'Agents Of SHIELD' Recap: Season 3, "Bouncing Back"

by guest writer, Khalil Johnson

We begin Bouncing Back with a flash-forward to 3 months into the future with a random scene aboard a derelict spaceship with floating blood, explosions, and what appears to be a dead body wearing a S.H.I.E.LD. uniform.  Now we have an event to look forward to for the rest of the season. 

This week’s episode is also a globe-trotting episode where our heroes spend most of the episode in Bogota, Colombia.  There we meet our first new Inhuman, Yo-Yo, who it looks like will become another member of the “Secret Warriors.”  Her powers make her literally “bounce back,” she can move with Flash-like speed, but only for the length of a heartbeat, and then she bounces back to her point of origin.  This power is good for committing a gun cache robbery, or when fighting a police station of corrupt cops.  Her powers are based off of the character “Slingshot” from Marvel comics.  When she is first introduced, it appears as though she is the villain, but as the episode progresses, we see/understand her plight her yearning to use her powers for good.  She makes a good connection with Mack, so hopefully she’ll be around for future episodes, they had great chemistry, and we can always use another couple on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

This episode clarified S.H.I.E.L.D’s status to the general public when Coulson meets with President Ellis. Actor William Sadler continues to reprise his role that started from Iron Man 3, continuing Marvel’s interconnectivity across all their movies and shows.  President Ellis confirms that S.H.I.E.L.D is still viewed as a failed agency in the public’s eye due to the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but he has no problem with them working in the shadows.  He says Coulson is directly in charge of the public-facing Advanced Threat Containment Unit, even though his nemesis Glenn Talbot is the public face, even though he reports to him.  Ultimately S.H.I.E.L.D is still the de facto agency dealing with the Inhuman crisis.  Speaking of connectivity…. Shouldn’t this Inhuman predicament be something on The Avengers’ radar?

Daisy’s leadership is continuing to grow through her running the Secret Warriors.  She, Mack, and Joey spent most of the episode in the field finding and then working with Yo-Yo.  One interesting point is that towards the end of the episode she gives the Secret Warriors the opportunity to be remote, so they don’t have to spend all of their time on the jet.  Her leadership style is a bit different from Coulson, but as long as she gets the job done, it will be great. 

Coulson is also “bouncing back” through dealing with the death of Rosalind and the fallout of him killing Ward.  He’s making it his mission to stop Gideon Malick who is now the leader of HYDRA.  Malick does have a lot of power, to the point that even President Ellis can’t help bringing him down.  Coulson does a good job investigating how to get in contact with Malick and the episode ends with him shutting down a bunch of his offices across worldwide.  Coulson seems to have some feelings about killing Grant.  He and May have a conversation towards the end of the episode where she calls him the “Calvary,” signifying that he is a killing machine as well.   

Fitz and Simmons continue to tap dance around their feeling for each other.  Although Simmons had feelings for the now dead astronaut Daniels, her and Fitz’s connection still remains.  They’ll continue to be the soul of the show with their on again, off again love affair as they agree to start over their friendship.  Bobbi and Hunter continue to be our second favorite couple, who spent the episode tracking down Yo-Yo’s cousin who unfortunately died at the hands of the corrupt Bogota police department.  Afterwards Hunter and Bibbi get kidnapped by them, forcing the Secret Warriors to rescue them.  They did reflect on the temptation of taking the fish oil to see about gaining Inhuman powers.  Hunter says what we all are feeling, Inhumans make them second-rate because they simply can’t compete with people with superpowers.

Malick spend most of the episode dealing with the new Ward, who is the ancient Inhuman in his dead body.  Is this Inhuman HIVE, or “It?”  Whatever he is going to be called, he spend most of the episode trying to recover in Ward’s body.  While recovering, he’s watching television where is remarks that humanity hasn’t changed much (remember he’s centuries old).  This may mean trouble is he decided to implement some new kind of order to the world.  We still haven’t truly seen his powers.  HYDRA is also in the Inhuman-collecting game.  We meet an Inhuman in Bogota that has the ability to freeze people with a stare from his eyes.  After the Secret Warriors stop him, he is quickly abducted by HYDRA.

So the war of HYDRA vs S.H.I.E.L.D. continues, with the number of Inhumans on each side growing, this should be a great end of the 3rd season!