‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ Recap: May and Yo-Yo Get Help From a Familiar Face in Season 7, Episode 8 “After, Before”

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After the Zephyr malfunctioning left Deke and Mack in 1982, the agents, once finally getting the two back, try to figure out a way to stop it from jumping randomly. If they don’t stop it, the Zephyr is done. Meanwhile, Yo-Yo and May visit a familiar face, Jiaying, in hopes of helping Yo-Yo figure out what’s wrong with her and why she hasn’t been able to use her powers, which are crucial to help the Zephyr. Find out what happens in the newest episode of the final season of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., “After, Before.”

After Mack left the Zephyr and Deke followed him, May tries to stop him, saying she doesn’t think Mack’s in the mood for company. Deke assures May they’ll be back in a few minutes. May finds Enoch and Jemma, who is working on the time drive, and tells them that Mack still isn’t back. The time drive starts to malfunction. The alarm starts going off. Jemma goes over the walkie to tell Deke the Zephyr is leaving. She tells him that both of them have to get back now. The drive is deteriorating, and they’re about to jump. They jump, approximately 481 days. “Deke and Mack, they’ve been alone that whole time.” The timer starts at 20 minutes, and May tries to find them, but soon there’s only less than a minute left. Yo-Yo comes back. There’s only so much ground she can cover. Jemma says she needs another data point, but there may be a pattern to the jumps. The damage from the missile must have triggered a spontaneous power surge. The Zephyr jumps again, four more months. May decides to go with Yo-Yo, and Jemma tells them they have 27 days to rendezvous back at the Zephyr, where she should be standing. They leave in the Quinjet, and the Zephyr is back in the sky. The Quinjet docks on the Zephyr nearly a month later, May and Yo-Yo successfully returning with Mack and Deke. “So, what’s wrong?”

Jemma says they’ve lost control of the time drive, proving that even more with another random jump. At this rate, she tells them the Zephyr will collapse into a space-time singularity in two days. “Or, relatively speaking, 20 minutes,” Jemma explains that the jumps and the time they spend in any given time period are getting exponentially shorter. If they keep getting shorter, they’ll sink. Deke suggests they disconnect the fuel cell regulator, and Enoch says the field is cycling and disintegrates anything it touches. They either need to find something to slow down the pulses or move fast enough to go between them. Yo-Yo says if that Shrike hadn’t taken away her powers, she might’ve been able to move fast enough. Jemma wishes she had theories, but she doesn’t know enough about Inhuman biology. Daisy joins the group and says her mom does. It’s 1983, which means Jiaying is at Afterlife. If anyone knows how to cure Inhuman powers, it’s her. Jemma points out they can make it if they leave before the next jump.

Enoch has the location for Afterlife locked in, and he says they will continue on that vector so they could rendezvous in the air when the mission is completed. “If the stone doesn’t sink first.” The Quinjet flies away while the Zephyr makes the jump. May and Yo-Yo land just outside Afterlife and May tells Yo-Yo they keep their cover simple and tell half the truth. They spot a woman, Kora, running away from Gordon, begging him not to bring her back there. The other guy, Li, tells Gordon to take her home, and Gordon wonders about May and Yo-Yo, who are just watching. They put their hands up, and Yo-Yo tells him they’re there to see Jiaying. Kora tells them they shouldn’t have come, and Gordon comes up to them, puts his arms around them, and transports them away with him.

May and Yo-Yo are waiting in a room, and Jiaying comes in. Yo-Yo tells her that she’s an Inhuman, and she needs her help. Li tells Yo-Yo that if she has a gift, show them. Yo-Yo says that’s the problem. She was poisoned. She used to be able to run fast, but now she freezes in place. Li suggests after a few days there, she’ll stop lying. In Chinese, May tells Jiaying she believes Yo-Yo, or at least she wants to. Jiaying tells May that Yo-Yo needs to prove that she’s one of them. Li opens a box with a Diviner. Humans die if they touch it. Yo-Yo immediately picks it up with no problem, but then tells him that her hand is a prosthetic. She holds it up to her face, and it glows. It’s settled, Jiaying says they’ll do what they can for her. Later, Jiaying tries acupuncture on Yo-Yo, who isn’t sure how stabbing her with needles will help her run fast again. Jiaying says it’s just one part of the puzzle and helps break any poison in her body.


The following day, Jiaying comes into May and Yo-Yo’s room. The tests have come back, and she says her theories were correct. They did a thorough search, but nothing came up. Yo-Yo’s problem isn’t physical. It’s in her mind. Yo-Yo says she’s not making it up, this is real and Jiaying tells her that the fact that it’s psychological doesn’t make it any less real. Yo-Yo and May begin to leave, but Jiaying stops them, saying there might be another way. She asks May if she can feel Yo-Yo’s anxiety spiking, she’s not the first person she’s met with an empathetic gift. Even though May isn’t Inhuman, Jiaying tells her that what she can do is still remarkable. May’s gift may be the key to helping Yo-Yo; she could guide her in exploring her emotional past.

