The 100th episode is here, and the showrunners went for an emotional episode that tugs on the heartstrings of longtime viewers, rather than loading this installment up with cameos from every past cast member they could get to show up. Mike Peterson, who played such a big part in the pilot and in season one, returns for the episode, and Hive gets a cameo, remembering longtime cast member Grant Ward/Brett Dalton. But most importantly, the focus is on SHIELD as a family, facing their fears together, and on upcoming major life transitions for the Agents of SHIELD, including birth, death, and marriage, making this a satisfying episode no matter what the show’s fate is at the end of the season.
The cold open begins with one of Fitz’s dwarfs scanning the technology storeroom after the explosion has died down. It looks like the bomb site that it is. The dwarf spots bloody three-toed footprints (from Vrellnexians), the remains of the beacon and a black robed figure. Also, this, which has been blown into the Marvel Universe from the Dr Who Dimension:
Then inhuman hunter and May’s dead exhusband Lash appears, shutting the dwarf down, so its signal is lost.
Fitz works on his calculations in what is now the SHIELD Command Center, since Noah is gone. He feels terrible that he didn’t see the explosion coming. The dwarf also discovered that Level 27 has been turned into a forest, complete with trees, bugs, sky, and clouds.
Fitz says that, according to his calculations, the phenomenon is a tear in the space-time continuum caused by three monoliths exploding at the same time. The tear is another dimension bleeding into this one, which could ultimately cause the end of the world. On the bright side, it means Daisy probably won’t be the one to cause the world to crack like an egg.
Elena is conscious after her surgery, and talks a little with Jemma while Jemma changes her bandages. Then Mack comes in for the serious talk he and Elena are due to have. He expresses how upset this whole thing has made him, and she replies that she’ll be okay, as long as he’s with her. He tells her that she’s everything to him, and makes the obligatory offer to quit SHIELD. She says that they need to stay and fight. Future Elena’s prophecies are coming true at a rapid rate, and she needs to try to stop that future from taking hold.
Daisy and Deke search the supply pantry for medications and other necessities. Deke gets to be the comic relief fish out of water in this time period, rather than the fast talking, amoral betrayer. He notices some orange-scented room deodorizer and sprays a little into the air. It smells so good that he sprays it into his mouth. Not the same reaction, at all, but this is how kids learn.
Then he tells Daisy a Dickensian story about his mom acquiring an orange for him for Christmas every year, and asks if her family had any traditions. When she says they had none, he gets cranky, asking if she had a sucky family. She explains that she didn’t have a family at all. That causes Deke to back off. It hadn’t occurred to him before then that people could have sucky lives even in the seeming utopia of early 21st century America.
Just then a Kree attacks them from behind and almost kills Deke. They fight it for a minute, then Daisy grabs a gun and shoots it, causing it to disintegrate. This gives Fitz enough information to determine that the tear leads to a fear dimension. He shows them an image of Lash that the dwarf took just before it stopped transmitting. The fear dimension is leaking into this world and manifesting the team’s worst fears. Daisy claims the Kree, May claims Lash, but who’s afraid of the forest on Level 27? Deke, who sees it as an unknown territory full of birds, bugs and worms. Total horror show.
Fitz can seal off most of the affected levels, but they need to close the tear as soon as possible. The only way Fitz has found to do it requires someone to possibly sacrifice themselves. Fitz looks at Deke and starts talking. Deke jumps in and refuses to be the sacrificial hero again so soon.
The others roll their eyes at him, but I can’t blame him for making the assumption. They saw where he came from. Plus, last hired, first fired. It’s really not farfetched for him to think they’d force the new guy to go. He has the least seniority and they have the least emotional attachment to him.
But all Fitz wanted this time was Deke’s antigrav belt buckle device. He can use that and some Gravitonium to make a patch to close the tear. The only catch is that one of them will have to take it down to the basement and put it in the rift, risking being killed by a manifestation of their fears or sucked into another dimension.
Coulson: That’s a risk I’ll have to take.
He dramatically leaves room.
Everyone in the room follows so they can have the argument he foolishly was trying to avoid. May and Daisy volunteer themselves, while Fitz volunteers Piper or to rework the problem. Daisy argues that sending in your general is the worst military strategy possible, while she’s a liability since she’s going to end the world.
Coulson: I’m looking at the big picture. You’re needed for the future, Daisy.
Daisy: The f-future? To lead? That’s what you said when you iced me right, to lead?
Coulson: And to inspire.
