The Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. in final battle with Talboton for the future of the Earth!
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Airdate May 18, 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. Glen Talbot went full-on supervillain, killing Carl Creel and kidnapping the Seer. Now he plans to use Robin to guide him to a large deposit of Gravitonium which, in Talbot’s sick mind, will make him the most powerful man in the universe and he can defeat Thanos.
What You’ll Find Out:
Piper walks up to Deke who is in the hall listening to the rest of the Agents arguing passionately on what to do with the Centipede serum. Coulson remains unconscious. Cure or weapon? They can save Coulson’s life or they can kill Glen Talbot and prevent the madman from destroying the world. Deke doesn’t want to join the others. This is something for them to decide.
The Odium/Centipede mixture won’t work if they can’t get it into Talboton’s body. But no one can touch him, not even Yo-Yo. Fitz says “What if he absorbs someone?” which garners a glare from Mack. Yo-Yo adds “All we have to do is have it in the right hands and that maniac will take the bait.” “So, who’d you have in mind, you?” Mack snaps back at her. Daisy reminds them Robin said Coulson could put the pieces together.
“I’m sorry. I have to make this call” Daisy says, reaching for the Centipede device. Before she can pick it up Yo-Yo takes it. Yo-Yo is distressed, feeling they all see her as the bad guy. Mack tries to calm her, tells her they have to hold together.
“There’s nothing holding us together!” Elena cries. Mack says “Yes there is…hope. We never give up. Mack decides they should put it to a vote. Before they can, though, May smashes the vial of Odium on the floor. Yo-Yo breaks down in tears and May removes the Centipede device from her hands. Fitz takes it from her and says “Simmons and I will prepare the remedy. Everyone else should prepare for the end of the world”.
A large chunk of wreckage of the Confederacy ship floats towards Earth. It appears Talboton is holding Robin and Polly inside. Huh? When we last saw this group they were on a stolen Quinjet. How did they end up on a piece of the ship that can’t possibly have any oxygen in it? This makes absolutely no sense. No explanation is ever given as to how or why they got there.
Talboton tells Robin he’s the savior who is going to save the world. He tells her to make a mark on the globe where the Gravitonium is. And how exactly does that work? A single dot on a globe could cover hundreds of square miles. Robin refuses and Talboton has the Remorath take Polly away. He tells the child she isn’t going to see her mom again until he gets what he wants.
Yo-Yo tells Mack he’s going to die. “We’re all going to die. And on that day we’ll have to answer up there for what we’ve done down here” he tells her.
The Confederacy ship, apparently guided by Talboton, crashes through the buildings of Chicago causing destruction and untold deaths.
Deke is instructing people where to put supply crates in the Lighthouse in case the worse happens. Daisy comes up to him and tells him she’s glad he’s there helping out. Deke tells her when she gets back he won’t be there. He says he never fit in any way. But when he first met them he’d never seen a group of people willing to die for each other. Their trust just seemed too strong to break. Besides, Fitz told him if they do save the world he might just blink out of existence. Piper comes by and says they’ve spotted Talboton in Chicago and moments later the Zephyr is lifting off.
As Jemma prepares to give Coulson his injection, Phil tells her they’ve seen what happens when nature isn’t allowed to take its course. May interrupts them and asks for a moment with Phil. May says to him they’d like to see him walk out of there and rejoin the fight. But the decision is his.
Talboton is seen floating down from the wreckage of the Confederacy ship to the busy streets of Chicago. Again, another scene that makes no sense. If we are to believe that Talbot sees himself as a savior, a superhero, why would the writers make it look like he purposely crashed this ship, killing so many people? Superheroes save people. But Talboton just surveys the scene all high and mighty and proud of himself and uses his power to cause a column of the ground to rise up so he can absorb a small amount of Gravitonium.
The Agents are racing to the site of Talboton’s carnage. Daisy tells the others that she doesn’t have what it takes to lead. She wants to be a soldier. She says Mack is the one who should lead the team. He should call the shots. He has the biggest heart. She asks everyone who agrees to raise their hand. They all raise their hands. Phil enters and he agrees. He hands Quake her costume and says it’s time to suit up.
