TV Review: MARVEL’s Agents of SHIELD S5 (Spoilers!)

Whether it comes to the films or their tv shows, MARVEL is not only on everyone’s mind thanks to “Avengers: Infinity War”, but they are also doing well when it comes to their television shows. When it comes to MARVEL shows, many will no doubt mention their Netflix shows, which are on a league of its own. However, before there was “Daredevil” or “Jessica Jones”, there was MARVEL’s “Agents of SHIELD”, which just delivered another great run with their fifth season which just recently ended.

The fifth season of MARVEL’s “Agents of SHIELD” ran from December 1, 2017 to May 18, 2018 on ABC. Within the fifth season, the show celebrated a milestone as it contained their 100th episode, an episode that was well done and paid homage not only to Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg), but to the entire series until today.

The fifth season was a wild and emotional ride with a surprising amount of callbacks to elements and characters that appeared from Seasons 1 to 4. It also gave a lot of the actors a lot of room to diversify and explore their acting range as their were a lot of emotional moments and complicated situations that happened, especially as some characters hadn’t still yet completely  processed everything that happened to them in the fourth season. (Seriously, is it just me, or do our favorite agents never seem to catch a break or even a moment to  catch their breaths?)

The fifth season picked up right where the fourth season let off, with the agents all of a sudden disappearing into thin air at a diner after finally getting a moment to breathe after everything that happened with Ghost Rider, the Life Model Decoys (LMDs), and the Framework. During the rest of the season, we discover what happened to them, and watch as they work against time once again to save the world before it is cracked into two. Along the way, they must come to terms with the consequences of their actions and the hard decisions they make, as they wrestle with their consciences on the best way to save the world without losing themselves in the process.

Agents of SHIELD Team Space
The Entire SHIELD Team- (L-R) Clark Gregg as Agent Phil Coulson, Ming Na Wen as Agent Melinda May, Elizabeth Henstridge as Agent Jemma Simmons, Chloe Bennet as Agent Daisy Johnson or Quake, Iain de Caestecker as Agent Leo Fitz, Natalia Cordova-Buckley as Agent Elena Rodriguez or Yoyo, and Henry Simmons as Agent Al MacKenzie or Mack Image Source: Agents of SHIELD Facebook Page

Unlike the previous season, which was broken up into three distinct arcs- the Ghost Rider arc, the Life Model Decoy (LMD) arc, and the Framework arc, which tied all three together- this season only had two arcs that didn’t feel so much like separate arcs as they fed into each other in the long run.

Some of the biggest themes of this season included making hard decisions and facing the consequences of their actions as they all tried to figure out how to save the world, and how to save those they love as well. This ties up well into the premise of this season, as the choices that one makes not only affects one person, but its consequences can also be felt by others and in the future as well. Another big theme this season has all to do with fate, and how they perceive it, which also ends up dictating their actions.

All of this made for an exciting and wild ride with our favorite agents, despite the obvious budget cuts, and which allowed the actors to give their best performances yet as the material gave them a lot of range to try out.

The writing, plotting and attention to detail was really good this season; and all of the characters were able to be well developed as well, while bringing new fan favorites to the forefront.

All in all, Season 5 was an amazing season, and although the season finale could have been a series finale, I am glad that we have more time to spend with them for Season 6. I know that Season 6 might not be its final season despite its shortened episode order, but I’m hoping that it will make for even tighter storytelling and pacing in the future.

Now, you know the drill, from here on out, there will be spoilers!

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As mentioned earlier, this season, although it looks like it had two separate arcs, worked seamlessly as they fed into each other’s halves of the season.

The first half of the season picked up where Season 4 left off, and immediately showed us that all of them, minus Leo Fitz (Iain De Caestecker), was brought to outer space thanks to a monolith. There, they ran into the rough and tumble Deke (Jeff Ward), Tess (Eve Harlow), and the Inhuman boy named Flint (Coy Stewart). There, they are told that they had traveled around eighty to ninety years in the future, and that there was a prophecy told that the agents of SHIELD would one day come and help free humanity from their Kree overlords. They also live in an old Earth bunker in space called “The Lighthouse”, as the Earth is no longer habitable as it was infested by a scavenger race, and it had been torn apart into two by Quake or Daisy Johnson (Chloe Bennet), who is now known as the “Destroyer of Worlds”.

Meanwhile, Fitz, who was stuck on Earth, ended up teaming up with Lance Hunter (Nick Blood), a Chronicom named Enoch, and the young seer Robin, in order to help his teammates in the future. In doing so, he froze himself for eighty years, and after being woken by Enoch, head out to the Lighthouse to help their friends escape and go back home. In the process, they also help humanity fight back against the Kree.

Back on Earth, with Deke accidentally showing up as well, the team works against time in the past version of the Lighthouse to stop the Hydra plan to create a “Destroyer of Worlds” who is intended to stop not only Thanos but other impending alien invasions, as creating one will lead to the eventual future that they saw. In the process, Yoyo makes hard decisions that causes friction between her and Mack in order to prevent what her future self told her; Fitz and Jemma Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) finally tie the knot and also make hard choices to prevent the world from being destroyed; while Melinda May (Ming Na Wen) and Daisy make it their priority to save Coulson, who is now dying thanks to the deal he made with Ghost Rider in Season 4.

