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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Inside Voices

"You know, you die more than anybody I've ever met."

It's prophecy time again, when Daisy rushes to rescue Coulson, and Coulson rushes to leave captivity.

The funnest part of the episode was Coulson, Talbot and Creel trying to escape Hale's base. I really liked that Creel switched sides, and all it took was Coulson telling (and showing) him what Hale had done to Talbot. It's nice continuity from season three, when we learned that the Absorbing Man had become Talbot's good right arm. It's also clear that Creel wants nothing to do with Hydra's crazy experiments anymore, he's had enough and he can tell Hale is only using him. Good for him. I was so appreciative of the way he put himself in the line of fire for Coulson and Talbot that I really worried for his life during his fight against Ruby. Thankfully, he didn't die; too bad he's still in captivity, though.

But who was the one that did die during this episode? Coulson. Halfway through, Robin told May that Coulson was going to die, which was probably meant for the audience to think that the deal with the Ghost Rider is really going to take Coulson out after all. But the writers played with us by making Coulson's heart stop for a few seconds: Robin might have been referring to that moment. It was a pretty great scene, too, with Talbot treating Coulson as a fallen soldier and asking Creel to do something. I wonder if that experience will make Coulson reevaluate his willingness to die.

On the plot side of things, we not only got confirmation that Dr. Hall is still alive inside the big ball of gravitonium, but that Ian Quinn is there as well! Remember him? That season one villain that disappeared after... I don't remember, was it after he shot Daisy? Well, freaking Raina promised to deliver him the gravitonium, but instead she delivered him to the gravitonium. Raina, you sneaky little one. That was a great end tag. This season really is tying all the loose ends, isn't it? Do I have to go back and rewatch "The Asset"? It has practically become a prologue to season five at this point. That was a rough episode, but it might be fun to revisit it.

While Coulson tried to escape, Daisy tried to find him, and accompanying her on that mission were May and... Deke? What the hell was Deke doing there? Seriously, what did he have to add? And why was Daisy in charge anyway? May is more experienced and less guided by her feelings. Well, it's not like Daisy was reckless or anything, and her idea to go after Robin did pay off. So it worked out.

At first, Robin is the same closed-off child from "Rewind." She isn't talking to her mom, and Daisy fails when she tries to connect with her. Of course, it's when Robin sees May, the one that will be her mother, that she lets loose. Poor Polly. She lost her husband to Terrigenesis, and now she has to watch her kid call someone else "mother." But she has made peace with it! What a wonderful human being. She has realized that she is not part of Robin's future, but she is happy to know that there will be someone to take care of her daughter. Wow. That conversation May and Polly had in the end? The writers didn't aim at cheap drama, and I appreciate it. And I was so happy and relieved when Robin asked her mom to sit with her, and she meant Polly.

It is very nice to see the effect Robin has on May, though. May instantly melts and shows off this emotional side that no one else brings out in her. However, it is curious that they are not really building a relationship from the start. May's perception is altered by the knowledge that she will raise Robin, and Robin, well, time doesn't mean anything for her and in her heart she already has a connection with May. Time travel isn't only driving the plot this season, it's molding the characters. Pretty great use of sci-fi, you guys.

Moving on to the parts of the episode that I didn't love, Deke professes that he respects Fitz because Fitz cut into Daisy to get things done. He manned up or whatever. It makes sense, given what we've seen of Deke during the first half of the season, that he would admire Fitz' move, but it's not an aspect that I dig. When it happened, I understood why Deke sold Daisy out to Kasius under the claim that he was playing the long game. Looking back, though, it was the first of the many times this season that Daisy was backstabbed or had her will disrespected, so when Deke sings his praises to Fitz, all I can think of is "Boys will be boys." I'm not into it. It is, however, a well written scene (I don't have to enjoy the characters to appreciate the writing), especially when Deke asks Fitz, "And you say you don't see the resemblance?" Strike! Fitz is acting almighty, thinking he is too good to be the grandparent of a douchebag like Deke, but Deke very smartly calls him out on his hypocrisy.

While we have a scene of Deke bonding with Fitz and telling how great it is that Fitz wears pants, we don't have one single scene of Simmons being supportive to Daisy. Not even five seconds of Simmons telling her "I'm sorry for what Fitz put you through," and that is disappointing, I'm telling you. Daisy is such a good friend to Jemma, and what does she get in return? Not one ounce of empathy. In fact, in season two, when Simmons was a bigot towards Inhumans, Fitz stood up for Daisy. It would have been nice to see the reverse dynamic now, but Simmons is too wrapped up in the glory of Fitz to waste a couple of thoughts on her friend. Much like the situation with Deke, it makes sense, sadly. Simmons always had a cold, pragmatic side and she chose to run with it now. What I don't get is her attempt to justify Fitz' actions by saying that "they have to do things differently." Uh, honey, you have no idea what you lovebirds did in the past iterations of this loop, you could be doing the exact same thing and heading to the same outcome.

