tek's rating: ½

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., ABC
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Caution: spoilers!

Season Five
So... Coulson, May, Daisy, Simmons, Mack, and Yo-Yo all find themselves on a space station called the Lighthouse, 74 years in the future. At some point after they left their own time, Earth was apparently destroyed by Quake (i.e., Daisy, aka "the Destroyer of Worlds"), and most of the human race along with it. (Which means they must return to their own time, eventually, because when they left, Daisy hadn't done that yet.) Those humans who remain live on the Lighthouse, and work for the Kree, who are led by a guy named Kasius. Simmons is soon forced to become one of his servants, while the others are forced to start working for a human named Grill. Meanwhile, there's some old prophecy about SHIELD coming from the past to save humanity, or whatever... but not many people still believe in it. There's a human named Deke who could become an ally or an enemy. And a human named Tess (Eve Harlow, whom I know from season 2 of The 100) who does become an ally. And there's a Kree woman named Sinara, who I guess is Kasius's bodyguard. We also learn that Kasius has been breeding Inhumans to sell to the highest (alien) bidders. He eventually captures Daisy, whom he believes will fetch a high enough price for him to finally leave this place, as his current position is apparently beneath him. (And there's some family drama that could almost make me feel bad for him, but not really.) Also, Kasius intends to destroy the Lighthouse when he leaves. So our heroes will have to work fast, if they're going to save humanity.

Fitz makes his first appearance of the season at the very end of episode 4, and then episode 5 shows what happened to him after his friends were abducted and sent to the future. He was arrested by the military, and interrogated by an Air Force general named Hale. She wanted to know where the other members of SHIELD were, which he didn't know. They're all still blamed for the attempt on Talbot's life, of course. Eventually, Hunter breaks him out of the secret facility where he was being held. They then track down Enoch, the person responsible for sending the others to the future. He's actually a "chronicom," a sentient alien robot sent to observe humanity. Normally chronicoms wouldn't interfere with events on a world they were observing, but Enoch did so because of a prophecy made by a young Inhuman girl named Robin (the daughter of Charles Hinton, who was in an episode of season 3). Enoch helps Fitz get to the future, as well as setting him up with a fake identity, to bid on Daisy.

In 2091, a friend of Tess's named Flint undergoes terrigenesis, and gains earthbending powers (geokinesis). He's then taken into hiding by the SHIELD agents, so that Kasius can't sell him. And Flint later uses his power to kill Grill. Meanwhile, May is sent to the surface of what's left of the Earth, which shouldn't be survivable. Also, Fitz and Simmons get engaged (though there is some amusing debate over who proposed first). And... I guess I failed to mention that the team had been split up for several episodes, but they eventually reunite (except for May). But soon thereafter, they split up again. Coulson, Daisy, Fitz, Simmons, and Deke (now an ally) fly to the surface in a trawler, while Mack and Yo-Yo stay in the Lighthouse to help Flint protect his people from the Kree. Before the main group reaches the surface, Enoch finds May and takes her to a secret human settlement (in the Zephyr!) One of the people there is Robin, who is now an old woman. The folks on the trawler finally make it to the surface and are soon reunited with May. They try to get answers from Robin about everything that's going on, but it's difficult, because her Inhuman ability to see the past, present, and future basically scrambles up time in her mind, so she isn't always very coherent.

Well, lots of other stuff happens, not all of which I feel it necessary to detail. I suppose I should mention a substance called odium, which a person (whether human or alien) can drink to gain great strength but also go kind of berserk, before finally dying. It's a last ditch kind of weapon, obviously. We see a couple of Kree use it, in different episodes, but I only mention it because it will be seen again later on in the season. Um... also, we learn that at some point in the past (but after the time the SHIELD agents are from), Kasius had captured Yo-Yo, and has killed her numerous times, but uses Kree technology (like that previously used on Coulson) to bring her back to life whenever he wants to torture her for information. The current Yo-Yo eventually meets this other version of herself... who has no arms. She tells current Yo-Yo various things, which all sound pretty hopeless. But the most important thing she says is that in order to save the world, the team will have to let Coulson die. Meanwhile, Kasius and the other Kree are eventually defeated, leaving humanity in control of the Lighthouse. And finally, Flint uses his power to reassemble pieces of a fragmented monolith, to send the SHIELD agents home. However, Daisy wanted to stay in the future, to prevent herself from destroying the Earth in the past. But Coulson forces her to return with them.

