While the world watched the new Avengers movie, the SHIELD team continued on with its own world-saving fun. Of course, the episode doesn’t tie into Infinity War (we’ll talk about how the show possibly could connect to that once the statute of spoiler limitations has passed), but it continues to call back to older seasons, and provided us with some very tense moments.
1. SHIELD Doesn’t Kill… Since When, Again?
So after the events of last week’s episode, everyone seems pretty annoyed at Yo-Yo. For Daisy, I can get it; she was trying to reach out to Ruby, even if it wasn’t working. But the idea that SHIELD is supposed to turn the other cheek is… debatable at best.
Remember how earlier this season Mack helped lead a revolution against the Kree? Does killing Kree not count because they’re not human? How about all the villainous goons that are gunned down every time they fight some evil organization? They’re not all robots, after all.
It’s a kind of selective morality that only shows up when it comes to named characters or the main villains. Faceless, nameless minions don’t matter, but the bigger bad guys, no matter how dangerous, should always be left alive to redeem themselves.
Hey, remember the time Coulson literally crushed Ward’s chest in? Sure, he became Hive afterwards, but that was a thing that happened.
So to complain about Yo-Yo killing a villain who was literally toying with Simmons’ life, was looking forward to having the power to destroy the world, and whose powers were running out of control is just a tad on the hypocritical side for most of the team.
2. Multiverse Theory
We’ve talked a lot about time travel and paradoxes here, and it’s something the show has touched upon as well, but Deke did bring up the possibility of multiversal travel instead of time travel. Perhaps they can change time without creating a paradox, as doing so creates an alternate timeline, an alternate universe, instead of being part of a time loop?
Otherwise, Deke reasons, he’d blink out of existence the second something changes (which did give us an amusing scene where the camera pans only to reveal… he’s still there).
Of course, we know that the Marvel universe has many alternate universes and alternate Earths. The comic universe is set in Earth-616, the cinematic universe is Earth-199999, even our own Earth is designated Earth-1218. In fact, in my research I found that even the world of Japanese Super Sentai has a designation: Earth-79203, although the Japanese Tokusatsu Spider-Man is from Earth-51778.
The idea of time travel creating alternate universes is one we’ve seen used in other properties (Trunks from “Dragon Ball Z,” for instance, operates under this mechanic), so it’s not beyond the realm of possibility. In fact, it even seems to be a common way time travel operates within the Marvel universe.
Typically time travel in Marvel comics results in a changed timeline, but those timelines still often come back in some way, shape, or form, while characters from those timelines remain in the present (I’m looking at you, Rachel Summers) so this could be a potential solution to the paradox.
Hey, no one ever said time travel would be easy.
3. Project Reclamation
I’m so glad Patrick Warburton got another cameo this episode. I love his character and the general tone of all the recordings.
Although I do have to side with May as to why Coulson would press the “nuclear attack” option instead of waiting to see what every option was. First of all, why would SHIELD not prepare for the eventuality of an alien attack? Secondly, why would that be the best option anyways?
It was an uncharacteristically foolish decision, which only really served to create a “locked room” scenario for the characters. But at least we got more Warburton out of it.
4. Alien Invasion
Let’s talk about these aliens, shall we? They’re not Kree, and they’re not Thanos, but Deke is still terrified of them.
In concept, there’s some great ideas there. The way they short out all light sources adds a great sense of impending doom and tension as they approach. The scenes where the agents are trying to escape in the dark were well executed, and the survival horror element was great. (In a way, their use of darkness and chaotic evil description made me think of Drow, but being a D&D nerd will do that.)Continued below
However, it’s a good thing they’re in the darkness so often, because what we do see of them is somewhat less than impressive. They basically look like humans with lengthy eyebrows in black leather and a mask covering the lower halves of their faces. I know we can’t expect the greatest quality in alien designs from every episode, and the way they ignored bullets as they lunged and charged from every which way was fine, but it was clear just how much of the budget really went into them.
Now we get another callback to season 1 with the return of Centipede. At its introduction, it was basically a knockoff super-serum combining bits of gamma radiation, Extremis, and any other reference to Marvel movies they could fit in there. It was a good enough plot for the show’s early days, but the show moved past there to Deathlok, Hydra, and Inhumans (while still being connected to two of those three things).
Now Daisy really should know that Centipede does not exactly work all that well. It was incomplete and would occasionally cause recipients to explode. There’s a missing ingredient, though, one that apparently can only be found by digging up her own mother.
Okay, Daisy, I know you really want to save Coulson, but maybe this isn’t the best route to take? Perhaps a solution that wasn’t used by earlier antagonists would be a better way to go. Just throwing it out there.
But then, it does illustrate the depths of her desperation, so it makes sense character-wise. We’ll just have to see where this decision leads.