Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D (2013) season 2, episode 11
WRITER: MAURISSA TANCHAROEN and JED WHEDON
DIRECTOR: BILLY GIERHART
AIR DATE: March 3 2015
‘Aftershocks’ brings Agents of S.H.I..E.L.D. back after a hiatus (in which Agent Carter filled the gap). When we left off, the agents had infiltrated the hidden city, all sorts of things were going wrong, and Skye and Raina (Chloe Bennet and Ruth Negga) were encased in cocoons as part of all that. Both emerged changed - while one of the agents paid the ultimate price. The death of Triplett, the aftermath of what’s happened, and big changes for Skye dominate this episode.
It hasn’t particularly been spelled out, just hinted at, but sufficed to say, Skye is an Inhuman, now changed by the Terrigen mists (as is the case with Raina). Her true name, as is the case with her father, has been revealed. She’s Daisy Johnson, daughter of Calvin Zabo (Kyle MacLachlan). For those not in the loop, Calvin Zabo is the other name for perennial Marvel villain Mr. Hyde, and MacLachlan has been playing the deranged lunatic side of the character to the hilt all season thus far. Daisy Johnson, on the other hand, is the Marvel heroine and S.H.I.E.L.D. agent also codenamed Quake. Making her an Inhuman is a good way to give her powers without going through the family history as conveyed in the comics. This time out she’s mostly in isolation, trying to come to terms with Triplett’s death and what she knows - she has been transformed, and quakes are part of that - but she doesn’t understand what’s happened to her. Bennet plays out the character’s uncertainty and fear throughout the episode.
Cut of one head...
Director Coulson (Clark Gregg) and his team are busy dealing with the aftermath. This includes the death of Daniel Whitehall and the impact that might have on Hydra; much of their work includes efforts to destabilize their rivals and find Raina, who has been transformed much more obviously than Skye. Raina’s journey takes her in a different direction - and an unexpected encounter by someone we’ve seen before and who appears throughout the episode in flashback as a younger version of himself.
The team, while grieving their own loss and working on the task at hand, have other things going on. Agents Morse and Mackenzie (Adrienne Palicki and Henry Simmons) have something secret between them, some hidden agenda. It doesn’t feel quite like betrayal, but they are keeping things to themselves, and we’re left to wonder.
Raina and the mysterious teleporter
It’s a character moment that really makes this episode work so well, and it involves two characters that haven’t really had that much one on one interaction through the series. Skye is struggling with her fate and fears, and isolated in quarantine. It’s Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) who realizes she’s been altered by what happened, and instead of coming clean with the others, he keeps the secret. It doesn’t matter to him that she’s changed, she’s still who she is. It gives her a chance to let her guard down and trust someone else, and it gives the two a very unexpected but welcome moment.
Somewhere the gladly unseen rogue agent Ward is grinding his teeth that he didn’t get to be the one giving Skye a comforting hug.