Agents of SHIELD 5.09

‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ 5.09 Recap: “Pump the Breaks, Pebbles”

At this point, it’s a foregone conclusion that the ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ will soon travel back in time to the present day and get out of this cheesy sci-fi dystopia that they’ve found themselves in. Can we just skip ahead to that already?

I guess not. We have 22 episodes to fill, so this is going to get dragged out for as long as the show’s writers think they can sustain it – or until they run out of money in the VFX budget, whichever comes first.

In the meantime, Mack and Yo-Yo lead a human revolt against the Kree on the Lighthouse space station. Honestly, I have to ask what the point is. If the primary plan is to go back in time and prevent the apocalypse from ever happening in the first place, anything the characters do in this future (short of dying before they get home) will just be negated and irrelevant anyway. I suppose the writers might be adhering to a “multiple alternate timelines” view of time travel, but it’s not clear right now if that’s the case.

To show the miserable humans what he’s capable of, pissy Kasius uses his Kree science magic to resurrect Tess from the dead and make her deliver the message that Kasius is a god and shouldn’t be trifled with. Hotheaded Yo-Yo thinks she can just zip over and kill him, and Flint begs to help. (Now that he’s had a taste of killing, the kid is turning into a little psycho.) Mack tries to calm down the situation and let reason prevail.

When Mack discovers that Kasius has rigged bombs into all the O2 lines on the human levels of the station, he sends Tess back to Kasius demanding a parley, or else he’ll destroy Kasius’ Inhuman-making lab, which is now under human control. Kasius agrees to meet, but thinks he has the upper hand with his bombs. Of course, all this yammering is just a ploy to stall for time until the rest of the human refugees can remove all the bombs and plant them in the lab. When Kasius decides that he’s had enough and detonates the bombs, he unknowingly blows the entire research level of the station to smithereens. All of the humans evacuated to other levels and are safe. Mack vows that the, “Ass-kicking’s just begun.”

Kasius is furious, but he’s not beaten yet. As the episode ends, he reveals that he has a psychic seer of his own.

On Earth

In the wake of Robin’s death, Coulson figures out that her prophecy involved having young Flint use his “geokinesis” (ability to manipulate rocks) to put the monolith back together, which will allow the S.H.I.E.L.D.ies to open a new portal back to the past. In order for that to happen, they need to return to the Lighthouse to get the kid, as well as Mack and Yo-Yo. Fitz and Jemma believe they can make Zephyr One fly again, but spend most of the episode dealing with one systems failure after another.

Voss tells Deke that he killed his dad, but I still find this storyline suspicious. I bet we meet the guy at some point anyway. Voss also tries to woo Deke over to his side by continuing to insist that Daisy is the cause of the Earth’s destruction. Killing her is the only way to ensure that she never goes back in time to destroy the Earth. He begs Deke to turn her over to Kasius.

Fitz and Jemma discover gravitonium on the plane, and somehow reason that this means there’s a lot more of it on the planet. They believe this is what caused the Earth to crack apart, and also that it explains how the chunks of the planet are still held together, and how they still have an atmosphere. The science is ludicrous, of course, but it’s nice that we at least get a token effort to explain these questions away.

As a powerful gravity storm approaches, most of the human survivors evacuate to shelter in a system of caves, and Coulson allows Voss to go with them. However, the S.H.I.E.L.D. team stays behind to continue working on the plane. Sinara slips on board without anyone noticing.

The jet still won’t start, but Jemma recommends releasing all the anchors and letting the gravity storm lift them up. When one of the anchors won’t disengage, Daisy goes to the cargo hold to work on it and runs into Sinara. As they begin to fight, the storm hits and yanks the plane off the ground. For a moment, it looks like Daisy and Sinara will have a pretty cool battle in zero gravity, but then May turns on the “artificial gravity” and brings that to an abrupt end. Instead, the just tussle normally.

After deliberating on it, Deke decides that he’s on Daisy’s side and helps her in the fight with Sinara. Once May gets the engines started and the plane escapes the Earth’s atmosphere (also explained in this episode is that Zephyr One can conveniently function as a spaceship), Daisy impales Sinara on a pole, killing the only halfway interesting villain the season has.

En route to the Lighthouse, Daisy raises Mack on the radio and tells him that help is on the way.

Episode Verdict

I may still be bored with this season of ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’, but I’ve committed to seeing it through and will take any bits of entertainment value I can find in the show, however fleeting. This episode has a pretty impressive (for TV) visual effects set-piece with the gravity storm and one moment of genuine hilarity when Yo-Yo sees Kasisus’ goofy face for the first time and calls him a “space mime.” That’s enough to get me through to the next one.


  1. TKFopp

    To me, its looking more and more like Flint is going to be the one who actually cracked the Earth into pieces in the past. He’s got rock/mineral control powers, he’s the key to getting the back to the past (so he’ll be right there when the portal opens), and he’s shown to be increasingly reckless /violent. He’ll probably comeback with the team to the past and something will set him off, intentionally or not.

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