Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Fun & Games

Simmons: "Here we are again."
Daisy: "Us against the world."

The closing moments of this episode were awesome, weren't they?

But before I dive into "Fun & Games", I have a confession to make: I want this arc to end. Okay, not every ongoing story that makes up the arc, just most of the stuff with the Kree. It's not that they are bad characters – if you read my past reviews you know that Kasius has grown on me and I have liked Sinara from the beginning – but I just can't shake the feeling that keeping them as primary antagonists is too much of a departure from the tone of the series.

At first I thought that they were just a complication, something to be removed so our heroes could get to the juicier stuff of this arc: the people hiding on the surface, time travel, and the Earth's destruction. But it looks like we won't get rid of Kasius and co. anytime soon, not now that even more Kree were introduced and especially if they have something to do with the destruction of the Earth.

Remember when Angel sent its characters to another dimension for the final episodes of season two? It was fun, but it was also a big departure from what the season had been doing up to that point and many fans were left wondering what was the point of the Pylea arc. Looking back at the series, Pylea is actually a nice escapist story in the midst of all the more angsty arcs of Angel.

So maybe when I look back at S.H.I.E.L.D. in Space, I won't have a problem with how different it is from the rest of the series. But as of now, I keep reading summaries of episodes that are two or three episodes away, and checking the cast list on IMDb to see if the actors who play the Kree will still be around, and I hate spoilers. I do it because I can't wait for the series to focus on aspects of this arc that aren't so tonally different.

And yet, it's hard to fault Agents when the episodes have been consistently good to great. To illustrate my conflict, let's take as example a scene from "Fun & Games" that features aliens of different species dining with Kasius. It's a scene that I would expect to watch on a Star Trek series, but Fitz is there to remind us that this is a scene from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and he is so awesome in it that I end up liking the scene no matter how different the setting is.

Leaving my conflicts and rants aside, it's very nice to see how far Fitz, Simmons and Daisy (then, Skye) have come. Remember how naive and inexperienced they were when the show began? Now they are all great agents in their own capabilities and I loved their coordinated rebellion at the end. Too bad that Simmons didn't slit Kasius' throat – she only cut his cheek, I checked it – and Daisy didn't destroy that damned remote control before Kasius' brother turned her powers off again, but it was still worth it. Daisy, Fitz and Simmons scared the hell out of those pricks and can now reunite with the rest of the team.

Fitz Solo
That scene of Fitz talking to Simmons, who wasn't seeing him and couldn't hear him, was beautiful. Limited to her own mind, unable to hear a thing, far away from her glorious days as a respected scientist, Simmons had a sadness in her eyes as she looked outside and saw the vastness of the space. I so wanted her to be able to hear what Fitz was saying to her. I loved that he declared they were unstoppable, that the universe couldn't keep them apart. Damn right it can't. At first, I thought it was too much of him to propose, I mean, they have not even talked about what happened in the Framework. But in hindsight, they have gone through so much and know that there will always be something on their way, that there will never be a good time to take the next step. No wonder Simmons also proposed. As far as engagements go, that was a pretty kick-ass one.

The Fight Club concept was cool and well executed. For fights that were supposed to be to the death, it seemed a little convenient that no deaths occurred during the fights. Then again, three supporting characters were offed, so it's not like the death toll was low. If you think about it, May and Ben's resistance to kill one another condemned them both. Ben was killed right after the fight because he is not a main character and because he had lied to Kasius (so he was doomed anyway), and May was sent to die at the surface, but she won't because she is a main character and because Enoch, the Coolest, is on his way to help her (I presume). May really needs a win. She has won a total of zero fights this season.

Or course, the biggest fight was the one we were all waiting for: Daisy vs Sinara. To be honest, Daisy should have been able to beat Sinara in two seconds – she could literally just explode her opponents like she did the roach in the premiere – but I get that fight scenes make for cooler genre TV. What I really loved was when Daisy knocked Sinara down and proceeded to off all the aliens who were watching their fight. Man, Daisy "flying" to their level was so badass. It really was a shame that Kasius' brother turned her powers inhibitor on and canceled the awesomeness of Quake. Fitzsimmons need to get that inhibitor out of Daisy as soon as possible.