Mack says they need to get out there and save people. On the ground below people’s phones ring. Mack announces “This is S.H.I.E.L.D. We’re here to help. We have an aircraft to evacuate any citizens trapped in the center of the city. We’ll clear the high floors of the impacted buildings before they collapse. And most importantly, do not engage the enemy. We will handle it.”
Mack, May and Fitz enter the impacted buildings and start saving people. In one building they find Robin who was able to climb out of the hull of the ship but her mom is still trapped inside. May tells Mack to check the detention levels which were on the lower deck of the Confederacy ship.
On the Quinjet, Daisy tells Coulson her plan to hit Talboton hard, restrain him, and Coulson can walk up and do his talking to try to get through to Talbot. He tells her he’s not going. He can barely stand. Daisy figures out he didn’t take the Centipede serum. Phil says it didn’t seem right. Daisy says Coulson is the only one who can reach Talbot.
Phil: “That’s not true. And I think we may be beyond that. If so, you’re the only one who can defeat him”. As she leaves the Quinjet, Daisy yells back “You take it! You fly back [to the Zephyr] and you take it. We fought for you! We fought each other for you!”
Mack searches through the ship for Polly. In the building, May is holding Robin as Fitz enters and asks where Mack is. Then he sees the globe from earlier, partially burnt. Fitz gets a frightened look on his face and says “May…neither of them make it”.
Mack forces open the door to the detention room Polly is in. As soon as he gets her out they turn around and find the Remorath.
On the street, Talboton is focusing his power on the ground to bring up more Gravitonium. Quake, running towards him, uses her powers to propel herself like a torpedo at him.
The Cavalry and Fitz arrive just in time to take down the aliens. Back on Quinjet 323 Davis docks on Zephyr One. He looks back and finds Coulson unconscious.
At Gravitonium ground zero, Quake asks Talboton to think of his son. “I’m doing this for him” he tells her.
Daisy: “Did you see it in his face? How scared he was?” I’m sure Talboton saw George’s face but Quake wasn’t on that mission so I know she didn’t see his face so how does she know what it looked like?
Talboton: “I’m becoming a hero!” Quake offers her hand to help him up.
Quake: “The moment that you enlisted you became one. We all did. Look around. You’re surrounded by them. Anyone who signs up for this, to lose friends or limbs or your own mind or your life in protection of humanity. We are in this together. We need to join forces!”
Talboton: “That sounds good. You know, Hale gave me that speech just before she tortured me. Coulson says it every time he’s gonna stab me in the back. Humanity is on the brink. And I alone can fix it.”
Talbot pulls Quake towards him, grabs her and gravitates the two of them straight up into the sky.
Robin watches May help her mother out of the wreckage. The three head out followed by Mack and Fitz.
Davis pulls Coulson into the Zephyr. He tells Jemma Coulson didn’t take the serum.
Talboton flies Quake high above the buildings then flips her under him and forces both of them back down even faster than when they went up. They crash into the concrete street leaving a small crater. The impact causes the building Mack and the others are in to shake.
Fitz is buried underneath the falling rubble. Mack and May rush to help him.
The Zephyr shakes from the force of the impact as well. They can’t get a pulse on Coulson so Yo-Yo begins giving him chest compressions as Jemma runs to get the Centipede serum. She discovers the serum is gone.
Running down the stairs of the damaged building, Robin stops her mom and says “Something is different.”
Everything goes slo-mo as Talboton grabs Quake and wraps his tendrils of Gravitonium around her intercutting with the Zephyr as sparks fly and Jemma returns and tells Yo-Yo to get the defibrillator to use on Coulson but before she can Coulson snaps back to life.
Quake notices the Centipede serum hypodermic stuffed in her gauntlet and takes it and injects herself in the neck.
