Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – Bouncing Back Review
After a rather limp midseason finale, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. didn’t exactly have me chomping at the bit for its return. Fortunately, Bouncing Back was true to its name and, for the first time in a while, I find myself eager to see what Agents has in store. It isn’t a game changer, but, by finally delivering on what had been promised to viewers with the third season, Bouncing Back proves to be a refreshing and enjoyable experience. Subjects such as Lash, the alien planet, and even Hydra’s new Inhuman friend are largely shuffled to the side in favor of a relatively simple investigation of an Inhuman located in Columbia. This allows for Daisy’s Secret Warriors to get a bit more screen time, and gives Agents a chance to show off how fun and interesting this concept can be now that it is finally being properly implemented.
The Inhuman in question turns out to be Elena “Yo-Yo” Rodriguez a.k.a. the Secret Warriors member Slingshot. Her powers are an interesting variation of traditional speedster abilities, and she proves to be a good fit for the episode as Bouncing Back finds plenty of ways to utilize her. Her interactions with the team are a lot of fun, and while it doesn’t appear that she will be joining the team as a full member, it will be interesting to see how Agents might incorporate her in the future. The plot of the episode is a relatively predictable affair involving crooked cops who are having weapons shipments stolen from them in Colombia. There is nothing particularly wrong with it being predictable, though, since the purpose of Bouncing Back isn’t so much to surprise the viewer as it is to offer an example of the kind of stories we might get to see our Secret Warriors getting involved in as the team continues to develop. While it may not have knocked my socks off, it does provide a delightful sampling of the kinds of heroes and villains we might be seeing in the near future.
Coulson doesn’t actually get to do too much in this episode aside from tracking some of Hydra’s activities. He uses the memory machine to discover how Werner von Strucker reached out to Gideon Malick. He then uses the method to track down a number of Hydra facilities. It’s a subplot that doesn’t really seem to have much of a point outside of giving Coulson a place to direct his lingering anger, and even Malick doesn’t really seem to care about the loss. He’s far more focused on his new Inhuman friend who is still in the process of healing Grant Ward’s broken corpse. He…It?… seems rather unimpressed by Malick, and, likewise, Malick seems to have some difficulty getting past his distaste for Ward when interacting with the entity. Oddly enough, I get the feeling that the Inhuman creature might be one of the least interesting elements of Bouncing Back. It’s not that the episode does anything wrong with him per se, but more that it just doesn’t do anything interesting. He’s just as enigmatic as he was when he showed up at the end of Maveth, and we don’t really learn anything new about him here. Still, there isn’t exactly a rush, and I would be perfectly content to see a few more episodes like this one, before we are given any real answers.
Before I wrap up, a few Notes and Nitpicks:
- Okay, let’s face it. The moment the president said he’d appoint someone to the ATCU who would answer to Coulson, we all knew who would be getting that job.
- Lucio, the Colombian Inhuman with the ability to paralyze people with eye contact, doesn’t appear to be based off of an existing character as far as I am aware, but who knows? It looks like Hydra has grabbed him as part of an effort to reassemble the vanguard of Inhumans that Lash slaughtered.
- It’s slightly disappointing that Joey Gutierrez seemingly won’t be joining the Secret Warriors as a full member. Hopefully, he will still take an active role.
While there is nothing particularly remarkable about Bouncing Back, it uses its narrative about S.H.I.E.L.D. attempting to police Inhumans as a starting point for an enjoyable and polished episode. After an extended break, it is refreshing to see the show just settle down and have a bit of fun.