Agents of SHIELD Season 5 Episode 3: A Life Spent Recap


This week the team continues to learn how to navigate in the future. Blending in comes easier for some than others. Daisy doesn’t even try, leading to serious consequences. Jemma helps an inhuman girl and gathers intel, but also draws attention to herself, which could come back to haunt her. The rest of the team stays undercover while gathering information, although there are close calls along the way.

Jemma is on display in Kasius’ court, unable to hear anything but his voice, or to see anything clearly but him, thanks to the device in her ear. She still puts her spy skills to use. Kasius has a sumptuous meal laid out for an important guest, and is finishing his own preparations, when an emissary from the guest, Lady Basha, arrives to say that she won’t be attending the meal. Kasius is angry and insulted, but tries to play it off as no big deal.

After the emissary leaves, Kasius asks for news of the upcoming ceremony. The news is unfavorable, and he has a violent tantrum. Senara whispers in his ear, gesturing toward Jemma. Kasius tells Jemma that they have a problem she might be able to solve.

Senara uses a remote to restore Jemma’s sight and hearing, then takes her into a bedroom where a teenage girl is sitting on the bed. The girl’s hands are in spasms and she’s crying. The man who’s with her tells Jemma that the girl is her problem now.

The girl, Abby, is an inhuman with the power to make her body more and less dense, so that material can pass through her like she’s air, or she can be harder than rock. She’s been unable to learn to control her powers.

Abby has a blocker inserted behind her ear that can inhibit her powers. She says that coming out of terrigenesis with these powers makes her one of the lucky ones.

Jemma is gentle and patient with Abby, coaching her through relaxing and visualizing using her powers. Jemma has Abby imagine that her molecules are stars that move closer together and farther apart. Before long, Abby is making progress.

Soon Abby is taken to prepare for the ceremony. If she does well her family will be rewarded and she will travel the galaxy. If she fails they’ll be punished.

Kasius switches Jemma back to silence the moment Abby is taken from her.

Lady Basha arrives for the ceremony. She’s insulting toward Kasius when he’s trying to impress her, making pointed remarks about the remoteness and shabbiness of their location.

She continues to be unimpressed as the ceremony begins. Abby is led into a chamber fight a giant warrior. Kasius, Lady Basha, Senara, Jemma, and a few other companions watch from above. The warrior easily pummels Abby as she cries for help.

Jemma tells Abby to think of the stars. Abby regains her confidence, and the warrior’s next punch hits a rock hard body. Then Abby put her hand inside the warrior’s body and rematerializes it, killing him. Lady Basha is entranced. Kasius is pleased.

Lady Basha buys Abby and leaves with her. When Jemma objects to the sale, Kasius tells her that she helped Abby sell for a high price.


Grill yells at his workers to speed up or they’ll be replaced. After he zaps Elena, Mack grabs a metal rod and storms into the office. Except Grill makes his metric magnetize to the office door frame, then gives him a lecture about the rules, zaps him some, and sends him on his way.

When he gets back to Elena and Coulson, Elena tells him not to be so stupid, but Mack denies being stupid. He wanted to get a look at what’s in the office. The Kree tablet is in there, and a handgun, which is forbidden for humans.

Tess and May report to Grill for a trawler run. Coulson wants to go with them so he can work on deciphering Virgil’s notebook. Tess gets Grill to assign Mack and Coulson as extra crushers to the run.

Grill thinks Virgil was stealing from him and that the new kids might steal as well, so he sends his henchman Zev along on the trawler run as a spy.

Deke and Daisy have just emerged from the speakeasy. He’s trying to convince her that she is indeed Quake, Destroyer of Worlds, by explaining quantum physics and multiverse theory to her. She slaps him to explain that she normally keeps multiple scientists with her at all times so that she doesn’t have to worry about those kinds of details.

Since they are at an impasse, Deke changes the subject. He talks to Shoe Guy and discovers there’s been a renewal. Deke suggests she look for the others at Grill’s because he lost a worker in the renewal. He also tells her not to destroy the Lighthouse while he’s not keeping an eye on her.

Daisy finds Elena working in the junk shop. Elena has a plan to steal back the Kree tablet and hand it off to Daisy, so she tells Daisy to wait out of sight. Elena makes her metric malfunction so that Grill has to replace it. During the moment that she’s without a metric, Elena uses her powers to reclaim the tablet. She’s back in front of Grill before he notice’s she was gone. Daisy runs off with the Kree tablet.

Tess clears a teenager named Flint out of the trawler bay entrance. He’s been sleeping there with her okay.

Coulson thinks that the notebook contains Virgil’s recon notes from his trawler runs. Coulson wants to check out space object #616. Tess hesitates to do a side mission, but Coulson convinces her that this is the mission.

Once the trawler is underway, Mack distracts Zev, while Coulson and May have a quiet moment in the cabin. May is anxious to get home and sleep in her own bed after weeks in the Framework and time in future space. Phil wonders if there is no way back to their own time.

When the trawler is near #616, Tess enters the cabin. She pulls out a little model of the earth that Virgil wouldn’t fly without. Coulson snaps it open to discover the knob that opens one of the trawler’s compartments. Inside, they find a radio.

Just then, Zev enters the cabin and magnetizes everyone but May, the pilot, to the walls. May spins the trawler so that Zev flies around, hoping to knock him out. Mack enters the cabin and finishes the job for her. Tess gets upset, since attacking a superior will mean severe punishment. She suggests they dump Zev with the load, but Mack balks at killing him.

