S.H.I.E.L.D. has escaped to Earth (or what remains of it) and the glorious revolution is ready to begin! If only Korg were around to enjoy it. But perhaps I’m getting ahead of myself; let’s take a look at the episode, and see how it all panned out.
With the older version of Robin in the picture, we finally get some glimpses into the past, or rather, the future that’s in the past from this future that the heroes are currently stuck in. Time travel is weird like that. From the conversation snippets we’re given, we learn that S.H.I.E.L.D. was doing its best to save as many people as they could, and in doing so handed the human race over to the Kree. We see Yo-Yo going off for her last stand against them (which could very well mean that we’ll later meet the Kree that killed the future’s past version of her), and see Fitz’s growing frustration over their inability to change anything.
Most importantly, we see how May became a mother figure to Robin. Perhaps it’s meant to parallel how Mack was taking on a similar role for Flint, but they had a rather sweet dynamic, where they both knew that, thanks to time travel, they’d always see each other again, even if it meant saying goodbye twice. It almost reminded me of Doctor Who’s story of River Song, although they don’t exactly move in opposite orders for each other.
However, between Fitz complaining about them going in circles and May and Robin constantly reuniting, that brings us to the next issue…
2. Time Loops
Here we are, back with the analysis of time travel! Fitz drops some important dialogue (or rather, the Fitz in the flashbacks does, and he is what our current Fitz will later be, even though chronologically it happened in the past) about how they can’t do anything to change time.
“She saw the aftermath and she still destroyed the world.”
This is important. This means that this is not the first time the S.H.I.E.L.D. crew has been sent forward in time. In this iteration, they’ve been to the future, saw what happened, found a way back, and still continued dancing on destiny’s strings.
So they’re caught in a time loop: a never-ending iteration of events that always carry out the same way. This could be the first loop or the thousandth, but it’ll keep carrying out, unless they can find a way to change time itself, and all the paradoxes therein.
This isn’t even the first time they’ve dealt with the subject of immutable time. Back in 2016, I looked at something similar in the episode “Spacetime,” where we met Charles Hinton. The team tried to do what they could to avert his future predictions from coming to pass, but time still followed its route to the end. From the sound of things, we’re on the same path this time.
Of course, given that they’re the heroes of the show, they’ll probably find some way to avert it, and may or may not break all of time in the process.
3. Roaches and Revolutions
Back on the ship, Mack, Yo-Yo, and Flint fight their way through the third floor, and are reunited with an old friend: the shotgun-axe.
Sure, Flint questions its practicality, but then Flint shoots and chops a roach with it, because he’s awesome that way.
There’s also a great scene of Yo-Yo using her powers to tag all the roaches in less than a second, taking them out with the space equivalent of Raid bombs. I still love the effects they use when Yo-Yo speeds around, and they keep coming up with great ways to use her powers.
More importantly, after beating up more Kree and roaches, they start removing the metrics from all the other humans, telling them to reclaim their home and all the usual grand revolution uprising speeches. Naturally, the Kree are more well-equipped and physically fit, but they’ve been killing humans like cattle, so I suppose only one question remains:
“Do you hear the people sing? Singing the song of angry men? It is the music of the people who will not be slaves again.”Continued below
Okay, I’ve already used a Thor: Ragnarok joke and a Les Miserables joke for the human uprising. Let’s see how many more we can get in before the season is through.
4. Oh look. Another betrayal. I’m so surprised.
First rule of meeting new people on a death world: if they’re friendly to you, they’re either going to die very quickly, or inevitably betray you. Guess what happens this time?
So we meet Voss, who’s apparently in charge of the humans hiding out on Earth. Following Robin’s predictions, he managed to bring Coulson and the crew in safely, and he seems to get along with Deke, as he and Deke’s father go way back.
Look, you all know where this is going. Deke finds out Voss is up to no good, Voss knocks Deke out, then tries to kill Daisy.
To be fair, it’s not the worst idea; definitely hard for a time loop to come to completion if the person meant to destroy the world is dead. Except that would also result in a paradox where the world was never destroyed, so she couldn’t travel forward in time to it, and thus he’d never kill her, so she’d still be alive to destroy the world, and so on and so forth.
So instead he kills Robin. Now that’s just a horrible idea. Fortunately, she lives just long enough for a dramatic goodbye, and to pass on the last bit of important information to May.
5. Flint and Quake
As many have predicted, Flint is the key to saving the world. After all, he has geomancy powers, so he could pull the planet back together, or even go back in time with them to prevent it from shattering in the first place.
(Yes, I know that would also cause a massive paradox that would probably prevent him from being born in the first place. I’m not the one that wrote the show into the paradox hole, but I am going to analyze it.)
Naturally, he’s still back on the Lighthouse with no way of getting that information.
Still, this is a fine use of the Inhumans they have. Quake’s seismic powers can shatter the world, but Flint has more control over earth and stone than just causing it to, well, quake. I honestly want to see these two working together, so hopefully Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will give us that down the line.