It was a busy episode on Agents of SHIELD, with two marriage proposals, three fights, including one death match, two executions, one exile to the surface, several reunions, the deaths of three recurring characters, and one inhuman going through terrigenesis. And it’s not even sweeps!
Flint wakes up in the latest corner that he’s been squatting in since Tess chased him out of the Trawler bay. He searches his pack for the odds and ends he’s gathered to sell, and bargains with his regular customers, trying to convince them to part with enough tokens to feed him for another day. Grill seems to have a soft spot for him, and he ends up with a fresh orange slice. He drops it when a Kree guard grabs him and takes him away.
Mack, Coulson, and Elena discuss their theories about what the Kree are up to now. Tess finds them and tells them that the Kree are harvesting kids.
Kasius is holding a reception for the guests he’s invited to bid on Daisy and his other inhumans. Fitz is one of the bidders, disguised as a fierce Marauder named Boshtok with many kills to his credit. Enoch has spent years building up Fitz’ reputation and fortune, now Fitz just has to play the part. His Framework persona should make that simple.
Enoch, who is turning into a pretty great comic relief character, describes some of the other guests:
Enoch: That is Lady Karaba. She is a demented brute, her affection a curse to anyone who receives it. And there is Senator Gaius Ponarian. I am repulsed by the sight. Even the man’s closest friend’s find his temperament to be that of a diseased child-monster.
Fitz: So Kasius has assembled the worst of the worst.
Enoch: Do not fear. You are far more reprehensible than any other creature in this room.
As part of his role, Fitz is wearing a broach covered with what looks like rhinestones, but are actually Gengku Lada (?). It represents the number of enemy lives he’s taken. It’s the icing on the cake that crystalizes Fitz’ impatience to find their friends and blast their way out. Enoch informs him that they’s have a less than 2% chance of success with that strategy.
Jemma walks into the room and Fitz can’t look at anything else. Enoch asks if he wants an introduction, since it’s Marauder tradition. Of course Fitz doesn’t. Jemma goes to stand at a side table with her back to Fitz. She hasn’t noticed him yet.
He stands behind her, and tells her to play it cool and not turn around. He doesn’t realize that she can’t hear him. Then he gives her a speech meant to melt FitzSimmons fans’ hearts. And Jemma’s, if she could hear it. Stupid Kasius.
Fitz: Jemma, it’s me, don’t turn around. Just play it cool. Oh, I’ve missed you so much. I’ve spent 6 months locked up in an off the books military prison, not to mention 80 years frozen in space, all just hoping to find you. Here you are. You know I realized something. The universe can’t stop us. Because we’ve crossed galaxies, we’ve traveled through time, we’ve survived the bottom of the ocean, all so that we could be together. Now a love like that, that’s stronger than any curse. You and I, we are unstoppable together. I…I don’t want to live another day without you. So, Jemma Simmons, will you marry me?
She doesn’t respond. Fitz can’t understand why she’s playing it this cool. He touches her arm, and she turns around, seeing him for the first time just as Kasius notices, and asks if there’s a problem. They look into each other’s eyes for a moment, then Fitz complains that Kasius’ servant ignored his request. Kasius explains that his servants are only allowed to hear their master’s voice. Fitz thinks that makes it hard for them to meet his guests’ needs. Kasius turns Jemma’s hearing back on.
Kasius explains that Jemma traveled through time with Daisy and they will be sold together, as she’s useful for motivating Daisy. Fitz says he’s found that the only motivator he ever needs is pain, in it’s proper application. Kasius looks like he’s just fallen in love. He compliments Fitz’ impressive broach. Score 1 for Enoch.
Kasius sends Jemma to check on the terrigenesis harvest.
The 18 year olds have already gone through the normal annual harvest, so the Kree are rounding up any teenagers they can find. Flint is an orphan, so Tess comforts him before he gets misted. Flint is the only one of the four kids who get misted to develop a husk. Elena says she can’t stand to watch.
When Flint starts to break out of his crust, it suddenly busts apart, and he disappears. Elena has whisked him away into hiding.