They’re sitting across from each other in a room with candles, and Jiaying comes in, giving Yo-Yo a drink to help strengthen the bond between her subconscious and conscious mind. “Is that whiskey? And if so, I want a lot.” Jiaying leaves, and Yo-Yo and May try to concentrate, but they keep talking about how much it’s not working. If physical contact will help, May has an idea. They start sparring each other, and May tells Yo-Yo she wants her to try and beat her, avoid her hits using her power. Yo-Yo’s not sure, but May comes at her anyway, and Yo-Yo starts getting flashbacks. Yo-Yo’s pissed, and May wonders what stopped her from dodging because she also felt guilt and fear. They continue fighting, Yo-Yo getting more flashbacks, including when she killed Ruby. May says it was a tough call and Yo-Yo mentions she barely had time to think, she acted on impulse. May asks if she regrets it, and when Yo-Yo is thinking, she comes at her again. When May takes her down, Yo-Yo gets another flashback, this one of when she was little. “I think we’re finally getting somewhere.”

May says she was a child, she’s impulsive, but it’s not always bad. She thinks the whole point of the exercise is to forgive herself for it. Li can be heard in the hallway yelling for Jiaying, and when May and Yo-Yo sneak out to overhear, Li tells Jiaying it’s Kora. Jiaying doesn’t know how Yo-Yo’s gift was suppressed and tells Li they’ll find another way. He says it’s too late, there’s only ever been one solution to this problem. May follows them into a destroyed room, wondering what they did to Kora. Jiaying says they didn’t do anything to Kora, Kora did this herself. She nearly destroyed half of Afterlife. It’s why they were so eager to help Yo-Yo. If there were a way to take away someone’s gift, they had to know.

Meanwhile, Kora is running away outside, with a gun. She kneels, her eyes glowing, and she puts the gun to her face, ready to pull the trigger. The gun starts moving, and it’s soon disassembled. Nathaniel Malick shows himself, telling her she doesn’t have to die. He says he was supposed to die, too. “Our fates were written in the stars,” Nathaniel tells her he found an escape hatch and asks if she wants to come along. He says his friend Sibyl has a knack for seeing just how everything’s going to play out. Kora tells him that Afterlife is her home, and Nathaniel says they tell her she belongs so that they get her to follow their rules, and she is too powerful for that. Kora says she’s not powerful, she’s deadly, she can’t control her gift. Nathaniel tells her she has to let it out; there is no feeling like it. He really wants Kora to come with him and never feel trapped gain. All she has to do is say yes.

A guy shoots at Yo-Yo, and she tries to use her powers, but can’t, and May kicks him, knocking him out. May grabs the gun and hands it to Yo-Yo, telling her they’re under attack. May looks at her watch, and there are just over two hours left, they’re running out of time. May, Yo-Yo, Jiaying, and Li make their way through the hallway, saving Gordon, who says there’s too many of them. He doesn’t know where they came from, but they’re taking people, prisoner. The place starts to shake, and Nathaniel is using Daisy’s powers, with Kora right beside him. Nathaniel tells Jiaying she’s put Kora through enough and Jiaying tells Kora she only wanted what was best for her, to help her. Kora says she turned on her, she doesn’t see anything but a threat since that day. Jiaying tries to convince Kora she loves her and cares for her, but Kora tells her that she didn’t protect her. She protected the world from her.

Nathaniel’s right, this is a prison, and Kora found a way out. Her eyes start to glow, and Li tries to take her out, but Kora uses her powers to burn his face. Gordon gets May, Yo-Yo, and Jiaying out of there and back to the Quinjet. May offers them to come, but Jiaying can’t leave her people behind to die. Her daughter is still out there, and Yo-Yo says she made her choice, they won’t let them fight the battle alone. May gives Jiaying a watch, saying they’ll send coordinates to it when they’re ready to meet. Jiaying and Gordon leave, and May and Yo-Yo get the Quinjet ready.

The agents get ready to abandon ship as there’s very little time left, and it makes another jump. May and Yo-Yo don’t see the Zephyr anywhere, May says to give it a minute, they’re a jump late, but they should still have enough time to dock with the Zephyr in the next window. The Zephyr suddenly shows up right in front of them, and they have one shot to stick the landing. May successfully docks the Quinjet on the Zephyr as it makes another jump. Yo-Yo breaks the news that it didn’t work, sadness washing over everyone’s faces. They knew it was a long shot. Yo-Yo did what she could. Mack tells the others to get to the Quinjet now. There are only 30 seconds left, and May says it’s going to be close, but she’ll try to get them out of there. She tells Yo-Yo it’s not her fault, and Yo-Yo says she could accept it when it was some alien poison, but now she’s never going to get her powers back. “You’ll bounce back. Always have.” Yo-Yo tells May that maybe she’s not supposed to but then realizes she doesn’t have to bounce back. Yo-Yo uses her powers and runs to the time drive, successfully disconnecting the fuel cell regulator. “We stopped jumping.” Yo-Yo thinks she was always able to do that. She was just holding herself back. Later, however, as Enoch is checking over the time drive, it powers back on, and the Zephyr makes another jump.

At Afterlife, Nathaniel has captured and tied up several people. He tells Kora that everybody finally knows their place. “Let’s call it a redistribution of wealth.” Who’s given a gift, who’s given nothing, who lives, who dies. “It’s all written in the stars.” Nathaniel feels they should shake things up, give the world a little something new – Anarchy.

The final season of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET/9 p.m. CT on ABC, streaming the next day on Hulu and On Demand.

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By Megan
Megan has been passionate about writing since she was little and has been passionate about all things pop culture and nerdy since almost as long. Joining Nerds and Beyond in 2019, she also graduated from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh in 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts in Multimedia Journalism. Megan is constantly binge-watching shows and finding new things to obsess over. 9-1-1 and Marvel currently reign as the top obsessions. You can find her on Twitter @marvels911s if you ever want to discuss some certain firefighters.
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