Agents of SHIELD Changes The Biggest Part of Yo-Yo’s Powers

Agents of SHIELD season 7 has finally fixed Yo-Yo’s powers – and subtly transformed them. The final season of Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD has seen Mack and his team caught up in a loose sort of Time War with an alien race known as the Chronicoms. But in the background, another mystery has been troubling the adventurers.

Yo-Yo Rodriguez is an Inhuman, gifted with the power of super-speed. Her ability manifests in “bursts” that last as long as a heartbeat, and traditionally once that duration is over she bounces back to her starting point of origin. But something has been going wrong with her powers, and she’s been unable to access them throughout season 7 so far. Most viewers assumed this had something to do with the Shrikes, which influenced her in Agents of SHIELD season 6.

Agents of SHIELD season 7, episode 8 finally answered the question. It saw SHIELD take advantage of their knowledge of the past, heading to an Inhuman colony named Afterlife. There, they sought guidance from Jiaying, the woman destined to become Quake’s mother. And, fortunately for SHIELD, Jiaying was indeed able to fix Yo-Yo’s powers. But fixing Yo-Yo’s powers didn’t come without consequences.

What Had Been Going Wrong With Yo-Yo’s Powers?

Like most viewers, Yo-Yo was convinced the problem with her powers was a result of the Shrike toxins her body been infected with in Agents of SHIELD season 6. Jiaying swiftly deduced the issue was not physical, however, but rather was psychological. The last few years have seen Yo-Yo suffer pronounced mental trauma, with her arms sliced off by a young Hydra agent called Ruby. Fitz was able to construct cybernetic replacements, and Yo-Yo later got her revenge, bringing a brutal end to Ruby’s rampage. But it seems guilt has been festering within her heart ever since, compounded by memories of her failure to save her uncle years ago. This has resulted in a mental block that left Yo-Yo unable to access her powers.

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There is precedent for Inhuman powers requiring pronounced mental stability. When Quake first gained her vibrational abilities in Agents of SHIELD season 2, they initially backfired and damaged her own bones. Jiaying taught Daisy to center herself emotionally and spiritually in order to truly control them, and the effect lessened. Later, in Agents of SHIELD season 4, a period of intense grief left Daisy once again suffering whenever she used her powers again. It seems that, as with Quake, Yo-Yo needs to keep a level head and deal with her deepest fears and regrets in order to truly claim her Inhuman heritage.

Yo-Yo’s Powers Have Subtly Changed

Yo-Yo

Yo-Yo experiences an intense therapy sessions courtesy of the Inhumans, helped by May’s new empathy powers. When the process is over, Yo-Yo has regained her abilities, but they are subtly changed; she no longer snaps back into place when her bursts of super-speed have come to an end. The development moves Yo-Yo a little closer to more traditional super-speedsters like Quicksilver, but further away from her comic book inspiration. Fortunately, Mack has already indicated he’ll still be calling her Yo-Yo whatever happens, because in his view the code-name is less to do with her powers than with her tendency to bounce back from whatever life throws at her.

The SHIELD team is getting something of a power-up as a result of Agents of SHIELD season 7. Quake is still the most powerful Inhuman, although it’s unclear whether the effect of the Centipede serum from season 5 has lasted. Agent May has actually become a superhuman in her own right, possessing an empathic ability that made her a walking Chronicom detector. And now Yo-Yo’s powers have lost their most significant limitation. It’s going to be exciting to see where they go from here.

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