Agents of SHIELD – S2E16 – Afterlife – Recap

The episode opens on a used car lot. A low rent Buddy Garrity is trying to get Coulson in a muscle car. When Coulson says he more interested in a SUV and points one out that he’s like to pay cash for, the salesman says he has an even better SUV for him. Hilarity ensues when Hunter drives up in said SUV. The salesman threatens to call the cops, which leads to him being iced/night-nighted by Coulson. Side note, the icer made a bang noise when Coulson pulled the trigger. Maybe I was wrong last week about the first Real SHIELD agent who fired at Skye. Maybe he was using an icer. Shaved head jerkface was totally firing a real gun though.

Speaking of Skye, she wakes up nearly naked on a table, with glowing acupuncture needles sticking out of her. Ooo, you usually have to pay extra for the glowing needles. She wants to go, but she can’t move. Gordon and a new guy named Lincoln walk in. Lincoln explains terrigenesis to Skye. Over the course of the episode, Lincoln goes deep into explaining terrigenesis to Skye. Here’s what I took away from his talks:

  • Skye is the first person in a VERY long time to go through terrigenesis with a diviner in a Kree temple.
  • Usually candidates for terrigenesis are selected by a council. They don’t choose for themselves when they’re worthy.
  • Skye cutting the terrigenesis line has some people if not angry, then at least intrigued.
  • The process is irreversible.

Skye is really unhappy about that last point.

At Coulson’s base, now home to Real SHIELD, Gonzalez and Bobbie are discussing the end of last week’s episode. Calderon is down. Finally, I can stop calling him shaved head jerk face. Gonzalez calls Skye a thing. Bobbie defends her, but Gonzalez is clearly paranoid about superhumans.

Fitz wants out of SHIELD. He wants no part of Real SHIELD if it means hunting down his friends.

Coulson and Hunter heads to Banner’s Bunker and survey the scene. Hunter is shocked when he sees Gordon in action. Real SHIELD shows up at the cabin. Hunter is shocked as I am that Coulson invited them there. As Hunter is gearing up, Coulson says “Icers only.” The people coming for them are still SHIELD agents. Hunter doesn’t like their chances. Coulson tells him not to worry, he has reinforcements coming, well a reinforcement.

Lincoln sets Skye up in her room and gives her a tour. They’re somewhere in the Himalayas from the looks of it (and from knowing my Inhumans history). Only Gordon knows exactly where they are. The name of the place is Li Shi, which translates roughly into Afterlife (Hey, that’s the episode title!). I was really hoping it would be called Attilan. For those of you who don’t read the comics, Attilan is where the Inhumans live. No one actually lives in Afterlife. It’s more of a way station. Lincoln is from Ohio. He only popped in to help out with Skye’s transition. Skye spots a building like the one she was in. Lincoln says that’s another transition room, but one that they don’t use anymore. Uh-huh, sure Lincoln. It seems even money that either Skye’s dad, or a porcupine faced former Hydra employee is in there.

Lincoln’s power is electricity. He’s like a more suave Electro. He can make Skye float, literally. He uses static electricity to make her levitate off the ground.

Gonzalez meets with May. He wants to know if she’s loyal to Coulson or to SHIELD, but to May, Coulson and SHIELD are one and the same.

Bobbie convinces Simmons to help Real SHIELD open up Fury’s toolbox. Apparently, there’s no hard feelings about Simmons knocking out Bobbie in the previous episode. When Fitz finds out that Simmons is helping Real SHIELD unlock the toolbox, he flips. He marches up to Simmons and goes off on her, telling her that she must have known this betrayal would seal his leaving. Simmons gets overly harsh on him and basically tells him that maybe he doesn’t belong there anymore, kind of a you can’t quit, I’m firing you. Watching this scene, I couldn’t help by get the feeling that FitzSimmons is playing RealSHIELD.

Real SHIELD breaks into the cabin and finds Coulson and Hunter playing cards. Wait, they’re holograms! Phil Coulson must be a big fan of the Christopher Reeves Superman movies, because this right out of Gene Hackman’s Lex Luthor’s playbook. Just switch out cards for chess.

