple super powered individuals. Gonzales also wants access to a mysterious cube that Nick Fury left Coulson when he anointed him the new director of Shield.

With all of the other members of Coulson’s Shield in custody, Gonzales targets the one man he can’t seem to get – Couslon himself. Well, he also can’t get Skye but that’s another story. Couslon has again teamed up with Hunter (Nick Blood) who feels betrayed by Bobbi and Mack and wants to get them back. Coulson doesn’t trust Gonzales even though he defends him at every turn. Something that becomes even more cloudy when Gonzales gives May (Ming-Na Wen) a loaded gun in a “your with us or shoot me” scenario. He did this to prove his intentions are pure and offers her a spot in the board to make decisions and to give Coulson a voice once they have him arrested.

If we are to believe that Gonzales’ intentions are true, it would seem Shield would have a larger, strong presence once the forces are combined – especially with the re-emergence of Deathlok (J. August Richards) on the scene (who helps Couslon and Hunter escape from other Shield custody). At the end of the episode, we see that Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) worked a way to get the cube that Gonzales is so hot on to be smuggled out with a departing Fitz (Iain De Caestecker), who wants no part in the “real” Shield.

The second plotline involves what’s happening with Skye after she was transported to never-never land by Gordon (Jamie Harris), that has powers eerily similar to Nightcrawler. Apparently, there is an entire legion of people that are in a so-called safe area established by Gordon (and mysterious “elders”) where would-be benefactors of the Terrigen Mists would transform into a super powered person if chosen. Apparently, this is along process that takes years and so and with Skye doing it the “old fashioned way” of going to the caverns of Puerto Rico, she isn’t welcomed with open arms.

She soon discovers not only is Raina (Ruth Negga) in the safe place as well but so is her supposedly dead mother, Jiaying (Dichen Lachman) is there too – although she didn’t reveal herself as of yet. Of course, this is news to us. Last we saw her she was getting chewed up and her body parts integrated into Whitehall (one of the pseudo leaders of Hydra after the fall in CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER). This isn’t a surprise either to Calvin Zabo (Kyle MacLachlan) either after he sees her and it seems business as usual that she’s there and telling him he can’t see his daughter Daisy (Skye’s real name). This is strange given Zabo’s fury over Whitehall for killing his wife (aka Jiaying) was what was driving him in the first place and later his anger over Coulson for killing Whitehall before Zabo could do the deed.

I’m sure everything will be explained at some point. But one thing is for sure, the show is getting good again and hopefully during the final stretch of the season things will get hashed out and maybe, just maybe, they will utter the word Inhuman at some point.

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ArticleTV Review: MARVEL’S AGENTS OF SHIELD – Season 2 – “One of Us”

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