Agents of SHIELD – Season 5 Episodes 1 – 10 Review

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Agents of SHIELD’s fifth season gets off to an unconventional start, being set not only in space, but in a dystopian future where most of the world is in rubble. That sounds like a spoiler, but that’s just the setting! Plus that doesn’t even include the Kree, who appear en masse here. So let’s have a look at this ten-episode arc that seemingly acts the prologue to the bigger story to tell…

Synopsis:

After being seized by an unknown group, Phil Coulson and his team (minus Fitz) are sent to the future via a monolith and soon find a struggling human population that is under the thumb of a the tyrannical Kree. With seemingly no way to get back home, they have to instead find a way to survive…

*spoilers appear from here on out!*

Cast of Characters:

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In a dystopian, post-apocalyptic future everyone must wear leather jackets…

Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) – Coulson has dealt with Asgardian Gods, being killed and being possessed by an vengeful entity, but somehow being transported to a dystopian, post-apocalyptic future and forced to work for aliens is still a surprising development for him…

Daisy Johnson / Quake (Chloe Bennet) – As if Daisy wasn’t unhappy enough being suddenly in a horrible future Earth, she soon gets news that may make this entirely her fault…

Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen) – May has had a rough time of late, spending more time in the hellish mainframe than anyone else, and to make matters worse she arrives in the deadly future with a steel rod in her thigh… She just can’t catch a break.

Leo Fitz (Ian De Caestecker) – No-one likes to be excluded from something, even if that something ends up being a horrible future where mankind is on the brink of collapse. Fitz will do anything to reach those he calls friends, and the person he loves…

Jemma Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) – Simmons is actually intrigued by this future, seeing some of the alien tech and stuff… until she has to become part of it…

Mack (Henry Simmons) – Mack is somehow not surprised by his current location, after all they’ve done everything else! Still, at least he can still be with Yo-Yo…

Elena “Yo-Yo” Rodriguez (Natalia Cordova-Buckley) – Yo-Yo has been an on-again, off-again member of SHIELD until just recently, which given where it caused her to end up, may not have been a good thing…

Deke Shaw (Jeff Ward) – Deke has grown up in the Kree-lead future, finding out the hard way that most of the time it’s best to only trust yourself…

Kasius (Dominic Rains) – Kasius is a member of the Kree, a high-ranking one at that, though only through his father’s name. Determined to prove himself to his race, Kasius sees his station as ruler of what’s left of humanity as a way to do just that…

Sinara (Florence Faivre) – Sinara is a loyal follower of Kasius, and his greatest warrior and bodyguard.

Flint (Coy Stewart) – Flint is a normal kid… well, normal in the horrible world he grew up in. Little does he know how much bigger a role he’ll play in everything…

Enoch (Joel Stoffer) – Enoch is a Chronicom who was sent to Earth 30,000 years ago to record the evolution of life on the planet. He is forbidden to intervene, unless an extinction-level threat should appear…

Plus many more!

The Good:

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A Fitz and Lance double act spin-off, please!

I definitely enjoyed last season’s splitting the series into three, so I was happy to hear that Season 5 does something similar, although this time it’s splitting it in two, with these 10 episodes forming one arc that directly feeds into the rest of the series. The setting being both space and a dystopian future was certainly a dramatic shift in scenery (though the actual scenery was rather dull…) and it made for a fun story, though one that wouldn’t have lasted much longer than the 10 episodes seen here…

Everyone’s scramble to try and adjust to the world of Kree-suppressed humanity was interesting, though most seem to get used to it pretty quick. I really enjoyed Fitz’ story on how he made it to the future, eventually teaming up with old SHIELD agent Lance Hunter and alien Enoch in Episode 5 “Rewind”. It was a highlight episode as the two Brits worked well off of each other.

The key plot point of Quake seemingly being responsible for cracking the Earth and creating the hellish future is a good one, and Deke, the sarcastic and untrustworthy (for most of the 10 episodes) guy who tells her this apparent fact is a really enjoyable character, the two making a fun odd couple. Enoch was a fun new character as well, the old monotone alien lifeform who doesn’t get humour and all that jazz, but he pulls it off well.

Scenes where Inhumans were created solely to fight each other for Kree amusement made sense, and were suitably unpleasant to see. I also liked that they had technology to bring people back from death, tying the story back to the Season 1 “how is Coulson still alive?” storyline.

As you can probably tell I’m struggling a bit here. The SHIELD team had some fun moments, but overall it was a push to get home, which they eventually did. The key story now is how they prevent the end of the world, and really that makes a lot of these episodes rather pointless. Yo-Yo’s future, armless self warning her not to save Coulson’s life was a creepy foreshadowing, actually, I’ll give the story that.

The Bad:

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Awww, Kree love, it’s beautiful… and deadly!

The setting is sometimes visually interesting, especially the shots of the cracked Earth, but for the most part it feels like a cheap 90s set, with a mostly grey, industrial setting, lots of extras in dishevelled clothes huddled round makeshift marketplaces… there’s nothing wrong with the idea, but it looks cheap and old fashioned somehow.

The lead villain of the story, Kasius, and his bodyguard/love interest Sinara didn’t really hold weight as the villains for me. They were quite dull and Kree caste system and aristocratic views just don’t do it for me. The other Kree soldiers were also mostly dull looking… At the end of the day it wasn’t too bad, but I do firmly believe that if this story were stretched any further then it would have imploded pretty quick. I didn’t particularly care for Simmons being made into a deaf servant either, though that did lead to some funny and sweet Fitz-Simmons scenes at least…

The rest of the new cast did alright, but I was never that invested in them. Flint had a key role to play, and had a good introduction (being forced to become an Inhuman for Kree sport, then escaping and eventually helping the rebels) but in the end he felt like he was created so they could find a way back to the past by using his “geokinetic” powers to reassemble the monolith…

Overall Thoughts:

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I’ll miss Deke, he was a good, flawed character…

The start to Agents of SHIELD Season 5 has some good moments and a few new characters that were entertaining, but the lead villains weren’t all that interesting and the setting seemed cheap and drab. Not the best start then, but it does hold promise: fingers crossed this “fight to the save the world” plot picks up the ball and properly runs with it for the rest of the season…

3 Star Watch

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