Agents of SHIELD Season 6 was sort of not meant to happen. The team wrapped up the whole show at the end of Season 5 and wrote off the central character of Phil Coulson. Suddenly they find themselves renewed for two more seasons (though length-wise it’s one season split in half…) and this is what they come up with: Evil Phil Coulson lookalike, ignore the fact that this is supposed to be happening in the MCU, and more space stuff! Does this approach work? Well…
There’s no time for the team to play catch-up when there’s a planet to save. The team must trust each other in order to face impending doom and an enemy that’s closer than they think. Out of answers and running out of time, the agents must face the ghosts of their past to move forward.
(Wow is that official synopsis the most vague and generic one ever written…)
*spoilers appear from here on out!*
Wow, this next Ghostbusters reboot looks weird!
The season actually started off well, with the not-Phil-Coulson and his group framed like they come from an alternate Earth, jumping from reality to reality and taking what they want. It was an interesting idea and Coulson and the other three members of his team made good baddies. At the same time SHIELD had been split in two, one team on Earth and another in space looking for Fitz, who had been left frozen for an adventure in the future that now didn’t happen (see last season, true believers!) but his body went missing after a spaceship attack. Sadly this all sort of fizzles out as time goes on…
There are still highlights. Even though its been done to death, Fitz-Simmons still remains a fun couple, and they have a whole episode devoted to them getting on the same page after Fitz finds out about his other-self dying after having married Simmons, and his mentor Phil Coulson’s death… which is a lot to process, to be fair. Towards the end they must make a really hard decision that could change their lives, and they shrug it off, pretty much saying “Yeah, yeah, done it many times before”, which they have by now!
Fitz befriending Enoch the emotionless synthetic “Chronicom” and getting him to become more emotional is a rather well-worn sci-fi trope, but it was at least amusingly done here. The Chronicoms are being set up as the final big bad of the show for next season, which I guess saves them going back to the Hydra well for 100th time!
Deke, Fitz and Simmons’ grandson from a future now erased, becoming an annoying tech genius (by ripping off SHIELD and future technology) really fitted the character, and in general Jeff Ward just nails the role throughout the season, once again having to earn the trust of the regulars.
The final shot of the series shows team SHIELD have arrived in the past, around the 30s or so based on dialogue, so that could at least be interesting, especially if it includes Agent Carter in some way…
The red wig is fooling nobody, lady!
After an interesting start, it’s soon revealed that the main treat is a red-haired woman who controls evil alien bats, and the Coulson lookalike is actually due to the monoliths from previous seasons, and… it’s just so disappointing, and she’s so one note and over-acted. The final showdown takes place in a temple where the set is so crap I swear it was left over from a cheap 90s TV show. In they end all the evil bat-people are killed off and the portal sealed, so there that goes. May actually had a good, befitting death, but one that was immediately undone by her life being saved by zany future/alien tech. Oh, and at the last moment they reveal they’ve created an LMD that looks exactly like Coulson, with his memories and knowledge of what has happened in the last season implanted, so… Hmmm. I understand you want the finale to have May and Coulson in it, but it’s getting a little silly now.
While Fitz-Simmons is still a fun relationship, Mack and Yo-Yo is getting old, they need to just be together already, instead of endless episodes of things getting in the way. It’s really not as well written and dramatic as I think they think it is… That being said, Mack did a fine job as Director, it’s a shame it will be undercut by a robot duplicate of his old boss being around next season!
Oh, speaking of cheap 90s TV sets (as I did two paragraphs ago), there are a few episodes set on the casino planet of Kitson that looked extremely outdated, and featured a “characters accidentally take hallucinogenic drugs and act all high and silly” extended sequence, which was … not all that funny.
“Three characters standing around”… hey, I have to break up the text a bit somehow!
Daisy has now stalled, no longer receiving any character development and is just “bad ass heroine who can knock people around with her powers”, which isn’t bad for a side character, but for what is pretty much your lead at this point, it’s a bit of a shame.
Finally let’s talk about the decision of placement. Agents of SHIELD has always been tied in to the MCU, but Season 5 went out as news reports of Thanos appearing began to air, meaning this taking place a year later would be post-snap, and yet there are no mention of this monumental event. Series creators said they didn’t know when and where this would air, and therefore spoiler trouble meant they just had to ignore it. I guess Seasons 6 and 7 take place in an alternate Earth in the MCU multiverse, where Thanos didn’t get to snap anyone? Either that, or the end of S7 will have them return to an Earth they don’t recognise, meaning their time travel escapades have changed the Earth to the MCU Earth we know? Ah, who cares, really? If its never addressed, I’ll just put this in a separate “outside canon” section in the MCU tab… sadly, possibly along with the Netflix shows…
The evil Phil Coulson! … Still looks like a nice guy.
Agents of SHIELD Season 6 was … fine. It happily killed 45 minutes per week for 13 weeks, but it didn’t achieve anything else, and in fact only got lazier and cheaper looking as it went on. I’m still emotionally invested in the cast and I’m interested to see the finale, but let’s face it, the Season 5 finale was THE finale, this and S7 are like little extra, admittedly harmless epilogues…