Coulson messes with the radio and eventually tunes it to a voice transmission. The signal is originating on earth. He records the transmission, even though it’s too garbled to understand.

Zev wakes up and cuts the trawler’s fuel line. They have to rush back to the Lighthouse, so the opportunity to kill Zev is gone. Tess is beside herself.

Back at the salvage shop, Grill yells some more. He throws around more names and threats, and even brings up the word mutiny. Tess tries to take the blame on herself, but Elena interrupts. She’s planted Grill’s gun on Zev. She accuses him of having a forbidden gun. Grill thinks that Zev stole it from him. He zaps Zev and says that no one is above the rules. He’s going to report Zev to the Kree for this violation.


Deke finds Daisy using the tablet to guide her to Jemma. He desperately tries to argue her out of recklessly storming the castle and risking everyone’s lives. She won’t listen. She accuses him of only caring about himself.

Deke: “I could make it so that you could waltz down there with an invitation from the big man, but that takes serious time. It takes finesse.”

She tells him that she needs to rescue Jemma now, before Jemma’s the one that’s dead. She uses her powers to throw him up against a wall. He says, “There she is, Quake, Destroyer of Worlds.” Daisy tells him not to ever call her that again, and walks away.

Daisy made no attempt to understand or address Deke’s concerns, even though she’s the stranger in this environment. I assume Daisy feels that she can act this way because this timeline will be erased when they fix things, so Deke doesn’t seem like a real person to her. The others act the same way with Tess, they’re just more polite.

After they treated the people in the Framework the same way, it’s an approach that’s getting old. Other shows use multiple timelines and universes without giving their characters the out of making everything throwaway. Plus, Deke is right. If they don’t follow the rules of the universe they’re in, they might get themselves killed before they can fix things. You’d think they would have learned something from losing Jeffrey Mace in the Framework.

Since Daisy isn’t trying all that hard to be stealthy, she ends up fighting three Kree and using her powers on one. The tablet, which worked as a security key, is broken in the fight, so she has to bust her way through from then on.

Next she smashes through a ceiling down onto the floor below, into the Kree section of the Lighthouse. She runs a few steps, then panels seal around her and gas is released from the walls. She collapses on the floor.

Kasius appears with Deke, Senara and a few guards. Kasius tells Deke that Deke was right, he is surprised. Deke warned Kasius that Daisy was coming. She now belongs to Kasius, and Deke will be paid for the information. Daisy promises to kill Deke. He tells her that he’s just playing the long game.

We come back from commercial to a repeat of the tag from the last episode of season 4. Coulson is asleep, gets up and looks out the window, then tells himself to get to work. But this time, we follow him out the door, where Tess, Mack, May, and Elena are working on the radio broadcast.

Tess thinks that the signals must be remnants, old transmissions caught in a gravitational feedback loop. Bet that’ll come up again later. Maybe signals from the end of the world are still bouncing around.


May insists that it’s coming from the surface. Mack gets the signal tuned in. The voice asks if Virgil has secured the delegation. Coulson realizes that they’re the delegation, and the broadcaster must have information for them. They need to get to the surface. Tess insists again that it’s impossible. That’s where they send people to die.

We see Zev walking on the surface, which is blackened and desolate. He is quickly overwhelmed by roaches.


OMG, last week I didn’t get that the Lighthouse is still attached to the shell of the earth. I thought it was free-floating. That changes things. It opens up the possibility of escape through caves and tunnels out to what’s left of the planet, if they can find a way to deal with the roaches. Daisy took care of one easily last week.

Zev was breathing the atmosphere, so air inexplicably still exists on the surface. That means there could be pockets of survivors and that Lighthouse residents other than Virgil could be in regular contact with them. How deep does Deke’s speakeasy go? Could the surface survivors also have access to his Framework as a method of communication?

Multiverse theory is now explicitly part of this season’s plot, meaning they may have left their own universe and be trying to save a completely different earth, or the various theories about this being a prequel to Infinity War could be accurate. It’s Agents of SHIELD in the High Space Castle.

Who taught Deke quantum physics? The Lighthouse doesn’t look like a place where higher education is a priority. And how does he know Kasius so well? There is much more to Deke than meets the eye.

By turning Daisy in to Kasius, Deke likely saved her life. A random inhuman intruder who caused as much damage as she did might be killed on sight. Quake, Destroyer of Worlds, is a novelty worth keeping around for a while. She might be given special privileges and access that a prisoner wouldn’t have, if she was smart about her situation. Jemma has already made good use of her situation. Hopefully, Daisy will do the same.

Elena is the stealth hero of the episode. Mack is most resourceful. It’s not clear who Deke really is, but I refuse to believe that he’s a villain. Why would the villain bother to play the long game with a reckless time traveler? He said that he could get Daisy into Kasius’ household safely, and he did, working with the options she’d left him.

Deke has repeated the phrase “the long game” multiple times now. It’s starting to feel like it’s code for something.

Deke and Senara are intriguing new characters, but Grill, Tess, and Kasius are all starting to feel a little one note. Virgil should win an award for most important character who got the least screen time. How many times did they say his name this episode?


One thought on “Agents of SHIELD Season 5 Episode 3: A Life Spent Recap

Comments are closed.