In Battle With Talboton!
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Airdate May 11, 2018, ABC Fridays 9pm
Created by Joss Whedon, Jed Whedon, Maurissa Tancharoen
Production Company ABC Studios & Marvel Television
What You Should Know:
Previously on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Former General Glen Talbot went full-on supervillain after being infused with Gravitonium. In his madness, he has targeted the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as enemies and is seeking more Gravitonium to become the most powerful man in the universe and defeat Thanos who has just invaded the Earth.
What You’ll Find Out:
Perched somewhere near the edge of the galaxy in a “neutral location”, Kasius greets Quake as she awakens and immediately asks where her friends are. “You mustn’t worry about them. They are your past. I am your future” Kasius tells her.
Qovas informs Coulson and May that they are prisoners of war. He says their Earth weapons — their guns — are the tools of cowards. “We Remorath earn our kills. That is how we earn our rank. With humans, it’s not about earned power. It’s about the gun. It allows the weak to pretend to be strong.” He also tells them he has several Ionizer Missiles aimed at the Lighthouse right now. If they or their people try anything he will release them. Qovas exits their cell and meets up with Talboton who says he needs more Gravitonium and knows someone who may be able to show him where to get it.
Fitz and Simmons have laid out Jiayang’s skeleton and begun work augmenting the Centipede serum. The Centipede serum forces new cellular pathways like biological infrastructure. In doing so it can also carry any element they feed it. For example giant, healing DNA which they could deliver to, say, Coulson’s ailing cells.
Davis, Deke and Agent Kim have just finished rerouting the oxygen from the non-essential parts of the plane. Then the lights go out. Something grabs Kim and pulls him under the floor and all that is heard is his screams. Talboton floats up through the hole followed by two Remorath who climb up. They’ve come to steal the quinjet.
Mack watches the carnage unfolding on Earth from Thanos’ attack. Deke radios him and tells him the General is not on their side anymore. Talboton takes the quinjet and guides it under his own power. Deke tells Mack “I think he’s coming down to you!”
Pacing around in their cell, Coulson tells May he believes Talbot put himself in the Gravitonium Chamber for them. He still believes Talbot can be saved. May does not. They reflect on first meeting General Talbot at the Hub. Phil says sometimes people change and May counters with “sometimes you can’t save them.” Phil says “But you still have to try. ” This is a bad time for Coulson to be so naive. He goes back to using his artificial hand to x-ray the walls.
As Carl Creel rests in his room in the infirmary Talboton slips in. He coyly speaks to Creel like an officer to his soldier. He tells him he also came into contact with the Gravitonium like Creel did. Which scares the hell out of Creel. Talboton asks Creel if he’s still hearing the voices. And what if he could make them go away?
Kasius tells Quake to come with him and he can show her how to unleash her power. Kasius tells her she deserves better than to be hunted by lesser humans. Quake resists Kasius’ words and he tells her she will come with him willingly or not. She chooses “not” and tries to use her powers on him and they don’t work. Kasius is no fool. Quake learns he has spoken with a construct of her mind. Her physical body is still unconscious.
Jemma has finished her work. She thinks they’ve found a way to revive Coulson’s necrotic tissue. But then Mack comes in with another problem: Talboton. “Something else that needs fixing” Fitz mutters. There is still great tension between him and Mack. Mack tells them they need a solution and they need it fast.
Coulson finds a circuit panel in the wall. But before he can use his hand to fry the circuit the door opens with Deke standing there having just knocked out the guard.
Talboton says Creel doesn’t have to be stuck with the voices. He can make everything better. He asks Carl to join him. Carl reaches his arm out and Talboton’s Gravitonium tendrils grab hold of Creel’s arm. For a moment Creel stands there made of pure Gravitonium. But it was all a ploy by Talboton who absorbs Creel’s whole body into himself the way he did with Crixon. Talbot says “Two are stronger than one. Your suffering is over now.” And just like that Carl Creel is gone.
Mack and Elena watch the events that happened on the monitor to Carl’s infirmary room. Creel once killed a friend of Mack’s and Mack wanted Creel dead. But after Creel was deprogrammed he turned out to be a nice guy. Mack says he was glad to have known him. Elena finds this a good time to tell Mack “You have an amazing capacity to forgive people, Mack.” He ignores the overture and just says Talbot has to be stopped. No matter what.