Daisy: To lead what? To inspire who?
Daisy: There is no SHIELD! Coulson, there’s no SHIELD, look around!
Fitz, trying to defuse the situation, touches her arm, and speaks gently: Okay, let’s just calm…
Daisy: No, no. May is never gonna be full strength, whether you’ll admit it or not. Mack is seconds away from quitting, again, because the love of his life, our only other strong fighter, was literally cut to pieces.
Coulson, visibly in distress: Nobody quits.
Daisy: Piper stabbed us in the frikkin’ back. And FitzSimmons, my God, you really want to risk their lives again? They’ve been through enough. And guess what, Coulson, that’s it. That’s everybody.
Coulson: No, that’s not it. There’s an idea, a symbol, that must continue, no matter what. A shield. And I need you… I need you to…
Coulson has trouble breathing and forming words, then collapses.
The fanboy lives on, despite everything. Coulson has incorruptible goodness and loyalty, like Steve Rogers. Peggy Carter and Howard Stark dedicated themselves and SHIELD to Steve’s memory and continuing his work. Coulson has always believed wholeheartedly in that mission. He fought to keep it going against overwhelming odds after Steve himself shut SHIELD down. It’s what he’s lived for since he died.
Later, Deke waits for Coulson in the tunnel to town. Coulson gives Deke a To Do list and his sunglasses, admonishing him not to get arrested again. Deke tries to apologize for earlier, but Coulson cuts him off, telling him to just go do his mission and get back. 😎
The rest of the team meet in the control room to hear Jemma’s report on Coulson’s condition. The MRI showed necrotic (dead) tissue spreading from Coulson’s heart into his lungs and the surrounding area. The point of origin is the injury he sustained from Loki’s spear (in The Avengers), that killed him. Now it’s killing him again. Nothing can be done, because there’s no cure for dead tissue. The tissue appears as if it’s been dead for several years, not as if it’s infected. It’s reverting to the state it would be in if he hadn’t been brought back using TAHITI.
Coulson has known since the season 4 finale that Ghost Rider burned through the time the TAHITI cure had given him, as part of the deal they made. He didn’t know how to tell them, and he didn’t really want to. He didn’t want them to waste time trying to cure him when there are bigger issues to deal with.
Daisy says that they had a solution when they were in the future. Tess was TAHITI’d with nice, fresh TAHITI juice. Coulson says that he didn’t want to go through that process again.
Daisy: So you just give up? You don’t get to do that. You make life and death decisions for us all the time, and we’re not allowed the same courtesy? After everything. We deserved to…we deserved to know.
She walks out. The rest of the team is in varying stages of breaking down, from looking like Coulson’s already dead, to openly crying. Jemma says that she won’t know how fast his condition is progressing until she charts his test results for a while, but at some point his heart will just stop beating.
May: You did this wrong, Phil. You put too much on her today. You should have told us.
Coulson goes to check on Daisy. Now the writers will make sure that our hearts are ripped out, if they haven’t been already. And we’re only 1/3 of the way through the episode.
Daisy: I can’t do what you’re asking of me. I can’t do it.
Coulson: You’ve always been capable of more than you imagined.
Daisy: No. Not without you. [ 😭 They gave her Bucky’s line to Steve from First Avenger.] You found me alone, in an alley, and you gave me everything. A home. A belief. Solid ground to stand on. But that was all YOU. You are what I believe in.
Coulson: You believe in yourself. And you should.
Daisy: No, you want a symbol? You are the symbol. There’s no SHIELD without you. There’s nothing without you.
She breaks down, sobbing. Coulson holds her. 😭 😭
Elena startles awake. Jemma is nearby, checking her vitals. She says that the hydromorphone that Elena is on for pain is making her drowsy, but the sleep can be restless. Jemma goes to raise Elena’s dosage to try to put her into a deeper sleep, but Elena asks her not to. She wants to stay clearheaded so that she can warn Mack. Jemma sympathizes. She says that Elena should spare Mack. He, and everyone else, have suffered enough. Then Jemma tries to suffocate Elena with a pillow.
Except it’s not really Jemma. Mack runs in and punches Jemma across the face to get her away from Elena. Her face plate flies off, revealing that she’s an LMD. Welcome to Elena’s nightmare. Real Jemma shoots LMD Jemma until it disintegrates. Fitz announces that they have to seal the rift now. That was too close for comfort.
