The Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. have returned, seeing the Secret Warriors ranks swell while HYDRA and Hive begin their Inhuman collection. Zip over here to read Doug’s review of the episode, and read on as I break down the biggest moments from “Bouncing Back” faster than you can say ‘super spy slap bracelets.’
1) A Sanctioned S.H.I.E.L.D.
After initiating the ATCU in the Season 3 premier, President Ellis (William Sadler) returns to make a somewhat unlikely house call at Rosalind’s (RIP) apartment to discuss business with Coulson. He recognizes the threat of the Inhumans and the positive role S.H.I.E.L.D. plays in containing them, but it’s barely been two years since the madness of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. He therefore decides to keep the agency alive as his black ops arm, while the ATCU and its new head (revealed in the tag to be Brigadier General Talbot [Adrian Pasdar] and his glorious mustache) continue as the public front but answer to Coulson behind-the-scenes.
It’s a smart move and helps to alleviate a lot of the tension that’s occurred post-TWS, allowing the team to cease running from the government and focus on the larger threat while still allowing them to not be referenced in the movies, I mean, operate in the shadows.
While they’re not quite up to the level of power they had a few years ago, they nevertheless will see more resources and cooperation than before letting the conflict shift to Inhumans, HYDRA, and interpersonal dynamics. It also lets the various new members of the Secret Warriors live a semblance of a normal life, once they’ve been properly debriefed and trained by the team.
2) The Secret Warriors Strike Back
One of the highlights of the episode 9 was seeing the Secret Warriors finally come together as Daisy, Mack, Lincoln, and Joey used their various skills to help the team infiltrate the HYDRA castle. This week upped the ante with a fantastic sequence as the Warriors blasted their way in to a Columbian jail to free Bobbi and Hunter, relishing in their abilities and taking the bad guys by storm. It’s always a blast when superheroes are not only in control and competent, but actually have a bit of swagger when using their skills, so it was a ton of fun seeing Daisy’s somewhat befuddled expression as Yo-Yo disarmed each guard they came across before Quake knocked them aside with her tremors.
But let me snap back for a second. Earlier in the episode, we meet our newest Inhuman/Secret Warrior as the team encounters the revolutionary Elena “Yo-Yo” Rodriguez (Natalia Cordova-Buckley). A speedster who rockets back to her starting position after taking off, she rose to prominence during the Jonathan Hickman penned Secret Warriors run that this season draws a lot of inspiration from. For those new to the character, I wrote up a Meet & Greet for her here. The show ages her up a bit and makes her a native Columbian (instead of a young Puerto Rican living in the US like in the comics). This allows her to better connect with Mack (and build some budding chemistry) while also letting the series give us a more international look at what Terrigenesis has wrought. The writers also add the twist of Yo-Yo’s speed only working within the span of one heartbeat which sets a limit on her powers that will help add future tension (though given we don’t quite know how fast she moves, how far she can go in a heartbeat doesn’t tell us much).
We’ve seen speed in the MCU with Quicksilver and every week on The Flash but the crew does a fantastic job of differentiating Yo-Yo’s powers including the amazing and creepy sequence of her zipping around the containment module while also staring down the team. Though she ends the episode heading back to Bogotá, it’s exciting to have another powered agent on the team, especially one who has a handle on her abilities and a strong sense of purpose.
3) Hive Is Alive!
While he’s been teased in photos and trailers, it’s still creepy when we finally get a good look at the new Ward. From the zombie make-up to the hand print around his crushed chest, I had no problem thinking of this as a brand new character and not the Ward we’ve come to know. Both the audience and Malick don’t quite know what his plans are, but seeing him consume raw meat in front of his ever-growing rig of televisions was terrifying enough. He then ends the episode going Mummy on Mr. Giyera (Mark Dacascos) in an attempt to make him and Malick a “believer.”
We should get a better idea of what exactly he’s doing next week, but given the way the show seems to be twisting Hive’s origin (in Hickman’s Secret Warriors he was a Cthulhu-like monster representing the embodiment of HYDRA’s ideals), I have a feeling he’ll be infecting each of the new evil Inhumans and acting as their puppet master from his infotainment chamber. Regardless, it was an exciting way to end one of the strongest episodes of the series and one hell of a way to return from hiatus and establish the new status quo.
So, what did you think? Let us know in the comments what your favorite moments were and what you’re hoping to see next week. You can check out the promo for episode 12 titled “Inside Man” here and for all things Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D., follow along here. For more MCU related news and features, make sure to follow us on Twitter.