Kasius continues to try to break Quake. She tells him “I’m the Destroyer of Worlds” and forces her powers to break the device on the forehead of her body. She wakes up and takes out the two guards taking her down the halls.
Fitz cannot find a way to reverse or neutralize the Gravitonium in Talboton. Jemma finds irony in that the Centipede serum was part of their first mission and now it may cure Coulson. The two of them discuss stopping Talboton even if it’s a terminal solution. Jemma gets a bright idea: use the Centipede serum to deliver the Odium straight into Talboton’s cells. They don’t know that there’s only enough serum to save Coulson.
Coulson, May, and Deke are sneaking through the empty halls of the ship and get into an argument over how many alien numbers Deke can translate. He knows five numbers. Six counting zero. The trio runs into two of the Remorath but, in a huge stroke of luck, aboard such an enormous ship, Quake just happened to be in their area and fends off the aliens. Deke is all ready to get to the Zephyr and fly out of there but Coulson and May bring up that Qovas has Ionizer Missiles pointed at the Lighthouse.
Mack and Elena are trying to figure out how to find Talboton without the quinjet. Elena remembers Talboton kept repeating “I can fix this” before he got into the Gravitonium Chamber. The two Agents try to decipher his words. Maybe he was trying to prove he was still a good soldier? A good man? A good dad?
Talbot’s son and wife are watching the Thanos invasion on TV. Not since the Chitauri has there been so much destruction. There’s a knock at the door. Daddy’s home! There is a look of trepidation on Carla’s face. George looks nervous as well. He asks why his dad is dressed so funny. Talboton tells him it’s his new uniform…he’s a superhero now! And he has his own superpowers. Just like those Avengers. The boy brightens up. Talboton demonstrates for his son by lifting a toy off the table. Talboton says he’s all better now. The last time he saw his son was in the hospital and Talbot screamed at him and scared him. Talboton says he can fly and he doesn’t need a hammer or an iron suit. He asks his son if he wants to go for a flight but Carla tells the kid to go to his room so mommy and daddy can talk. Talboton says not now and Carla tells him S.H.I.E.L.D. called which angers Glen immensely and he breaks his son’s toy. Carla becomes very frightened and tells George to go upstairs and Talboton uses his powers to throw his wife up and pin her against the wall. George is so scared now he is shaking. His dad tells him he can take him to a real spaceship.
Qovas is mighty angry himself. He wants Quake captured and the others killed. May orders Phil and Daisy to return to the Lighthouse. She and Deke are going to stay and take care of the Confederacy ship. The Remorath start shooting at them and Coulson uses his hand to project a nifty looking shield to protect them. Phil also takes the opportunity to give May a big passionate kiss. While he deflects the alien’s weapons, Deke and Quake finish off the Remorath. Phil says “Not a word, Agent Johnson. That’s an order.” Daisy replies “Copy that. Hot lips!”.
Talboton tells George about the spaceship and the crazy aliens while the boy sits and whimpers. He tells George the aliens are his friends and he has a friend for George too. George, crying, asks his dad to put his mom down. But Talboton refuses, saying she isn’t on our side. Carla says she loves Glen. She would do anything for him. “Really, Carla? Like when you helped Hydra to brainwash me? Or when you worked with S.H.I.E.L.D. to conspire behind my back?”
Talboton is about to absorb Carla into himself like he did Carl Creel when cars come screeching up outside. Mack and Yo-Yo get out and aim their guns at Talboton who flips their vehicles up in the air and crashes them down. They fire a barrage of bullets at him which he deflects back, striking one Agent.
Qovas has ordered the launch of the missiles. Deke and May fight and defeat two of the Remorath. May tells Deke to transfer the missile target numbers to the teleporter. They’re giving the missiles a new target.
Talboton tells the Agents he’s a superhero. And plans on doing what needs to be done. George comes up behind him and says “You’re not a hero!” Yo-Yo tries to pull the boy out but gets bounced back by Talboton. George tells his dad he’s the bad one, he wants to hurt them but dad says he’s the one who is going to save them all. Then he floats away.
