Saturday, 21 April 2018

Agents of SHIELD 5x18 All Roads Lead... Review: "Crossing The Line"

Well that all went terribly wrong. Which is another thing that could be said about every single SHIELD episode, and this week the body count was quite high.
Following on from last weeks episode, Ruby and Strucker were holding Fitz & Simmons hostage to force them to fix the recently broken machine. Fitz succeeded in convincing Ruby of how crucial Simmons was to fixing the machine, and in turn saved his wife from being tortured by an extremely impatient assassin.

It was a sweet moment where Fitz & Simmons both admitted that they were the most important thing to each other, and they would begrudgingly do Ruby’s bidding if it meant each other were unharmed. Unfortunately, with said impatient assassin having an extremely short attention span, she was soon working out her frustrations by beating up Fitz.

It was too much for Simmons, who was the first to bite and declare they’d get the machine fixed pronto. She then broke free of Strucker’s grasp to go to her husband’s side and our two science babies were soon getting back into the thick of things, albeit probably with badly bruised ribs to accompany the bloody nose.

Fix the machine they did, and despite their warnings Ruby got inside. The machine then began to somewhat malfunction with the gravitonium overcoming Ruby. Arriving onto the scene General Hale, Daisy and May were forced to stand by as Ruby accidentally killed Strucker and promptly went insane. Hale & Daisy did attempt to reason with her, and succeeded in stopping her from killing Fitz and Simmons. But hale was forced to reflect on her actions, and the monster that she had turned her daughter into.

It’s one of those things in life, realizing the obvious when it’s too late. Hale’s been so set on training Ruby for her whole life, with the mission her priority that she’s never really stopped to actually mother her daughter. Following her rebellion against her mother last week, Ruby is completely done with listening to anyone at all. She wants to fulfil her prophecy and bring about the end of the world, so that her mother can finally be proud of her and she can have some control over herself for once.

And only when Hale sees how the gravitonium has made Creel lost his mind, does she take a step back to really grasp the reality of what she’s set her daughter up for. Ruby pointed out last week that she’s her mother’s weakness and that was especially true this week. Very much too little too late Hale wanted to save her daughter, and attempted to team up with Daisy & May to accomplish that. Their motivation for the team-up was saving the world + Fitz and Simmons who Hale warned Ruby would kill if she were successful.

Getting ready for the mission Hale asked Daisy not to use her powers or kill her daughter. Ruby has come to hate Daisy because of the environment she’s been brought up in, to see Daisy as a rival that she has to take down in order to truly win her mother’s love. Daisy on the other hand despite their fight, and the damage Ruby has inflicted, sees her as the troubled girl she is, with a destiny forced down upon her by people who should know better. So Daisy doesn’t need to be told to not harm Ruby because she has no intention of doing that anyway. In fact with the fight they’re in, she thinks that Ruby can be trained again, this time for good, and maybe be a useful agent.

All of that unfortunately will be left as a what if, because Ruby does meet her maker. Hale & Daisy are successful in talking Ruby down from hurting Fitz & Simmons, and are even getting through to her with the promise of helping her to control her newfound powers, and drown out the voices that are slowly overcoming her. Yo-yo though has other ideas. Her metallic arms are messing up, which she’s struggling to control. She comes across May, Fitz & Simmons in the corridor as Ruby is losing control and is soon on the scene.

Though Daisy tries to reason with her by pointing out that Hale is getting through to Ruby, and Ruby is a kid who has been wrapped up into this whole thing with little choice in the matter, it doesn’t register with Yo-yo. All she sees is someone who could potentially bring about the world’s end, never mind the fact Ruby cut off her arms and left her in the predicament that she’s in. So Yo-yo decides to return the favour by ending Ruby’s life.

Hale is absolutely devastated. Daisy is stunned that Yo-yo has crossed that line. May, Fitz & Simmons don’t really know what to think. When her actions are cascaded Yo-yo simply replies that she’s just saved the world.

It’s a moral dilemma that comes up quite often in SHIELD; Just what lengths do you go to in order to do the right thing?

Hale makes her escape and with the devastation over the loss of her daughter, once again turns against SHIELD and is willing to give up their base and where they have the gravitonium. One could understand Hale’s loss over losing her daughter if she hadn’t actually brought it on herself. As it stands Yo-yo may have been the one to unfortunately press the trigger, but Hale’s the one who created the bomb in the first place.

Back at the lighthouse, Deke, Mack and Coulson had their own issues to deal with, and it was one completely brought on themselves.

At the end of last weeks episode the sleeper Agent in Talbot was awakened. And in this weeks episode he was on the hunt for Robin’s drawings, and information as to how and when exactly the end of the world is brought upon. Mack somewhat catches Talbot in the act of fiddling with the surveillance cameras, but is completely ignorant to the fact he’s paused the camera outside Robin’s room.

Talbot is going through the drawings, trying to piece them altogether in the same type of way that the others are back in the control room, and he’s caught in the act by Polly. He manages to keep her off his scent with talk of how much he misses his son, but when he starts to become extremely insistent in questioning Robin, her mother smells a rat. It’s then that Talbot lashes out at her, and Robin just stands by watching it all despite Polly telling her to run.

You know a kid’s seen a lot of messed up crap when she’s not even batting an eyelid at a man trying to kill her mum. In fact Robin knew that would happen and that Talbot would try to kidnap her. Coulson realizes far too late that Talbot has had his head messed with, and his sleeper agent has been awakened. I’m glad that he can acknowledge that he should’ve realized this much sooner, because there’s no way Hydra are just going to have kept him locked up with just physical torture. Hale is a smart woman who would obviously have a back-up, and it’s just a shame Coulson realised this so late in the game.

He attempts to reason with Talbot, and at points it does seem like he’s getting through to him. However his programming runs deep, and Talbot knows if it’s not today, then it’ll be tomorrow or some other day that he has to complete his mission because that’s the thing with sleeper agents. If they don’t completely their mission then they die, and even when they’ve completed the mission they still die. Coulson & Mack are successful in freeing Robin from Talbot’s grasp and Mack then kills Talbot to put him out of his misery.

With so much of this weeks screen time dedicated to the two major conflicts, there wasn’t really much time to explore anything else. Now that he's back at the base, Coulson found himself struggling just a little bit with the fact Daisy is still very much in charge. He wants to go straight back out into the field, but giving they have just gotten him back, Daisy orders him to stay at the base and May sides with her. It's clear this change in leadership is going to take a bit of getting used to for all parties. Coulson is used to being in charge and taking the lead on everything, and Daisy? Well she's slowly overcoming the minor mutiny she had on her hands in Yo-yo, Fitz & Simmons going AWOL, and trying to think in the same type of manner that Coulson would. Being a leader isn't something that does come naturally to her, but she is growing into it and if Coulson does by some miracle survive the end of the season, and Shield then gets renewed? Well I could see a potential leadership struggle on the horizon in season 6.

Mack & Coulson also enjoyed teasing Deke over his crush on Daisy. He knows that she doesn’t feel the same way about him, but is wondering how exactly he tells Daisy he’s in love with her. He tells Mack & Coulson of the way they express their feelings in the future, and is completely oblivious to the fact they’re mocking him when they advise him on ways to profess his love.

Even if Daisy did by some miracle return Deke’s feelings, the second she finds out he’s Fitz and Simmon’s grandson, that relationship would be done. But Deke wrestling with his feelings, and Mack & Coulson realizing they really can’t give romantic advice considering Yo-yo locked Mack up in a cell and May’s accused Coulson of being emotionally unavailable, was the light comic relief moments that this episode needed in the face of such darkness.