Marvel's Agents of SHIELD: 5.03 A Life Spent
The previous episode left me apprehensive although ultimately I enjoyed the opening two episodes, I had my doubts coming into this one. Happily I can report that these were unwarranted and perhaps this wasn’t the best the show has to offer, but it was an excellent continuation. It further developed the surroundings and functions of the newly established world. All this while the team attempt to get accustomed to their surroundings and find a way back to the home they were taken from.
Last episode saw Simmons taken prisoner by the Kree leader Kasius and made into his slave. This episode opens by reminding us that she has been rendered deaf, as several sequences show the surroundings from her perspective. These were very informative scenes, not only did it tell us her vision is somewhat blurred except when looking at Kasius, but it set a scary-like tone for her situation. Kasius tasks her with helping a young girl (Abby) who has recently gone through terragenesis to control her powers of manipulating her molecular density. This is so Abby can perform her newly found powers in a “ceremony”, which later turns out to be a fight to the death with a Bane-looking dude which, if victorious, her family wouldn’t be punished … wow this got dark … fast … I like it!
Thanks to Abby’s training, she of course manages to defeat her opponent (in a superb and violent encounter). The next scene helps develop the dynamic between human, Kree and Inhuman as Abby is sold off like a slave, much to Simmons’ disapproval, later implying the Kree are selling Inhumans. I must admit the direction the story is taking here is an interesting one; the tone is significantly darker than in previous seasons and the story development is doing well to establish a horrific future.
The other members of the team (Mack, Yo Yo, May and Coulson), are currently slaves themselves to Grill, a junk dealer who saved them from death for personal gain. They attempt to uncover whatever Virgil (prophet guy who died after 5 minutes) knew, using his notebook. The team (minus Yo Yo) and new friend Tess go on a space expedition to investigate a mysterious signal, seemingly coming from the surface of the destroyed Earth. Grill however, is suspicious and sends his henchman along to spy on the team. This simply leads to them locking him away and a conversation developing between Mack and Tess about the morality of killing him which we’ve seen many times before and was just very yawn! We did however get some excellent development from May; in a heart-breaking scene she opens up to Coulson about being restless after just coming out of the “Framework”, and her desire to simply sleep in her own bed. I can’t quite decide if I prefer less or more emotional May.
Now to Daisy (Quake, Destroyer of Worlds) who seems to be the only member of SHIELD able to roam freely without detection and without a ‘metric’. While attempting to rescue her friends she has an interesting discussion with Deke about parallel universes, which made me wonder, are they in the future of their own time? Surely that’s not out of the realm of possibilities for this show and would also explain the white monolith. Frankly, Daisy was my main concern coming into this episode, having her mope the entire time about destroying the planet. This wasn’t so much glossed over as it was pushed aside for more exciting action. From what I could make out she’s currently in denial which, if stopping the self-pity, is fine with me.
With the help of Yoyo, Daisy manages to obtain a Kree scroll that gives her access to Kasius. To get there, she enters a lift (a little too easily if you ask me) and is caught out by two Kree workers. This ignites a fight that was well executed; it was fluent and actually looked like fighting as opposed to the usual dance numbers. Once the Kree are taken care of she enters through a ceiling, superhero jumps down ( a nice Deadpool reference) and is captured by Kasius. The episode finishes with Daisy discovering Deke has been working with Kasius all along, that double crossing Star Lord wannabe!
All in all A Life Spent was an excellent episode, the fight sequences and visuals were stunning and the story is beginning to gradually open up. Without a doubt the series needs to bring back Fitz, his charm and personality is clearly missing; I'm guessing it's he is behind the transmission's origin. His arrival could potentially answer the question as to whether the team are in the future or an alternative universe. After four seasons this show is managing to successfully inject new, exciting and interesting elements in all areas. Although I expect there to be some unimaginative side stories to come given its 22 episode run, thus far it’s impressive and holding my attention.