Agents of SHIELD: 5.21 The Force of Gravity
The penultimate episode of season five, crammed a lot of characters, story and developments into an hour of television. Not only was this instalment extremely busy and dramatic, it made for entertainment and generated lots of additional excitement for next week’s finale. This show deserves a huge amount of credit for being part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, yet still playing out its own stories, not necessarily pandering to the movie storylines.
The last instalment focused heavily on the evolution of Glen Talbot into Graviton, which was done beautifully. Although this episode gave him plenty of screen time and continued to show his ominous presence, I couldn’t help but feel disheartened with the interaction with his family. The whole sequence felt like his storyline had boiled down to a domestic violence case. Regardless, it’s clear that the Talbot we have come to know and love is all but gone, his morals and ethics replaced with a twisted desire for more power so he can save the world.
The relationship between the remaining SHIELD Agents is still rocky; although it’s clear they’re all being civil to overcome a potentially devastating scenario. The most interesting discussion was between Mack and Yoyo, speaking of what they may have to do to stop Talbot. After Yoyo suggests the unthinkable, Mack says “if it comes to it, I finish it, understood”; I think I saw his chest puff out as he delivered such a macho line. This is intriguing. I wonder if he wants to try and understand his friend’s previous thought processes, somehow getting on their level by killing Talbot. As sadistic as it may be, that’s true friendship right there.
Now to the big shocker of the episode, the will-they-wont-they between Coulson and May. Finally, they get a cinematic kiss, all behind a shield projected by Coulson’s robotic hand while the two get shot at, because baddies can’t shoot below the waist…would’ve ruined the moment. Speaking of ruined moments, although this scene was unexpected, out of the blue and lovely, it was ruined for me by social media, and a three month air date difference between the UK and US…thanks E4.
For me, the action this season has been all over the place, from overly edited sequences and really bad shaky cam footage, to choreography that looks as perfectly cinematic Bourne or Mission Impossible movie. This episode was certainly the latter, both Daisy and May were in full swing, having individual fights that were exciting and entertaining.
There’s an awful lot happening in this episode; Creel makes a brief appearance only to be absorbed by Graviton, Daisy is interrogated by Daddy Kasius, Fitz continues to have the most thought provoking dialog, once again speaking of the time loop paradox thing. Deke plays his role for comic relief; Yoyo longs for Mack’s forgiveness, all the while the planet’s existence is in the balance. Most importantly, Fitz and Simmons discover a cure for Coulson (who is currently unconscious on death’s door) that could also be used to stop Graviton. Although these were interesting developments, I can’t help but feel emotionally cheated; let’s face it, the chances they kill Coulson (again) is extremely slim. Frankly, it was all too much and plenty could’ve been cut while still keeping the same tension and emotion.
The episode ends with Talbot kidnapping the Inhuman precog Robin. This makes little sense. I understand the advantage of knowing the future but surely Talbot knows what his goal is and how to achieve it? Not to mention, Robin doesn’t have to speak, and most of the time doesn’t, just simply an unnecessarily harsh move.
There’s a lot of moving parts coming into the finale, but if one thing’s for certain, it’s that it will no doubt be a thrill ride. Will Coulson once and for all be killed off? What Agents if any will survive the future? But most importantly the question still remains, is Daisy the Destroyer of Worlds or is Talbot?