Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 6.08 Collision Course Part One
Shaky alliances are made and broken as more details of Sarge’s plan are revealed. FitzSimmons are finally heading back to Earth but their mysterious benefactor Izel may not exactly be the best choice to take them there. The deep space story and the Earthbound action is about to collide as S.H.I.E.L.D. battle against the clock to stop the shrike destroying the whole planet.
Everyone is racing towards one point in this first part of Collision Course which ratchets up the tension nicely. Mack upholds his part of the bargain and allows Sarge to take his truck and his team in order to try and prevent whatever it is the shrike are up to. More accurately he allows him to take Snowflake but only if May, Daisy and Deke tag along. Then he follows them all in the Zephyr. Mack really isn’t the trusting type. Even so you get the feeling Sarge is always one step ahead.
Clark Gregg puts in a great performance this time out as he makes Sarge such an obnoxious person who always seems to know much more than he is letting on. HIs timing is perfect when Daisy asks him what his motivations are and he replies “love”. There’s a beat of surprise and then he adds “of course not, it’s hate, hate and revenge.” It’s just one of several moments where he gets to display a sense of humour that ingratiates the character to us even though we know he’ll betray everyone in a heartbeat. Even then he’s morally doing what he thinks is right, namely killing the few in order to protect the many. This grey area is what makes him such an interesting character. He does reveal a few details of his plan, mainly that he needs to kill the shrikes' creator who is currently en route to Earth in order to destroy it. He also reveals, as I presumed last episode, that the big bad heading to destroy our planet is of course Izel.
As clever as Fitz and Simmons are they seem completely oblivious to the fact that their current captain is an evil demon who is intent on destroying their homeworld. They also fail to notice that the rest of the crew are slowly being transformed into mindless shrike infected slaves. However Simmons suspects Izel holds information regarding the monolith's destruction which seems a very good idea as Izel is hellbent on seeking them out. The funniest scene of the episode is when Fitz gets jealous at himself as Simmons talks about their wedding and honeymoon that he hasn’t had happen to him yet. Simmons gets some great lines at the expense of Fitz’s straightman act. Elizabeth Henstridge shows once again that she can be very funny given the opportunity.
I’m still not entirely sure how the writers came up with the connection between the birdlike shrike infecting a host and then crystalline structures erupting from them. It doesn’t seem a natural progression but it does lead to some great visuals as a horde of the infected gather in the desert and then explode into crystal shards that form a giant tower. It is here that Izel is headed and nothing good will happen if she makes it. Sarge’s secret plan to explode an enormous bomb as she arrives hopes to prevent that. In executing this plan Sarge abandons Snowflake to her fate, leaving her with the tag along S.H.I.E.L.D. members. She’s probably not too unhappy with that as there is a great scene where she gets her freak on with Deke, much to the disgust of May and Daisy. If merely prompts Sarge to provide another great line “I prefer it when you kill them.”
There is an inventive use of the portal opening device Sarge has as he escapes from the top of the moving truck and onto the zephyr using a circle drawn on Jaco’s coat. It’s very nicely done and a creative way for him to escape. Less impressive is yet another obvious “redshirt” agent getting killed by Sarge’s cohort Pax. As I’ve pointed out before when a background character suddenly gets given a few lines of dialogue you know they’ve not got long left. To be fair this agent deserves it as he seems to completely forget how long the chain is keeping Pax prisoner. Rookie mistake.
Oh, and Enoch turned up again. Seems his grand emotional exit was short-lived. I expect he’ll also make his way back to Earth before the season is done.
Having part one in an episode title always tells you there’s definitely going to be a cliffhanger ending and Collision Course doesn’t disappoint. Izel is almost at her deadly crystal tower. May, Daisy and Deke are trapped onboard the truck/giant bomb as it closes in and Mack has to decide whether to sacrifice them in order to save many more lives. There's a lot to resolve on the next Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.