Well, I want to say that for awhile, I had this silly little theory that the show moving from its usual Tuesday nights to Friday nights for season five was a sort of parallel to the team being sent to the future. But when they returned to the present, the show remained on Fridays, so I guess my theory didn't pan out. Anyway, back in the present, the team find themselves in the Lighthouse... which is actually an underground SHIELD bunker, built in the 1970s. They receive some information about it from a holographic recording of General Rick Stoner (Patrick Warburton), who had been a high-ranking SHIELD agent at the time. Also, they meet a chronicom named Noah, who had been sent to replace Enoch. (But he doesn't last long.) And it turns out that Deke was also transported to the present, though not to the bunker with the others. It's fairly amusing to watch him enjoying his first taste of life on an actual planet, but of course he soon gets himself into trouble, and has to be rescued by Daisy. The team also soon reunites with Agent Piper. (She was introduced in season 3, and had a recurring role in season 4, but when she showed up this season, I'm afraid I didn't exactly remember her.) She betrays them to General Hale, but this turns out to be a mistake that she regrets, and the team will eventually forgive her. Hale has a group of robotic soldiers, who are led by Hale's own daughter, Ruby (Dove Cameron), who has been trained all her life to be a totally badass fighter. (Initially, she was wearing a mask and uniform that made her look pretty much like the robots, but since viewers had seen her before, it was a safe guess that it was her, and that later turned out to be true.) She uses a pair of chakram, which end up cutting off Yo-Yo's arms, which makes it seem that the future is already coming true. But the team manages to escape from their enemies.

Hale also recruits Carl Creel to her team. (I don't think I've ever mentioned him, but he originally worked for Hydra, in season two. Later, in season three, he worked for Talbot. Anyway, he has the power to turn his body into whatever substance he touches.) Hale also recruits Ivanov (now in an LMD body), and Werner von Strucker (who becomes close to Ruby). Meanwhile, there's a dimensional rift in the Lighthouse, which causes physical manifestations of people's fears. Fitz has to find a way to seal that, before the rift gets bigger. He finds a temporary fix, but a permanent one will require gravitonium. (That's an element that was of some importance in season one, but I guess I never mentioned it. It's more important this season. In fact, it was used during the part of the season set in the future, as well.) Also, the team learns that Coulson is dying, because of something that happened during the Ghost Rider story arc, which he has been concealing from them all this time. I should also say that Coulson has apparently been grooming Daisy to eventually replace him as director of SHIELD for some time now, which I may not have mentioned before. I still don't really understand it, because I think there are other people who would be more obvious choices, like May or Mack or Simmons. But whatevs. Daisy doesn't feel ready to take the lead, especially once she learns that because of Coulson's condition, that time would come a lot sooner than expected. Also, Fitz repurposes the arms from one of Hale's robots to make prosthetics for Yo-Yo. Also, Fitz and Simmons get married. And after a while, Deke figures out that they're his grandparents. When Simmons learns that, she feels that she and Fitz must be invincible, because as long as Deke continues to exist, it must mean that they'll live at least long enough to conceive his mother. Yo-Yo also feels invincible, because she believes she can't be killed, since she's already seen herself alive in the future. Which means all three of them will be willing to do reckless things.

Eventually, in part of his attempt to permanently seal the rift, Fitz does something I don't want to spoil, but... it leads to Daisy hating him, and no one (except Simmons) trusting him anymore. What he did worked, so the rift is gone, but... there is some disagreement over whether the end justified the means. (Anyway, it was a really dramatic and twisty episode.) Meanwhile, Coulson allows Hale to take him into custody, for reasons I don't need to get into. There's an episode where we see flashbacks to when she was one of several teenagers being raised and educated by Hydra. And we learn that Hale has a deal with an alien group called the Confederacy. And Hale has a particle infusion chamber created by Daniel Whitehall, which can infuse a person with gravitonium to give them immense power. Originally she intended to use it on Ruby, but now she thinks Daisy might be a better choice. (The project was called "Destroyer of Worlds," which of course horrifies Coulson. But he can't talk Hale out of using it, because she doesn't believe his story about having been to the future.) And Coulson learns that Hale has been holding Talbot prisoner for some time now. He's no longer in a coma, but his mind is still messed up from being shot by the Daisy-LMD last season. Coulson convinces Creel to help him and Talbot escape. Meanwhile, Daisy and May go looking for the present, young version of Robin, and her mother, Polly, to bring them into SHIELD's protection. Fitz, Simmons, and Yo-Yo go to a Hydra facility to find Whitehall's machine and sabotage it. But they're soon captured by Ruby, Ivanov, and a bunch of robots, so they're forced to repair the damage. And eventually Ruby uses the machine to give herself powers, though she doesn't manage to absorb all the gravitonium, and her powers are limited. And she ends up accidentally killing Werner, and then being killed herself by Yo-Yo, who believes her death was necessary to prevent the Earth from being destroyed. However, her action creates a major strain in her relationship with Mack.

