The two-parter “Collision Course” seemingly ended with both Izel and Sarge dead, one having exploded in her ship, the other shot dead by May. But come on, did anyone believe for a second that their deaths would take not even a dozen episodes in? Fortunately, all is more or less explained in episode 10: “Leap.”
1. Death Didn’t Take
As expected, neither Sarge nor Izel is actually dead. They were both seemingly killed with too many questions left unanswered, and too many episodes left in the season. So the means of their survival sets up much of the episode.
In Sarge’s case, he just heals. Yes, he has a healing factor that’s not as fast as Wolverine or Deadpool, but just as effective. During his recovery, we see odd dream sequences where he’s with a shadowy female figure, possibly related to his stolen memories. It serves its purpose in setting up for the reveal later, while giving the characters plenty to ponder.
As for Izel, she was never actually dead to begin with. The episode gives us a little time to wonder where she is and how she’s doing anything, but the characters discover it not long after the characters do.
2. Paranoia Will Destroy Ya
In a moment of actual insight and genre-savviness from the characters, they quickly begin piecing things together. Even before Izel leaves May’s body, Daisy and Yo-Yo note that shooting someone isn’t May’s style; this is entirely true, as she’s always been shown to prefer melee combat and has a philosophy of “If I need a gun, I’ll take one.” Once May reveals she has no idea that she actually shot Sarge, they begin putting the pieces together via – believe it or not – talking, listening, figuring things out as a team and using their heads!
I know I shouldn’t be surprised when characters show any bit of intelligence, but it feels so rare in TV these days.
Realizing that Izel can possess any of them leaves to a nicely tense moment, wherein the entire S.H.I.E.L.D. team has to figure out who is and isn’t possessed. Mack also makes a wise decision by focusing on the Inhuman members first, that way they can be locked safely away from Izel’s possession. Tensions are high, accusations and suspicions are thrown about, but they manage to work through it with the classic “reveal something only you would know” trick.
The show also gives us a nice misdirect; the last we saw of Izel, she possessed Deke, so naturally we all assume it’s him. His insistence that the secret-telling method won’t work only draws more suspicion. That’s why we’re pleasantly surprised when it’s actually Fitz who’s possessed.
The body-jumping scene that follows is great too, as we see Izel move from person to person in an attempt to get what she wants. It’s fun seeing each actor switch personalities quickly as their characters get possessed, and overall the scene has good drama.
I’ve been lukewarm on this season up until now, but this episode really helped improve my impressions.
3. Goodbye, Davis
Of course, someone has to die to prove Izel means business. Rather than kill off a major character, or a minor one no one cares about, it opts for the middle road and kills Davis. He’s just enough on the periphery that his death won’t impact the core characters, but we’ve at least had a little time to get to know him.
Mind you, the repeated mentions of how he has a family to get back to that have popped up over the run raised a Death Flag for him pretty quickly. So his death isn’t exactly a surprise.
Still, it’s handled with a fair amount of gravitas and sorrow. Alas, poor Davis, we knew him… not well, but moderately.
4. Backstory Time!
The real bomb of the episode comes from when Izel and Sarge meet face-to-face and she reveals who and what he really is. Fitz began piecing things together, but Izel confirms what he suspected.
When an exploded Monolith opened what everyone assumed was a Fear Dimension, it was actually more about creation. When Coulson came in contact with it, the energies of all the Monoliths he’s been in contact with somehow created a duplicate of himself, which got tossed through space and time to the world of the Shrike. They’re normally incorporeal beings, but the copy-Coulson was an empty vessel for one to possess.Continued below
Yeah, it’s a little convoluted, but at least it ties together multiple plot points from past seasons in a semi-coherent manner. More will likely be revealed in time, but for now, it’s an answer. While Sarge himself refuses to accept it, we see his hands quickly switch between corporeal and incorporeal as he starts breaking down, indicating there’s some truth to the matter.
5. Getting the Ghost Back?
At the end of the episode, Fitz contemplates what incorporeal creatures like the Shrike could mean, and if there’s ever been anything like them before. One thing does come to mind: the Spirit of Vengeance that creates the Ghost Rider. A bit of a stretch? Maybe, but if it means bringing Ghost Rider back, I’m interested.
So will Robbie Reyes return? I’d certainly like to see that. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be much point to bringing it up.
We recently learned that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will end on its seventh season, so we have this and one more to built up to a great end to the story. Let’s see how it goes.