Crazy Kyle is still in the room Gordon left him in a couple of episodes ago. His hands are bloodied. He’s been trying to escape, unsuccessfully.  When Gordon ports in, Crazy Kyle screams at him. Gordon cuts him off, telling Kyle he’s lucky they kept him alive, and that not only has Kyle sealed his own fate with his behavior, but he sealed his daughter’s fate as well. Ruh-roh.

Coulson now pulls from the Wizard of Oz playbook, as Hunter and he dress up as Real SHIELD strike team members. They get caught faster than Dorothy and friends did. Luckily, Coulson’s back up arrives. It’s Deathlok! Whoa, I did not see that one coming! I thought we were being set up for another Lady Sif guest appearance. Deathlok’s costume and abilities have both been upgraded. He doesn’t look like the comic book version of Deathlok, but he definitely looks cooler than he did in the first season.

deathlok afterlife

When Gonzalez finds out about Coulson’s escape, he says he has “one last bargaining chip left. Bring me The Bus and Agent May.”

Skye and Lincoln are getting their flirt on. Is this a new love interest for Skye? How many love interests has Skye had in this series so far? I’m not judging. You do you, Skye. Lincoln brags that he once warmed up a pool with his powers. Skye is both unimpressed and gets the best line of the episode when she tells him, “Any five year old can warm up a pool.” Lincoln’s game is squashed when accidentally reveals that Raina is in Afterlife. There’s nothing like saying you’re housing one of your date’s worst enemies to kill the mood. And then we get the holy shit moment of the episode, when it’s revealed Skye’s mom is also at Afterlife.

agents-of-shield-afterlife skyes mom

Skye confronts Raina. She starts to quake out, but is calmed down when Jah Ying, aka Skye’s mom, shows up. Jah Ying defends Raina’s right to be at Afterlife as much as Skye’s. Skye wants out, but Jah Ying offers to be Skye’s guide. Lincoln looks legitimately surprised by this, and I can’t quite figure out why. Is it because he thought he was going to be Skye’s guide? Is it because Jah Ying is so high up on the totem pole that he wouldn’t expect her to be Skye’s guide? It would be like Nick Fury being a new agent’s trainer. Or maybe it’s a little of both reasons. Jah Ying does not tell Skye that she is her mother.

afterlife raina

Once Skye is calmed down, Gordon takes Jah Ying to Crazy Kyle. She calls him Cal. Right, I can never remember his name. I think this is only the second time since his first appearance on the show that someone has called him Cal. Jah Ying hugs Cal. I expect her to knife him during this hug, but that doesn’t happen.

Gonzalez meets with May in the conference room of an aircraft carrier. I did not know aircraft carriers had conference rooms. I’m not saying I don’t believe they do, I just never gave it much thought. Gonzalez slides May a gun. He says she can shoot him if she likes, but he would like her to sit on the Real SHIELD board instead. With Coulson in custody, Phil will need someone to look out for him. May accepts and slides him back his gun, saying there was no need for theatrics; she knows he knows better than to give her a gun that was actually loaded. Gonzalez surprises May when he pulls from the gun a full clip and a bullet in the chamber.


Fitz leaves. Real SHIELD security pats him down. THEN Simmons slides his backpack on him. Even I can see this is some lax security. Hand the guy a bag after he goes through security? Real SHIELD…smh. Fitz leaves.

Deathlok tells Hunter and Coulson that he’s been trailing someone named List, a Hydra head. List is looking for people with powers. Have we met List before. I don’t think we have. Coulson wants to find Skye before Hydra does, so he needs the one person connected to both Skye and Hydra…Grant Ward. Oh boy.

Simmons can’t open the toolbox. Fitz gets in a cab. In his backpack is the real toolbox. I wonder when he realized Simmons was playing Real SHIELD. Was it when he pulled up the 3D schematic while he was packing? And how did Simmons make such a believable copy of the toolbox? It has to be more than just 3D printed and painted, right? That would only buy her so much time. More importantly, FitzSimmons is back! Yes! This is punctuated by Fitz also finding a prosciutto and mozzarella sandwich with just a hint of pesto aioli from Simmons in his bag. FitzSimmons forever!