Quake’s eyes glow red and she breaks free from Talboton. As he starts to come for her, she falls on her back and just as Talboton is almost on top of her she gives him a supercharged quake blast that sends Talboton up into the sky, through the atmosphere and hurtling into space. He is last seen drifting toward the sun.
May and Mack dig through the concrete and debris and reach Fitz. He tells them “I hope you saved some energy ’cause my leg’s pinned. I think it’s broke. You’re gonna have to carry me out. I think it’s a bad break ’cause I can’t feel it”. May and Mack look down and are shocked to see a large slab of metal protruding from Fitz’s abdomen.
Fitz tells them to hurry and get Polly out and Mack tells him she’s safe. Fitz saved her. Leopold starts to lose his alertness then snaps out of it and looks at Mack and says “…I think my legs are broken.” Mack says “You’ve been through worse.” Fitz lays his head back and closes his eyes…for the final time.
Coulson’s vitals are steady. He’s asleep and Jemma pulls a blanket up on him. Mack walks into the room. Jemma smiles at him.
The camera holds on Jemma’s face as she slowly loses her smile. Her eyes, though…that’s where you see it. The inescapable knowledge…the sadness and realization that the man she loved so deeply…her heart, her love. her everything…is gone.
The next thing we see is a close up of the words “IN REMEMBRANCE” being engraved in something. Then we see Jemma packing a suitcase. In one of the corridors, Elena walks up and sits with Mack on the floor. Jemma goes to Fit’s quarters and picks up a swiss army knife. Next, we see Daisy dropping Robin’s drawings into a fire in a barrel. Then it’s May taking a sledgehammer to what looks like a Monolith shard. Perhaps the one Deke mysteriously got ahold of. Then we see Davis placing a plaque just over the cockpit of the Zephyr (?). It’s the S.H.I.E.L.D. badge. Under it says “IN REMEMBRANCE”. In another room, the Agents gather as drinks are poured. Coulson says “Come on. This is a celebration, not a funeral.” Jemma enters last.
Coulson: “You don’t have to forget. But you have to move on.”
Jemma: “No. With respect, sir, you’re wrong. We don’t move on. We hold that place in our heart, we close it off, we lock the door, we visit it from time to time. But we don’t move on. Even after we say goodbye.”
Jemma hands Phil the postcard of the Lighthouse. Written on the back is: “Working on it – Fitz”. Coulson says : And now he’s frozen out in space somewhere, no idea he’s already solved it.”
Jemma: “He’ll be a little disoriented. But he’ll be so happy to know that time is not fixed. It’s a fluid, ever-changing, beautiful thing. And he didn’t miss much, did he?”
Coulson: “I have not a single doubt you will find him”.
Jemma: “None of us do.”
They toast and drink their drinks. Mack says to Coulson “Probably gonna call you every chance I can for advice.” Coulson says “You won’t need it. And my phone is going in the ocean.” They hug. Daisy asks Coulson how long Simmons said he has. He tells her it could be days or weeks or a month. But it will be time well spent. Daisy and Coulson say their goodbyes.
Then Coulson opens the hatch and walks out onto the sand and he says “It really is magical” to May standing beside him. They look out over the ocean as the Zephyr flies away overhead.
What This Means For The Future:
Well, cancellation is off the table. How about Season Six: The Search For Fitz? Moving on…Coulson and May…I think they’ll be back. If they are planning to do the show minus half of its main leads they’re going to have to call it “Once Upon A S.H.I.E.L.D.”. I think the best thing we can hope for next season is a new team of writers. Send the drunken chimpanzees to rehab and give us some writers who appreciate comics!
Final Thought: I know I have been extremely hard on reviewing AOS this past season. You may think “Why are you reviewing it if you hate it so much?” Well, you see, that’s just it. I don’t hate the show. I am actually very fond of the characters, the number one element you must have for a good show. But when you are the flagship show representing the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s presence on television you have a great responsibility. And it doesn’t come easy when you have to deal with the restrictions Marvel has placed on the show so as not to conflict with the plans Marvel Studios has for their movies. S.H.I.E.L.D. was the major factor Marvel Studios used to build the foundation of their Cinematic Universe; it was the link that ran through Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger and the big pay off, The Avengers. Spinning S.H.I.E.L.D. off into a series, however, presented a number of problems. First and foremost was the budget, a small fraction of what the movies have to play with. The first thing to go had to be the agency’s central character: Nick Fury. Nick Fury has always been synonymous with S.H.I.E.L.D. What were they thinking? Then you have the S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters, the helicarrier. Gone.
