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    Five Thoughts on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s “Together or Not at All”

    By | January 16th, 2018
    Posted in Television | % Comments

    More S.H.I.E.L.D., more Kree, more space adventures. What else can I say? A lot, actually, and I’m about to do just that, so read on.

    1. Family Matters

    After being introduced to Kasius’s brother in the last episode, we now get to learn more about them. First and foremost: apparently Kasius is the family name, but that’s still what his brother calls him? Maybe that’s not the best detail to focus on, but it still struck me.

    Either way, we learn a lot about the Kree and Kasius’s family from their conversations. There’s little effort to be subtle about anything, with unmasked contempt all around, but we do see Kasius’s composure break for once. Finally, it ends with a literal backstab, in a rather well-delivered moment. It helped build Kasius as a character, making him more of an actual threat to the S.H.I.E.L.D. team.

    2. May Makes Friends

    Meanwhile, down on the surface of the ruined Earth (which somehow still has air to breathe, I’ll just go with that), Melinda May is in a bit of trouble. Fortunately, Enoch is there as well, and has been saving her from the bugs for some time. I quite like her reactions to him, first thinking he’s another LMD, then realizing he’s the one who captured them at the diner, recognizing his voice.

    More importantly, she finds a group of survivors huddled down on Earth, including Robin Hinton, now an old lady. Fitz isn’t the only one who took the long way to get to the future, and now we know how the prophecy has lasted into the future: she lived through the apocalypse and passed it on.

    We’ll see how this affects the time travel mechanics once it’s all said and done, but it’s a good story element to bring back in.

    3. Father Figures

    Mack and Flint spent a fair amount of time bonding this episode, and frankly, I liked it. Why? Because it works with what we know about both these characters. Flint grew up without his parents, so he had to grow up quickly, and had very few people to consistently rely on. Meanwhile, Mack is still hurting from losing the virtual representation of his daughter in the Framework, so he’s still in “dad mode.” They both have something to offer the other.

    The scene where Mack tried to comfort Flint was also effective. He didn’t try to give any moving speeches, he just said he’d be there, and tries to connect with him, so that his later advice is taken seriously. It was a good, heartfelt moment.

    4. Callbacks and References

    Remember gravitonium from season 1? This episode did, and it makes a return cameo. The only question is: will it be more than just a cameo, or will it serve a purpose? If it’s the latter, then I will most certainly give credit to the show for bringing back an old plot point that had been previously left on the wayside. So hooray for continuity!

    I also want to make a side-note: of course Simmons is a Doctor Who fan. At least I assume that’s what they were going for when she said “allons-y,” so if so, it was a nice subtle nod. Though Daisy’s “Mr. and Mrs. Boba Fett” line fell a bit more flat, since it didn’t really work in referencing the Kree who were chasing them. Oh well, not every reference will land properly.

    5. Never Split the Party

    At last, the S.H.I.E.L.D. team was mostly reunited, and embarked to find May down on Earth. They more or less ran into each other, but hey, now’s the part where they come together as a team, plus a few new friends, right?

    Nope, because Flint decides to stay on the station to use his powers to help people, so Mack stays for him, and Yo-Yo stays for Mack. So once again, we’re splitting the party. Now, though, they know that Fitz hid plenty of weapons on the ship (including Mack’s shotgun-axe), all they have to do is get to them… on the third floor, where all the killer bugs lurk.

    I’m sure they’ll all come back together in time for the finale, but until then it’s just maintaining multiple plotlines. It doesn’t seem like the smartest moves for the characters, but I’m sure it’ll pay off sooner or later.


    //TAGS | Marvel's Agents of SHIELD

    Robbie Pleasant

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