Snark Tank; Recap
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3, Episode 11: “Bouncing Back” Recap
Welcome back to Agents of Shield! When we last left off everyone was having a happy moment, including the alien inhuman parasite currently living in Ward’s dead body. Don’t worry, happiness never lasts long on this show.
We start this season with a count down. Three months from now a ship explodes in space with a member of shield inside, but we hardly have a moment to linger on the scene before the show takes us back to present day. The clip is so short it feels kind of forced in to build up that mystery and drama, so much so that I forgot it was going to be there on my second viewing.
Back on present day earth Daisy and Joey are called to Bogota, Colombia after police officers are attacked by a mysterious unseen force and their guns are stolen. It’s great to see Joey get a big part in this episode, hopefully something permanent for the rest of the season now Daisy has her team together. We get a little note about how he misses his family, but the chance to speak Spanish again helps remind him of home.
Coulson is having a meeting with the president over Rosalind’s bloodsoaked carpet, just in case we’ve forgotten his manpain. The president agrees to work with Shield once again, but the organization still has a bad name with the public after the whole Hydra problem, so for now they will continue to stay hidden. Rebranding, guys! People will forget all about those killer helicarriers with a quick new logo design and name change.
Before the president leaves Coulson tries to have him pull down Malick, but is quickly told the man has too many friends in high places to be taken down by the law. Coulson and his team, however, are basically given the get go to take him out if they can, and the president leaves with a promise to get in touch once the new leader of the ATCU has been chosen, a (public) organization that now also answers to Shield.
Hunter, Mack, and Bobbi are also on the ground in Colombia, investigating the crime scene and discussing Inhuman powers. Bobbi considered taking a fish-oil pill in hopes of unlocking powers and speeding her way through rehab, and Hunter actually did take one but with no results.
The three split up and Mack quickly comes face to face with one of the culprits, a woman with super speed that quickly knocks him out and kidnaps him. He wakes up duct taped around a motel room sink with not much of an idea what is going on since his Spanish is limited.
The group is already aware Mack is missing and on the hunt to track him down with the help of a quick call to Simmons and Lincoln. We get a nice insight into how Inhuman powers work from Lincoln here, informing Jemma that the powers are not entirely random but instead meant to keep balance within the species. Maybe one day we’ll come across Daisies opposite.
Speaking of Jemma we’re still going through Fitz and Simmons boring relationship problems here. I thought the two were going to officially be a couple now, but it seems they’re still being awkward around each other because Fitz destroyed zombie!Will in the show’s last episode. It’s understandable really, but at this point I’d rather put up with them being a couple than deal with their terrible Will-They-Won’t-They-They-Most-Certainly-Will storyline.
Since Mack is causing complications for our speedy Inhuman, Elena, she sends her cousin off alone to deal with whatever they’re planning. Mack makes an escape attempt but it quickly shut down, coining the name Yo-Yo for Elena as she can only go so far before shooting back to her original spot. Mack is back in tape once again pretty quickly, though this time tied to a chair, and the two communicate best they can before Daisy bursts onto the scene.
When Elena wakes in a containment cell it’s up to Joey to explain to her what’s happening. Elena thinks her gift is from god, a gift she’s been trying to use to take down the corrupt police that control where she live. They were never going to use or sell the weapons, her cousin is off throwing them in the river when Bobbi and Hunter finally track him down.
The arrival of local police at the river quickly causes trouble, one of the officers has a Medusa like power that petrifies the team. Elena’s cousin is shot as a message, isn’t it lucky how it’s never the team that gets picked for that kind of thing even when they’re helpless? Shield recovers his body and lets Elena out of her cell, giving her a chance to use her powers to avenge his death.
Mack and Elena have a moment about faith, despite the kidnapping incident the two seemed to have formed a good connection and Yo-Yo agrees to help. The question of Inhuman powers and faith is brought up more than once in this episode but never quite answered, which I suppose is appropriate.
