“Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 05×04 – “A Life Earned”

Tye
Source: ABC Studios/Marvel Television (Press Release). Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Max E. Williams as Tye, Myko Olivier as Ben, Elizabeth Henstridge as Jemma Simmons.

If you want to catch up on this crazy season of S.H.I.E.L.D., click here, here and here.


Picking up where we left off, Kree overlord Kasius has Agent Daisy “Quake” Johnson tied up after she was betrayed by their new ally Deke. He draws her blood and tells her that he saved humanity, because he saw what the ruins of Earth could be – and with Daisy by his side, he can make it so. He tells her that he knows of the old rumors that S.H.I.E.L.D. would come from the past and save the world, and tells her he suspects she is from them alongside his new servitor assistant, Agent Dr. Jemma Simmons. He instead threatens Daisy to help him; he wants to sell her to get off this godforsaken rock, and if she doesn’t comply he will ensure that Simmons’ pretty face doesn’t stay so pretty.

In Salvage, Director Phil Coulson is surprised to see Agent Melinda May assigned to crusher duty. May tells him that they shut down all flights for the Trawler after their botched last job, so all pilots have been temporarily re-assigned as crushers. Agents Alphonso “Mack” Mackenzie and Elena “Yo-Yo” Rodriguez join the conversation, saying they were unable to locate any sign of Daisy. Suddenly, their taskmaster Grill shocks Mack exclusively (because it’s funny) and tells them they are working triple duty – Kasius is having an auction and needs extra scrap metal. He orders Mack to be his new enforcer after the death of his former one Zev, and hires him to rough up Gunner, a client of his that he suspects isn’t being honest with him, since he is receiving expensive Kree technology but owes Grill a debt.

Daisy makes her way to the training area for Kasius and Basha’s ‘ceremonies’ and sees an Inhuman Ben sparring with the trainer Tye. Ben kicks Tye’s ass without even looking, and then goes over to the food table for some meat. Before Daisy can ask the question, he tells her that they grow their meat. That’s his power; not so much reading minds as hearing thoughts. He wishes he could turn it off. Basha and Kasius appear and Tye orders everyone out – everyone except Daisy. The lord and lady deserve a private show. Daisy quakes Tye against a wall and he angrily tells her that she should cooperate, for Simmons’ sake. Daisy asks if the ceremonies are just competitions for Kasius’ enjoyment, and Tye tells her that he sells off his best performers.

Upstairs, Basha is excited to see that Kasius has Quake, The Destroyer of Worlds in his stable. Kasius tells her that buyers are on their way, and Basha offers to double them. He tells her that discussions with unfortunately take place over dinner, and since she prefers to eat alone in her ship, she will have to return empty-handed to her grim little rock. She storms out. Deke arrives for his payment, and Kasius gives him a rare piece of metal, worth more than all the credits they have upstairs. Kasius tells Deke that his enforcer Sinara is concerned about the prophecy, and asks him to weed out any other time-travelers or their helpers. He will pay generously. Deke tells him he will see what he can find.

Backstage, Daisy stops Ben. She knows he read Tye’s thoughts and asks why he is okay with being sold off. He says he came to terms with it, but no one else knows. They do it for survival – their families get money once they are gone. It’s messed up, but it’s how life is here. He suggests that if they are pitted against one another, that she try to win; he will.

In Salvage, they make their plans. Mack and Yo-Yo will work on talking to Gunner peacefully before Grill returns, while Coulson and May will work on getting to the floor where the Kree technology is from, to help them find the signals from the surface. Coulson doesn’t know how to get there, but he knows a guy. Coulson and May find Deke, and ask him where Daisy is. He spins a very convincing lie about her “going dark” and saying she “needs to save Simmons somehow” and she’ll “figure something out”. They ask what he knows about Floor 35, the technology floor, and he has no idea but isn’t terribly interested in helping them. Coulson shows him proof that Virgil was receiving contact from the surface, and Deke agrees to help without hesitation. Deke is only looking out for his own best interests, and if there are people still alive on the Earth, that’s in everyone’s best interest.

Mack and Yo-Yo track down Gunner, and Mack makes a passive-aggressive comment about Yo-Yo roughing him up. She makes him spit it out, and he admits that he is still upset that she had Zev killed, especially since he sabotaged their mission to keep Zev alive. This isn’t who they are, and he doesn’t want them to lose themselves like in the Framework. She tells him that she grew up on the rough streets in Colombia, and she knows how to make him talk without hurting him. She promises that they won’t forget themselves here. Suddenly, Sinara and some Kree enforcers make their way down the hall and take a welding tool from a man.

