The eighth episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D’s really got the ball rolling, pushing the plot further than any other this season as the entire team reunited with each other… and a few other familiar faces. While none of the PTB have confirmed the structure of Season 5, “The Last Day,” feels very much like the beginning of the end of the season’s first pod.
With more flashbacks/flash-forwards than I even know how to approach in this recap, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. went full throttle and zeroed in on what it’s known to do best: confuse and excite the heck out of viewers.
After a mysterious opening showing the… past? present? future?… moment just before the world ends, “The Last Day,” returns to 2091 as Coulson, Daisy, FitzSimmons, and Deke join May on what remains of the Zephyr. The team is naturally confused about the hows and whys of their presence in the future, and quickly discover that the only person who can piece things together is the greatly-aged Robin. But said information is harder to acquire than one would think, as Robin still prefers drawing to speaking and confuses the past, present, and future more than ever before.
Enoch points out that her powers can’t be forced, that patience is key, which unsurprisingly frustrates May and Coulson. The duo is then presented a drawing by the seer, which isn’t appreciated by either but does lead to another flashback/forward that shows FitzSimmons, May, and a young Robin in 2022. They’re still slightly hopeful at this point, but it’s clear that the stress of the situation is causing cracks. (Side-note… would this technically be another timeline entirely where the team never left the diner… or is this theoretically one after they presumably make it back to the diner… or both? Time-travel is so confusing.)
Back in 2091, discouraged by Robin’s inability to communicate, Team S.H.I.E.L.D. finds a possible way to return to their time when they discover a piece of the monolith that transported them to 2091 and a device that seems to activate it. Of course, as we learn in another flashback/forward, it was Fitz who built the device in his attempt to prevent the destruction that Robin foresaw in her visions. Said flashback/forward shows an aggravated Fitz (who was recently told by young Robin how Jemma would die) who insists that the future is set in stone and there is no way to prevent the end of the world as they know it.
Back in 2091, some of the other Zephyr-dwellers actually do have an idea of how to stop the EOTW… and it involves killing Daisy to prevent her from ever returning to her own timeline and quaking the Earth apart. Of course, the rest of Team S.H.I.E.L.D. isn’t going to let that fly and quickly take out the Quake-hungry crew. Unfortunately, Robin gets caught in the crosshairs and takes a knife to the chest.
While all seems lost, Robin uses her last moments of life to share with May that it was she who cared for the young girl and protected her so that she could survive long enough to reach this moment. May was Robin’s adoptive mother, with her from beginning to end. While the information was touching, it was the following details, whispered to May with Robin’s final breaths, that was the real game-changer: how the team gets back to the past to stop the end of the world and save the future.
Episode Grade: A
- Melinda May! So far, May’s only real action this season has involved getting her leg impaled in new and excruciating ways every episode (steel bar, Sinara’s orbs, surface dweller’s gravity device) so it was great to see her play a crucial role this week, both in the present/future and the past/future! The nickname “Mama May” is one that I’ve seen floating around the interweb since Season 1, and it was never as fitting as it was this week. Ming-Na Wen is known for her badass moves and kickass fights, but her emotional work is always on another level. May’s expressions tend to be more stoic than anything else, but whenever she lets her guard down, she often taps deeper into the emotional well than any of her fellow S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. Watching her interact with Robin (both young and old version) further proved that Melinda May, despite often being seen as the unflappable weapon of the team, is perhaps more vulnerable than anyone else.
- It’s been 2.5 seasons and I still don’t tire of YoYo saving the day in slow motion. Her battle with the roaches this week was just as awesome to watch as similar moves in the past.
- There were some moments that didn’t necessarily feel earned or fit with the episode. The B storyline was really pushed to the wayside (why was Kasius even there?) which was a shame because it would have felt more exciting were it not for the top-notch A. So… the low was that the episode was such a high that it made certain parts seem low…
- B STORYLINE: YoYo, Mack, and Flint are stuck on the Lighthouse, forced to face the repercussions of Team S.H.I.E.L.D’s recent besting of Kasius. Since the Kree overlord couldn’t take out the people he actually wanted to, he’s setting his sights on everyone else who’s still stuck in the Lighthouse. Shutting off the lights and water supply, Kasius is aiming to punish the humans in whatever way he can, which includes releasing the roaches. Luckily, Mack, Flint, and YoYo make quick work of the alien monsters and save the day. PLUS they manage to get the rest of the humans on their side… methinks an uprising is near!
- Anyone else catch the bling that 2022 Fitz was wearing on his left hand? Glad to see FitzSimmons are going to be official sooner rather than later! On the other hand…
- Those flashbacks/forwards suggest that: Mack is dead or gone for good, Jemma is close to dead, the last time Daisy is seen alive was after a major evac and before a 12.8 earthquake destroyed the earth…
- I’ve been joking for a bit (as have many others) that Deke is somehow related to FitzSimmons but this episode, like, made me legitimately think he might be. His mystery father has been alluded to too many times for him to just be some rando from the Lighthouse.
- What is Flint’s significance? How does he fit into saving the world? Are we thinking he’ll be able to put the monolith back together?
- Guys and gals, I am still convinced that all is not as it seems. I think the Gravitonium is going to play a major role down the line… doesn’t it seem way more believable that Daisy will make a sacrifice play to attempt to stop a massive amount of unstable Gravitonium.
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!