Agents of SHIELD 5.18

‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ 5.18 Recap: “When in Doubt, Get a Bunch of Lemons”

I get that the ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ are short-staffed these days, but you’d think it would at least be basic protocol to keep the weapons in their base locked down in case of infiltration. Is the show’s budget so tight this season that they can’t even afford a simple deadbolt?

Newly brainwashed by HYDRA, Gen. Talbot wanders through S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters completely unsupervised, muttering “Complete the mission, soldier” to himself. Nobody notices when he steals a gun from the armory.

Talbot collects a bunch of Robin’s drawings. When Polly, the girl’s mother, walks in on him, he attacks and knocks her out, then grabs Robin. The child doesn’t put up any fight. She’s already seen this happen.

Coulson later finds Polly and deduces that Talbot is brainwashed. He and Mack track down the general and Coulson talks him into turning the gun on him rather than on the girl. Conflicted by the voices in his head telling him what to do, Talbot turns the gun on himself. Before he can pull the trigger, Mack shoots him instead. I presume he fired an icer round, but the sound effect sure sounds like a regular gunshot.

Whoa, This Is Heavy

Ruby forces Fitz and Jemma to repair the gravitonium infusion chamber. She dismisses their warnings that she’ll crack apart the planet, believing that Daisy’s responsible for that, not her. Ruby thinks that she’s the hero of this story. Honestly, they can’t be sure she’s wrong.

After defeating Ivanov, Yo-Yo drags herself back to the quinjet, still in agony from her robotic arms, and passes out for a while.

Using the crude sketch that Robin drew, Daisy locates Gen. Hale’s base in the Appalachian Mountains and plans to attack. Mack preps Zephyr One for space travel, just in case they can’t stop the dark timeline from happening. Down off his drug high, Deke denies being in love with Daisy, but Coulson and Mack tease him about it.

Daisy and May fly to the HYDRA base, take out their pent-up aggression on a bunch of robot soldiers, and fight their way through the building. Upon their finding her, Hale immediately orders her people to stand down and surrenders. Daisy and May naturally assume this is a trap, but Hale claims that she needs their help. She wants to stop her daughter from doing something very stupid.

Ruby gets upset at Fitz and Jemma for stalling in their work and gives Fitz a beating. Outside the building, a robot soldier finds the quinjet. Yo-Yo wakes ups and fights it off using her speed, further damaging one of her glitchy arms in the process.

Zephyr One lands at the lab in England just as Fitz and Jemma complete the infusion chamber. They claim they have no way of actually moving the gravitonium into the chamber. Apparently, only Strucker is genius enough to connect a hose from the box holding the gravitonium to the chamber.

Ruby is extremely psyched to go into the chamber and fulfill her destiny, until Strucker fires it up and starts the infusion process, upon which she screams in agony and yells for him to turn it off. The S.H.I.E.L.D. team and Hale run into the room. Hale demands that Strucker turn off the chamber. He shuts it down with only 8% of the infusion completed.

When the chamber opens, Ruby floats through the air for a moment. However, she collapses to the floor when she hears the voices of Ian Quinn and Dr. Franklin Hall arguing in her head, demanding to be let out. Strucker tries to help her, but she can’t control her powers and inadvertently crushes his head into a puddle of goo. Whoops.

Ruby cries that she wants the gravitonium out, but Fitz and Jemma claim the process can’t be reversed. Hale tries to talk her daughter down. May escorts Fitz and Jemma away to safety. Daisy stays.

Yo-Yo makes her way back into the building and finds Ruby acting like an extremely petulant teenager, arguing with her mother. When she threatens to crush Daisy, Yo-Yo sees an opportunity and uses her speed again, grabbing Ruby’s own razor-frisbee thing and slashing her throat with it. Ruby collapses to the floor, dead.

Before anyone can react to this, Ruby’s corpse floats up off the floor and explodes in a brilliant blast of light. No one is hurt, and the body’s back on the floor a moment later, but Gen. Hale is missing. Daisy is pissed at Yo-Yo for murdering Ruby, whom she believes could have been talked into surrendering. Yo-Yo is unrepentant. “I just saved the world,” she declares.

Spaced Out

Hale is next seen meeting with the alien Qovas in his very low-budget, shadowy lair. He says that he wants the gravitonium. Furious with S.H.I.E.L.D. for killing her daughter, Hale offers to direct him right to it.

Episode Verdict

The writing for the Gen. Hale character is all over the place. Is she evil or not? I can’t tell anymore. I guess it’s a shock that Ruby dies with several episodes left this season, but she was getting to be pretty annoying and it was probably her time to go. Not answered in this episode is what happened to the gravitonium. Does the explosion mean that Quinn and Hall actually got out?

I’ll mark this as a pretty solid episode. I find the current storyline more interesting than the early parts of the season, and enjoy the ambiguity that we still don’t know whether the timeline can be changed or not. Everything that we see happen could still lead to the apocalypse.

Question: Are Qovas and his presumed army meant to be part of the Infinity War, or is Earth supposed to be facing two different alien invasions simultaneously in the Marvel continuity? Or is ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ so divorced from the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe at this point that the writers don’t even bother consulting with each other?

1 comment

  1. Guy

    “Question: Are Qovas and his presumed army meant to be part of the Infinity War, or is Earth supposed to be facing two different alien invasions simultaneously in the Marvel continuity? Or is ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ so divorced from the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe at this point that the writers don’t even bother consulting with each other?”

    No. It’s almost certainly separate. While not Kree himself, I’ve been operating on the assumption that the Qovas stuff is the origin of the Kree occupation/Inhuman slave trade amongst alien cultures that we saw in the future at the start of the season.

    Honestly, given the timeline confusion Spider-Man: Homecoming threw into the MCU mix with its “8 Years Later” shenanigans, we don’t even know what year the “present” is in the films anymore. Not only that, we must now be retroactively confused about what year any previous movie in the entire MCU is supposed to have been set in. Given that chaos, Agents of SHIELD is better off not trying to tie-in too closely and I don’t think we’re meant to see anything as concurrent.

    Frankly, my pet theory/head canon is that Phil Coulson of the movies died on that Helicarrier in The Avengers and the show is an alternate universe where Fury decided to use the TAHITI program to resurrect him. The two fictional worlds have grown fairly incompatible through their storytelling at this point and, more damningly, Marvel Television and Marvel Studios are not even connected within Disney’s corporate structure anymore, so it makes more sense to think of it all as separate entities.

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