It’s the penultimate episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s fifth season, and as Avengers: Infinity War reaches it’s climax, so does our season. Let’s jump in.
Quake, also known as Daisy Johnson, wakes up in the dark Confederacy meeting room as Taryan – Kasius’s father – is talking. He knows she is an Inhuman, and is the Destroyer of Worlds. He talks about how she has been treated poorly by humans, but that he sees her potential. He is her future.
Remorath alien warlord Qovas visits prisoners Phil Coulson and Melinda May in the prison cell aboard his warship. He tells them that they are prisoners of war, and if they try to escape, they will fire missiles that they have locked on to the S.H.I.E.L.D. base The Lighthouse. He leaves and meets with Glenn Talbot – Graviton himself -and Talbot says that he needs more gravitonium, so he is returning to Earth. He heads towards the Zephyr One, which is docked to Qovas’ ship, with some Remorath marauders.
Scientists Leo Fitz and Jemma Simmons work on a way to save Coulson’s life, as he is rapidly dying. They realize that the C.E.N.T.I.P.E.D.E. Daisy acquired for them has a serum bonds and amplifies the effects of any chemical put in it. Theoretically, they could bond Coulson with the recently acquired DNA of Daisy’s mom Jiaying Johnson, granting him her healing abilities. They aren’t sure if they should save Coulson; after all, when in the future, they were told that trying to save Coulson destroyed the world. Fitz admits that he has revised his opinion on time being fixed: He points out that Coulson wasn’t alive in the future, so he thinks that saving Coulson would break the loop by altering the timeline.
Meanwhile aboard the Zephyr One, Fitz and Simmons’ grandson-from-the-future, Deke Shaw, is talking with some of our favorite tertiary S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, Agent Davis and relative newbie Agent Kim. Davis is telling his famous story that we keep hearing the end of, and Deke is amazed. Suddenly, Kim is killed and Deke and Davis hide. Talbot and his marauders enter the Zephyr and board the docked Quinjet. Deke pages Alphonso “Mack” Mackenzie, who is watching news reports of the destruction caused in the ongoing Avengers: Infinity War, and tells him that Talbot is headed to Earth.
R.I.P. Agent Kim. We literally hardly knew ye.
Mack and his “it’s complicated” girlfriend Elena “Yo-Yo” Rodriguez look for tracking on the Quinjet, finding nothing. Yo-Yo points out that Talbot could be flying the ship using his gravity powers without even turning it on, making tracking impossible.
Coulson and May look for a way out of the cell, which Coulson stating that all prisons that have a way in also have a way out. He begins scanning behind the walls with a handy gadget on his robotic hand. While they look for a place to escape, they muse about Talbot of all people becoming their “big bad”. They reminisce about the first time meeting him (back in season 1) and Coulson expresses that people evolve. Even if it’s for the worse, you try to save them.
Back on Earth, Talbot finds Carl Creel – The Absorbing Man – in his hospital bed. Creel is surprised by Talbot’s new outfit. Talbot tells him he has been where he is – in a hospital bed, head isn’t right. He worries him by saying he has come into contact with the gravitonium, but he eases his mind by saying he has learned to control the voices and can make them stop for him, too.
Mack finds Fitz and Simmons and asks for progress on their C.E.N.T.I.P.E.D.E. serum saving Coulson. He also asks them to look into a way to defeat Talbot. Fitz is very standoffish after their recent fight.
Coulson has a theory on how to break out, but right when he is going to enact his plan, Deke takes out the Remorath guard, opens the door and rescues them. He tells them that Talbot is down on Earth and then wonders where Daisy is, if she isn’t locked up with them.
Talbot tells Creel to trust him and turns his hands to gravitonium. Creel absorbs it, turning himself into pure gravitonium. He admits he feels great; the voices have stopped. Suddenly, something is wrong. Talbot tells him that he won’t love this next part, as he absorbs his power. He absorbed the Absorbing Man!
Rest in peace, Crusher Creel. We knew you kinda well.
As Mack and Yo-Yo watch this footage, he asks if he ever told her about Isabelle Hartley. She was his teammate, and they were close. Creel killed her, and he wanted him dead for that. But after Creel was deprogrammed and he got to know him, he realized he was a good guy. He didn’t deserve this. Yo-Yo tells Mack he has a great capacity to forgive people.
Taryan offers Daisy a place as his disciple. She asks why the Kasius family has such a god complex, revealing that in the future his sons will wear “dumber makeup than him” and then both die stabbed in the back. She tries to quake him, but he tells her that she is asleep and this is all in her head using a device called the Astralscope. Knowing this, she uses her powers to crack the device on her sleeping forehead and wakes up.