At dinner, Ponarian asks Kasius how he’s doing with the litter of Vrellnexians that Ponarian sold him. Kasius admits that they aren’t the easiest beasts to wrangle. Ponarian agrees that they’re bred to be fighters, not shaggy dogs, but he’d hoped they would help ease the burden of Kasius’ exile, which seemed to be weighing heavily on him the last time they’d talked.
Kasius denies that he was exiled. His father put him in charge of his earth project. Ponarian notes that Kasius brother is in charge of the family empire.
Daisy and Ben the telepath are placed next to each other to watch the guests eat dinner. Ben tells her that he’s never been offered as a fighter before, and blames her. He helped her and Jemma, so it’s her fault, even though she didn’t even ask for help. She hoped for help in her mind, and since he can read minds, that’s the same thing. Wow. There would be no way you could ever do anything right in a relationship with this guy, if you’re even going to be blamed for unspoken hopes and dreams. And I thought he was cute, and nice, and was sad to see him go. Never mind that.
Daisy says there’s still a chance that she can get them out of this. He replies that he’s glad that his inhibiter is on so that he can’t hear whatever dumb idea is in her brain. They’re slaves, she needs to accept it.
Ponarian has brought fresh Zendarian snail to add to the feast, a great delicacy. Kasius is thrilled.
Lady Karaba asks how Kasius controls his human population. Fitz interjects that Kasius must have the humans kill each other. If it were him, he’d turn it into a ritualized game. That way he can control them through fear, even though they outnumber the Kree. The dinner guests are looking at Fitz with some mixture of awe and horror, but Kasius is once again impressed that he and Fitz think alike.
Ponarian notices that Fitz hasn’t eaten his snail, and insults his breeding. Fitz insults the snail and Ponarian’s entire being with a malevolent air. There’s a tense moment, then Kasius bursts out laughing, saying Boshtok is a lively dinner companion. Ponarian and Fitz share a look that says they’re sworn enemies now.
YoYo explains what really happens to Kasius’ inhumans to Flint. He doesn’t want to believe her, and insists that he has to go back out to the square and let the Kree take him. Coulson and Mack bring Tess to YoYo and Flint. They decide to take Flint out on a trawler to hide him from the Kree until Kasius is done with his sale. Tess leaves to secure a trawler.
Kasius and his guests assemble for the first fight, pitting Ben against Melinda May, Agent of SHIELD and time traveler. Her leg is still very injured, because she’s had to fight so frequently since she injured it. May has a staff and Ben has knives.
Fitz and Kasius discuss their disapproving fathers as they watch the fight. Kasius believes that making a fortune will win his father’s favor back.
The fight is supposed to be to the death, but when May is thrown to the ground and can’t get up, she silently appeals to Fitz. He loudly declares that he’s bored with the fight. He tells Kasius to have the ancient, has-been human thrown to the roaches, and move on to the main attraction- the Destroyer of Worlds. Kasius agrees.
Flint wonders why he doesn’t have his powers yet. Elena tells him that he does, they just haven’t revealed themselves. She relates the story of how she discovered her powers. Grill appears and says that he’s sure that Kasius would love to hear that story, as he magnetizes their wrists to the walls.
Ponarian and Lady Karaba begin a bidding war for Ben, but Kasius refuses to sell. He knows that Ben lied to him about Daisy’s companions. He can’t sell a slave that lies to his master. Sinara executes Ben with her telepathically controlled balls.
Grill tells Coulson and the others that May was fighting in the crater, but is now roach food. He asks again why they didn’t have metrics. Coulson admits that they came from the past to save the world. Grill realizes they’re talking about the prophecy and laughs out loud. He can’t wait to turn them over to Kasius and get rich.
The pebbles around Grill’s feet begin to rattle and float. Flint is discovering his power. Grill tells them that death might be their best option. He figures out that Elena might have set up Zev, and decides he wants to torture everyone before he turns them in. Flint begins hurling small rocks around the room. It takes him a minute to figure out how to control it. When Flint does, he gathers together a pile of boulders above Grill. Flint drops them on Grill, killing him.
Mack and Coulson go looking for Tess so they can take the trawler and get out. They find her dead, stabbed and hung in the public square by the Kree, with a sign on her that says “Bring the Inhuman.” They slip back to their hiding place unnoticed.
