Saturday, 28 April 2018

Agents of SHIELD 5x19 Option Two Review: "Fight Of Their Lives. Again"

Attack was the name of the game this week, as with 3 episodes left of the season, things on SHIELD took another turn for the worse.

After the events of last week Shield are very much a fractured team, evident by the fact this episode starts out with everyone at each other’s throats. Daisy is pissed with Yo-Yo for killing Ruby. She thinks she’s completely justified as she was just trying to save the world. Daisy thinks that Ruby should’ve been locked up with Fitz, and is still unhappy that he’s loose.

Simmons jumps to her husband’s defence by pointing out their plan did to an extent work. Mack is also annoyed with Yo-Yo for killing Ruby, whilst Yo-Yo thinks Daisy is just annoyed her leadership is being questioned. Daisy acknowledges this but also thinks YoYo let her emotions cloud her judgement, and she took the first opportunity that came her way to avenge Ruby cutting off her arms. Yo-Yo points out they didn’t choose Daisy as their leader, she was forced upon them by Coulson and claims no-one wants her leading.

At this point Coulson jumps in, ordering them all to shut up and takes control of the situation, issuing orders that everyone automatically listens to. Coulson is a natural leader and in times of despair, natural leaders are what is needed, not someone still trying to feel their way into the role. Yo-Yo was right that Daisy was just annoyed that her orders hadn’t been followed, and it is rich for Daisy to accuse Yo-Yo of being emotional when she’s still giving Fitz the side-eye and insinuating he should be locked up, when just last episode she was hypothesizing that Ruby would make a good addition to the team because they need all the help they can get.

Ruby was a product of the environment she was raised in, there’s no doubt about that. But we also can’t deny the hurt that she’s caused, and the joy she took in it. She had no remorse for cutting off YoYo’s arms, and cracks in the armor might’ve appeared after stepping into the machine and being overwhelmed by its powers, but before and in between that she was perfectly happy to kill everyone around her and that’s not something that should be forgotten.

Continuing with their mission to keep Coulson alive against his wishes, May sends Daisy off on a secret mission which later comes back to bite them. Before all that though Mack and Yo-Yo are having a heart to heart. He still isn’t happy with her for killing Ruby, because as much as he might think she deserved to die, that isn’t what Shield is about. Yo-Yo counters that ever since she had her arms cut off, Mack has been distancing himself from her, and Mack claims that she’s been cutting herself off from him. It’s quite a frank conversation with Mack not wanting to know anything about what Yo-Yo’s future self proclaimed, believing that Yo-Yo has had her head turned by future proclamations they’re fighting to not have come true, and they’re both noticing changes in each other and blaming those changes on each other.

May sums it up perfectly; whether Yo-Yo killing Ruby was the right thing or not is something only Yo-Yo can decide but when you take a life, it doesn’t just change you, it changes how people see you and you have to live with that. Mack has been struggling ever since future Yo-Yo died, and he desperately doesn’t want our Yo-Yo to suffer that fate, and the more the team is trying to change the future to stop the world from ending, well the more they’re making it worse.

That’s perfectly summed up when aliens do lay siege on the lighthouse and we get the return of snarky Coulson. He refuses to bow to their wishes of handing over the gravitonium and comments that given the current political climate, an alien ship hanging over a building is likely to draw attention and get them knocked out of the sky. He is of course trying to bluff in an attempt to keep them away from the lighthouse, but the way Clark Gregg delivers the dialogue is just wonderful. May is of course not impressed with Coulson’s antics at all, but given power is restored to the lighthouse, he thinks they’ve agreed to back down.

Yo-Yo is soon joining them and Phil wonders where Daisy is. May is forced to admit she’s gone dark on a secret mission, designed to keep Coulson alive. He’s very much not happy with this, and Yo-Yo starts freaking out, believing she’s now killed Ruby for nothing. With Coulson and May both wondering what on earth she’s talking about, Yo-Yo is forced to admit her future self told her that Coulson has to die.

May comes down on Yo-Yo like a cloud of thunder and Coulson, well he’s just trying to take this all in and it’s wonderfully subtle acting from Clark Gregg. Coulson is more than willing to die, having accepted his fate some time ago, but accepting fate and comprehending knowledge that you have to die? Well they’re two very different things. And whilst Coulson is trying to process this, May and Yo-Yo are continuing to snipe at each other and suddenly it all clicks in Coulson’s head; the aliens have the machine and can be anywhere whenever they want, including inside the lighthouse, so of course they’re going to go silent because they don’t need to compromise to get what they want.

The lighthouse is indeed soon under attack. Deke with some quick thinking is able to hide out of sight and immediately realizes the aliens that they’re up against. He explains to the team they bring on darkness, not because they’re extra AF and just want to hammer home the point they’re scary, but because darkness literally follows them where they go due to the magic they possess; humans can’t see in darkness which makes it easier to kill. Still full of optimism May thinks if Deke in the future managed to survive, then that means they can be killed. Deke then explains they survived in the future by bowing to their orders and hoovering up the dead bodies.

So all that the team can do is prepare themselves for the battle to come. Get out the weapons, completely on the defensive and try to take out as many aliens as they can. That of course would be far easier if Coulson didn’t accidentally tell the lighthouse they’re facing a nuclear explosion, because who seriously has an alien invasion as an emergency protocol? The answer to that would be the lighthouse but unfortunately that moment is gone. The whole of the lighthouse is locked down, with our team all scattered in different parts, trying to get to each other and keep the gravitonium safe.

The fight back against the aliens isn’t exactly going well since they’re hopelessly short on ammo, and Talbot decides to take control of the situation. Yes, apparently he actually survived being shot last week, and is the reason the aliens are here. The gibberish he was muttering last week under orders to comply was actually coordinates to the lighthouses location. He knows he’s messed up and wants to make it all better. Coulson has other ideas and wants Talbot to keep safe. But with the lighthouse under siege, Talbot is passed over to Simmon’s in the lab and taking a second look at the machine, shoots Simmons so she can’t stop him from entering it and soon powers up. He does to an extent manage to save the day, as he uses his new found powers to kill all of the aliens, but the question is at what cost? We saw how quickly the gravitonium took over Ruby, and whilst Talbot may be a different type of person to her, it still comes back to the same question; is this what finally destroys the world?

It’s a premise the show has been playing with all season. Every time we think we have it figured out as to what exactly destroys the world and in what way, something else comes into play instead. First it was Daisy, then it was Ruby and now it looks like it’s Talbot. But with 3 episodes to go that could all quite easily change again.

And in other events, Daisy’s secret mission leads her to digging up her mother’s grave. Because really, nothing can possibly go wrong with that plan!