‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ “Afterlife” Recap – Season 2, Episode 16

Agents of SHIELD Season 2 Episode 16 Recap
Dichen Lachman and Ruth Negga in ‘Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Photo Credit: ABC / Kelsey McNeal)

This week’s episode of ABC’s Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. titled “Afterlife” saw our team of agents split up and spread out across the globe. So rather than give a blow-by-blow of the episode, I’m going to give each character set their own storyline.


Skye (Chloe Bennet) wakes up with nothing on but two strips of silk and a whole lot of acupuncture needles that light up with her energy. A young man walks in and introduces himself as Lincoln (Luke Mitchell). Skye tries to get up, but she can’t move thanks to the needles. Lincoln explains that she’s there for her protection, and to learn how to use her new gift. She asks him about Raina and her father, but he dodges those questions. (I had to look up Mitchell’s IMDB page during the episode because he is a blonde copy of Grant Gustin on The Flash. Eerily similar.)

Later he takes her through the compound, which is a beautiful Asian garden with arches and small houses. Skye realizes everyone is staring at her. When she asks about it, Lincoln tells her they are jealous because the others have been working toward earning their gifts since birth, and she got hers very quickly AND from the Diviner. She tells him she’d happily switch places.

He takes her to a mountaintop and explains that once someone is chosen to train her, that’s where she will learn how to use her gifts. He shows her his gift, which is creating and controlling and electric current. He uses it to float her off the ground.

At night he takes her to her room. She is agitated, wanting to get a message to her friends, but he tries to explain that there’s no reason for her to reach out to them, that she’s being hunted and she is safe where she is. He tells her that she can go anytime, but he hopes she’ll stay.

The next day Lincoln slips up and Skye figures out that Raina (Ruth Negga) is living in the same compound. Skye bursts into what seems to be an abandoned house and finds Raina. Raina taunts her and tells her how miserable she’s become. (It hurts just to look at her!) Raina starts to vibrate and it’s clear that Skye is using her power on her. When everything begins to shake, a woman enters and Skye stops. (It’s her mom, but Skye doesn’t know! We thought she was dead, but apparently she’s even tougher than anyone realized. She’s got Frankenstein scars but she’s okay!) She introduces herself as Jiaying (Dichen Lachman), and tells Skye that she will be her trainer.

Fitz, Simmons, Bobbi, Mack, May and Gonzalez

At SHIELD, Robert Gonzalez (Edward James Olmos) is telling Fitz (Iain de Caestecker) and Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) that he wanted to recruit them originally, but that Coulson (Clark Gregg) got to them first. He asks them to stay on with him. Fitz tells everyone he’s packing his bags and leaving. Simmons looks sad, but she stays. (Hmmm.)

Bobbi (Adrianne Palicki) tells Gonzalez that he’s going about interrogating May all wrong, and that he should use a different approach. Meanwhile, Bobbi talks to Simmons, who still seems sad that Fitz is leaving. However, when Bobbi brings up the toolbox, Jemma tells her that they’ve been trying to crack into it the wrong way. She says rather than thinking “tech,” they should think “bio.” Bobbi lights up.

Mack (Henry Simmons) approaches Fitz and asks him not to leave, but Fitz is adamant. However, Mack lets it slip that Jemma is working on the box. Fitz is startled. He pulls up a screen to see what Simmons is working on. He realizes what she’s doing and goes after her. In the lab, he confronts her in front of Bobbi and Mack. He grabs the box, saying that there’s no way she’ll be able to crack it, and even if she could, she shouldn’t. She argues with him while he tosses the box around. Finally, he puts it down and walks out.

Later, Jemma tells Bobbi and Mack that she did everything she could think of to replicate Coulson’s DNA in order to open the box, but she failed.

Elsewhere, Gonzalez tells May (Ming-Na Wen) he’d like her to sit on their executive board. He slides a loaded pistol to her and says that she is welcome to shoot him. She chooses not to, but she’s skeptical about his offer. He tries to tell her that he just wants to bring Coulson in, and that she can help them keep Coulson safe.

It’s time for Fitz to leave. The group sees him off as he walks out, becoming a civilian. Simmons is particularly emotional. At the end of the episode, however, Fitz pulls the box from his duffel bag (along with Jemma’s signature sandwich). They pulled the ol’ switcheroo! (I knew it, by the way, the whole time. They’re way too loyal to Coulson for Jemma to turn sides.)

Hunter and Coulson

Coulson is checking out used cars and talking to a salesman. (The car salesman is Stoney Westmoreland, who went to college with me. I see him in stuff once in a while.) While they’re talking, Hunter (Nick Blood) pulls up in the salesman’s own car. He and Coulson take off in it, leaving the shouting salesman behind.

The end up at the cabin where Coulson hid Skye. They discuss their inadequate plan over whiskey. Hunter says if all the good options won’t work, maybe it’s time for a bad one and pours himself another drink.

In the morning, Hunter wakes up to SHIELD landing aircrafts outside the cabin. Coulson tells Hunter he has called for back-up, but in the meantime, they’ll use icers to stun the agents. SHIELD uses a battering ram to break through the door. The agents burst in to find Coulson and Hunter playing cards. It’s a trick! It’s only holograms! Hunter and Coulson take out the agents with the icers. Wearing the tactical uniforms taken from the agents, they head out to where the aircraft landed. They realize they are surrounded. Just as they are being taken prisoner, someone starts taking out the other aircraft and all the agents. It’s Dethlok! (J. August Richards) And he’s wearing a cool, new suit!

Dethlok downloads the plane’s specs. He pilots them out of the forest and away. When they’re in the air, he tells Hunter that what he had said the night before about bad options made sense to him. He has decided they should choose the bad option, in this case, finding Grant Ward (Brett Dalton). (As for me, I can’t figure out Grant’s end game. He just seems crazy at this point.)

– – A look back: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 2 episode 15 recap

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