Agents of SHIELD: 5.19 Option Two

Wow! What an excellent episode after the last few instalments, which have felt rather lacklustre. Option Two felt like a rejuvenation of the series (which frankly has been pretty damn fantastic most of the time); it stopped dragging out villain arcs, the Gravitonium element finally shows its full worth and it introduces new foes that genuinely feel like a threat. Also, there’s more talk of the ever confusing timeline/paradox which allows for plenty of speculation and theorizing. Mix all that with some much needed, well placed, subtle comedy, and what a concoction we got.

Let’s talk about the new bad guys, the Marauders, who General Hale sent to SHIELD’s location at the end of the previous episode. Their arrival here is abrupt and unhidden, quite literally, the spaceship just appearing out of nowhere worked brilliantly. The blacked out, Scorpion (think Mortal Kombat) looking, parkour-moving assassins that followed were creepy and ominous; add to that their control over electricity and you’ve got a tough group on your hands. I think I’d rather go up against Thanos’ soldiers from Avengers: Infinity War.

Speaking of that box office breaking movie, it appears that those events occur during this episode, with a blink-and-you’ll- miss-it reference to the strange happenings in New York. This was something else that caught my attention throughout this episode; the subtle easter eggs, unimportant to the plot but interesting and engaging. The little subtleties were really what made Option Two great; the comedy was simple yet effective, the story wasn’t overly complicated and every element blended perfectly with seamless scene transitions.

Daisy is a character that I’ve not been getting along with recently; she’s whiney, hypocritical and believes only she can make the hard choices correctly (arguably most superheroes I suppose). This coming from the team huddle at the beginning of the episode where Yoyo gets bashed for previously killing Ruby. It was a great scene with fantastic dialogue that’s both comical and thought provoking. It goes into the morality of killing your enemy which Yoyo clearly believes in, while Mack states, “that’s not what we do at SHIELD”.

Now to Talbot, who was locked up last episode for being an unwilling Hydra sleeper agent. After the base is put on lock down (in a stupid but funny arc), he is moved from his cell to be kept safe. He gets to the room where the Destroyer of Worlds machine is, sets it up and uses it, taking 100% of the Gravitonium, as opposed to the 10% that ultimately drove Ruby mad and caused her death. The main question here is how on earth he knew how to use, or even set up the machine. More importantly, why didn’t SHIELD, knowing full well what it can do, destroy the machine the second they had a chance.

During Talbot’s presumed transformation, the remaining agents were in a losing battle with the Marauders, when Talbot enters with the look and presence of Dr Strange, and literally crushes them. Although Talbot still appears to be in there mentally, I look forward to seeing this arc developed, to see if he is a friend of foe and how the Gravitonium has affected him. Honestly, it’s nice to get the conclusion of a substance that was first introduced half a decade ago.

This has opened up a world of possibilities for the remaining three episodes, upping the ante quite significantly. Will the events of Avengers: Infinity War play a bigger part? Will Coulson meet his death, or be cured once again by alien tech? How will the Marauders respond to the current events? Will the Earth be destroyed? Why is Daisy digging up her Mother’s grave? Will one or more of the Invincible Three die? As a fan, I don’t know how anybody couldn’t consider this exciting and get you pumped for what’s to come. Keep doing what you’re doing Agents of SHIELD, it’s working.

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