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REVIEW: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 5×09 “Best Laid Plans”

This episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was one that makes it clear that the show is gearing up for something big. With the team likely reuniting next week, and most of the puzzle pieces fitting together, it seems as though S.H.I.E.L.D. trip to space might be coming to a close. With long-awaited showdowns, surprise faces, and tested loyalties, “Best Laid Plans,” brought a healthy balance of plot and excitement.

Spoilers ahead!

Back on the Lighthouse, it’s humans vs. Kree as the revolution, spearheaded by Mack, Elena, and Flint, finally begins. Unsurprisingly, Kasius isn’t pleased by this turn of events and makes it his mission to put an end to the uprising by reminding the humans that, “[he] is not their enemy, [he’s] their God.” Which he proves by sending the newly alive again Tess down to the lower levels to serve as his pseudo-emissary.

Tess’ presence, and horrifying tale of resurrection, reignites Flint’s desire to go after Kasius, which causes some tension between Elena (who’s ON BOARD) and Mack (who’s more interested in thinking first, acting later). Tess then reveals that, unless Daisy, Flint, and the Lighthouse children are brought to Kasius, the Kree maniac will destroy the human race with, “the push of a button.” Mack realizes that there are oxygen bombs located on every floor of the Lighthouse, meaning that Kasius has the potential to incinerate everything and everyone in an instant.

In an attempt to prevent such a thing from happening, Mack and YoYo decide to face Kasius in the hope is that they’ll be able to take him out before he take everyone else out. They devise a plan to lure Kasius to them, sending Tess to let him know that, unless he meets them, they will destroy every blood sample and Terrigen crystal in the Lighthouse… preventing him from ever being able to breed humans or Inhumans ever again. With that threat hanging over him, Kasius makes his way down to the lower levels and confronts YoYoMack.

The showdown is unsurprisingly tense but, as it turns out, the whole thing was a distraction.

Mack, YoYo, Flint, and Tess kept Kasius occupied just long enough for the other residents of the Lighthouse to collect all of the hidden explosives and move them down to Level 25, while every human moved elsewhere. The foursome then went full Houdini, blowing up Kasius’ breeding equipment and disappearing in a cloud of smoke.

THE GAME’S AFOOT!

Elsewhere, the rest of Team S.H.I.E.L.D. is working on making the Zephyr operational again… which is easier said than done considering it’s been rusting away for 74 years. In the quest to get the engines online, FitzSimmons discover that Gravitonium is powering the upgraded Zephyr designed by past Fitz, which they consider proof that Team S.H.I.E.L.D. was in fact responsible for everything that led to the destruction of the world. As the gravitational storm outside rages on, Simmons realizes that their only real option is to cut the lines anchoring the Zephyr to the surface and literally ride the gravity waves all the way back to the Lighthouse.

Insane? Perhaps. But this team has done crazier things and lived to tell the tale.

As if this impromptu space flight wasn’t dangerous enough, the team is then stuck dealing with Sinara once again after she squirrels her way onto the Zephyr. Daisy goes head-to-head against Kasius’ right-hand and, just as it looks as though the blue warrior will get the upper hand and kill the Destroyer of Worlds once and for all, Deke pulls through and tag-teams with Daisy. The battle ends with Daisy putting a pipe through Sinara’s chest and sharing an appreciative nod with her frenemy Deke.

The episode concludes with the ominous revelation that Kasius has his own seer giving him a heads up on the whereabouts of Team S.H.I.E.L.D. He knows that they’re coming and plans on having one hell of a welcome party.

“Best Laid Plans,” certainly had its fair share of action, but perhaps the biggest leaps made in this episode had to do with the characters’ personal revelations and growth. Being trapped in the literal eye of the storm provided just enough calm for some of our favorite agents to actually take a breath and process everything that has been revealed over the course of their time in space. It was these moments that provided startling insight into the characters as well as the potential events that led to the 2091 that they have grown to know.

As May tries to process a world in which she could ever be a mother (which is literally any world as you, me, Daisy, Coulson, and everyone else in existence knows) Daisy questions whether she needs to be anyone other than Agent Johnson. These were key moments for each character, both of which have been struggling with the same conflicts since first introduced in the Pilot. Much of May’s inner demons surround the Bahrain incident, meaning that Robin’s revelation was one that shifted Melinda’s perception of herself. Similarly, Daisy has been struggling with her identity since introducing herself as Skye No Last Name. Her reticence towards her powers suggests that, even after years being in touch with her Inhuman nature, she has still never been as comfortable (or at home) as she is when she is simply Daisy Johnson, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Episode Grade: B+

Episode Highs:

  • It was nice to see Natalia Cordova-Buckley, Henry Simmons, and newcomer Coy Stewart take center stage and showcase the strengths of their individual characters. What was particularly great about the trio in “Best Laid Plans” is the fact that, while more than happy to flaunt their individual strengths, in the end they came together and proved once again that the heart of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is the teamwork. Frankly, it’s about damn time that three powerful people of color are shown leading an uprising against a cruel dictator on broadcast television. In this day and age, this trio is an important reflection and reminder that, united, we can accomplish anything.

Episode Lows:

  • The fight between Daisy and Sinara was epic (anti-gravity?! Are you kidding me?! Next level!) but I couldn’t help but feel that the Kree side-kick’s end came a little abruptly. I know that next episode is the one that (presumably) sees our heroes make it back to their own time and place, but Sinara taking a quick pipe to the gut didn’t feel like a fitting death.

Additional Thoughts/Comments:

  • Deke finally came through… but can he really be trusted?
  • FitzSimmons are now officially on my “the Gravitonium destroyed the world” train so… I’d say the theory is officially SOUND.

What did you think of the latest episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.? Sound off on Twitter or in the comments below!

About the author

Silje Falck-Pedersen

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