Agents of Shield Season 6 Episode 3: Fear and Loathing on the Planet of Kitson Recap

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Agents of SHIELD Goes Cyberpunk

In a change of pace, this of episode Agents of SHIELD gives everyone a break from routine and goes full on space cyberpunk neo-noir, complete with robots, neon, hallucinations, breaking glass, existential desperation and the chief investigator’s voiceover narration. As befits a cyberpunk dystopia, irony and gallows humor abound. Because this is Agents of SHIELD and not Blade Runner or Altered Carbon, the result is both deadly serious and tongue in cheek.

Thematically, the episode revolves around friendships and Fitz and Simmons’ deep need to be reunited. The friendship pairings of Fitz and Enoch, and Jemma and Daisy, are closely examined in ways that are overdue. Piper and Davis also get a chance to shine both as individuals and to show their affection for each other as partners, despite their recent grumbles. There’s a glancing nod toward Jaco and Sarge, a fascinating pairing when you consider that Coulson was always drawn to talented outcasts, especially powered people.

Calling it now: Sarge/Fake Coulson is a Chronicom hunter. In episode 1, Benson said that Tinker was cybernetic. Sarge has traveled extensively through time and space and he and his team are clearly hunting for specific targets. This episode went from showing a Chromicon hunter capturing Fitz to Sarge setting off a targeting device in Earth’s sky. Otherwise, Earth wasn’t shown in this episode. That’s a pretty huge hint.

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Agents of SHIELD Season 6 Episode 1: Missing Pieces Recap

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Welcome back, fellow agents! After a year long absence and the loss of Director Coulson, SHIELD has reinvented itself again. This time, they are officially headquartered in the Lighthouse, the scene of much of the action in season 5. Mack has become Director Mackenzie, standing strong and steady as he watches over operations, with Coulson’s insights, projected from Fury’s cube, guiding him.

May and Yo-Yo are at the lighthouse with Mack, along with numerous new agents. It’s been a year in SHIELD’s timeline, as well, and in that time Melinda has buried Coulson and recruited talent, mainly of the muscle/field agent variety. Two in particular stand out: Keller, who has a chiseled jawline, a flirtation with Yo-Yo and a dumb idea about their current case that proves true; and Fox, who is his nerdy sidekick and possibly a single episode red shirt.

The current case is a series of anomalies reality warps distortions [name to be determined later] which have yet to be explained. When one of these events occurs, aliens arrive on Earth through a breach. By the end of the episode, their leader arrives, a character with a very familiar face.

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Agents of SHIELD Season 5 Episode 15: Rise and Shine Recap

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Hale HYDRA! Hail the squid-bellied Destroyer of Worlds! Hail the Calamari Mata Hari, and the return of that silver-tongued devil himself, (former) General Talbot!

This week, we get a HYDRA history lesson and a nostalgic visit with some old friends. (RIP, Jasper Sitwell. I will always believe that someone saved you after the Winter Soldier crossed you off in the most spectacular of his on-camera assassinations.) We also discover just how deeply the misogyny ran in HYDRA.

After the Hydra background reveal, Hale takes Coulson on a tour of HYDRA and its goals as it stands today. The two leaders have a surprising amount in common, until Coulson slips and tries to give Hale orders based on his experiences in the future. Hale thinks that he’s just another male authority figure deciding that his gender makes him smarter than her, and shuts down in anger. Did they just bring us one step closer to the end of the world?

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Agents of SHIELD Season 5 Episode 14: The Devil Complex Recap

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This week’s episode confronts levels and layers of fear and loathing, and the ongoing question of when the solution becomes worse than the problem. How far is too far? At what point would it be better to die with your integrity or identity intact, rather than make a deal with the devil that potentially wipes out everything you thought you were or the good you were trying to accomplish?

These questions have been a core part of the show from the beginning, both politically, with the revelation that HYDRA and SHIELD had been interwoven since the beginning, and scientifically, as the question of the appropriateness of the use of the TAHITI protocol to revive Coulson has been reflected on by many characters through all five seasons.

The question of Fitz’ and Simmons’ genius, and when they need to rein it in for the good of the world, rather than following the science to its logical extreme, has also been with the show since the beginning, and explored in a new way each season. Season 4 seemed like it should be the peak of that issue, with Fitz helping Radcliffe create murderous LMDs and perpetrating genocide and mass torture on inhumans inside the Framework as his alter ego The Doctor.

Instead, we come back around to it again this week, in an even more chilling scenario, as Fitz needs to follow the science in order to save the world, but comes close to losing his own humanity while doing so. Cooperation with HYDRA is also on the table again, this time with SHIELD as a willing participant, with the goal of saving the world from a ruthless invading enemy. And, with the appearance of a Kree in the tag, the ethics and science of saving Coulson’s life using TAHITI or another advanced method, with or without his consent, are an issue once again.

This time, Coulson’s made his feelings on the subject very clear to everyone close to him, but he and everyone around him seem to be operating based on fear as much as on logic and reason. Daisy’s powers are also an important piece of the puzzle, with the science vs fear conflict driving her story as well. Fear anomalies continue to arise, and Hale continues to send surprises the team’s way. The situation is building in emotion and suspense and the team has 1/3 of the season left, about the length of the final pod in season 4, to prevent multiple catastrophes.

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Agents of SHIELD Season 5 Episode 13: Principia Recap

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This week, SHIELD goes back to its roots as a spy organization, and does some legwork that the Black Widow would be proud of. It’s a quieter, more light-hearted episode after last week’s emotional roller coaster ride, but family and loss are still themes. Deke figures out who his grandparents are and remembers his beloved mom, while Mack reaffirms that he’s not going to think of Elena as a robot just because she has robot arms. In the run up to Infinity War and Thanos, the show also brings up familial abuse, both as physical abuse and as the abuse of power. Hale becomes a stand-in for Thanos, and her team, especially Ruby, become alternates for Thanos’ children.

