I just don’t know about this new season of ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’. I was willing to give the season premiere the benefit of the doubt and was at least mildly intrigued by the change of setting. Unfortunately, the cheese factor is extremely high in this week’s episode, and not even in a fun way.
The Sound of Silence
Jemma is still a slave to the Kree ruler Kasius. She can’t hear anything but his voice, and even her vision is blurry except when looking directly at him. Kasius welcomes a guest he’s very eager to please, a woman named Lady Basha who acts like she’s some form of royalty. Although she appears to be human and speaks English, I don’t believe she’s supposed to be from Earth. Kasius is very deferential to her, but the episode never explains where she’s from. Basha has come to witness an important ceremony but doubts she’ll be very impressed by anything Kasius can show her.
Kasius restores Jemma’s senses so that she can tend to a young girl named Abby who will be critical to the ceremony. The girl suffers seizures, and Jemma soon learns that she’s an Inhuman with the power to manipulate her molecular density. She can either allow objects to pass right through her cells, or harden them into granite. She hasn’t learned how to control this power, though, and consequences will be dire if she doesn’t learn quickly. Jemma very kindly and patiently helps her figure it out.
When the time for the ceremony comes, Jemma is horrified to discover that the innocent young girl must face a scary musclebound warrior in gladiatorial combat. At first, this goes very badly, and the girl is tossed around the arena. Lady Basha is disappointed. Eventually, however, Abby hardens her body into a solid slab and the warrior shatters his arm while punching her. She the passes her own arm right through his chest, killing him instantly when she solidifies back to normal. Basha is impressed after all.
While Jemma is relieved that Abby survived, she’s powerless to do anything when Kasius sells the girl to Lady Basha like a piece of livestock.
Coulson, Mack, May and Yo-Yo are indentured to the black marketeer guy named Grill, who’s a total hardass about making them move rocks from one side of a room to the other side, or something. The point is that it’s supposed to be manual labor, and he’s quick to punish them at the first sign of laziness or disobedience.
Coulson, May and Mack manage to get conscripted to go with pilot Tess on the trawler ship for a salvage mission. Because Grill doesn’t trust them, he sends his lieutenant, a mean guy named Zev, to supervise. Zev quickly determines that they’re up to something suspicious, so Mack decks him unconscious. Tess freaks out about this, worried that they’ll all be executed for mutiny. She wants to kill Zev and stage his death like an accident, but Coulson and Mack aren’t down with that plan and insist that he be kept alive.
While investigating some coordinates left by the deceased Virgil, Coulson discovers a “lost knob” that unlocks a compartment with an old-fashioned two-way radio in it. They pick up a faint signal that appears to be coming from the supposedly-uninhabited surface of the Earth, but can’t make out the message. Unfortunately, they have to return back to the station early when Zev wakes up and cuts the ship’s fuel line.
Of course, immediately upon their return Zev rats them out to Grill, who assumes they’re trying to steal from him. Yo-Yo saves the day by using her power to steal a gun and plant it on Zev without him noticing. Humans are not allowed to have guns on the station, and when Grill finds out that Zev has one, he turns him over to the Kree. The S.H.I.E.L.D.ies are then spared any punishment.
Zev is last seen being banished to the Earth’s surface, where he’s quickly attacked by a pack of monsters.
Fighting Miss Daisy
While all her friends are enslaved, Daisy still has free run of the station. She’s determined to save Jemma, and is willing to blast her way through all the Kree to get to her. She won’t listen to Deke’s warnings that doing so will be very bad for everyone on the station. He cautions her that she needs to learn how to play “the long game,” but Daisy is too hot-headed and impatient.
After Yo-Yo helps her steal a Kree tablet, Daisy is able to unlock secured doors and works her way deep into the station. She has a big fight with a couple of Kree on an elevator and kicks their asses. Unfortunately, she then walks right into a trap and is gassed unconscious. Deke double-crossed her and sold her out to Kasius. Before she passes out, he reminds her he always plays the long game.
Am I correct in assuming that the Lady Basha stuff is supposed to be connected to ‘Thor: Ragnarok’? I haven’t seen that movie yet, but I know it has something to do with gladiator combat on an alien planet. Is that where she’s taking the little girl? This could have been explained better.
How does what’s left of the Earth still have an atmosphere if the planet was shattered into pieces? I don’t look for much in the way of scientific accuracy in a show like this, but that just seems plainly dumb.
It seems perfectly obvious to me that Deke hasn’t really betrayed Daisy. He’s just playing a con on the Kree and is still on her side, even if she doesn’t realize it. This storyline feels entirely predictable. Frankly, everything does. This season is built off a bunch of sci-fi clichés that aren’t even being executed particularly well. Kasius and his henchwoman Sinara look incredibly silly in the blue makeup. That’s a big problem when the primary antagonists in the story make you roll your eyes every time they appear on screen.