Agents of Shield covered a lot of ground, and time, and planets/space in this weeks episode, here I’m re-capping it as I saw it and letting you know some of my thoughts. Be sure to let me know anything you think I might have wrong, might have missed or any thoughts you have on the current season!
We start off back in time, in 1853 to be precise, and appear to be in a secret society. Which means after dinner games are less charades and more ‘see who pulls out the only white stone from this velvet bag so they get to face their more than certain death’. The lucky fellow heads through a door equipped with items for a journey, and guess what is awaiting him – the monolith! So this thing is old then…
Back to present day and we pick right back up with Fitz having his showdown with the Monlith, but it isn’t responding to him. In rush the rest of the team to pull him away. Something I noticed here- the Monolith then activates again when Skye, sorry Daisy (I still dislike this change) gets near it. A short while later and Fitz tells Coulson about the impossible sand that he found on the Monolith, impossible because it predates the earth and therefore must be from another planet. This leads to the conclusion that it must be a portal to another world and it might be possible to reach Gemma.
Coulson then takes us to see Professor Randolph- the Asguardian hiding on Earth that we met in Season 1- who is currently in prison, still under the pretense of being human. Initially he is reluctant to help the team, but Coulson gently persuades him by threatening to reveal that he is a alien. When Randolph gets near the Monolith, it activates again (safely inside the container)- which prompted me to say to my husband ‘hmm, so is Gemma inhuman or alien?’, as it seems to activate around ‘aliens’. I have a feeling it’s not a coincidence. After a great line from the professor – ‘to the plane!’- the team eventually find themselves in England, in the same room we saw in the opening sequence.
The team discover a secret passage way- which despite every ounce of common sense and previous experience (secret city anyone??), they all rush into. What awaits them is a machine which can open the portal, but when it turns on it creates a frequency that causes Daisy to collapse. It then becomes apparent that Daisy can use her power to oscillate at the same frequency to get the portal to open again- the plan is to send a probe through and see if they can find Gemma, but of course Fitz jumps in, despite knowing the Daisy can only maintain the oscillation for a limited amount of time before the effort could potentially kill her.
The sequence of Fitz finding Gemma, Daisy struggling to maintain her efforts and the resulting exploding Monolith was very well put together. It didn’t drag on for too long but equally didn’t feel too rushed. End result is that Gemma is back on earth! Whilst this is great, we now have to wonder what state she is in – one of the ending scenes is her waking from a nightmare and holding up a rudimentary knife, what has she been up against all this time? And how much time has elapsed for her? Another very believable scene when she then lays her head on Fitz to comfort her, it’s not romantic, but shows the friendship and history between the two of them that was a bit lost last season.
A couple of points about Coulson…
- nothing slips by him, he points out that Bobby has been covering for Fitz’ ongoing endeavours to understand the Monolith;
- he is as dedicated to his team as ever, he acknowledges that it a very remote possibility of getting Gemma back, but that there is no question about trying;
- he is a little bit darker so far this season- the blackmail of Randolph, and a one line to Hunter when he sets off to hunt down Ward, ‘make sure he dies’.
This has apparently not gone unnoticed by Dr Garner, although he’s back to assess Joey for involvement in Daisy’s team of inhumans (a nice teaser for ‘secret warriors’ slips in too), he ends up offering psychological insight on Coulson and Daisy. He is questioning of Coulson’s current mindset, but Daisy he points out is still changing and is becoming a leader. Clearly a point for future in her role for the inhumans, which she illustrates with her line ‘being different can mean making a difference’ and it appears she might be integral in possibly realigning the inhumans in a good light with the government.
The ex-Mr May leads on to the ever missing Agent May. Who we find on a golf course with her Dad. It transpires that her Dad has had a car accident, which May is concerned Ward could have been responsible for and has been using his recovery time as an excuse to avoid all SHIELD related activities. When Hunter shows up to ask her to help him track down Ward, she tells him that she’s out and wants a normal life. But a pep talk from her Dad later, and when Andrew calls to tell her that Gemma is back, we find her prepping weaponry with Hunter.
And speaking of the backstabbing psychopath we love to hate, we catch up with Ward who is apparently rebuilding Hydra – his mantra seems to be that everyone has to earn their place. How they earn it largely seems to involve significant amounts of violence. Ward kidnaps, tortures and then teams up with Baron Von Strucker’s son. This should make the redevelopment of Hydra interesting, how much of his fathers work is he aware of, how much is he likely to contribute in a similar vein, and how is that likely to tie in with the inhumans? And why has he signed up to Dr Garner’s psychology class?
Overall it was another promising episode, and there were a few other observations I had;
- Mack calls Daisy ‘tremors’ after she opens the portal, I liked it as a nickname and thought it was a nice acknowledgement of ‘Quake’ from the comic. I hope it sticks.
- Randolph says he hasn’t heard the word ‘inhumans’ for a long time, which is intriguing. Is it because they’ve been around on Earth for a long time and he’s had previous run ins, or is he thinking further back to his time on Asgard?
- We didn’t see any more from ACTU this week, or Lincoln who it was suggested at the end of last week would now be a known target for them.
- Scary Sonic (a.k.a Lash) was also absent.
- With the Monolith now destroyed, are there other portals to the world that Gemma was on?
- What was the other planet? I still wonder whether it might be where inhumans originate from and I’m wondering if it could end up being a safe haven in future for the newly changing inhumans.
- There was also no new inhumans to contend with, and we didn’t see any more of Joey. I’m particularly wanting to see how exactly his skill becomes useful- Mike Peterson in Season One taught us that rarely is someone introduced, who isn’t important later on!
I think that’s it from this weeks episode. I did at one point find myself feeling that there might be one too many sub-plots so far, which could spread the episodes a little thin- particularly as it seems there is a significant amount of conspiracy going on again. But so far, so good.