Looking at my entire lineup as it currently stands, The Gifted has been approved for a second season (yay!) coming in five or six months, Black Lightning had its season finale last week and has been approved for a second season, Gotham skipped this week and has just a couple of episodes left, Doctor Who will return in October… so that leaves Agents of Shield all alone this week, but, wow, did they deliver!
5.19 “Option Two”
It’s another one of those “holy ****” moments.
Coulson and the agents are doing their very best to get rid of the gravitonium and tie up loose ends, like getting Robin and her mother back into hiding, and thus prevent the impending end of the world.
Yo-Yo thinks, for one blessed moment, that she already won the victory by killing Ruby, and she doesn’t really mind having gotten her revenge in the same stroke. She realizes soon enough that her friends and even Mack disapprove because Shield, as opposed to Hydra, is not in the business of vengeful killing (except for when Coulson killed Ward, which immediately backfired on them as his fresh corpse was a handy host for Hive, so that’s more of a cautionary tale than an exception). She also realizes that she didn’t save the world at all, which is an even more savage blow to her spirit, but one she doesn’t have time to process because catastrophe is striking again.
This particular catastrophe involves Kovus (I think his name was) coming to Earth, straight to the Lighthouse and the small town around it, drawn by a beacon that Talbot set off when he was supposedly trying to break into the hanger. Big alien warship suddenly appears overhead, all communications cut off, and invaders with the ability to appear wherever they like, knocking out the lights with their mere presence and eviscerating everyone in their path.
Deke calls them the Marauders, and apparently no one knows how to stop them other than just giving them what they want. With how they move, how they kill, how they can strike from within any fortress and never mind the walls around it, and how bullets apparently don’t hurt them, yeah, I’d call them a pretty unstoppable death squad. Coulson and the others wanted to hunker down, but they just appear inside the base, so they try to evacuate, but every way is cut off, so it’s a desperate fight instead, every agent just trying to keep them away from the gravitonium. The agents are fierce, but the marauders have every clear advantage.
The agents don’t even have their biggest gun, Daisy. After getting Robin hidden away, she goes dark, working her own mission: to save Coulson. Yo-Yo is frantic when she hears that, telling May and Coulson about her conversation with her future self, how the key to saving the world is letting Coulson die, which May disagrees with partially because Robin says Coulson puts the pieces together, so they have conflicting reports, but they’ve no idea how to proceed, and Daisy doesn’t know any of this at all. And as she’s gone dark, she doesn’t even realize anything’s wrong at the Lighthouse, where her friends are fighting for their lives, with very bad results, of the “everyone’s getting slaughtered” variety.
(small wonder none of them are noticing the events of Infinity War, which I must, unfortunately, wait another two weeks to see, so don’t spoil it for me!)
In all the bloody chaos, perhaps the worst thing that could happen happens, as per usual.
Through twist of fate in desperate circumstance, Talbot is brought to the lab where the gravitonium and the infusion chamber are both under guard. Everyone except Simmons is fighting to hold them off, and Talbot, mentally, physically, and psychologically damaged, but wanting to fix the situation, sees a way to save the agents. He ices Simmons, steps into the chamber, and takes the gravitonium, with the two arguing minds, into himself.
Oddly, it works. He isn’t screaming about the other minds screaming in his skull. He’s quiet, calm, efficient, precise, and utterly destructive. Not that I mind him reducing the marauders to a paste, but out of everyone who might have been the Destroyer of Worlds, he might be the single most tragic of them all. After everything he’s done, everything he’s suffered, everything he’s lost, and everything he’s given, for him to become this season’s final threat… yeah, it’s a “holy ****” moment.
And still only half of that moment!
The other half goes back to Daisy. She gets info off Mack’s old friend, who’s been looking into the Dethlock program. John Garrett, from the first season, stayed alive for decades with some centipede serum in his veins, but Whitehall had a little something extra in it which turns out to be DNA from none other than Daisy’s mother, Jiaying, whose grave she goes to dig up.
Yep. The universe is threatened in Infinity War, the agents are threatened and all but annihilated here, the world is threatened by Talbot, of all people, becoming the Destroyer of Worlds, and Daisy dug up a trail following the first season’s villain which has led her to literally digging up her mother, the second season’s villain.
My brain is exploding, and we still have three episodes to go.