The long-awaited meeting between SHIELD and the people of Afterlife, now officially called Inhumans, finally took place this week. However, it gets marred by suspicion and mistrust, two enemies that have almost ruined SHIELD and has led to a decision that will ruin both sides.
***** SPOILERS BELOW *****
The episode is called “Scars” because it’s what left after suffering a serous trauma,.. Jiaying (Dichen Lachman), the leader of Afterlife, was scarred by Dr. Whitehall of HYDRA, and was upset about how SHIELD dealt with Eva Belyakov and her daughter in Bahrain. It would take a lot for SHIELD to win her confidence, even if Skye and Lincoln help.
Gonzalez (Edward James Olmos) is suspicious about “enhanced people” because SHIELD has had a difficult history with them. One of them almost killed him. He just wants to make sure they won’t cause trouble, even if his solution won’t be popular.
Before all that, we get a peek of what happened a year ago, as Coulson and Sam Koenig (Patton Oswald) discuss Theta Protocol, which is actually a new helicarrier that Gonzales eventually gets. Sam also gets a SkyMall catalog, not knowing its days are numbered.
Back in 2015, Coulson proposes a merger of both SHIELDs with himself as director and Gonzales as main advisor. It’s just as well, since it was too hard doing it alone. May and Morse also talk about how both sides may learn to trust each other.
Skye is looking over Lincoln (Luke Mitchell), and when he wakes up, he sees the SHIELD logo and panics. He’s worried SHIELD will head to Afterlife and cause major problems.
In Afterlife (aka Lai Shi), Raina (Ruth Negga) seems to be at peace with her ability to predict the future, even though she wonders if her visions are really dreams. She saw a vision of a big rock with deep crevices. Jiaying wonders if that happens to be Kree, and may be used to get rid of the Inhumans. Gordon (Jamie Harris) learns it’s on Gonzales’ helicarrier, and the rock liquifies every few seconds. It was discovered 100 years ago, and HYDRA wants it, too. Gordon and Raina escape capture thanks to his zapping skills.
Gonzales says Inhumans have to be looked at with a skeptical eye. He says Gordon can leave a bomb behind or Lincoln can zap the boat out of commission. Even Skye has to be suspected because of her vibration powers. She urges Coulson to talk to Jiaying before things get out of hand, and also reveals that she is her mom.
May has also lost faith in Coulson, claiming that Skye is proof he went out of control as director, due to his search for the ancient city. She is also upset he keeps bringing up what happened in Bahrain. Those who suffer scars are afraid to face what injured them.
Back at Afterlife, there’s also fear about SHIELD showing up. Gordon even wonders what Cal (Kyle MacLachman) has in his vials that keeps him calm, while Cal thinks Raina’s powers can create chaos. Jiaying says they have to stick together to keep their people safe.
Kara (Maya Strojan) seems to be recovering from the HYDRA brainwashing and her crushing on Grant Ward (Brett Dalton). Fitz and Simmons also talk about Ward, and what they could have done to him. Remember, Simmons almost killed Ward with a splinter bomb. She’s worried if Ward does something horrible again, it’ll be on her.
Just before the meeting takes place, Gonzales suggests that he and Weaver meet Jiaying. He thinks Coulson isn’t objective enough about this or Skye. He even plays the Ultron card, saying the Avengers were almost destroyed because one person, Tony Stark, was allowed to do anything he wanted. That isn’t exactly true, according to the movie. Still, Coulson admits Gonzalez is right, especially since May also doesn’t trust Coulson, so, Gonzalez and Weaver can meet with Jiaying.
Or maybe they won’t. Raina says she has a vision that SHIELD will invade Afterlife, and blast the place. She tells Gordon maybe she should talk to SHIELD instead.
Cal’s not happy to learn SHIELD’s coming, either, and breaks a table. He suggests attacking them, but Jiaying doesn’t want to guide her people into a war.
Raina thinks she has found her purpose, and that’s taking over Afterlife with Gordon’s help. She suggests trapping Jiaying somewhere else, but that plan doesn’t work thanks to Skye and Lincoln also being there. Raina says she’s telling the truth that she has a vision of a major disaster, but she’s ignored because she can’t be trusted.
May and Morse fly a scout plane ahead of the SHIELD crew, but the mission takes a wrong turn when Morse sees it’s not the real May. It’s really Kara, who suddenly remembers Morse betrayed her for some reason. Morse subdues Kara but is shot….by Grant Ward. So much for his redemption. He and Kara have reunited, and they have plans.
He suggests he meets with Inhumans, and record what they can do. That way, if one goes rogue, SHIELD can deal with it. He even offers her a special Chinese necklace meant for Skye to keep away evil spirits. He also trades Skye and Lincoln for Cal, with Skye escorting him off the area.
Jiaying also talks about how time after time, people are profiled for their differences. It’s all due to fear. She also has a Terregen Crystal she made for potential Inhumans. It was melted from a Diviner but the one she made has traces from one. If it breaks it wouldn’t affect an Inhuman, however, she breaks it near Gonzales, and he dies just as Triplett did last December.
How could she does this? She recalls how Whitehall cut her body, and put some parts in jars. She vows that won’t happen to Skye or any of her people. After Whitehall and the events of Bahrain, she thinks there’s no difference between SHIELD and HYDRA. They’re both threats to her people. She, too, has succumbed to fear.
Jiaying shoots herself in the shoulder, claiming Gonzalez did it, and declares war. She is certain to be believed, because she’s trustworthy, unlike Raina.
Thing is, she took the gun from Gonzalez’s hand and it broke off, before she shot herself. Even Lincoln will suspect something is wrong, if he gets the chance.
Finally, Ward and Kara plan their next move. As Morse wakes from being wounded, he shoots her three times. Has another agent died under Ward’s hand?
This shows a leader is only as good as the people under them. For a while, Coulson could only trust himself, but he was smart enough to let someone else handle the major mission of meeting with Jiaying. As for her, she seems to be the only person leading the group, but she succumbed to her own fears when she killed Gonzalez.
Aside from that, Mac (Henry Simmons) had decided he wants to leave SHIELD. With all that’s been happening, he may have to stay after all.
Next week is the final battle, with HYDRA likely to take advantage of the SHIELD/Inhumans battle. The big question is who will Skye support, and whether she will belong anywhere in the end.
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs Tuesday at 9/8c on ABC. Watch full episodes on ABC.Go.com and On Demand (check with your local cable provider).