Deke gets to town and discovers that the army is there in force. General Hale is talking to the local sheriff. That deputy did call in Daisy when he was acting suspiciously last week. It just took Hale and her platoon too long to get to town. Now the town has helicopter flyovers and an occupying army. Hale tells the sheriff that she wants to do a sweep of Deke’s jail cell to see if it turns up anything useful.
First up on Deke’s list is to call someone named Fiona on a pay phone. He gets an outgoing message and asks why he can’t talk to a real person. Then he hangs up, complaining about what a ridiculous system it is. While he was leaving the fake non-message, he was typing numbers into the phone, probably GPS coordinates for where to meet, and a time.
Deke’s next stop is a pawn shop. He runs into an older man outside the shop, who gives him a doubletake.
May finds Coulson sitting on a bench alone, preparing to seal the rift. She asks him if they cooled off their relationship last year because he’s dying. He says that she doesn’t need to be worrying about him. She replies that it’s her choice who she cares about. She wants to help him fight this. Phil says that he’s come to terms with dying. It’s time to make room for the next generation. She’ll need to do the same thing, soon. But he does intend to survive this mission. He’s not trying to hasten his death, he just doesn’t want to prolong his life.
Fitz has turned Deke’s device into a sort of dimensional grenade. Phil just needs to go in, ignore all of the scary stuff, throw the ball into the rift, and run. No problem. Fitz gives him a gun that should take down the illusions.
Before he leaves, Coulson makes Fitz promise to go through with the other thing they talked about, no matter what else happens. Fitz wants to back out, saying it’s just symbolic, but Coulson says that symbols are important.
Daisy is running the mission. Coulson gets on the elevator and they check that the coms are working. Daisy asks how Coulson is feeling.
Coulson: What are the odds there’s a giant Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man down there?
WELL THERE WILL BE NOW!!!
Daisy: Shoot first, ask questions later.
When he steps out of the elevator, the coms go dead. Coulson walks through the rubble without seeing anyone, until he finds Mike Peterson, unscarred, whole, healthy, and dressed in his outfit from the pilot. They greet each other. Mike shows Coulson that he’s harmless. Unarmed, not real, not even actually what Phil’s afraid of of.
Phil’s fear is more insidious than that. Mike is just the mouthpiece to convince Phil that he’s still in surgery after being stabbed in the chest by Loki’s spear, 5 years ago. The doctors are desperately trying to revive him, but it’s not working. Everything that Coulson thinks has happened in the last 5 years wasn’t real. It’s all just his dying mind trying to make sense of what’s happening around him, the misfires from the electrical stimulation the doctors are doing, and his fears and sadness about all of the dreams he had that he knows will never come true now.
In other words, Phil is afraid that TAHITI wasn’t real, and his entire life since he died is a coma dream or Near Death Experience. Good one, Phil. Very existential, and hard to disprove. Mike Peterson, the first person shown in the pilot, is supposedly an EMT standing in the back of the room watching the surgeons work on Coulson.
It’s all been a wonderful life. That whole episode with Robin’s flashbacks/forwards, from which Coulson was conspicuously missing, was to show us what happens if the team loses Coulson too early.
Every time a bell rings, the angels of common sense are rewarded. Peterson gets a cybernetic limb and Robin gets a little more of her sanity back.
Up in the control room, Daisy’s panicking and wants to send someone down to help Coulson. Fitz tells her that there are multiple reasons why that’s a bad idea, and she turns on him, accusing him of acting like he’s still in HYDRA. “There are no acceptable losses, Leopold.” May steps in and stops the argument, insisting that Coulson will make it. The kids aren’t ready to take off without mom and dad yet.
Phil tries to go on with the mission, but Mike continues to undermine his thinking, trying to point out how unrealistic his life since his death has been. That might be more convincing if Coulson hadn’t been killed on a giant helicarrier by an alien using a weapon with an infinity stone in it, while an Asgardian known as an ancient Norse God on Earth was nearby, and Iron Man (with a glowing artifical heart), a recently brought back to life Captain America, Hulk, Black Widow, Hawkeye and Nick Fury weren’t all involved. His life has actually been more believable since then. Just taking Tony Stark and the Hulk out of the equation calmed things down a lot. (Love them, but they’re larger than life. 😘)
Phil realizes that this fear is coming from his fear of death, and how hard it’s going to be to let go of living. He thought he’d come to terms with dying, but he’s not as ready as he thought. Mike goes through Phil’s life during the last five years again, giving the editors a chance to throw in clips that are mere flashes.
Mike finishes his roundup by saying that above all, Coulson wanted the chance to be a hero.
