Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. put its human characters on the back burner this week and promoted its inhumans, so “Bouncing Back,” the mid-season return show, had plenty of bumps in the road.
The strength of Agents has been its human characters, and while Fitz-Simmons finally got together (that was a huge payoff for fans, but it may and should have complications), the rest of the human cast was plot spackle. Lash, Melinda May’s ex-husband, was namedropped more than once, but Agent May was nothing but a tool to further Agent Coulson’s development. Agent Coulson had a few moments in the episode, but his biggest role was as S.H.I.E.L.D.’s mouthpiece, warning Malick that the agency’s on to him—neener, neener, neener. And Lance and Bobbi were statues, literally, for half the episode, which forced the inhuman characters to take center stage.
Now, I don’t mind the inhuman characters, but they haven’t been developed as much as the human characters, and “Bouncing Back” aimed to fix that. Guiterrez gained some good background here, as we were reintroduced to him. Agents planned to shove Skye (Daisy, Quake, or whatever he name is) and Lincoln down our throats, so seeing them lock lips wasn’t a shock, but I still don’t buy their relationship; it’s forced. And Elena (Yo-Yo Rodriguez) was a nice addition. She provided context for the aforementioned Guiterrez (The Melter). The pieces were there to build on the inhumans but there’s still some chemistry issues. I trust that Agents will iron these out as the show continues to shift from a human-centric story to an inhuman-centric one.
Grant Ward’s transformation into the monstrous It was predictable. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t good, it just means that one could see It coming before the mid-season break. The rise of It wasn’t the question; it’s what It will do after It gains power that is. I was on the fence with turning Ward into It, but I’m glad Agents brought It back to Earth. The show has done a good job of building up this monster, and Agents has another monster at its disposal: Lash.
We haven’t seen the last of Lash, so it’ll take the inhumans we’ve met and a few more to deal with both It and Lash. We’ll see plenty of inhuman action. My hope is that “Bouncing Back” won’t be the only episode used to develop Agents’ inhuman characters.
Thanks for reading.