Elena makes quick work of getting the group access to the police station, Joey takes care of melting the armory and Yo-Yo and Daisy have a great time demonstrating their powers. It’s great to see how the various Inhumans can work together and combined their skills, something we’ll hopefully be getting a lot more of now the Secret Warriors are official.
While Mack saves Bobbi and Hunter, Yo-Yo takes on Medusa Man (yes that’s my name for him, not the show’s). She manages to get him into handcuffs with her speed but not without his powers catching her mid-run. Joey melts the glasses into the cop’s face, neutralizing his powers and allowing Daisy to knock him out.
With the Inhuman captured the mission seems to have gone pretty well, only for Hydra to appear with a drone that cuts it’s way through the roof and gives a hellicopter a chance to steal off with the team’s catch. Everyone just watches as the guy is kidnapped and doesn’t really do anything to stop it, which seems really ridiculous when you have a guy that can melt metal standing right next to the giant claw machine abducting their prisoner.
Back on the jet Joey and Elena argue about her leaving with Shield to be trained, but Elena wants to stay and protect her home. Diasy actually agrees, pointing out that Lash can attack a lot easier if they’re all together, and Mack instead presents Elena with a watch that will allow her to call for backup, or be called in if the team needs her help. I’m sad to see her go so quickly, but it also seems pretty clear we’ll be getting to see Yo-Yo again for any big inhuman showdown that happens this season.
Away from all this it’s clear Shield’s main mission this season is Coulson’s personal vendetta against Malick, a man that certainly needs taking down but something that so far seems to only be about Coulson’s personal pain rather than his real threat as head of Hydra. After his talk with the president Coulson brings in Werner Von Strucker, who is still in a vegetative state after being tortured and beaten earlier in the season. Coulson thinks he may have insight into how to make contact with Malick and he plans to get it by placing Werner into the machine he himself was basically tortured with back in season one.
This whole thing is a lot darker than the other half of the show, with Werner reliving his last memories and shouting “just kill me” repeatedly until Lincoln shocks him out of his loop. Coulson certainly isn’t the same man we met before his death in The Avengers, and if he continues to go so dark his clashing with Daisy is sure to reach a head at some point. A Civil War, perhaps?
With the help of Werner’s memories Coulson finds his way to contact Malick, a secret code given to a certain shop owner gets Coulson access to a phone line directly to the Hydra head. Coulson makes it clear he’s coming after Malick and that the line and everything it’s connected to is being tracked, but it’s clear Coulson knows nothing about Hydra’s currently situation. If you were wondering what Hydra has been doing all episode it’s basically dealing with this guy.
The inhuman/alien/worm thing now controlling Ward’s body is back on earth and in Hydra’s possession. Mostly this episode it rests and eats raw meat and talks a lot about how it’s going to mess people up once it has it’s strength back. It’s kind of difficult to look at really, but I always had a problem looking at Ward so perhaps that’s just me…
The show closes out with General Talbot being named the new head of the ATCU by the president. I’m happy about the comic moments this might cause with Coulson, he really needs to lighten up again, but I’m sad to see Rosalind’s character gone and also replaced with another man on the show.
Odds and Ends
- Fitz and Simmons have another awkward scene with no chemistry where Jemma has to praise awesome Fitz again and they agree to start over and reintroduce themselves to each other.
- I’ve seen this happen on multiple shows, real people don’t do that and I don’t want to deal with their awkward progression all over again.
- Daisy and Lincoln kiss, they still have no chemistry either but I’m still in camp At Least It’s Not Ward
- Coulson has a new human looking hand that means Clark Gregg doesn’t get a Luke Skywalker black glove any more. Boo.
- I really hope Not!Ward puts a shirt on soon because I’m really creeped out staring at his chest.
Despite some awkward romance scenes, that we all already know I’m not a fan of, I really enjoyed this episode. This was a fantastic way to kick the second half of the season off with, and Daisy building her team is a great thing to watch happen. Hopefully this is all leading to a superpowered season finale, with our team continuing to grow just in time to take down Hydra’s newest weapon.