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Recap / Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S3 E11 "Bouncing Back"

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As the Inhumans crisis grows, the President comes to the still officially dissolved S.H.I.E.L.D for aid. Meanwhile, the team tracks an Inhuman in South America, while Coulson sets his sights on Gideon Malick.


Tropes:

  • Adorkable: Hunter took fish oil pills to see if he would get powers, and Bobbi admits she was tempted to as well. Mack does not approve.
  • Age Lift: In the comics, Yo-Yo Rodríguez is a teenager. Here, she's an adult woman apparently in her mid-thirties.
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  • Balance Between Good and Evil: After Lincoln explains the old Inhuman belief that terrigenesis grants powers not randomly but to maintain some sort of balance, Coulson wonders if the appearance of superpowered heroes is somehow causing the appearance of superpowered villains.
  • Body Horror: Ward's dead body is not a sight for sore eyes when we first see it again.
  • The Bus Came Back:
    • Cybertek makes an appearance, having not been seen since Season One.
    • Werner Von Strucker is back, still in a coma from Kebo's torture.
    • General Talbot is back as the face of the ATCU, having been missing since "Love in the Time of Hydra" back in Season 2.
  • Call-Back: President Ellis notes that the public still isn't over helicarriers blowing each other up over Washington D.C.
    • In Season 2, Daisy suggested to Simmons that she should tell Fitz that she missed him during their separation while she was undercover with Hydra. One season later, Simmons finally tells Fitz, "I miss you."
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  • Cloak & Dagger: President Ellis and Coulson strike a compromise on S.H.I.E.L.D. since the world at large hasn't forgotten the events of Winter Soldier: the ATCU will be the public face for all abnormal investigations, but S.H.I.E.L.D. will be the ones calling the shots and doing the leg work.
  • Continuity Nod:
  • Creepy Monotone: It/Hive has a very slow and quiet speech pattern.
  • Dirty Cop: There are quite a few in Bogotá, and Elena is trying to disarm them so that they can't abuse their authority anymore.
  • Eye Scream: Lucio, the corrupt officer with Inhuman powers, has his powers negated when Joey melts his sunglasses' frame onto his face.
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  • Flash Forward: The opening stinger shows a scene three months in the future — the bloody interior of a quinjet in orbit, someone wearing a S.H.I.E.L.D. jumpsuit, a cross necklace like Elena is later seen wearing appearing to have been ripped off and left drifting, and ending with an explosion.
  • In Medias Res: The three-months-ahead Flash Forward scene at the beginning has no setup; the rest of the season will presumably show How We Got Here.
  • It's All My Fault: Fitz blames himself for not having gotten to Simmons and Will earlier, saving them both, and having to "kill" Will. Simmons tells him it's not his fault and what he destroyed was a monster, not Will.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: After Elena is captured and they find she has no criminal record, Hunter makes a comment about people with powers turning evil despite being law-abiding citizens before. Daisy and Joey turn to stare at him, but he brings up Andrew/Lash as a defense. They admit he has a point.
  • Let Us Never Speak of This Again: After all that's happened to and between them both, Fitz and Simmons decide that the way to get past their relationship difficulties is to start over, beginning with reintroducing themselves to each other.
  • Lightning Can Do Anything: Werner gets stuck in a traumatic loop inside the Theta Brainwave Frequency machine due to remembering Kebo stabbing him. Coulson asks Lincoln to see if his electric powers could stimulate brain activity elsewhere in Werner to continue the questioning. Despite Lincoln's skepticism, it actually works.
  • Magical Eye: Lucio is an Inhuman who can temporarily paralyze anyone he makes eye contact with. He wears shades to ensure that he doesn't do this except when he wants to.
  • The Man Behind the Man: According to President Ellis, S.H.I.E.L.D. will be this with the ATCU subordinated as the public face of Inhuman-related operations.
  • Mind Control: Ward/Hive implies that controlling other Inhumans is his power (aside from being a Puppeteer Parasite).
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Mack describes Elena Rodríguez's powers as being "like a yo-yo" and uses it as an Affectionate Nickname at the end of the episode; she's the MCU counterpart of Slingshot, whose real name is Yo-Yo Rodríguez.
    • Whilst recuperating Hive is seen wrapped in a brown cloak. Hive is mainly seen wearing a similar brown cloak in the comics.
    • Lucio having to use Cool Shades to combat his inability to turn off his eye-based superpower is a lot like another Marvel character who isn't available to the MCU.
  • Oh, Crap!: Mack sees the metal bits on Elena's shoes and realizes that she is the Inhuman who left the strange marks in the concrete. Then she starts using her powers and he has mere seconds to realize just how outmatched he is.
  • Plausible Deniability: President Ellis notes that he can't officially touch Gideon Malick because of the man's reputation and connections to governments and big business all over the world; Coulson, on the other hand...
  • Power Incontinence: Lucio can't "turn off" his paralyzing gaze, so he wears sunglasses at all times to keep it under control.
  • Power Perversion Potential: Implied. Hunter imagines the possibilities that come with being invisible; when Bobbi asks him to be specific, he unconvincingly says, "Nothing fun!"
  • Put on a Bus: Joey leaves to try to live some kind of normal life with his family (though he remains a member of the Secret Warriors meaning that, like Elena, this may actually be Commuting on a Bus).
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: President Ellis allows Coulson to continue what he's doing even if he can't officially support him.
  • Ship Tease: Mac and Yo-Yo very quickly bond over their shared faith, and Mac seems to have grown quite fond of her by episode's end. Yo-Yo (having only spoken Spanish until then) even manages to say a few English sentences to thank him and say goodbye.
  • Story-Breaker Power: Elena declining to join the Secret Warriors is likely because her speed would become one, given how Daisy spends the whole attack on the police station marveling at how much easier it makes everything.
  • Super Speed: Elena can move at somewhere around 180 meters per second for one heartbeat, then instantaneously snaps back to where she was before she started using her powers.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Coulson's reaction when he finds out Talbot is the new face of the ATCU, since the two have an... interesting working relationship.
  • Ultimate Job Security: Malick has connections and interests in most countries, which is why no government can officially come after him. Fortunately, S.H.I.E.L.D. is an N.G.O. Superpower, and can do whatever it wants.
  • You Did the Right Thing: Both Coulson and Simmons try to assure Fitz that he did the right thing in destroying Will once it was revealed he was a walking corpse possessed by Hive.
    Coulson: You did what you had to do. We both did. Sometimes there's no choice but the hard choice. That's the job.
    (later)
    Simmons: Will died saving me. What you did was kill a thing, a monster. You've been nothing less than extraordinary this whole time.
  • You Do NOT Want To Know: President Ellis wonders how S.H.I.E.L.D. still exists, before deciding that it's for the best if he doesn't know.

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