In an episode filled with superpowered and regular people being awesome, my favorite moment was a smaller one: Yo-Yo rescuing Flint right after his Terrigenesis. I loved how it was played, with an emotional Elena claiming that she couldn't watch a kid go through Terrigenesis that way, just so she could go somewhere else and yo-yo him there. It was such a fraternal/motherly moment. Yo-Yo has gone through Terrigenesis in a world that hated Inhumans, she can relate to Flint, she knows better what awaits him and is willing to protect him from it. It got to me.

Flint is a character from the comics whose power is geokinesis. He can manipulate rocks and such, and we saw him display that ability. Will he be the one to put the Earth back together? Could it be that easy? Even if he manipulated the many pieces of Earth to "build" it back, he couldn't just replicate the millions of properties that make the Earth an habitable planet. Well, I guess we need to wait and see what happens.

Intel and Assets

- Clark Gregg directed this episode. He did a great job, I loved the way he shot the fight scenes.

- Nice detail: Fitz cleaning his brooch the way we saw him do it in the Framework with his shoes, clothing and hair.

- Was Fitz using a real gun or just a night-night? It sounded like a night-night, and if it was one, why, Fitz? You spared the lives of dictators, slave owners and assassins that will claim your life.

- Even though I want the Kree defeated and gone, I'm interested to see how Kasius will react to having his precious and perfect skin marred.

- It would be cool if Sinara switched sides. I mean, Kasius basically demanded her to sacrifice herself for him and she wasn't a fan of it.

- Tess' death was unnecessary and I wish we could have seen more of her. Poor Maya never gets to walk the surface.

- I'm so glad that Simmons won't be under that gold makeup anymore.

Fitz (to Simmons): "I realized something. The universe can't stop us. 'Cause we have crossed galaxies, we have traveled through time. We've survived the bottom of the Atlantic just so we could be together. Now, a love like that, that's stronger than any curse. And you and I, we are unstoppable together."

Flint (re: Yo-Yo): "I was just kidnapped by a crazy woman."
Mack: "The kid ain't wrong about that."

Coulson: "She is not the only Inhuman with us."
Flint (re: Mack): "You mean this guy?"
Yo-Yo: "No, he is just cool."

May: "Didn't think. Just did."
May is made of awesome.

Daisy (re: Kasius): "I'm gonna kill him."
Simmons: "You'll have to get in line."

Daisy (re: Fitz): "It's a baller move. Not to mention the whole bounty hunter look he's rocking."
Simmons: "I still prefer him in cardigans."

Fitz: "I did propose earlier when Kasius had your hearing turned off."
Simmons: "Of course you did."

Another good one. Three out of four fresh Xandarian snails.


Anonymous said...

The Daisy and Jemma conversation was the best thing ever.
I get that some people don't like all of this new arc...But its what makes Shield the best show...They fully commit to the project and idea they are doing...Something other shows like Flash could take a leaf out of especially when all they have to do is adapt existing storylines...Flashpoint and Barry in the speed force all done in less than an episode...
Also the Kree have been heavily involved in the series since season 1...I think the build up to this has been nothing short of masterful storytelling.

televisionandotherrantings said...

I'm with you on this arc needing to end. There's been some good stuff but I'd like to get back to Earth sometime (although we're probably gonna have to deal with more renegade stuff...dammit). Though the suggestion is out there they might have to do some more time travel in order to deal with some of the lingering mysteries (maybe to Agent Carter times hopefully)..though hopefully nothing too too long term. I have less of a problem being used as much as them being used in this particular manner, just seems kind of gruelling or something.

Yeah Daisy really shouldn't have been struggling that much in the fight (the Roach explosion thing didn't even occur to me...I was thinking more of her heart explosion trick that she used on Wolverine in the comics...this is just from basic Wiki research). Tis a shame her powers had to be shut off...again. These devices never seem to be around when it's convenient. Kind of hoping she pulls an Darth Vader at the end of Rogue One on these guys but that might be too easy. Also maybe Fitz/Simmons could have saved their proposal until after they helped moved their friend for fell several feet off the ground. Still I guess she's fairly durable and I guess it was a good moment for them.

