Agents of SHIELD 5.04

‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ 5.04 Recap: “And the Vibe Goes Full Dystopian”

I honestly started the current season of ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ optimistic that the change of setting and plot would shake the show out of some of its doldrums. Unfortunately, that hasn’t worked out. The latest episode is flat-out boring.

Kasius has Daisy as a prisoner. He’s taken some of her blood, installed an inhibitor to prevent her from using her powers, and plans to auction her off to the highest bidder. At the same time, he’s figured out that Jemma also came forward from the past and frets about a prophesy claiming that S.H.I.E.L.D. will return to save the Earth. Who started this prophesy, and why would anyone put all their faith in S.H.I.E.L.D. saving the planet rather than actual heroes like the Avengers?

Daisy isn’t too concerned about her own safety, but Kasius threatens to harm Jemma if she doesn’t comply with his orders, so she plays along for a while. In the fighting pit, she meets a hunky guy boringly named Ben. He’s an Inhuman with telepathic powers, which helps him to anticipate any move an opponent plans to throw at him. This leads Daisy to the realization that Kasius is actively collecting Inhumans and forcing them to go through Terrigenesis so they’ll fetch a higher profit at auction.

Kasius demands that Daisy tell him whether anyone else from S.H.I.E.L.D. is on the station, and makes Ben read her mind to verify that she’s telling the truth. She feeds him a story about how she and Jemma were the only S.H.I.E.L.D.ies kidnapped, and Ben gives her a thumbs-up. Then Kasius compares her story to Jemma’s. Ben telepathically sends Jemma everything Daisy said so she can parrot it back. Later, Daisy asks Ben why he helped them. He claims that he’d been waiting for an opportunity to read Kasius’ mind. Now that he has, he learned that Kasius plans to destroy the station and everyone in it as soon as he has enough money to buy his way to a better posting.


With his henchman Zev now dead, Grill orders Mack to act as muscle for him and rough up a guy named Gunner who hasn’t paid his debts. Mack is very conflicted about this and doesn’t want to harm anyone, but Yo-Yo pushes him to play the part and at least threaten Gunner. Mack doesn’t like this one bit. In fact, he’s pretty much a Debbie Downer the entire episode. If he isn’t moaning about wanting to be a pacifist, he’s sulking about Hope, his fake dead daughter who didn’t really exist. (Consider this foreshadowing that Hope will probably return when Mack learns that portions of the Framework are still operational.)

Deke hasn’t sold out Coulson and the others yet, but he lies to them about where Daisy is rather than let them know she was captured. Coulson needs his help to sneak into an R&D lab on Level 35. Once there, they find a baby in an incubator, and Deke explains that Kasius somehow sterilized the surviving human population. The only way for humans to have a baby is to purchase one grown in a lab. This one is earmarked for Gunner, which is why the man has such a big debt to Grill.

While Mack tries to intimidate Gunner, the man pushes his buttons about not understanding how important it is to be a father. This enrages Mack, and he starts wailing on Gunner after all, then feels terribly guilty about it afterwards.

May figures out that Deke lied about Daisy, but before she can press him on it, the three of them are discovered by two Kree guards. May and Coulson fight them off, but Deke is wounded in the scuffle. Coulson brings him back to their level while May stays behind to hold off Sinara, who attacks with her magic flying balls. We don’t get to see much of their battle, but Sinara returns to Kasius later looking triumphant, so presumably May is a prisoner now too.

After Coulson patches up his injury, Deke reveals that the human voice they heard on the radio signal from Earth was his long-presumed-dead father. In order to prove that he’s not a total scumbag, Coulson pressures Deke to give up the valuable coin he received in exchange for turning Daisy over to Kasius. Deke grudgingly hands it to him, but Coulson decides that he still can’t trust him and locks Deke in a room.

Gunner gets his baby, and Coulson gives him the coin, which allows the man to pay off his debt to Grill. Assuming that Mack’s beat-down did the trick, Grill congratulates him on a job well done. Everyone is happy with the outcome, except Mack, who goes on another self-pitying jag.

Ooh, a Twist!

A bunch of spaceships arrive at the station to bid for Inhumans at Kasius’ action. Kasius presents Daisy as his prized possession. Before he can start the bidding, a masked man steps forward and demands that the so-called “Destroyer of Worlds” can’t simply be sold like that. She must fight to the death.

The man removes his mask and… gasp!… it’s Fitz!

Episode Verdict

Even the cast seem to be bored out of their minds reading the dialogue this week. It’s hard to blame them when the words they’re asked to speak have absolutely nothing interesting to say. Any trace of the snappy banter that somewhat redeemed the season premiere is completely absent here. In its place, all we’re left with is more sci-fi clichés and dull plot.

The twist with Fitz is… eh, whatever. We knew he’d turn up eventually, so it’s no surprise at all to see him like this. The next episode promises a flashback to fill us in on how he got to the future. Maybe that will be interesting. Probably not, but I’ve watched this show for five seasons and feel committed to see it through at this point.

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