Later, the Lighthouse is invaded by Confederacy troops who want to obtain SHIELD's gravitonium. But Talbot uses the infusion chamber on himself, absorbing all the gravitonium, so he is able to stop the invaders. Also, an old friend of Mack's named Tony Caine (Jake Busey) obtains a Centipede device and serum (as seen in season one), which he gives to Daisy in the hopes that it could save Coulson's life. However, it needs another ingredient... which leads to Daisy digging up her mother Jiaying's remains, to extract DNA to add to the serum. Talbot takes Coulson to the Confederacy's spaceship, where he soon uses his new powers to take command. But he becomes increasingly power-mad and paranoid, eventually killing Hale and distrusting Coulson. Also, Talbot forms an alliance with one of the leaders of the Confederacy, a Kree named Taryan, who is the father of Kasius. Taryan tells Talbot about deposits of gravitonium buried deep in the Earth, which could increase his power. Of course Talbot wants to get that, but he also wants to save humanity from Thanos's attack (as seen in "Avengers: Infinity War," which as of the end of this season, I haven't seen yet). But we never actually see Thanos or any of the stuff going on in the movie, on this show. Also, the SHIELD team equips the Zephyr for space travel, using gravitonium. And um... we had previously learned that in the past, some gravitonium had absorbed people. Now, Talbot uses his power to absorb Creel. May and Deke manage to destroy the Confederacy's ship.

And then... the team hits upon the possibility of combining the Centipede serum with odium to use against Talbot, but only as a last resort. They don't want to kill him, they'd rather talk some sense into him. But if that becomes impossible, they need a way of killing him. However, there's only enough serum to either use on Talbot (with the odium) or else to save Coulson (with Jiaying's DNA). And the team argues about this. Yo-Yo is particularly adamant about listening to her future self's warning, and let Coulson die, even though she hates that thought as much as any of the others. Well, except May, who is in love with Coulson. She destroys the odium, seemingly leaving no choice but to use the serum to save Coulson. However, Coulson secretly gives the Centipede device and its serum to Daisy. She goes to talk to Talbot, and makes some pretty decent arguments, which he refuses to believe. So she ultimately uses the serum on herself, increasing her own power enough to quake him into space. (I'm not at all sure that necessarily means he'll die, even if everyone on the show seems to think so. But at least he's not around anymore to unwittingly destroy the Earth.) In the aftermath of saving the world, the team says their goodbyes to Coulson, who has chosen to spend the little time he has left in Tahiti (which is a pretty neat callback to season one), accompanied by May. Also, Daisy decides that Mack would be a better replacement for Coulson than she would.

Well, lots of other stuff happened throughout both parts of the season, which I haven't felt the need to mention. I do kind of want to mention that there's another minor SHIELD agent named Davis, who has been seen occasionally throughout the series. But like Piper, I never really remembered him. But this season there is kind of a running gag where we see various people reacting to a story (or stories) he tells about things he's experienced. We never get to hear his story, but those who do always think it's pretty incredible. So that was amusing. Anyway... I guess I should also mention that Deke leaves at the end of the season. And um... there's a major plot development with Fitz, which I won't spoil yet, but I will next season. Other than that... I just hope I'm not forgetting anything terribly important.


action/adventure index

Marvel Cinematic Universe
Phase One: Iron Man * The Incredible Hulk * Iron Man 2 * Thor * Captain America * The Avengers
Phase Two: Iron Man 3 * Thor: The Dark World * Captain America: The Winter Soldier * Guardians of the Galaxy * Avengers: Age of Ultron * Ant-Man
Phase Three: Captain America: Civil War * Doctor Strange * Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2 * Spider-Man: Homecoming * Thor: Ragnarok * Black Panther *
Avengers: Infinity War
TV: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. * Agent Carter * Inhumans * Cloak & Dagger
streaming: Daredevil * Jessica Jones * Luke Cage * Iron Fist * The Defenders * The Punisher * Runaways