Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Bouncing Back introduces another inhuman, dubbed Yo-Yo by Mack who can move at super speed in a heartbeat. Things in the verse are also moving at THE pace of a heartbeat as Malick and Coulson gear up for war. In terms of the title (bouncing back) refers to a great number of things, Yo-Yo, Coulson’s team, Fitzsimmons and, more disturbingly, Grant Ward’s new incarnation as “Hive.”
The return of S.H.I.E.L.D offers a recap at least one comic moment:
President Ellis: “FOX News will not shut up!”
Less comic and more quaintly amusing is Mack’s own heartbeat now speeding up with an attraction for Yo-Yo, aka Slingshot in the Marvel Comic verse.
The episode opens with a teaser, a shot set three months in the future. A spacecraft, a’la Dead Space; a dead ship, weightless with globules of blood floating through the vehicle, a glimpse of a SHIELD patch and boom. The episode then enters “flashback” mode.
Part of that flashback includes William Sadler (reprising his role as the president) who clears the air with Coulson about SHIELD and sorting out an agenda, ATCU will still be in charge and Phil’s agents will continue as “Black Ops.” Ellis will assign a replacement for the dead Rosalind who answer’s to Coulson.
A shipment of special “inhuman” weapons are stolen from cops south of the border by an “invisible” assailant/thief. Skye and her team head down to Bogota, Columbia to investigate and Mack discovers that the perpetrator was not invisible but faster than a heartbeat. later he learns that “Yo-Yo”, aka Elena Rodriguez, bounces back after each heartbeat journey to her original position.
One person who does not bounce back is Werner von Strucker (Spencer Treat Clark). Coulson puts Verner in the “Tahiti” machine and the young brain-damaged man starts murmuring Phil’s own words when he was in the device, “Just kill me.” Despite what must be disturbing deja vu to Coulson, he forces Lincoln Campbell (Luke Mitchell) to trigger another memory.
While the images of being tortured interweave with Werner’s introduction to Gideon Malick (Powers Boothe) “plays” just long enough to give Phil the information he needs. Malick fawns over “Hive” as he slowly rejuvenates and Ward/Hive (Brett Dalton is gloriously creepy in Hive’s interim stage of bouncing back) is not just scary but terrifying to behold.
Apart from Phil Coulson’s focus on Malick, the head of SHIELD has a new hand, and forearm, designed by Fitz. The scientist has made the prosthetic look like a real appendage and, according to Agent May, it feels real as well. Simmons and Fitz finally address the elephant in the room and agree to “start over.”
Back in Bogota, Elena turns out to be a “good guy” while the local policía turn out to have their own inhuman and the colonel is as corrupt as Rodriquez claims. Yo-Yo believes that her gift is from God and Mack admires her faith. He also gives Elena a similar spiel to the one Lincoln gave Skye/Daisy (Chloe Bennet); the gifts are not random.
Bobby and Hunter are taken prisoner by the local police and the team go in for a rescue. Elena, who is now Team Daisy, helps and is injured. After getting the two agents, and capturing the inhuman, with his freezing eyes, HYDRA comes to collect the the prisoner.
Coulson tracks down Malick, which costs the magnate millions. Lincoln and Daisy connect and Fitz and Simmons reconnect. Hive appears to be a heartbeat away from killing Mr. Giyera.
In an ironic twist, Ellis appoints General Talbot (Adrian Pasdar) to head up ATCU a move that Coulson believes is a mistake.
Bounce Back allows Agents of SHIELD to remind the audience of just how hard core Phil Coulson is under that calm exterior. The scene between Coulson and Fritz (the “hard choice” bit) is a perfect example of the steel in the man who shot Loki in The Avengers.
This episode also reminds viewers that SHIELD do not realize that Grant Ward has been “inhabited” by Hive and is building himself up for a confrontation. Agents of SHIELD has returned with a great open for the second half of the season. The series airs Tuesdays on ABC.