In any case, Simmons' sale speech is strong enough to bring Yo-Yo to their side, even when it means playing Mack. Boy, the writers are really fracturing this team, aren't they? Yo-Yo has good reason to join Simmons and Fitz, though. They don't victimize her – they need her abilities – they are offering a way out of the Lighthouse and a chance to fight for a different future. Plus, they have that cool yet reckless "We are the invincible three" theme going on. Yo-Yo probably believes that if she keeps Mack out of harm's way and acts fast enough to change the future, she might prevent his death, which is why she goes along with Simmons' plan.

And, boy, the test that Simmons put herself through was nuts! I knew that she was playing Mack, but I also had the impression that the test was real, that one of the four glasses had a liquid that would kill her. One can say she is a true believer. There are only so many times you can test death and stay alive, though. My guess is that we will know that the time loop has been broken when one of the invincible three dies, and as of now my money is on Yo-Yo taking the bite.

Intel and Assets

- Now that we know that Hale is (sort of) Hydra and not really Air Force, we get to see her in other clothing that is not military uniform. Meh. It reminds me of how the Initiative soldiers used masks in the beginning of Buffy's fourth season, but once we learned their identities they walked around unmasked. Anyway, Hale's villain costume isn't working for me, a simple suit would have sufficed.

- Ruby is less interesting with this obsession of hers to become the Destroyer of Worlds. She is being reduced to a typical millennial kid who has been told her entire life that she is very special, and she won't have it any other way.

- Robin and Polly were back and we didn’t get to see Hunter. Travesty!

- The actor who plays Creel is built!

- “Philip J. Coulson. He can put all the pieces together.”

- Deke thinking that it’s all about him is a cute joke, but it's also starting to get repetitive.

- The slo-mo shot of Coulson falling to the ground after being punched in the chest was great.

- Are the robots programmed to be idiots? Why did they keep shooting towards the teleportation machine after Coulson and Talbot had already left? It's a teleportation device, you toasters, it's expensive!

Yo-Yo: "Deke?"
Simmons: "Is our grandson."
Yo-Yo: "Wow. I'm sorry."
Fitz: "Thank you."

Yo-Yo: "You can't protect me forever, Mack."
Mack: "Did you ever stop to think maybe you're alive in the future because I did?"
Great comeback, Mack.

Coulson: "I'm gonna need you to use your inside voice."
Talbot (loud): "This is my inside voice."
Coulson: "Okay. Then your softer inside voice."

Fitz: "Compliments on the performance, Dame Judi Dench."

Talbot: "I guess this is how it's gonna end. Pinned down like Butch and Sundance."

A good one, but not that good. Two and a half out of four glasses of water. Or acid.


  1. Um, I believe Kasius' Yo-Yo was brought back to life with Kree blood -- multiple times. Like Tess. That is why Yo-Yo was still alive and young so far into the future.

    So, Yo-Yo can die and the timeline still won't have changed, cause the Kree would capture her and bring her back to life to get information / use her speed abilities.

  2. For the sake of convenience the last time we saw Quinn before the stinger was in the Season 1 finale (and he had been in a few more episodes between TRACKS, where he shot Skye, and that episode). The stinger itself is actually confirmed footage that was shot for the Season 1 finale but didn't end up making it in. So it seems the writers knew where Quinn may have been for years and didn't say anything. I have to say I'm not entirely sure Raina's motivations in that scene make sense given what we know about her. Why would she be helping out the gravitonium exactly when it didn't seem to connect with her Zabo/Inhuman related plans?

    I'll admit I've found myself looking back a lot more fondly at Season 1 over the years (and The Asset has Skye running in a wet dress so its not all bad ;). Definitely flawed but I might like it a little more than Season 5 in some aspects at this point. I'm curious to see where they might fit in my season rankings (and let's hope the Season 6 renewal rumours pan out).

    Polly is pretty much a saint at this point. She's been dealt a pretty bad hand but at least hasn't become too jaded.

    It is weird that Bobbi and Hunter weren't mentioned at all since they were apparently supposed to be with Robin and Polly at some point. Hopefully we get to see them sometime in the future. The door has already been open to future appearances now and the fans aren't gonna be happy if you keep leaving them out of things.

    Simmons is being pretty dickish. Between this and what I've heard about Jessica Jones Season 2, Daisy and JJ really need to hang out some time to discuss their eerily similar life paths. If we get Season 6 this better happen (along with the Agent Carter time travel adventure)!!!

  3. I wonder where Talbot and Coulson teleported to, are those Vancouver mountains? Like in all other sci-fi shows (and Supernatural)?

    That acid test was seriously such a great scene. Mostly because Fitz was kept in the dark and acted natural. :)

  4. Wow, that acid test scene had me on the edge of my seat. Because they *have* to be able to change the future. The three of them *can't* be invincible.

    I loved the Coulson/Talbot/Creel escape. And was that a Dr. Horrible reference Coulson made, with the "evil league of evil"?


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