Agents of SHIELD – Season 5 Overall Review

AoShield S5

Agents of SHIELD Season 5 is a mixed bag. They sadly dropped the three mini arcs idea from the previous season and went for a split, though with the two halves heavily dependent on each other. There were plenty of call-backs and pay-offs during this season, and an ending that would make you think it was the overall end, but there’s still more on the way! Anyway, let’s take a look then, at a season that spanned space, the future and beyond! … Well, actually, just space, the future and present day. Still impressive though!

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:

AoShield S5 1

The official photo of the cast! … I known I used this for the Part 1 thumbnail, but screw it.

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 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 intreeged 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!

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 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…

Glenn Talbot (Adrian Pasdar) – Talbot is a long serving member of the air force who has had several run ins with the SHIELD team before. He was recently shot in the head by an LMD that looked like Quake…

Hale (Catherine Dent) – Hale is also a member of the air force, but is also a Hydra agent, trained from her youth to serve the “greater purpose”.

Ruby Hale (Dove Cameron) – Ruby is Hale’s daughter and was genetically engineered to become the perfect Hydra leader… it’s a shame there isn’t much Hydra left…

Carl Creel / The Absorbing Man (Brian Patrick Wade) – Creel has been in and out of prison, his ability to absorb elements and temporarily gain their properties making him a wanted man in the criminal underworld. He is currently free to do what he wants… if he’s allowed to.

Werner von Strucker (Spencer Treat Clark) – The son of Wolfgang von Strucker, he was forced into Hydra by Grant Ward and ended up brain dead for it. He’s now recovering in a medical institution, but maybe not as far from Hydra as he’d like…

Plus many more!

The Good:

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Deke was a definite highlight for me. Constantly funny, with a serious tone when needed.

Agents of SHIELD season 5 has some good plot threads spread out. It’s revealed that Coulson was dying and wanted it to stick this time, which gave us some dramatic scenes as his team tried to fight for his life, against his wishes. The end scene of Phil and May, who finally kissed and acknowledged their love for each other, alone on a Tahiti beach was a nice end for the former head of SHIELD, presuming he does stay dead this time.

The key, over-all arc of the world being split apart, leading to a Kree-lead dystopian future that the team wakes up in, was at least different. When they get back to our time “Team SHIELD” do everything in their power to stop it, and this ends up involving Hydra (AGAIN), aliens, and most importantly, Gravatonium. The substance that was around in Season 1 for the sole purpose of setting up the MCU version of Gravaton finally made good on the promise, as the sadly mentally broken Talbot ended up absorbing the stuff and becoming all-powerful, and all crazy. General Talbot’s fall from grace was sometimes hard to watch, his desperate attempts to appease his son only to end up scaring him were heart-breaking, and the fact he ends the season dead at the hands of Daisy / Quake means that his son probably will forever think of his father that way…

Deke was a highlight for me as well. He starts off in the dystopian future where he grew up, and tries to sarcastically run-down the SHIELD team and their idea of saving the future, because he grew up in the world with no future, no hope. Eventually he tries to sacrifice himself to save everyone, and ends up in the present with them instead, leading to some really fun “fish out of water” scenes of him getting used to life with… well, life. It’s eventually revealed that he is Fitz and Simmons’ grandson, which was possibly over-telegraphed, but it was still fun. Overall I’m happy to hear he is back in Season 6.

Fitz and Simmons were a good duo here, but Fitz and his ups and downs were a highlight as well. Episode 14 was the episode of the season for me, with Fitz thinking he was seeing a vision of his evil alter ego from last season’s cyber-reality, but actually he was acting out the harsh deeds himself. He soon accepts it, forcing Quake to get her powers back so she could save the world from the inter-dimensional tear that was in the basement (weird sentence). This is also the season where the two get married, though due to time travel shenanigans, the Fitz that got married is now dead, and a Fitz that froze himself to reach the future that now no longer exists will be back next season… It’s all a bit mad, but either way, the couple were a fun double act.

Overall the fighting to do undo a horrible future, complete with worrying about paradoxes and whether time could be re-written or not, lead to a unique and fun feeling second half.

The Bad:

AoShield S5 3

A lot of wasted potential there, really…

While I loved Gravaton / Talbot and didn’t mind Ruby and Von Strucker too much (though not enough to actually talk about them in the overall, apparently), the rest of this season’s villain cast were a disappointment. The first third of the season was set in the humanity-lead-by-the-Kree dystopia, and Kasius and his merry band of Kree soldiers were dull as hell. When we got back we were treated to yet another round of Hydra, I mean… ARGH!, and then at the very end we have the “Remorath scavengers”, none of whom were at all interesting, and most looked like they were from a 90s TV show with a small budget.

Looking back, although it introduced Deke, there wasn’t much to like about the first 10 episodes set in the future. The scenery was dull and drab, and as previously mentioned, the villains weren’t much more exciting. It’ll probably work well when binge-watched, but as for one episode a week? It dragged.

May wasn’t given much to do this season, other than worry about Coulson. Mack was his usual soft, kind-hearted self, which lead to him getting screwed over several times. Yo-Yo became a bit more logical and cold-hearted even after she lost her arms, although her attempts to stop her future self’s prophecy that keeping Coulson alive would lead to the end of the world made sense and it kind of got annoying when she was treated like crap for trying to do them.

Overall Thoughts:

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Awwww…. Technically two people in this picture are dead now.

Agents of SHIELD got off to a rocky start by trying something completely different, which is at least commendable. The second half (or really the last two thirds) the story picks up a bit, delivers plenty of call backs to previous seasons, and ends on a good note. That being said, it has some serious villain issues, especially going back to the Hydra well AGAIN. Overall I enjoyed the season, it didn’t reach some of the highs of last season, but didn’t hit previous lows. Looking forward to Season 6.

4 Star Watch

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