And Werner von Strucker is back! He’s still institutionalized, but out of his Ward-induced vegetative state and being threatened with heavy doping via Thorazine. He’s also using his favored alias of Alex Braun, but his therapist seems to know his full history and identity anyway.

His therapist wants Werner to show motivation toward making progress in therapy by revealing as much information about his past as possible, so that Werner can avoid the thorazine. Werner, however, has developed powers after being trapped in a particular memory in the memory recall machine while in a persistent vegetative state, then being shocked out of the memory loop by Lincoln Campbell zapping Werner with inhuman electrokinetic powers.

Now Werner remembers everything that’s ever happened to him, and every detail of his surroundings, no matter how small. He also seems to have enhanced senses, though I’m not sure Werner realizes that yet (or the writers 😉). He read the small type on an envelope in the trash from across the room, and heard the other side of a phone conversation through a wall. That’s not normal hearing or vision, and may be part of why he’s so out of control. Both hypersensitivity and psychic powers have a long tradition of driving people mad until they get a handle on their powers.

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Agents of SHIELD Season 5 Episode 12: The Real Deal Recap

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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:

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Agents of Shield Season 5 Episode 11: All the Comforts of Home Recap

 

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We’re back! Everyone made it home, to no one’s surprise, and an extra, tree-hugging passenger tagged along. Dove Cameron, who is generally cute and adorable, joins the cast this week as General Hale’s bratty teenage daughter. Since this is the MCU, she’s not just a typical teenager. She has special talents. And a few demands. And she’s not sure if she’s a good guy or a bad guy, which might be because her loving mother has kept her sheltered. So sheltered, in fact, that her bedroom looks like a bank vault that’s guarded by some of Ivanov’s lower rent LMDs.

A bank vault decorated like a teenager’s bedroom from the 1970s, plus a Quake is My Hero poster. Okey dokey then. Ruby is a fan. Mom’s assignment is to capture Daisy. Hale doesn’t answer directly when Ruby asks if Hale’s supposed to kill Daisy or not. Hale is tasked with finding SHIELD and ending the entire fiasco that is the SHIELD era. Hale is just following orders and building a better world for the downtrodden citizens Ruby.

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Agents of SHIELD Season 5 Episode 4: A Life Earned Recap

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Fitzzz!! He’s back, in disguise, the time traveling man with a plan! I feel safer already, even if he does want Daisy to fight to the death. His Boba Fett/Star Lord disguise is totally about pretending to be the coolest, richest guy in the quadrant so that Kasius will want to impress him, and Kasius loves a good death match. Fitz’s framework persona will come in handy for acting the part, if I’m right.

It’s a busy episode, with several important reveals before Fitz arrives at the last moment, and a distinct lack of Maya. Let’s get started.

Kasius steals Daisy’s blood as he tells us about his heroic rescue of the human race for fun and profit, spurred on by his messianic vision that he could make a killing in the inhuman trade, if he saved the human race used the remnants of earth as his own breeding program. Senara looks bored to tears. He probably pulls out this story every time he gets drunk.

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Agents of SHIELD Season 5 Episode 1: Orientation Part 1 Recap

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Agents of SHIELD is back! In space! The one thing they haven’t done yet, TM Mack. With the Kree, the most vicious Blue Man Group impersonators known to this, or any other galaxy. And without Fitz. 😭 Jemma and I are nearly inconsolable, but it’s not our first rodeo time in space, so we will soldier on and use the scientific method to make the worst decisions possible, damn it.

But first, let’s rewind to discover how the team got into space. We follow a bald, middle-aged man going through his morning routine at his home, including going for a swim, drinking one of the peanut butter flavored nutritional shakes that are the sole contents of his fridge, and peeling off his human skin suit so that he can take a shower in his alien nakedness.

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Agents of Shield Season 4 Episode 22: World’s End/ Season Finale Recap

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Is it Halloween? No, it’s time for the return of Ghost Rider, back from the other dimensions to help with Aida! This week, we wrap up the season, tying up some dangling loose ends, but pulling a few new threads loose at the same time. What would be the fun in having a neat, tidy ending, anyway? We know we’re getting a 22 episode season 5, probably starting in November, so let’s enjoy this one and make it last all summer.

Robbie has found his way from the portal in the base to his haunted Charger, and is on the road again. May is not letting her lost bottle of Haig go. She’ll be interrogating Coulson about LMD May over the next bottle. For now, she’s got the Zephyr on automatic pilot, frequently switching altitude and thruster speed.

Jemma and Fitz discuss Ophelia’s inhuman powers, how she got them, and what they do to people. He’s a bit dramatic and self-loathing about it, and Jemma tells him that she doesn’t need his innocence, she needs his solutions that kill people, right now. He’s still uncertain and unenthusiastic, which leads Jemma to ask him if he even wants to kill Aida.

The Framework is beginning to shut down. Daisy and Coulson try to find ways to convince Mack and Yo-Yo to leave, while watching it disappear around them. Daisy feels guilty for leaving Mack behind her, but Coulson comforts her. He feels she made the best call she could, given the situation. It’s so nice to see them working together again, supportive and like a father and daughter team.

Daisy leads Radcliffe to the Triskelion, where Elena is locked up and under attack, by leaving a trail of yo-yo’s through the city. He finds her just in time. The building is disappearing around them. That building just isn’t safe in any reality.

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