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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 5×06 Recap: Reunions marred by reliance on shock value

Last episode was spectacularly Fitz-centric (with a dashing dash of Lance Hunter). Leo Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) managed to hold our attention through being jailed for six months, to finally getting a hold of Lance by insulting the man’s favorite soccer team, to Fitz’s escape, to finding Enok, to, lastly, being cryogenically frozen for 80 years until he woke in the same time the team had been sent.

This week we see what happens after Fitz’s arrival. Overall, the episode had a serious tone, but was well-balanced with good humor. It was, in many ways, a good directorial debut from Clark Gregg (who plays Phil Coulson). However, good directing can’t fix every problem. The main issue was the fact that multiple supporting characters were killed off for shock value (one major new character was even killed off-screen). We weren’t given time to process any of these deaths before the show cut to the next scene and moved on. This method could have resulted in a deliberate feeling of chaos. However, all the unnecessary deaths resulted in the episode seeming irreverent and, at times, choppy.

After May fights with Ben, and survives thanks to Fitz’s intervention, she is sent to the surface to be “roach food.” I doubt the roaches have ever attempted to eat someone as tough as Melinda May before, so I’m not too worried about her. Ben is later killed, quickly, by Sinara as punishment for helping Daisy and Simmons lie about the others coming through time with them. Daisy and Simmons are considered too valuable to kill.

The most moving moments were between Fitz and Simmons. From Fitz professing his love and proposing when Jemma couldn’t hear, to every moment they almost had contact, to their final reunion (albeit it was stupid to waste a moment kissing, even with the barrier protecting them from the Kree soldiers, but I guess they’ve earned it after all they’ve been through). Fitz and Simmons grabbed Daisy, whose power inhibitor was turned on in the commotion following her fight with Sinara.

Yo-yo also played a major part in this episode after the young boy, Flint, became an inhuman. She whisked him away as soon as he came out of his terrigenesis cocoon, much to the shock of the Kree guards and to our SHIELD team. The team hides Flint until Grill finds them all. Flint’s powers are revealed to be the ability to telekinetically control rock–a power that comes in useful when he has to save the team from Grill (who is killed in the process). Coulson and Mack, who were trying to find Tess, discover she has been killed by the Kree and her body hung in the air as a warning to anyone else who tries to hide Flint. This was a poor end to a character who has helped the team, despite her own fears, and has grown more in a few episodes than most characters do in a season. To kill her suddenly, and off-screen, was disrespectful.

This episode ended with Enok, disguised as a Kree, taking the elevator to a level “that no person has survived.” Probably the surface. The trailer for the next episode shows the team reuniting (except May). This is only episode six, and we still have much to learn: How will the team escape the base? Who is on the surface sending messages to Virgil? How will the team get back to their own time and stop this future from ever happening? Based on the number of supporting characters that died this episode, it seems, at the very least, that the show is moving on from the current chapter on the Earth base.

Favorite Quotes:

Enok (describing one of the buyers): “Even his closest friends find his temperament to be that of a diseased… child… monster.”

Fitz: “Was the broach really necessary?”
Enok: “Indeed. That medal symbolizes the number of enemy lives you’ve taken.”
Fitz: “It seems a little odd wearing a medal with little rhinestones on it.”

Tess (about Flint’s disappearance after terrigenesis): “How does someone disappear like that?”
Coulson: “I don’t know.” *Looks at Mack who nods his head to confirm Yo-Yo’s absence* “But I may have a theory.”

Fitz (about May’s fight): “I came to see the destroyer fight. Not some ancient… has been.”
May: *Gives Fitz a dangerous look*

Flint: “What are tacos?”
Mack: “What the hell kind of future is this?”

Daisy: “How is Fitz even here?”
Simmons: “I don’t know! He just showed up out of nowhere with his own spaceship.”
Daisy: “That’s a baller move. Not to mention the whole bounty hunter look he’s rocking.”
Simmons: “I still prefer him in cardigans.”

Daisy: “What if [Fitz’s plan] doesn’t work?”
Simmons: “I have a knife.”
Daisy: “We can do better.”
Simmons: “There was limited cutlery to choose from!”

Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD airs Friday’s on ABC @ 9/8C 

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