Simmons remarks that they have come full circle – their very first mission involved C.E.N.T.I.P.E.D.E. and now here we are. In brainstorming a way to stop Talbot, they realize the Odium could do it, but it wouldn’t be strong enough to administer orally. They could always use the C.E.N.T.I.P.E.D.E. if all else fails.
Deke, Coulson and May look for a way to escape the Remorath ship, with May remarking that all the hallways look the same. Deke takes them down the wrong hallway, running into two Remorath guards. Before they have time to decide to fight or flee, Daisy quakes the guards out of the way and joins the party.
Back in the Lighthouse, Mack and Yo-Yo try to figure out Talbot’s motivations; after all, everyone is the hero in their own story. Yo-Yo admits that Talbot said he wanted to “fix things”, and Mack muses what that could mean. His career? His reputation? They realize he could mean his relationship with his family.
Talbot visits his wife Carla and son George, who were watching news about the events of Avengers: Infinity War and are as surprised as everyone else by his new outfit. He tells them that he is a superhero now, like the Avengers. He shows off his new powers, and tells George that he could take him flying. Carla asks if they can talk, and this sets off Talbot’s anger. He slams her against a wall using his powers, and accuses her of being against him. She was working with HYDRA to brainwash him, and now is working with S.H.I.E.L.D. to try and capture him.
Qovas is annoyed at the jailbreak, and tells his Remorath marauders to capture Daisy and bring her back to Taryan Kasius, while the others don’t even deserve a hero’s death. May has a plan where Coulson and Daisy will return to the Zephyr One and fly it back to the Lighthouse, and when Coulson protests, she says that she and Deke will disable the missiles and then teleport back using the Confederacy coordinate teleporter. Coulson remarks that it sounds like May is giving him an order, and she says she is. Some Remorath shoot at them, and Coulson blocks it with his robotic hand shield, kissing May behind it passionately, telling he “he thought that would shut her up”. Daisy takes them out, and Daisy and Deke are shocked, but Coulson orders Daisy not to say a word.
George Talbot begs his dad to put his mom down, but he tells him that she isn’t on the same side. He is about to absorb her, when a S.H.I.E.L.D. team led by Mack and Yo-Yo arrive. He levitates their cars, and so they fire at him. He simply catches the bullets and fires them back at them, killing some minor agents. He tells them that he is just a superhero doing what needs to be done. George appears at the door and tells his dad that he isn’t a hero. Talbot promises his son he will save the world, he just needs more fuel in his tank first. He flies away.
Coulson and Daisy make their way to the Zephyr One and find Davis defending it from maurauders. They take some out, and Coulson accidentally cuts his hand. Aboard the Remorath ship, Deke and May reprogram the missiles, but Deke attempts to program the coordinates into the teleporter, dodging blows as May fights off Qovas. Realizing he isn’t winning, Qovas makes good on his threat and launches the missiles. Unfortunately for him, the missiles were set to target his own ship. They make a U-turn and head straight back to the ship as Deke and May teleport out.
Coulson and Daisy call Fitz and Simmons at the Lighthouse and tell them they are returning, and May and Deke should be back any second now – but they already are. In a few moments, everyone will be back together again. Suddenly, Daisy notices Coulson’s hand wound has somehow worsened. Coulson passes out.
As the necrotic tissue creeps up Coulsons arms, Simmons reveals to the team that Coulson’s condition is worsening from his deal with Ghost Rider. He isn’t going to die this very second, but he will soon. Luckily, they can save him by using the C.E.N.T.I.P.E.D.E. and loading it with a serum from Jiaying’s DNA. Mack asks about the more pressing threat, Talbot, and Fitz admits they made need to kill him. All they need to do is load a second C.E.N.T.I.P.E.D.E. with Odium and overload his powers. Daisy tells him the awful truth: They were too successful in destroying HYDRA and Cybertek. There are no more C.E.N.T.I.P.E.D.E.s. Yo-Yo realizes her prophesy is coming true: They can save Coulson or save the world.
Talbot has kidnapped Robin and Polly Hinton aboard his Quinjet. He asks Robin if she has ever seen him tearing up the Earth and bringing something from the ground – presumably gravitonium – and where.
Well, this is how the world ends, folks.
That’s the second-last episode of the season, and I can’t wait to see how it ends. Will the events of the newest Avengers movie play into it? Will they address that in their newly announced sixth season?
Hopefully some of these questions will be answered. I give this episode a 8/10.
See you next week!