Jemma finds Daisy in a bedroom. They commiserate about Ben’s death, and how happy they are to see Fitz. Daisy thinks his new look is hot. Jemma prefers the cardigans. They don’t know Fitz’ plan, but Jemma has stolen a butter knife. Daisy isn’t impressed, so Jemma tells her the choice of available cutlery was limited! Anyway, they decide on a rough plan to make their move during Daisy’s fight, while her inhibiter is off, assuming Fitz will also be ready then.
When Jemma leaves the room, Fitz is at the other end of the hall, in the shadows. They each emerge from shadow and move slowly toward each other, staring into each other’s eyes, but are interrupted. Jemma is called away, then Enoch comes for Fitz. It’s all very Romeo and Juliet. 😭
Enoch tells Fitz that Kasius’ wealthy brother has arrived and plans to buy Daisy and Jemma. Fitz plays enraged Marauder and confronts Kasius, but Kasius won’t be swayed. If he has a chance to sell to his father through his brother, and impress them both, he’s taking it.
Faulnak is disdainful of earth, Kasius, Sinara, inhumans, and the entire situation. He goads Kasius into sending Sinara to fight the Destroyer of Worlds to the death. Sinara is not happy about being sent to her death, with the instruction to put on a good show for the buyers.
Quake and Sinara meet in the crater. Sinara attacks as soon as the barrier between the audience and the fighters is up. Quake uses a lot of hand to hand moves, instead of just quaking Sinara over and over like a rag doll. Because of that, Sinara holds her own.
After a few minutes, Fitz gives a signal and pulls out an icer. Jemma takes out her knife and slashes Kasius’ cheek. Fitz ices the spectators. Daisy floats up to go after Kasius and Faulnak, but Faulnak grabs the remote for her inhibiter and turns it back on. She drops to the floor like dead weight.
Fitz and Jemma both jump out of the seats and down into the crater.
Fitz: I’m never leaving you again.
They kiss. Fitz ices Sinara, because he’s an action hero and a romantic heart throb. He can do it all.
Jemma: Then marry me, Fitz.
Fitz: Absolutely. Also, just to say, I did propose earlier when Kasius had your hearing turned off.
They pick up Daisy and help her out of the crater.
Jemma: Oh, course you did.
Fitz ices a Kree guard.
Fitz: No, seriously, I did.
In the tag, Enoch, disguised as a Kree, plays it totally cool when he goes to the surface to rescue May from the roaches:
Enoch: Hello, Friend!
Kree Guard (gruffly): Who are you?
Enoch (pushing elevator buttons): I am a Kree, as I have always been, brother.
Kree Guard: Do you know where you’re going? People don’t come back from…
Enoch (shoots guard with an icer, who falls to the floor, unconscious): I am not a person.
Someday, they’re going to have to explain just what Enoch is.
I’m really mad that Ben died having gotten the last word with Daisy. I need him resurrected long enough for her to show him that she had help coming and they at least escaped to the surface, after he called her escape plans dumb. Sexism is alive and well in the future human cultures. The alien cultures, too, given how few females we’ve seen, and how little they’re allowed to speak when we do see them. Is there some reason why Sinara needs to be nearly mute?
RIP Tess. Eve Harlow is the Sean Bean of ScFi TV series. Her characters are born to die early deaths. I was rooting for Tess to at least make it until the main cast leaves the future.
Can’t say that I’m sorry to see Grill go. He threatened our people too many times and was too crooked for me to care. Now he can go back to Stranger Things and lead the kids to Brenner in season 3.
Kasius is supposed to be able to control the Vrellnexians? Does that mean they should be able to speak, like they do in the comics, and he just didn’t give them proper training? So, there’s some small chance of the humans turning them into allies, if they can find a way to feed the roaches? Because Kasius clearly gave up and dumped them, like a litter of puppies on the side of the road.
Enoch, as a Chronicon, lived through the entire history up until now, 2091. If the SHIELD agents go back in time and reset the timeline, will he remember the current timeline, and will he go back and relive the new timeline? Do Chronicons ever get together with the Observers from Fringe? Has there been a Chronicon lurking on the edges of every episode of Agents of SHIELD, and we never noticed?
This episode was directed by Clark Gregg, who plays Coulson. He’s directed other projects, but this was his first TV episode. As I noted at the top, they didn’t go easy on him!