Someone over on AV Club suggested that Flint could potentially be involved in what happened to the Earth. It's certainly possible given the rules of time travel are less clear cut than they were in S3. At least he can cover the expensive power usage while Daisy's been inhibited.

Tess' death was one of the more shocking in the series (probably the most for good guy since Rosalind). Not sure if that's necessarilly a good thing here but I can't say it wasn't effective so...

Speaking of deaths at least ONE of the main cast has to die by the end of the season right? I mean even putting aside the likelihood of renewal it kind of seems like something that might have to be done. If they were willing to do it I'd put Coulson on the slab just cause it would lead to a heck of a dynamic shake-up (and it kind of feels like the character's arc is nearing its end, unless they got some wacky stuff up their sleeve). And there are plenty of new leader possibilities. Not sure if it would be related to that Ghost Rider deal but either way whole arrangement gonna have to have a pretty good payoff given how lacklustre giving Coulson the Rider was in the S4 finale. More Supernatural Season 3 than Season 10 (though the latter did at least result in a much better season so mixed blessing there).

migmit said...

OK, I finally caught up with the show. Took me a while, mostly because this future arc just doesn't click with me. It seems so... unimaginative. Like somebody took a stock dystopian setting and redressed some of the generic characters in SHIELD clothes. So much so that I'm actually glad Tess is dead — she annoyed the hell out of me. Can we please get rid of Deke as well?

Can somebody explain to me — why didn't Fitz use the same gun earlier? If it's so easy to knock down all those aliens, why couldn't he just blast his way through them before? In particular, he could save May — well, of course she is going to survive, but in-universe he doesn't know that.

And what's the deal with Daisy's fight? What did Kasius plan? That Daisy would kill her opponent, whose name I can't memorize no matter how hard I try? And he honestly expected the latter to just go along with that plan? Even if it is so, why not just have her throw the fight? And why didn't his brother assume that she would throw the fight?

So far I'm disappointed with this arc.

Katie Hart - Freelance Writer said...

Daisy was likely prolonging the fight until Fitz made his move - after all, it was his suggestion that she fight to the death. If she won quickly, they'd turn off her powers, and there would go their chance to escape. Fitz was trying to bring everything together - all three in the same room (he didn't know about May), the element of surprise, and Daisy's powers on. Just the gun and the element of surprise knocked off a few of the bad guys, but the escape was sloppy since they turned off Daisy's powers.

Um, migmit - you do know what a fight to the death means, right? Kasius didn't plan to have Sinara fight, and if Daisy beat her, the best case scenario would be that she got thrown to the roaches like May. Generally, if you throw a fight to the death, you die. Not that Sinara would be the type to do that anyway.

This arc is awesome. It was a trifle too dark for me around episodes 3 and 4, but I really love how they are mixing all the elements - remnants of old Earth, alien tech, Inhumans, the optimism of the team vs. the realism of the other humans, mystery of what really happened, etc.

migmit said...

2Katie Hart:

> Kasius didn't plan to have Sinara fight

I get that. I'm talking about AFTER he heard his brother's suggestion. If we take this "fight to death" completely literally, then he would lose either his best warrior, or his most valuable merchandise. So, what did he expect? I mean, sure, it turned out the best for him — he kept Sinara, and has all reasons to believe he will recapture Daisy; but I highly doubt he expected THAT outcome.

(sorry, it's migmit — I'm sick of Google's attempts to protect me)

migmit said...

(disregard the last statement, I thought it would show my name differently)

Patryk said...

She cut his cheek? Damn I so hoped she cut his throat that I saw that on screen. That plus Fitz just icing the bad guys, would a great scene if they killed them all. :) (Am I too bloodthisty?)

Fitz playing evil was the best of the episode. He certainly knows much about that now.