Mike: You said it yourself, Coulson. It matters who you are.
Coulson: No, I’m not trying to be a hero. I’m just here to see that SHIELD continues.
Mike: Remember Daisy’s words- There is no SHIELD. There is nothing without you. This is all in your head.
Coulson: I refuse to believe this.
Mike: That’s your problem. You won’t let reality sink in. Even now, your mind is rejecting the fact that I’m just an EMT standing over you. It’s trying to make me into something else. It’s trying to find a way out.
You have to give the fear manifestation credit for twisting Daisy’s words the way it did.
Warning alarms go off in the control room. Deke radios in from a quinjet that he’s on SHIELD 313 and requesting permission to land. They open up they landing bay, and we get the best graphics and music of the night. The quinjet lands in the middle of the 360˚ waterfall, while a swelling, romantic version of the SHIELD theme plays. The Quinjet opens to reveal Deke with the real Deathlok, the formerly presumed dead Agent Davis, and about 10 other agents. Deke looks right at home amongst the agents, and like he understands the weight of the moment.
Please, can Daisy be his SO for his SHIELD training?
Fear Mike changes tactics, and notes that by taking the device to the rift, Coulson’s literally walking into the light. He tries to walk Phil there, by Phil finally decides to fully reject the fear manifestation.
Just as Fear Mike starts to get violent, Real Deathlok arrives and kills his alternate. He tells Coulson to grab the device already, just as Lash and a herd of Vrellnexians arrive. Deathlok takes care of them while Coulson activates the device and sends it into the rift. As the rift is closing and trying to suck Coulson and Deathlok into the other dimension, Hive appears for one last haunting. Deathlok shoots him.
Deathlok has been practicing his skills since we saw him last, and it’s flips all over the place to impress his former boss. Maybe he visited Wakanda and got an upgrade on the cybernetics, too, so that he’s more flexible and springy than he used to be.
Coulson ends up in Deathlok’s lap, with both on the floor. Even superheroes who’ve come back from the dead get all awkward in this situation, apparently. You’d think they’d have bigger things to worry about than unwanted broners.
Anyhow, the Dr Who rift is closed, yay!!
General Hale’s assistant informs her that Deke’s prints and DNA came back, and he doesn’t match any records at all. He might be an LMD. There have also been more Daisy Johnson sightings around the lakefront. Hale decides not to pursue the leads any further. She thinks Daisy’s on her way to Canada or the sightings are a ruse to throw them off the real trail.
Later, Hale’s assistant reveals that she’s done further DNA testing on Deke, and came up with two biological matches: Jemma and Fitz.
Deke, Coulson and Fitz ride in the Lighthouse elevator. As he’s putting on a sports coat, Fitz explains that the gravity field device is working for the moment. They’ll need a more permanent solution, eventually. Fitz says they have one man to thank for their success.
Deke says that he doesn’t deserve that much praise, then rambles on about the details of his mission for a while. He called in all of the Daisy Johnson sitings. But Fitz was actually talking about Deathlok, who’s going to stay the night, then move on, since he works solo.
As Fitz continues to make conversation, Coulson asks if he’s stalling. Fitz says he doesn’t think so. But the elevator stopped a minute ago. Coulson tidies up Fitz’s suit, and tells him it’s gonna be great.
The elevator doors open on the forest in level 27. Jemma is waiting for Fitz, wearing a wedding gown. Cue the tears of the entire fandom.
Coulson performs the ceremony. Here are their vows:
Coulson: Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today for a moment we all knew was coming, some of us even before these two did. And I think we can all agree, even to wait one second to do this is playing with fire. All in favor?
Coulson: The Ayes have it, so, alright, time for the exchanging of the vows, I guess.
Jemma: I had to write it down… Fitz- I knew from the moment I saw you, from our first conversation about dielectric polarization that you’d be in my life for a long time. But I didn’t know you would be my life, my heart, my home. We joined this team for adventures and got more than we had hoped. I can’t wait for our next adventure, building a family together. My love for you grows deeper, and always will, no matter where the universe takes us next.
Fitz: I have been thinking about what to say. Just… Words don’t really seem enough. (takes both of her hands) I think that you are perfect. And, um, I don’t deserve you Jemma. I don’t. I don’t deserve you. And I’m well aware that I’m the luckiest man on any planet.
Coulson: Okay, let’s have the rings. Quickly, please, before this forest collapses around us. Fitz, repeat after me: With this ring, I thee wed.
