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TV REVIEWS: FTN Reviews Agents of Shield Season 7 Episode 8: After, Before

July 16th, 2020 by Todd Black Comments

While tonight’s episode of Agents of Shield was SIGNIFICANTLY better than the previous episode, there is a bit of a problem that has been going through this season off and on and it’s that of plot and intent. While the beginning episodes were about fighting the Chronicoms, now it’s about…well…it’s hard to say. Because last episode and this one was more about dealing with the “dangers of time travel” more than anything else. Which would be fine in a regular-season…but considering this one has only 13 episodes? Not so much.

The crux of this episode though was getting Yo-Yo her grove back by returning to a major plotpoint for Season 2/3, the Inhumans and Afterlife. Where we see Daisy’s mother alive once more (before she met her father of course) and once again trying to keep the Inhumans alive. Seeing her trying to help Yo-Yo was nice, even if she once again had an ulterior motive.

It was also nice to see that it was more of a mental issue (which was teased before) rather than something from the Shrike. And Yo-Yo having to go toe-to-toe with May to fully understand what was going on and then let go of the expectation of “always bouncing back” was a nice touch. If a little cliche.

Everything else in the episode again though emphasized that things are kind of running in place. The time drive is broken and of course that is causing problems. Coulson is mad at his LMD body despite now not being in a television (which was poorly expressed IMO). Fitz is STILL nowhere to be found (and likely won’t be in the next episode based on the preview) and in terms of the timeline…how is anything still alive as we know it?

Because Nathaniel is now the big bad and he’s corrupting people to his side (including Daisy’s now alive sister) and wanting to take more powers for himself to create “anarchy”. Ok…

And Afterlife was basically invaded and crippled, which makes it all the more weird that it would still be around by the time Daisy gets there in Season 2. Not to mention the impact Nathaniel is having on the timeline by still being alive and having Cybil doing…what? It’s honestly not clear.

What’s worse though is that it COULD pull itself out of its funk next episode…except we know it’s not because they’re going to do the classic “time loop” gimmick, which barring an epiphany of grand design will make it a filler episode…which this season can’t afford.

In terms of merit and overall plot, “After, Before” was very solid. But in terms of overarching plot and moving things along? Not so much.

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Todd Black is reader of comics, a watch of TV (a LOT of TV), and a writer of many different mediums. He's written teleplays, fan-fictions, and currently writes a comic book called Guardians (guardians-comic.com). He dreams of working at Nintendo, writing a SHAZAM! TV series, and working on Guardians for a very long time!