Agents of SHIELD 3.11 Review: “Bouncing Back”

Our favorite agents and Inhumans are back in the stunning midseason premier of Agents of SHIELD titled “Bouncing Back.” The second half of the season is back with a host of new characters and Inhumans that will undoubtedly play a larger role in series as the second half of the season continues.

The Opening Scene

The opening scene of the episode showed us something interesting – we see what seems like a shuttle or some type of satellite that is crashing towards Earth. We see some items in the shuttle, like a crucifix necklace and a S.H.I.E.L.D. badge, before the shuttle seemingly explodes. What does this mean? Who was in the shuttle? Why was the shuttle in space in the first place? What made it explode?

The rest of the episode can be broken down into two main story lines – Daisy’s team in Colombia consisting of Daisy, Joey, Hunter, Bobbi, and Mack, and Coulson’s team back at home focusing on Coulson, Lincoln, May, and FitzSimmons.

Daisy’s Team

The ground team is working in Colombia to track down reports of powered people in the area. I love seeing Joey’s Spanish-speaking ability being put to good use here. Joey’s becoming more and more comfortable with the team, and it’s nice to see him really coming into his own as a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent.

Throughout the team’s Colombian journey, another Inhuman, who we later learn is named Elena (Natalia Cordova), kidnaps Mack. She’s got a wonderfully interesting set of powers – super speed – or so it seems.

Natalia Cordova as Elena
Natalia Cordova as Elena

When the rest of the team rescues Mack, they take Elena to the jet and place her in an inhuman containment chamber and learn more about her. Elena acquired her powers after eating fish soup – she didn’t even have to take fish oil pills to go through Teregenesis. The idea that inhumans can gain their powers without having to come across the fish oil pills is an interesting concept that I’ll bet will play a larger role as this season continues.

Elena also believes that her powers are a gift from God to use to bring justice to parts of her country that are corrupt and to avenge her cousin who was killed.

(I had a fun exchange with the the actress the plays Elena. I welcomed her to the MCU and thanked her for being a great representation of Latinos in pop culture. She responded by saying that she hopes that she can represent our culture with dignity.)

Bobbi and Hunter go to find the weapons that Elena and her cousin were working to get rid of, when they come in contact with another inhuman. This inhuman’s powers are creepy. He does something with his eyes and turns you into a paralyzed corpse. He kills Elena’s cousin and disables Bobbi and Hunter and takes them hostage.

Together, Daisy, Joey, and Mack go to free Bobbi and Hunter. It was so cool to see Daisy not only lead the team as a whole, but to work hand in hand with Joey and Elena and play off each others’ powers. The Secret Warriors are forming.

The team frees Bobbi and Hunter and head back to the jet. Joey tries to convince Elena to join S.H.I.E.L.D., but she still feels she has work to do at home. She’s given a communicator to stay in touch with the team after a touching moment with Mack. We haven’t seen the last of Elena, yet.

Coulson’s Team

Coulson and May are at Rosalind Price’s apartment collecting evidence, when President Ellis shows up to talk to Coulson. He says that he wants Coulson to lead the force to secure the threat of dangerous inhumans, and says that he’s going to appoint a new head of the A.T.C.U. and make that person answer to Coulson. President Ellis trusts Coulson, but feels the public may not trust S.H.I.E.L.D. just yet.

Back at HQ, the team works with a vegetative Strucker (the son, not the father) to see what memories they can access that would lead them to Malick.

They use the same machine that as used to help Coulson remember his time in “Tahiti.” The team encounters problems, but eventually Lincoln uses his powers to kick start Strucker’s brain and access his memories to find out where Malick is hiding.

Gideon Malick

There isn’t much that happened with Malick, other than the realization that he’s afraid, or at least wary, of what Ward has become. (For the sake of clarity, I’ll still refer to what ever Ward has become as “Ward,” for now.) Also, Ward is hungry and is building up his strength again after being on the other side of the portal on that planet for so long. I’m excited to see Ward once he’s fully gained his strength to see what he’s capable of doing.

Other Cool Moments:

  • Lincoln’s Inhuman biology lesson – In a conversation with Simmons, Lincoln indicates that Inhumans’ powers are not random, but their powers are generated to fulfill an evolutionary need for the species at that time. In other words, there’s a balance that needs to happen with the species.
  • Mack reveals another side – his religious side – when trying to relate to Elena. It’s a nice, touching moment that adds depth to his character.
  • Elena reveals that her powers are connected to her pulse. She can go as far as she can within the time it takes for her heart to beat once, and she always returns to the spot where she started. Like a “Yoyo,” Mack says.
  • Talbot has been appointed at the new head of the A.T.C.U. and has to answer directly to Coulson – I can’t wait to see his reaction to him finding out he’s answering to our Director.

In “The Inside Man,” Coulson and General Talbot are forced to team up and attend a worldwide symposium on Inhumans, where they suspect Malick has an inside man. As the S.H.I.E.L.D. team gets closer to the truth, an unexpected traitor is revealed.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.