So basically, the producers of AOS were handed the pieces of a dismantled S.H.I.E.L.D. and a dead supporting character, Philip J Coulson, brought back to life. Distancing the show even further from the comics, they brought in a completely new cast of characters. S.H.I.E.L.D. was a broken entity right off the bat then later becoming a rogue outfit. And finally, outright enemies of the state. The stories used virtually nothing from the comics except Hydra, two heroes (Deathlok and much later, Ghost Rider) and a couple of super villains who they didn’t even call by name. The Inhumans turned out to be a major mess and was used to give people powers from a single source (Terigen) who came across like characters from Heroes. The only characters to emerge from that were Quake and Yo-Yo. The worst part of all was the creative Powers-That-Be behind AOS didn’t seem to really want a comic book series. They wanted a spy show in the vein of Mission: Impossible and The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
But what if they went a different route?
Imagine this: S.H.I.E.L.D.is left intact as a world peacekeeping organization. Nick Fury is still the Director but relegated to an off-screen presence. Let him do a few cameos throughout the season, maybe even a Charlie’s Angels style phone in presence. Let the Triskellion serve as the base of operations. They could still bring Coulson back to lead the team but try to also get Agent Hill involved more. Take some of the characters from the comic book like The Contessa and Jimmy Woo. Let them use D-List super villains and develop them more. The movies that launched the Cinematic Universe were called Iron Man, Captain America, Thor…would we have a Marvel Universe if they never used those names and instead released films titled Tony Stark or Steve Rogers? Imagine if we had an Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. that embraced its comic book heritage instead of shunning it!
Now, on to the season finale which was written as a series finale till they got a last-minute renewal. Unfortunately, the sloppy writing really was in high gear this time. I think it represents why many people stopped watching a long time ago. So much of this episode made no sense whatsoever or was downright absurd. I’ll say it one last time: the fans knew and the writers knew the writers were writing Graviton and refused to call him that. There is simply no justification for doing that. Glen Talbot was written so the writers could make a point that supervillains are corny and ridiculous. They never tried to give us a 3 dimensional supervillain and had him portrayed just an inch shy of a Bat Man TV series villain. When you’re writing science fiction you don’t have free reign to just make stuff up and the audience will buy into it. You still have to make a modicum of common sense. Having Talbot go from the stolen Quinjet to the blown up husk of the Confederacy space ship between this and the previous episode is one glaring WTF! There could not have been any oxygen in that wreckage. A 12 year old would know that. And if the writers really had to have him on that ship they needed to tells us WHY and HOW they got the oxygen. There literally was no reason for Talbot to change ships other than he wanted to crash the Confederacy ship into Chicago and kill as many people as possible. There is no other reason. The Quinjet could just as easily got him to Chicago and not killed anyone. Faster too. Why, even in his madness, would a guy who sees himself as a superhero want to kill all these people and cause so much destruction and then just say “collateral damage”? They tried to emphasize the hero Talbot had been all his life and this act is clearly out of character no matter how strong his desire for Gravitonium was.
Next, we have the scene where Talbot takes Quake way up in the sky and comes slamming down with her so hard it creates a crater and small earthquake. They would both be dead. And even if Talbot had some means of protecting himself (which the writers didn’t feel a need to explain to the audience) Daisy could not have survived. She isn’t indestructible, She’s been knocked unconscious by a fist. Yet here she just gets up with a few aches.
The globe: a dot on the globe is going to cover hundreds of square miles yet Glen pinpoints the exact spot the Gravitonium was in.