Interestingly enough, while each of the characters had distinct arcs, Al MacKenzie or Mack’s arc wasn’t as distinct as he remained the true moral compass of the entire group, choosing to uphold SHIELD’s mantra of saving lives even though the entire world is at stake. This is why it was interesting that Daisy, in the end, decided to make Mack the Director of SHIELD instead of her. I do understand that Daisy isn’t ready yet to take that mantle, but I hope that somewhere down the line, maybe in Season 6 or 7, we’ll finally see her grow up to be finally ready to take over, as that is the show’s end goal.

SHIELD Daisy
Chloe Bennet as Agent Daisy Johnson or Quake Image Source: Agents of SHIELD Facebook Page

As for Daisy, her entire struggle was based on the fact that she didn’t want to become the Destroyer of Worlds, and in order to do so, she allowed herself to be robbed of her powers, even though it meant that she could fall short in moments when the team really needed her powers. She was also afraid of taking the leadership role in SHIELD, and is one of the reasons why she was so hell bent on extending Coulson’s life. In the end, we can see that she still isn’t ready, but I am glad that she was able to embrace her powers and use it to stop Talbot (Adrian Pasdar), who ended up, sadly, becoming our villain.

SHIELD Philinda
Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) and Agent Melinda May (Ming Na Wen) Image Source: Agents of SHIELD Facebook Page

May’s whole arc was all about extending Coulson’s life, and she was pretty aggressive about it due to the fact that she does love him, and I’m so glad that they finally kissed and acknowledged their feelings for each other.

Coulson’s entire journey this season was about accepting his upcoming death, but he had to be slapped a little to realize that even so, he cannot be too overconfident about putting himself in harm’s way.

I am glad that in the end, Coulson and May will have some time together in Tahiti (the actual place), before he passes. I’m sad to see Coulson go, but at the same time, I felt that it was going to happen at a particular point in the series.

Accepting one’s fate and trying to change and go against fate was a major theme in this season, and although it was felt in each character’s arcs this season, this theme impacted Fitz, Simmons and Yoyo the most.

SHIELD Yoyo Mack
Natalia Cordova-Buckley as Agent Elena Rodriguez or Yoyo & Henry Simmons as Agent Al MacKenzie or Mack Image Source: Agents of SHIELD Facebook Page

For Yoyo, I do understand where she’s coming from,  and that she’s making hard and controversial decisions that nobody wants to make in order to prevent the broken Earth future from happening, even if it meant the destruction of her relationship with Mack. Even though it wasn’t right to kill Hydra’s version of the “Destroyer of Worlds”, Ruby (Dove Cameron), I do understand why she did it.

SHIELD Fitsimmons
Agent Leo Fitz (Iain de Caestecker) and Agent Jemma Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge Image Source: Agents of SHIELD Facebook Page

Fitz and Simmons’ journey and love story has been something else throughout all the seasons, and I’m so glad they finally got married here. Their characters have developed so much over the course of five seasons, and I love how they stand by each other no matter what, and even if Fitz did some things that might have seemed unspeakable to others. I think that one of the reasons why this time loop was different, and why they were able to save the world was because of Yoyo’s actions, and because Fitz and Simmons did everything they could, even if it would be risky, because they believed in each other and the fact that the three of them would make it to the future because of the existence of Deke, Fitz and Simmons’ grandchild.

Fitz’s journey this season was nothing short of amazing, and I loved that his internal struggle of doing the controversial thing for the good of them all was manifested in the Hydra Doctor version of himself. This allowed him to work out the issues he has regarding the Framework, and in a way, he did accept the fact that he is capable of being Doctor Fitz, especially when there are hard decisions to be made. De Caestecker’s acting was on point all the way until the end, where he ends up dying. That scene made be bawl like a baby, even though I know that there is a frozen Fitz up there in outer space having that eighty year long nap in order to get to them.

Now, things got pretty timey wimey, but in the end, since they were able to save the world from being broken into two, they can now go and rescue frozen Fitz, as the loop has been broken, and there’s no broken future for Fitz to go to in order to save them. Season 5’s Fitz dying also solves things as you cannot have two versions of Fitz running around at the same time. However, this means that all the character development that Fitz has gone through this season, his resolving his Framework issues, marrying Simmons and being Grandpa Fitz, is no longer there. So,, it will be interesting to see how he deals with the fact that he missed everything; how he proposes to Simmons again;  and how the team reacts to him given the things that he did in Season 5, and especially when it comes to Daisy.

Everyone’s acting was on point this season, but special shout-outs really go out to Gregg, Henstridge, De Caestecker and Cordova-Buckley in this season.

I also didn’t mind that they didn’t really show effects of “Infinity War” here, as they explained that everything in the season finale happened before the snap.

For Season 6, I hope that they get frozen Fitz right away,  that things remain a little bit cosmic for a while, that we also get to see how the events of “Infinity War” affected their pocket of the MCU, and that Daisy starts building herself up to be the future Director of SHIELD. In fact, I really do hope that somewhere down the line, we also end up seeing the formation of S.W.O.R.D., the space version of SHIELD, with Mack as its Director, allowing Daisy to head SHIELD . Also, FitzSimmons needs to stay together from now on, as they’ve been through so much already.

Season 5 was a wild ride despite the budget cuts, and worth the time, as characters grew and developed even more this season, while the actors churned out some of their best performances yet. I’m glad that SHIELD is sticking around for more Earth saving adventures.

Have you seen the fifth season of “Agents of SHIELD”? What did you think of it?  Did you like or not like it? What would you like to happen in Season 6? let me know what you think in the comments below!

Image Source: MARVEL Agents of SHIELD Facebook Page

 

 

 

 

Image Source: Agents of SHIELD Facebook Page

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