Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 05×03 – A Life Spent

Abby
Source: Marvel Television/ABC Studios. Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Ciara Bravo as Abby.

If you haven’t been following this season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., catch up here and here.

Fine, I’ll recap it here. Don’t say I never did anything for you.

Arrested at the end of last season, the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents Phil Coulson, “Mack” Mackenzie, “Yo-Yo” Rodriguez, Daisy Johnson, Melinda May and Jemma Simmons find themselves transported to a distant future where Earth is destroyed and the remains of humanity are slave workers aboard an outpost called the Lighthouse, ruled by the oppressive blue-skinned alien race the Kree. For unknown reasons, agent Leo Fitz remains in the present. Most of the agents find themselves indebted to the gruff salvage officer Grill, while Daisy is tracking down dirt on Tess and Deke, the mysterious mercenaries who are part of an organization that always believed S.H.I.E.L.D. would come to the future to save the world. Meanwhile, Simmons is kidnapped by the sadistic ruler of the Lighthouse, a perfection-obsessed Kree named Kasius, and forced to be his servant.


 

Aboard the Lighthouse, Simmons is all painted up and keeping her nose down so she doesn’t anger her new master Kasius. This is proving difficult, because she was artificially deafened and has no idea what anyone is saying except when Kasius speaks directly to her. Kasius is getting powdered for an envoy for his guest Lady Basha arrives. Kasius offers him martinis and Terran cuisine, but the envoy states that Basha prefers to dine on her ship. Kasius is visibly offended. The envoy tells Kasius that Basha is looking forward to their ceremony later and departs. Kasius asks his servitor Tye for some good news about the ceremony. Apparently, there is none, as the Kree goes on a destructive rampage before being calmed down by his bodyguard/right-hand woman/potential romantic partner, Sinara. Kasius tells Simmons they need her help.

In salvage, Coulson, Mack and Yo-Yo are slaving away. Coulson tries to sneak a peek at the notes he lifted from Virgil’s place when they are distracted by Grill’s bodyguard Zev zapping Yo-Yo via her wrist implant, her Metric, for not working hard enough. Mack takes a pipe and tries to go after Grill in his office, but is gravitationally stuck to the wall. Grill says he doesn’t tolerate insubordination, and reminds Mack that they owe him a debt. Zev shocks Mack and beats him with a rod. Mack returns to Coulson and Yo-Yo and tells him that Grill has a gun in his office, and has the Kree tablet locked up tight. See, it wasn’t dumb – it was recon. Tess and May arrive, ready to go on a Trawler run, and Coulson asks for them to take him with. Tess asks Grill for a couple crushers to make a double delivery, and Grill sends “the agitator” and his friend. They’re in.

As they walk through the Lighthouse, Daisy refuses to believe Deke’s theory that she destroyed the world. She just wants to find her friends. Deke explains the multiverse theory, and uses it at reasoning for why Daisy wouldn’t remember destroying the world (yet). Deke realizes that there has been a renewal, and talks to his contacts for information. He finds out that there is an opening at Grill’s junkyard and advises Daisy to look there. Daisy finds Yo-Yo alone working in salvage, and tries to convince her to leave. Yo-Yo refuses, saying she needs to stay and get the tablet so she can get it to Simmons. Grill, meanwhile, tells Zev that he doesn’t trust the newbies. He thinks that Virgil was stealing from them, and the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents are continuing the racket. He asks his guard to find proof.

Sinara un-mutes Simmons and takes her to a room, where a human girl Abby is shaking uncontrollably. Tye tells Simmons to fix the problem and leaves with Sinara. Simmons asks Abby how long she has had seizures, and tries to put her hand on hers. Abby says that she has had them since Terrigenesis, as Simmons’ hand passes right through her. Abby is scared; if she can’t get this under control by the ceremony, something terrible will happen. She explains that everyone gets exposed to Terrigen mist at 18, and she was one of the lucky ones. Now she just needs to prove her abilities in the ceremony, or something terrible will happen to her family. Unfortunately, she can’t control her powers. Sometimes she is so light that objects pass through her and sometimes she is so heavy she’s like lead. Simmons promises to help.

Tess makes her way to the Trawler bay and kicks out Flint, a squatter. (Keep an eye on him, he’s from the comics.) Coulson, Mack and May approach and Coulson says that Virgil appeared to have been tracking chunks of earth, with a particular interest in a large chunk: Earth-616. (If you don’t know what that is reference to, revoke your nerd card.) Tess says that she is too under the radar to do a side-mission, but Coulson convinces her that this is the mission to save humanity. Suddenly, Zev shows up and everyone gets quiet. He announces he is coming along.

In the shop, Grill is trying to enjoy some soup when he notices workers blinking out of the area multiple times. He traces it back to Yo-Yo, who is secretly using her super-speed, and tells her her Metric is on the fritz. He removes it for a second to run diagnostics and she uses her speed to sprint to his office, get the tablet, spring to Daisy and make the trade-off before Grill can re-affix it.