The Destroyer of Worlds: Daisy didn’t want to come back from the future because she was so scared her mere presence might lead to disaster. But here she is using her powers and then even amps up her powers against a guy who controls gravity and she doesn’t seem concerned this might be what splits the world apart.
Coulson: Why did this great leader, the man who inspired so many (including the Avengers) just lose all will to live? Was he just fed up with the scripts he was stuck with? None of his explanations are in character or make any sense at all. Add in May with Phil professing his love for her and he had every reason to live. This sub-plot should have been just left out entirely. It really brought nothing to the rest of the story.
It really was no surprise to me that it was Fitz who they killed off. I’ve been saying it all season. The clincher was the wedding. I knew one of them would die, most likely Fitz. It wasn’t the type of heroic death I thought he deserved but nevertheless, it was an emotional and touching scene. Which was capped by the emotional expression of Jemma’s face. But then we come to find out the plaque wasn’t for him, the gathering and toast was about Coulson and we’re reminded that Fitz is in a pod given to him by the Chronocom Enoch and is floating around in space. Phil said it: “I have no doubt you’ll find him.” Thus diminishing the impact of Fitz’s death.
Speaking of Chronocoms…what the hell are they? Where do they come from? Who sent them? Were they merely a convenient plot device the writers came up with to accomplish what they wanted?
So, we will probably see both Fitz and Deke again. Why would they have Daisy specifically thank Coulson for the “spaceship” if they weren’t going to go look for Fitz? And even with the future changed, didn’t Deke babble on about crossing multiverses and stuff? Maybe he was right. The guy really grew on me so I hope he’ll be back next season.
I really wanted to get lost in the episode and enjoy it more but with so many inconsistencies that were just impossible. I was going to rate it 6.5 but just because I’m getting a break from all the craziness for the summer I’m going to give it…
If I Was Writing Season Six
It has been some time since the end of season 5. S.H.I.E.L.D. is rebuilding and is once again seen as a force for good and protection by the public. Director Alphonso Mackenzie has instituted a policy of transparency and created a global task force for dealing with super-powered threats in conjunction with the Department of Defense. When MI-6 contacts S.H.I.E.L.D. regarding a masked vigilante known only as Ronin, the Agents are on the job. When S.H.I.E.L.D. eventually catches him, they unmask him and find former Agent Lance Hunter. He tells them his wife, Bobbi Morse, has been investigating a business magnate named Cornelius van Lunt when she disappeared 3 months ago. International intrigue ensues and a money trail that may lead to S.H.I.E.L.D. itself.
Meanwhile, van Lunt holds a secret meeting with eleven other individuals. Each person in the room is wearing a mask representing a different Zodiac sign When van Lunt joins the meeting, it’s in his guise as Taurus to protect his identity. While Taurus is the leader of the Zodiac Cartel, chairmanship of the group rotates between members based on whatever cycle of the Zodiac they are in. The Zodiac Cartel has an uneasy alliance with the Maggia, an international mob organization. Two new Zodiac members are inducted to replace deceased members John Garret and Daniel Whitehall. None of the Zodiac members possess superpowers but do have access to high tech weaponry. Tensions between Zodiac and the Maggia are escalating…van Lunt has learned the Maggia have taken over a U.S. technology company, Advanced Idea Mechanics and are engaged in a super secret project. We later learn Bobbi Morse has infiltrated the Zodiac and in order to work covertly without Zodiac learning her agenda, she has adopted the disguise of Mockingbird. Later in this story arc, we learn that A.I.M. has built a cybernetic being code named M.O.D.O.K. (Mechanized Organism Designed Only for Killing). As the season progresses S.H.I.E.L.D. is reunited with Bobbi Morse, Scorpio stages a coup and overthrows Taurus with the help of the Zodiac Key which is ultimately used to animate M.O.D.O.K. and Scorpio’s identity is revealed as Nick Fury’s brother or maybe an LMD of Coulson. Bobbi and Lance maintain their identities as Mockingbird and Ronin and commit themselves to be at the disposal of S.H.I.E.L.D. whenever they are needed.
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