An explosive conclusion in ‘Collision Course Part 2’. Chris Philp reviews…
We pick up at the exact point Collision Course Part One finished. The truck containing Agent May, Daisy, Deke, Snowflake and an incredibly sensitive giant nuclear bomb is on a collision course with Izel’s shrike/crystal tower. The spaceship containing Izel, Fitz and Simmons is about five minutes away from landing at said tower and the Zephyr with everyone else on board is racing to intercept. With all the plot lines of the season finally coming together it’s time for some explosive action. Literally. Stuff explodes.
Collision Course Part Two feels very much like a season finale. A lot of storylines reach their natural conclusions and are tied up nicely. If it wasn’t for a few glaring omissions, namely the true identity of Coulson clone Sarge, and the fact there are still four episodes left you’d think everything was all done and dusted. You’d be pretty satisfied too with how things have panned out. In many ways it feels a bit like season four where there were the three distinct storylines – Ghost Rider, the life model decoys and Aida’s constructed reality. They were all pretty self-contained until they all came together for the finale. Here it seems we’ll get a slight change of direction for the final four episodes.
Often with two-part episodes, the cliffhanger from the end of the first part is resolved far too quickly and all sense of suspense is quickly lost. To the credit of the writers of Agents of SHIELD, things aren’t wrapped up so easily this time round. For the majority of the episode Daisy, May et al are still trapped inside the truck, firstly with the nuke and then later under attack from the shrike when the device that cloaks them fails again. It’s a bit of a cheat though. Sarge made it abundantly clear in the last episode that the bomb is incredibly sensitive thus negating Quake’s powers and allowing him to escape. However, now that time has run out and they need to escape, all of a sudden Daisy just ‘quakes’ the bomb, holding it steady in a sort of forcefield. After the shrike start bombarding the truck mercilessly, this also doesn’t set the bomb off. Neither does Daisy’s final last ditch plan of just opening the door and letting all the shrike in whilst she stands there and just ‘quakes’ them all to a pulp. Some better writing could have been employed to iron out the inconsistencies.
Meanwhile aboard the rapidly approaching spaceship Fitz and Simmons are desperately trying to get the communications array working. All around them Izel is turning the rest of the crew into shrike infested zombies. This part of the show seems bit lazy. Blatantly things are not as they should be but Fitz and Simmons just keep working as though nothing is happening. I suppose because they are so close to returning home we’re meant to believe they’re just going to go along with it and see what happens. It’s not until the tower is destroyed and Izel reveals her true colours that they finally get the message and run off to hide. This does lead to one of my favourite parts of the episode where Fitz and Simmons are hiding in a wall cavity. Trapped in the confined space Fitz says “you smell nice” and Simmons just grins inanely. I like these little pieces of random quirkiness and I wish there was more of them.
On the Zephyr, Sarge has taken control of the bridge and erected a force field to stop Yo-Yo running in and thwarting his plan. He doesn’t however count on the fact that Jaco might be tempted to switch sides. Particularly after Sarge shows his true colours and shoots Pax just to prove a point. This allows Yo-Yo the opportunity to free Mack and an epic smackdown ensues with Sarge coming off worst. Finally stuck in the containment cube and his plan in tatters it would appear S.H.I.E.L.D. finally have the upper hand.
There are some wonderful character moments too amongst all the action scenes. A standout is when Yo-Yo has a heart to heart with Jaco reminding him of his past as a humble baker and suggesting that maybe he isn’t fighting for the right reasons. Yo-Yo also has a great scene when rekindling her relationship with Mack even if it does seem a bit sudden considering Agent Keller only died recently. Natalia Cordova-Buckley has done a great job of elevating Yo-Yo from a background character to a fully fledged agent over the course of the series.
The scene where Sarge and Izel get to finally clash heads in a war of words is also very effective, with Clark Gregg emoting Sarge’s desire for revenge. We’re still left not entirely knowing the two characters’ backgrounds and especially who Sarge really is, but we are left with the knowledge that Izel probably knows exactly who he is.
There are some great moments of humour mostly involving Deke and the new love of his life Snowflake. Daisy is having none of it and when she insists Snowflake is locked up Deke accuses her of jealousy. She delivers a fantastic response. “No, I’m pretty sure it’s about the murder”. There are also some great scenes as Deke tries to ingratiate himself to Fitz, his grandad, who has never met him before in this timeline. His continually calling him Bobo is a joke I imagine we’ll see continued.
The effects are a bit lacking this episode with the collapse of the crystal tower not being entirely convincing. Izel’s ship in the atmosphere has the plastic look of cheap CGI. Usually Agents of SHIELD rises above its budget but some things look a bit lacklustre this episode. Not necessarily bad, but just not up to their usual high standard.
The episode ends with almost everything wrapped up. Jaco has sacrificed himself to blow up Izel’s ship. The rest of Sarge’s crew are dead or in custody. A job well done, except for the small matter that we don’t actually see Izel die, which all good comic book readers will know means we absolutely haven’t seen the last of her. Also Agent Davis is acting peculiar; a coincidence that he was the last one to see Izel alive? I highly doubt it. I suspect some sort of shape shifting abilities, particularly with the end credits stinger of Agent May appearing to shoot Sarge repeatedly. Granted she has reason to hate him but it seems too out of character. As a cliffhanger it works because I’m definitely interested in seeing what happens next and how they are going to wrap up this season’s story, especially as it has just been announced that the next season of Agents of SHIELD will be its last.
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