Davis is under attack on the Zephyr. Coulson and Quake come to his rescue. After defeating the aliens, Daisy notices Phil’s hand is bleeding. He says it’s nothing and orders Davis to take them home.
Deke is using his knack for numbers to help him reprogram the missiles. Qovas enters the room and a battle breaks out. May goes knife to swords with Qovas. Once Deke finishes resetting the missile coordinates Qovas launches the missiles. Just before teleporting out, May tells Qovas “We changed the target. I told you I didn’t need a gun to stop you”.
Deke: “I know zero!”
The missiles that were heading for the Lighthouse change course and return to where they were launched from. The Confederacy ship is blown to smithereens.
Coulson and Daisy get an update from Simmons. May and Deke are back. She tells them Talboton killed Carl Creel. And Mack and Yo-Yo went after Talboton. Daisy notices the bandage she put on Phil’s hand is now soaked in blood. Coulson says he doesn’t understand then passes out.
Back at the Lighthouse infirmary, May comes to see Coulson who is unconscious. Simmons gathers the group and tells them he’s not going to die…at least not immediately. But he is worsening. They have something they think will work it will just take some time to combine it with the Centipede serum. Mack asks if they have found a way to stop Talboton. Fitz says he thinks so but it’s not a cure…it’s more terminal. If they combine the Odium with a dose of the Centipede serum it should be able to penetrate Talboton’s cells. Quake says that isn’t possible. What she brought back was the last of the Centipede serum.
May: So we either save Coulson…”
Yo-Yo: “…or we save the world”.
Epilogue: Talbot returns to the quinjet. There are two Remorath on board. He says “Don’t worry, these fellas don’t bite”. The camera pans over to show Polly and Robin. Talboton asks Robin if she has ever seen him pulling something up out of the ground. She says yes. He asks: “Where?”.
What This Means For The Future:
Next week it’s “The End” in the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. finale. The episode was written to be a wrap up for the series because renewal seemed unlikely. Late minute news has revealed that the show has been picked up for a sixth season. So next week we will probably see Talbot still isn’t called “Graviton” (but I’ll keep mocking him calling him “Talboton”) but the agents will still probably defeat Talboton. It has been said for sure that not everyone survives. Since Phil has been dying all season and seems the likely choice to die, I’m going to second guess them and not put him at the top of the list of Who Won’t Make It. The ones who are likely safe are May, Mack, and Quake. Jemma, Leopold, Deke, and Yo-Yo are in the most danger. Keep in mind at this point Thanos has not yet snapped his fingers so I expect at least one or more Agents could get dusted and return in the fall or possibly by Avengers 4. I think my bet would be either Fitz or Simmons (and by default, Deke) will actually die.
Final Thought: Of course I’m going to gripe some more about the show’s refusal to call Talbot “Graviton”. Especially when he’s with his son, in his costume, telling the kid he’s a superhero and showing off his superpowers…and no name comes up? Super Heroes all have names! Well, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage don’t use one but Netflix is even more anti-comic book than Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
The thing that is just as disturbing to me though is the fact that the actual comic fans who watch these shows don’t seem to care. It’s OK to them that the heroes are running around in hoodies and supervillains are almost non-existent. You can’t use the “Reality Argument” when you have the Marvel movies and shows like The Flash using names, costumes and super villains just fine.
Well, enough of that…for now. I’m not a fan of killing off heroes so I hope whoever they kill next week gets a meaningful death…not like some of the meaningless and callous deaths we got in Thor Ragnarok. I also hope this season’s arc is brought to a complete close. Let Season 6 be something fresh…no more Hydra! I would love for them to pick up the story of the Royal Family of Inhumans (with Medusa’s hair completely back). Or have the team go up against the Zodiac Cartel or A.I.M. They won’t do it, but I think it would be awesome to bring in M.O.D.O.K. Dump the current writers and bring in some that could pull off stories like this.
Till next week, ’nuff said!
RIP CARL “CRUSHER” CREEL
Carl Creel was played by Brian Patrick Wade. He also had roles as Penney’s boyfriend on The Big Bang Theory and on Teen Wolf. He made a great Absorbing–oops, I mean Carl Creel. Looking forward to seeing him in future roles.
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs Fridays at 9:00 on most ABC stations. Check your local listings.
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