As Simmons serves Kasius a glass of water, Sinara enters and throws Simmons and the welding tool to the floor. (Does this mean something? I have no idea.) They drag in Daisy and reveal that this is somehow evidence that they are colluding with each other. Since Kasius can’t trust them to tell the truth, they bring in Ben to read their thoughts. Kasius asks Daisy if they were the only two that came through to the present, and asks Simmons if she knew anyone else in the Exchange the day she was taken. They both lie, and Ben confirms their lies as the truth. What a bro. Sinara doesn’t buy it, and so Kasius asks Daisy how they got to the future in great detail. He then asks the deaf Simmons the same story. Surprisingly, the stories match up perfectly. I suspect foul-play. Sinara still is suspicious, but Kasius reminds her that she isn’t the only person working on this.

Ben tells Daisy that in addition to reading thoughts, he can allow other people to read his. That’s how he helped Simmons. He also tells Daisy that this is the closest he has ever been to Kasius, and he read that once Kasius leaves the Lighthouse, he plans on destroying it with everyone on it.

Coulson and May make their way to the elevator, and using some anti-gravity tricks, Deke sneaks them into Floor 35. Meanwhile, Mack and Yo-Yo confront Gunner and Yo-Yo tries to intimidate him into paying up to Grill. Mack tells him that if he doesn’t co-operate, they will make his package from Floor 35 disappear. He calls them sick and twisted, and on the other floor, Coulson, Deke and May find his package: a genetically engineered newborn baby. Yo-Yo notices that Gunner has baby supplies, and Mack grows horrified. Gunner tells him that the only thing people like Mack understands is violence, and hopes he never has a kid – he doesn’t deserve one, and would mess it up anyway. Still reeling from his daughter’s death, Mack beats the hell out of Gunner and leaves.

Upstairs, Deke tells Coulson that all babies are genetically engineered or breeded by Kasius’ Inhumans so he can increase the chance of champions to sell. Everyone else is sterilized by the food. While searching the computers, May finds Daisy in Kasius’ database and punches out Deke, and Coulson and May deduce that he sold her out and lied to them. Before he can explain, some Kree guards break in. They fight and seriously wound Deke, but Coulson and May take them out. More guards are on their way, so May asks Coulson to take the traitor to safety while she fights them off. Sinara enters the room with her orbs of death. They fight and May valiantly blocks the orbs with a Kree axe, before Sinara gets the upper hand. It cuts away before we see May’s fate.

Coulson confronts Deke about selling out Daisy, and he says he had to – her actions were causing Kasius to kill people, and they were all safer with her out of the mix. Coulson thinks that Deke is only in it for the paycheck, and wants to sell out the people on Earth too. Deke explains that he was the son of rebels who died fighting for the cause. He truly cares about humanity. He gives Coulson the payment he received for selling Daisy and asks if it buys him trust. Coulson says it buys him time – it’s safer with him out of the mix – and leaves to talk about May’s status with Yo-Yo as Mack welds Deke’s door shut. Mack makes sure Gunner and his family receive the payment to look after their baby.

Yo-Yo approaches Mack to talk about the beat-down he gave Gunner. He is afraid that Gunner was right – he was a terrible father. He lost Hope when she was just a baby, and that was so hard; but when the fake Hope died at 11 in the Framework, it hit so much harder. He begins crying, admitting that losing his fictional daughter hit harder than his real one. Does this make him a bad person? Is he already lost? Yo-Yo tells him that his love for Hope was real, and that makes him a good father. Grill shows up and congratulates Mack on getting Gunner to pay double (with the payment for Daisy), and decides to keep him around.

Ouch. That hurt.

Sinara returns to Kasius just in time for his auction to a bunch of people in strange, futuristic masks. The main event: Quake, Destroyer of Worlds – a long-lost Inhuman with world-destruction abilities. A man in a mask steps forward and says that she shouldn’t be auctioned – she should have to fight to the death. He takes off his mask, and reveals his identity:

Leopold Fitz.

What?

Wait, what!?

But Fitz is in the past! How? Who? What?


 

What an episode. Overall, it was on par with last week, but the emotional crux of Mack’s arc hit hard. I’m glad to see that he still isn’t over the death of Hope in the Framework – something like that, you don’t forget. The Fitz twist though! What’s going on? Where’s May!? WHAT IS HAPPENING!?

8.5/10!

 

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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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