Fitz: With this ring, I thee wed.
[Mike: So, you got the rings, huh? It’s a nice one. Deke: Turns out a lot of people pawn wedding rings. I had to find one that was going to be small enough for his little boy fingers. And then for hers, I found this ring that looks just like this one that my mom used to wear sometimes. It was my grandma’s, I think.]
Coulson: And now, by the powers vested in me by the two of you, I’m so happy to pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss the bride.
Daisy’s right, SHIELD only exists because this show and Coulson exist. There would be no SHIELD without him. Daisy, on the other hand, has the backstory and power level to be an Avenger. I mean, they found her living out of her van, homeless, in an alley, and adopted her like she was a lost kitten.
Coulson needs to pass his little band of powered/genius orphans on to someone who can watch out for them after he’s gone, someone like the best of the Avengers. They have experience with taking in orphans. The Agents of Shield kids should be absorbed by the films when the series ends. Or those three/four should get a spin off- Deke is probably a permanent part of the gang, now that he’s family. Mack, Elena and May will be ready to retire for real by then, and can recur as consultants.
Wow, knowing that Deke is Fitz and Jemma’s grandson, and having Coulson give him the symbolic aviator sunglasses, then sending him out to do administrative, organizing, rallying the troops type stuff, seems like Coulson’s grooming Deke to co-lead with Daisy. They’ll be like Fury and Hill, or Coulson and May. He has many of Coulson’s qualities. -Coulson’s not above lying and manipulation, as this episode proves.- He just needs some guidance and to feel like he’s valued and belongs.
I’ve wondered if Deke was related to Fitz and Jemma ever since we learned that he had the remains of the Framework and knew how to use it. The Kree weren’t setting up schools to provide that kind of education. That came from his parents quietly homeschooling him with their own knowledge. The question is, why does he think that Daisy destroyed the world? Did he or his mom misinterpret something they saw or heard when they were little kids? Does Daisy get her powers back suddenly and without warning, and then that causes her to trigger a chain of events that leads to the end of the world?
How many times do we have to watch Grant Ward die on this show? Killing him, then having his infested body screw with Daisy’s mind, must really be messing with Coulson to this day. But, seriously, he should give himself a break. Who could have predicted space traveling, sentient, addictive parasites? Other than Stargate SG1, The Host and Invasion of the Body Snatchers, I mean.
Does the time loop take place in the fear dimension, or under the influence of the fear dimension bleeding through? That would explain a lot about the choices people made.
Did Fitz say something about needing more Gravitonium to permanently close the rift? Do they know where it ended up after Quinn and Raina took it or can they track it? Will we finally discover the fate of Dr Hall?
I never understand it when I see people say that Agents of SHIELD doesn’t follow the movies anymore. Sure, they don’t necessarily do very specific tie in storylines anymore, like the way so much of season 1 was based on the Extremis from Iron Man 3 (which absolutely everyone forgets in their rush to get to the latter part of the season), and then segued into the destruction of SHIELD after Winter Soldier.
But they still do frequent shoutouts to characters and events in the MCU, you just might have to be paying close attention or it will go by so quickly you’ll miss it. For example, Noah said last week that there was an Asgardian in the city. Perhaps it was Thor, visiting Dr Strange?
This week, Coulson’s surgeon said that Mr Stark said to do whatever it takes for Coulson. In addition to the entire, episode long discussion of Coulson’s injury from one of the films. This is the only Marvel TV show that names the film characters by name, instead of using coy descriptions. Fury’s name still comes up regularly.
They also cover the themes and concepts of the films in a variety of ways. Season 4 was running when the film Dr Strange was released. The book of forbidden magic that Dr Strange and other characters study, The Book of Cagliostro, contained passages from The Darkhold, the evil book of magic which played a major role throughout season 4 of Agents of SHIELD. That’s a pretty direct tie in.
On the other hand, with season 5 taking place in the Lighthouse and the characters on the Most Wanted list, it’s unlikely that they’ll go to Wakanda to tie in with Black Panther. Instead, we see the film reflected in the Agents of SHIELD characters and their relationships.
[I’m going to do a comparison with Black Panther, while trying not to spoil the movie beyond what’s in a very basic synopsis or trailer. If you’re extremely spoiler phobic, skip the next 6 paragraphs.]
In the film, T’Challa is taking over as ruler and as the symbolic protector of his country, the Black Panther, after the sudden and unexpected loss of his father. He’s having a hard time letting go of his father and not sure he’s up to the task.