As Mack distracts Zev, they collect debris with the Trawler. Coulson and May have a chat. Coulson takes the unusually fatalistic approach, thinking that their destiny is here to help these people – this is the end of the line. May says that she just wants to go home; after the Framework and this, she has earned a night in her own bed. Tess comes upstairs and tells them Zev hasn’t noticed they are off course yet. Looking at the ruins of Earth, Tess pulls out Virgil’s model of Earth and said he was superstitious and wouldn’t leave without it. Working on a hunch, Coulson breaks open the model and finds the missing knob to a cabinet. Inside is communication equipment. Before they have time to investigate, Zev secures everyone to the wall by their Metrics. May flies the Trawler erratically to injure the unsecured Zev, and then Mack knocks him out. Tess explains that this is very bad: attacking a superior means death. She wants to dump him into the wastes of space and call it an accident, when suddenly they pick up a transmission bouncing off the earth chunk 616: a faint signal reflecting from the surface of Earth.

In Abby’s quarters, she is frustrated because she still can’t master her molecular density. Simmons waxes beautiful poetic about how everything is made up of the same thing and space between. We’re all stars, and Abby can control the space between the stars. Using this, Abby is able to pass her hand through a pitcher before she breaks concentration and smashes it. Still, this is great progress; it will take months to master. Suddenly, Kasius, Tye and Sinara show up and say that it is time for the ceremony and take Abby. Simmons reassures her she will do well and begs Kasius for more time, but he silences her again. While in mute mode, Kasius asks Sinara why she chose Simmons for this. Sinara says she has one thing no one else seems to – compassion.

Basha arrives and her and Kasius have a cold conversation before retiring to the ceremony room. Simmons is concerned to find it is a gladiator pit. Kasius unveils his champion, Abby, while Basha unveils hers: a large hulking brute called The Beast. Simmons wants to help, but Sinara silently threatens her. She simply watches in terror as Abby gets the ever-loving shit brutally beaten out of her. She starts having a seizure, but the beating doesn’t stop. She looks up to Simmons, pleading, who reassures her to remember the stars. She begins to meditate. The Beast looks to Basha for the go-ahead to kill Abby and gets it. He tries to punch her in the chest as hard as he can, but shatters his arm on her diamond-strong body. This enrages him, and Abby holds out her arm, pleading him to stop. He walks right through it and she accidentally solidifies it, killing him. As Simmons struggles to understand what happens next without audio, Kasius sells Abby as a slave to Basha.

Mack continues to refuse to let Tess kill Zev in the airlock, and as a result Zev cuts their fuel line while trying to decode the transmission. They have to turn and burn, and speed back to the Lighthouse. They are apprehended by Grill and Zev tells him everything. Tess takes full blame, but Yo-Yo distracts Grill. She uses her superspeed to plant a gun on Zev and accuses him of having contraband. Grill arrests Zev instead, saying he knows what the punishment is. Mack looks at his girlfriend, troubled.

Daisy makes her way through the hallway to rescue Simmons using the Kree tablet. Deke catches up to her and tells her it is a bad idea. She accuses him of only being in this for himself, but he says that any mistake she makes could doom the rest of humanity. He wants to wait it out. He grabs her to stop her, and she uses her power to blast her into the wall. He calls her Quake, Destroyer of Worlds and she tells him to never call her that again. She takes an elevator and makes her way through a garden grow-op to another elevator, which she unlocks with the tablet. Some Kree gardeners make their way onto the elevator, so she tries to hide thief-like above them. They take their damn time, and she slips and has to kick their ass. She quakes her way into Kasius’ chambers when she is suddenly caught between two glass walls and gassed. Kasius approaches with Sinara and Deke, who tipped him off and is willing to sell her to him.

Deke, you traitor!

The post-credits scene for this episode is identical to last season’s; Coulson wakes up, observes that he is in space and decides to get to work. However, it continues. He joins up with his team and they tweak the transmitter, picking up a clear signal. It’s a man asking for Virgil and if he secured the team. Coulson realizes that he knows they are there, and they try to figure out a way to get to the surface. Tess tells them they don’t understand; nothing survives on the the surface. That’s where they send people to die. To prove her point, Zev runs on the destroyed ruined of Earth before he is devoured by a large pack of vrellnexians.


Twists and turns and aliens and superpowers! This is the S.H.I.E.L.D. you thought you signed up for five years ago.

This episode wasn’t quite as strong as the last two, but it was still great. An easy 8/10. Keep ’em coming!

To tide you over until next episode, check out my review of a recent episode of the Runaways here.

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Author: Jesse "The Clairvoyant" Rolufs

Film star. Chemical engineer. Dancer. Comedian. I am none of these things. What I am, however, is a huge geek hailing from the frigid wastes of western Canada. I couldn’t even tell you when it started - I’m told the first words out of my mouth were “I swing my +2 DEX war axe and attack the dragon.” My name is Jesse (also known as “The Clairvoyant”) and I am a big nerd when it comes to video games, board games, movies, anime, TV, RPGs - and I am possibly the one of the world leading experts on comic books, the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Joss Whedon. You can find me on twitter as @JesseRolufs. Don’t be afraid to check out my informative Joss Whedon-themed podcast @whedoncast, and my hilarious bargain-bin-movie-bashing podcast @BlindBuy!

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