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Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D (2013) season 3, episode 11
WRITER: MONICA OSUWU-BREEN
DIRECTOR: RON UNDERWOOD
AIR DATE: March 8 2016
"Bouncing Back" brings the third season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. back after a hiatus for Agent Carter. It has been awhile, but with the second series taking up the time, it hasn’t felt like there’s been a huge void - unlike such is the case with Gotham. As has been the case through a good part of the season, Inhumans are a big issue this time out, while the ongoing efforts against Hydra and Gideon Malick (Powers Boothe) are part of the backdrop.
In the aftermath of the first half of the season, with Ward presumed dead (he’s not) and Coulson (Clark Gregg) and Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) having had made it back from Maveth in one piece, S.H.I.E.L.D. is busy trying to reach new Inhumans before Hydra can get them for their own purposes. The current subject of their interest is a Columbian woman, Elena Rodriguez (Natalia Cordova-Buckley), whose Inhuman abilities are interesting - she has super speed but returns to where she was after each heartbeat. Comics readers might recall a member of the Secret Warriors with a similar ability, and there’s a nod of dialogue to her name: Yo Yo.
There’s another Inhuman in the equation, one who can temporarily petrify people by taking off his glasses. He’s certainly not on the side of good as the episode plays out, and part of what unfolds is the sense of competition between S.H.I.E.L.D. and Hydra as Coulson and Malick work to outplay each other.
And there’s a welcome appearance in the episode by a familiar face we’ve seen before in the series and on the big screen in Iron Man 3. President Matthew Ellis, as played by William Sadler, returns with a new status quo for S.H.I.E.L.D.: while he can’t make the agency an official branch again, he wants them to continue their work as sort of a black ops off the books group. And to add to the good news, Coulson gets to have the new head of the ATCU report to him. That head being Glenn Talbot. One wonders how the career military officer can keep from grinding his teeth.
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