On AoS, Coulson wants Daisy to take over as leader of SHIELD and the symbolic shield bearer, the strongest fighter in the group. He’s just revealed that he’s going to die soon and unexpectedly from an old wound brought on by a betrayal. Daisy doesn’t feel that she can lead without Coulson’s support.
T’Challa lives in a secluded, isolated country whose true nature is kept secret from the world, where tribal and familial relationships are important. His father was part of a betrayal that ended with T’Challa having a rival, Eric Killmonger, who fights him and wants to take everything from him.
SHIELD has been a secret off and on since the end of season 1. Even when its existence is known, the true nature of its activities is usually covert. The creators and leaders of SHIELD left the door open for HYDRA to infiltrate SHIELD for decades and betray SHIELD’s purpose. There is also Ruby, General Hale’s supposed daughter, and whoever lives behind the 4 other doors in that hall. Ruby is being set up as a rival of Daisy’s that Daisy won’t see coming. Ruby is very powerful and she has already expressed her plan to make Daisy come to her by slowly taking away everyone she cares about.
T’Challa has powered allies, and two in particular, Bucky Barnes/ the White Wolf, and Steve Rogers/ Captain America, who come from a different time period. T’Challa himself sometimes has to fight without his powers.
Daisy also has powered allies, and an ally from the future, in addition to the Chronicoms. Daisy is currently powerless because of a Kree device. We are only at the beginning of the thematic tie in, so its hard to say what direction the series will go in from here.
By following the movies thematically, more than directly, Agents of SHIELD gets to tell more interesting, creative stories, while still feeling like an essential member of the MCU. It’s not a coincidence that AoS has improved creatively as it’s had more freedom to evoke the themes and concepts of the films, like focussing on magic and the spirit realms in season 4 to link to Dr Strange, rather than acting as an extended commercial and follow up or set up for the films.
In season one, just before SHIELD falls, Daisy (then known as Skye) reads Bucky’s name off the Wall of Valor at SHIELD Academy. It was a fun reminder of his existence at the time, that turned out to be foreshadowing to remind us that he was supposed to be dead before Captain America: Winter Soldier changed his status.
In this episode, Daisy tells Coulson that she won’t be able to go on, “not without you,” the same thing Bucky said to Steve when Steve rescued Bucky from Azzano. That was the first time Bucky was missing and presumed dead. Coulson’s come back from the dead once already, the same way Bucky has, and is her soulmate the same way Bucky and Steve are soulmates (I believe in platonic soulmates),
As we all know, Bucky went on to be resurrected a second time. Will Coulson? Is the use of that iconic line a hint? Is it just a cool acknowledgement of Daisy and Coulson’s closeness? Is it foreshadowing for Infinity War? When Bucky used the line in First Avenger, Steve had to make an impossible jump over a river of fire. He made it that time. Is the MCU reminding us of that moment, using Daisy again, because Steve and Bucky will have another “not without you” moment in Infinity War? Will this one turn out differently, as virtually everyone has theorized, and Steve will be presumed dead? (We will not be discussing Steve actually dying. Coulson and I will mentally snap if you try. OUR STEVE CAN’T DIE, OKAY?*)
Or was her use of the phrase an unlikely coincidence?
Good interview with the showrunners at EW.com.
The Fear Dimension is from the comics, as Marc Buxton from Den of Geek explains:
The Fear Dimension is an established nether realm in the Marvel Universe. It was first mentioned in Doctor Strange: Sorcerer Supreme #31 (1991) by Roy Thomas, Dann Thomas, and Tony DeZuniga. Some notable fear entities that make the Fear Dimension their home include D’spayre, the Dweller-In-Darkness, Kkallakku, Lurking Unknown, Nightmare, Nox, and Straw Man. Nightmare is Marvel’s main fear entity and I’m a little surprised he didn’t pop up in this episode. Could Marvel be saving this famed Doctor Strange foe for a future Doctor Strange film? Whatever the case, it is pretty cool to see Agents of SHIELD be able to play around with a long time Marvel horror staple in its milestone episode. And yes people. I was able to spell Kkallakku without looking it up. Fear me.
*I might have to go rewatch the entire Captain America trilogy after even discussing the concept of Steve or Bucky facing real death. Even watching Chris Evans die when he’s playing someone else almost kills me. Do you know how devastating Snowpiercer and Puncture are? They are both amazing movies though, go watch them if you haven’t.
Photos courtesy of Marvel/ABC.