Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 5 Recap: The Last Day
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. rewinds to the end of the world, and the beginning.
This week’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. starts out by giving us the last day in several places: in the past, in the present and in the future (which is also the past.)
The key to all this is a time loop. Like so many dystopian futures we’ve seen in science fiction, someone (or in this case, several someones) are sent out of time, causing the future to become a violently uglier place than it might have been. In order to get back, a time paradox is created: the crew returns via a time machine that they will build once sent back to the past. (Well, Fitz will anyway. Engineering is cool, Deke.) Sending them back into the past is also the catalyst for the events that destroy the Earth, setting up the future the team will be sent to.
Robin: It’s ok, we survive the crash
May: What crash?
At least, I think that’s where we are. (One of the more useful things about the time loops in other media, like Star Trek or Back to the Future, is they take place over the course of a single episode, or a chunk of a two-hour film. This time loop has been happening since the end of last season.) It helps that the show chyrons where in time we are in flashbacks (2022, The Lighthouse), but Robin’s age in each is also helpful in keeping where and when we are straight.
Also, interesting that post Earth destruction, the entire team was on the Lighthouse already once before, and that it was May listening to Robin that helped the Kree take over. By the way, what happened to Mack that he’s not coming back? Are each of them being pulled out of time as things go on? Or are the members of S.H.I.E.L.D. slowly being offed on the slow path to the future? One assumes Yo-Yo does not come back from her way to the failed rebellion against the Kree. (The irony as Fitz is totally sleeping through this with Enoch by his side, only a few hundred thousand miles away.)
The more the crew relied on the ‘arrival of Deke’s father” the more I became convinced the man would never live to walk back into the Zephyr. Turns out that was half right. Wherever Deke’s dad is, it’s not on the way back to meet and greet. It’s pretty obvious that Voss is hiding something when he tries to keep Coulson and May from taking that chunk of the monolith and showing it to people.
Still, for a Zephyr full of people who are supposed to have faith, it seems pretty shortsighted to be trying to kill off Daisy so that she can’t “Break the World” or whatever. And sadly, the show doesn’t give Voss much motivation other than “fear and murder in his heart.” Obviously, Deke’s dad would have been against this, which is why he’s disappeared. Turning it into the day Robin dies though, that’s a nice twist.
Coulson: Hey, you look pretty spry for someone who was born over 100 years ago.
By the end of the hour, it’s obvious this is not the team’s first run through the loop either. How many times they’ve been over these events isn’t clear, and how exactly they break the cycle isn’t either.
Meanwhile, back on the Lighthouse, it’s the last day for all the remaining humans that Kasius has been freely abusing this whole time. But no, we’re not going back to a Hunger Games knock-off scenario, or people bleating about lives earned and spent like so much direct deposited salaries. This time Kasius is simply wiping them all out, like roaches, and the fear is turning them into mobs taking aim at Flint.
Speaking of which, despite skipping another round on the surface in favor of moving the plot forward, we still got a good dose of them, just not on Level 3 where we thought they would be In fact, for an episode that’s supposed to take place in the two places the roaches inhabit it was a fairly monster free episode for the first half. That’s because Kasius’ plan sent them all to Level 10, where the monsters have been herded to take down the rest of humanity. Time for Flint to save the day, and prove those mobs wrong.
In the end, before we lose Robin, she finally gets to whisper the answers to May, who has apparently been refusing to hear them because ‘it’s not time yet.” (Also May as the mother figure is always a fun twist on the character.) I suppose it’s a good thing Robin didn’t whisper them in a different spot in the time loop, because having the information come out after May needs to remember it, or at least in the wrong spot in the track, would mean they wouldn’t have it now when they need it most.
Daisy: So the lady who sees the future says there isn’t one. Super!
But what exactly does Flint have to do with the answer anyway? Other than that incredibly convenient rock magnet skill he’s been blessed with when the earth is nothing but an asteroid belt in need of some gravitational pull? (Add in some of that Gravitonium from the other week that’s hanging out in the Lighthouse and I think we’ve got our answer.)
One piece of the puzzle that still seems to be missing (other than “where is Deke’s dad anyway?”) is that the inhibitor is still embedded deep in Daisy’s neck, and any move to send her back to the past is going to leave her in inhibited mode. How exactly does she blow the world apart, if she can’t even shake dandruff out of her own hair?
Also, can we kill off Kasius and Sinara next week? That’d be great.