"Aftershocks" is the eleventh episode of the second season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D..
Coulson's team must deal with the consequences of their war with Hydra as shocking revelations threaten to tear them apart, and Hydra makes a dangerous move that may involve a traitor in S.H.I.E.L.D.'s midst.
In 1983, Jiaying, Skye's mother, overlooks Gordon, a young Inhuman who recently underwent Terrigenesis. He isn't handling his transformation well, as his skin covered his eyes and he has little control over his teleportation abilities. She tries to comfort him, but with little success. Another Inhuman, Yat-Sen, tells her it is a blessing she ages so slowly and could help many generations with their transformation. Without her, they would be lost.
In the present day, Skye is kept isolated at the Playground. Coulson thinks she might be contaminated with the gas that came out of the Obelisk and killed Trip, so he wants to keep her under close observation. Simmons is still in Puerto Rico with a team studying the underground city. Each of the members of Coulson's team are coping with Trip's death differently. Mack still feels horrible about losing control of his body to the forces in the city under Puerto Rico, and takes his aggression out on the other members of the team. Coulson comes up with a plan to use Bakshi, who is still in their custody, to lure them to Hydra, taking advantage of their lack of leadership following Daniel Whitehall's death. Mack blows up at Coulson when he hears this, and calls the Director's leadership into question by blaming him and his pursuit of the messages in his head for Trip's death. While they are arguing, Skye notices the items in her isolation unit start to rumble. Agent Morse is able to calm Mack down, and everyone agrees to go along with Coulson's plan. With everyone calmed down, the items in Skye's unit stop to move as well before anyone could notice anything strange.
Meanwhile, a meeting of Hydra's three highest-ranked members is called together by Octavian Bloom. Since Sunil Bakshi is nowhere to be found and is assumed dead, Dr. List, a representative for Baron von Strucker, organizes a competition between the Bloom and three other heads where the whichever one of them could bring S.H.I.E.L.D. out of hiding would take over Daniel Whitehall's position as the head of Hydra's activities in this portion of the world. In Puerto Rico, Simmons' team find themselves under attack from Raina, who is completely transformed after her exposure to the mists. Her skin had gone pale, her eyes yellow, lost all her hair, and is covered in thorns. She kills two of Simmons' men before escaping to the surface, where she finds Cal hiding among cargo units he can stow away in to get off the island. She confronts her over her transformation and how she could reverse it. Raina particularly feels bad that she wanted to undergo this transformation all her life only change into something so horrific while Cal's daughter stayed as beautiful as she was before. Cal, however, is ecstatic that his daughter underwent Terrigenesis, and couldn't care less about what happens to Raina. If she doesn't want to live like this anymore, he tells her, "don't."
Coulson and May take Bakshi out of his cell to deliver him to Brigadier General Talbot. The plan seems to go well until their car is ambushed by a Hydra operative. The operative, however, is actually Lance Hunter in disguise, and tricks Bakshi into leading him back to Octavian Bloom. Bakshi goes inside Bloom's house to speak with the Hydra head, while Agent Morse meets up with Hunter in the car outside. Hunter tells his ex-wife he thinks she has some secret with Mack due to the way she acted around him when he challenged Coulson, and she reveals the two of them are part of a "support group." Back at the Playground, Simmons is back from Puerto Rico with samples of Raina's blood. She sees that Raina's DNA is completely changed, not just rearranged but includes new molecules. Worried that Raina might have infected Skye, Simmons orders samples of her blood be studied to make sure Raina couldn't cause an epidemic.
Fitz takes the sample from Skye. While he is alone with her, he reveals to her that he thinks the only reason she left the city with no injuries is that she caused the destruction. Unable to deal with the reality that she, too, had changed in the city, Skye has a nervous breakdown, and the lights in her unit shatter. Fitz runs away terrified with the sample of Skye's blood. Meanwhile, Bakshi convinces Octavian Bloom to simply kill the other three competing for Daniel Whitehall's job, as well as the person who escorted him there. Bloom's agents manage to eliminate his competitors, but Morse and Hunter manage to be too much for them. They break into the house, kill Bloom, and take Bakshi back into their custody.
When Simmons and May investigate the damage to Skye's isolation unit, Fitz explains it away as his the result of his own clumsiness. He keeps the truth from them, and tells them Skye's blood is perfectly normal. Once they leave, he secretly tells Skye that he switched out her blood samples, and in reality her DNA was just as drastically changed as Raina's. Raina meanwhile attempts to commit suicide by walking across a busy highway. No cars manage to hit her, but she is surrounded by a team of unidentified agents. They want Raina to come with them, but she instead gives them an ultimatum - they could kill her, or she'll make them kill her. Before anything else could happen, Raina is surrounded by a bubble of blue light, and Gordon, the eyeless Inhuman from 1983, teleports in front of her. He calls her beautiful before he grabs her, tells her he's there to show her the way, and teleports out of there. Some time later, while all of Coulson's team are in a common room talking about their memories of Trip, the toy car Mack gave Coulson activates and scans his office. Mack tells Agent Morse that he's found Fury's toolbox.
- Clark Gregg as Phil Coulson
- Ming-Na Wen as Melinda May
- Brett Dalton as Grant Ward
- Chloe Bennet as Skye
- Iain De Caestecker as Leo Fitz
- Elizabeth Henstridge as Jemma Simmons
- Nick Blood as Lance Hunter
- Adrianne Palicki as Bobbi Morse
- Henry Simmons as Alphonso "Mack" Mackenzie
- Ruth Negga as Raina
- Adrian Pasdar as Glenn Talbot
- Henry Goodman as Dr. List
- Kyle MacLachlan as The Doctor
- Jamie Harris as Gordon
- Philip Labes as young Gordon
- Simon Kassianides as Sunil Bakshi
- Donzaleigh Abernathy as Mrs. Triplett
- Dichen Lachman as Jiaying
- Alvin Ing as Yat-Sen
- Fred Dryer as Octavian Bloom
- Kathryn Leigh Scott as The Baroness
- Joel Polis as The Banker
- Kyle David Pierce as Accountant
- Maz Siam as The Sheikh
- McKay Stewart as Scientist #1
- David A. Jansen as Agent
Continuity and References to the Marvel Cinematic Universe
- Dr. List appears. He first appeared, uncredited, in the post-credits scene of Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
- HYDRA appears.
- Antoine Triplett appears in recycled footage.
- Jiaying appears.
- Gordon returns.
- Raina returns.
- Sunil Bakshi returns.
- Glenn Talbot returns.
- Calvin Zabo returns.
- Obelisk is mentioned.
- Grant Ward is mentioned.
- Wolfgang von Strucker is mentioned.
- Daniel Whitehall is mentioned.
- Inhumans are indirectly mentioned.
- Johann Schmidt is indirectly mentioned.
- The Avengers are mentioned.
- Donnie Gill is mentioned.
- Carl Creel is mentioned.
- Chan Ho Yin is mentioned.
- Terrigenesis is mentioned.
- The first Howling Commandos appear in a photo.
- Lola miniature car appears.
- Nick Fury is mentioned.
- Afterlife is introduced.
- This is be the first episode that Adrianne Palicki is credited as a starring cast member.
- Grant Ward does not appear in this episode.
- The episode was titled "Epidemic", before it was reverted back to it's original title.
- Fitz mentions the term "Inhuman". This is the first time in the MCU the Inhumans are mentioned.