Agents Of SHIELD Season 7, Episode 8 “After, Before” Recap And Review

The agents are reunited after some of them had “totally excellent adventures” in the 80s. As you can probably guess, the reunion will be short lived as the Zephyr’s time drive starts malfunctioning. Unless they can figure out how to repair it, the outcome will be catastrophic. If only they had someone fast enough to move through the deadly pulsing waves around the device.

Warning: There will definitely be spoilers for Season 7, Episode 8 of Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD below.

(All images courtesy of ABC Studios).

Time Is Running Out

Simmons tells the others they’ve lost control of the time drive. The Zephyr is making continuous jumps within shorter intervals. Eventually it will attempt to make a jump within a jump, which would be disastrous. They have two days, which is really twenty minutes for them. Deke suggests they just disconnect the regulator. Enoch mentions there is time field surrounding it that is cycling at a rate of 49 pulses per second. Anything that comes into contact with it disintegrates.

They can’t slow down the pulses, and May looks to Yo-Yo about moving fast enough in between them. Yo-Yo knows she still can’t access her speed abilities. Daisy has left her healing chamber and has an idea. Since they’re still in 1983, her mom, Jiaying, could probably help Yo-Yo with her powers.

Yo-Yo and May take a quinjet to Afterlife, the Inhuman “sanctuary” run by Jiaying. They approach by foot and see a couple guys chasing a girl. They raise their hands and ask to talk to Jiaying. The girl tells them they shouldn’t have come there. When they meet Jiaying, she and another guy are skeptical. Yo-Yo is asked to give a demonstration, but she can’t which the guy says is “convenient.” They bring a box with a Diviner in it, and Yo-Yo immediately picks it up (and touches it to her face since her hands are prosthetic). Jiaying seems very concerned that something was able to take away Yo-Yo’s Inhuman gift.

Yo-Yo is given some acupuncture in an attempt to break down any poisons in her body. The next morning the tests come back, and nothing came up. Jiaying says the problem isn’t physical, it’s in her mind. Yo-Yo isn’t thrilled with this idea, but Jiaying has another idea. She was able to sense that May had empathic abilities. She suggests May help guide Yo-Yo on an emotional path. This results with them sitting face to face in a mediating fashion. May says this is her worst nightmare.

Both May and Yo-Yo agree this isn’t helping. May decides some sparring, which also involves physical contact, could work. Yo-Yo starts getting flashes of guilt from people who she failed to save or killed (like Ruby Hale). She then gets a flash from when she was ten or eleven. Her dad got mixed up with some bad people so she was staying at her uncle’s. A thug was at the house while she hid in the closet with her cousin. She didn’t want the guy to take her abuela’s necklace he set down on a table so she grabbed it. The man and her uncle started to struggle which resulted in her uncle getting shot. May thinks the point of all this was for Yo-Yo to be able to forgive herself.

Trouble In The Afterlife

May and Yo-Yo decide it’s time to leave. They hear a commotion in the hall. There’s a problem with the girl once again. It turns out since she went through Terragenesis, she’s been unable to control her gift. That’s why they were so eager to help Yo-Yo. Jiaying says taking her powers is better than the alternative. The problem now is the girl took a gun and ran off.

Outside, the girl is about to shoot herself in the head when the gun “quakes” apart in her hands. It’s Nathaniel with Daisy’s powers. He tells her she doesn’t have to die this day. He was supposed to die as well but found an escape hatch. He offers for her to come along with him. She asks how he knew she’d be there. Nathaniel mentions he has a friend named Sibyl. Afterlife is just a prison. Nathaniel brought some more “friends” in helicopters.

They make their way inside. Nathaniel tells Jiaying she put the girl through enough and has been holding her back. With armed soldiers everywhere, Gordon (the 1983 version of the teleporting Inhuman seen in previous seasons), teleports Jiaying, May, and Yo-Yo to the quinjet. May gives Jiaying her watch so they can track her later. She says they’ll help since Nathaniel is their enemy as well. Jiaying says her people need help. Her daughter is still out there. Turns out the girl was Jiaying’s daughter.

May and Yo-Yo barely make it back on the Zephyr in between it’s time jumps. Mack had been preparing everyone to abandon ship. Yo-Yo has to tell Mack it didn’t work. She still can’t use her powers. May says it’s not her fault. She’ll bounce back. She always does. This gets Yo-Yo thinking. Maybe she’s not supposed to…bounce back.

Yo-Yo runs to the time drive and manages to pull out a cylinder in between the pulses. The Zephyr has stopped jumping. Mack asks her why she didn’t bounce back, and Yo-Yo thinks she’s always been holding herself back. Later Enoch looks over the device and is guardedly optimistic they can repair it. Suddenly it starts up. “It didn’t work.”

Meanwhile Nathaniel has Inhumans bound at Afterlife. He starts talking about a distribution of wealth. It used to be “written in the stars” as far as who would get what. He tells the girl they should shake things up and give the world anarchy.

Thoughts

There were some cool moments in this week’s episode. Unfortunately after some of the really exciting and surprising events of the last few episodes, it almost felt like more of a subdued episode. Not to diminish Yo-Yo’s character, but all we really got was a sort of evolution in her powers. She is no longer a “yo-yo” forced to return to the place she started when using her speed powers. That is very cool, but with limited episodes left in the series, there’s still so much more we want to see.

There are unanswered questions about the affect of all these changes in the timestream. Are they actually changing the timeline or have they created an alternate one that exists outside the main timeline? This is how time travel was treated in the Marvel comics. Will Hyrdra try to launch Project Insight again decades later? Would Jiaying have a faint memory of meeting May? We haven’t seen Gideon Malick in all of this. What is he up to? What about the fact that Nathaniel Malick is still alive and now has powers? Also, Daisy has a sister now?!?

Obviously they’ll have to defeat Nathaniel since they are slightly responsible for what he’s been doing. Now that he knows how to transfer Inhuman abilities, what will this mean for the others being held captive at Afterlife? Will there now be more of Nathaniel’s “friends” with powers? It’s likely he’s still aligned with Hydra and following in the family business. Where are Jiyang and Gordon since the Zephyr did another time jump? Will Daisy confront her mom or simply try to avoid making contact?

So many questions and so few episodes left in the series.

Aside from the focus on Yo-Yo and May, we did get to see some minor interactions with the others. It was funny when Sousa asked Simmons if she ever jumped out a plane and she replied twice with a parachute the second time. She also gave Sousa a new prosthetic leg. We didn’t see Fitz (again), but Simmons prepared a message for him that he would hopefully find if the Zephyr went down. Coulson also got a new body as well but needs to fully recharge.

It will be great to see next week’s episode directed by Elizabeth Henstridge.

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