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REVIEW: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 5×16 “Inside Voices”

YoYo’s got robot arms, Daisy is leading Team S.H.I.E.L.D., the Absorbing man is… absorbing things. This week’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. didn’t hesitate to tap into its comic lore and brought with it a fun episode that pushed yet another pawn into place. “Inside Voices” delved into three key plots, all of which are beginning to weave together for what will likely be an insane final act. Even more exciting is the fact that a few familiar faces popped up, giving unexpected clues in ever more unexpected ways.

Spoilers ahead!

The team is fractured this week as Daisy takes the reins and serves as the de facto leader while Coulson is in Hale’s clutches. Her leading style is a bit more “hardass” than what the gang is typically accustomed to and she and Jemma quickly butt heads over their differences of opinion regarding Fitz and the best course of action RE: finding and saving Coulson. While Daisy is adamant that “the Doctor” stay locked in his cell while she goes after Robin, Jemma wants to free her hubby and follow a lead concerning a potential Gravitonium weapon stored in old Hydra outposts.

And Simmon isn’t afraid to go behind Daisy’s back to make it happen.

Teaming up with Elena, Jemma goes to frankly ludicrous lengths to prove her hypothesis that she/YoYo/and Fitz are invincible since they all have a presence in the future. In order to convince Mack of the theory, and thus convince him to release Fitz from imprisonment, Jemma decides to play a sciencey version of Russian roulette. Filling three beakers with water, and one with a deadly acid, Jemma then MIXES THEM UP AND STARTS TAKING SHOTS. The theory is that she can’t take the deadly one since she lives long enough to have a daughter and grandson.

Beakers one and two go down smoothly but number three sends Jemma to the ground in agony. Mack releases Fitz from his cell so the latter can find a possible antidote buuuuttttttt, YoYo then shoves Mack into the cell as Jemma rises from the ground, completely unharmed. Turns out Simmons is as good an actress as her portrayer. The trio leave Mack in his cell, hijacking a QuinJet for themselves as they begin their hunt for the Gravitonium weapon they’re convinced Hale is building.

Meanwhile, x thousand feet in the air, Daisy, May, Deke, and Davis have picked up Robin and are trying to get her safely back to the Lighthouse. When Daisy realizes one of Robin’s drawing seems to depict a very much alive Coulson, she and the gang try to pinpoint any potential landmarks that might match the young girl’s picture.

Back in the Hydra lair, Ruby is beginning to grow mistrustful of mommy dearest when General Hale sends Creel to absorb the Gravitonium. The move backfires in more ways that one, as Creel begins to suffer from flashbacks while Ruby becomes increasingly frustrated by all of the signs that point to her no longer being Hale’s first choice as the Destroyer of Worlds. 

Creel goes after Coulson (because the Gravitonium tells him to, duh) and, in a surprise turn of events, opts to team up with the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent. Apparently, Creel was unaware of the poor treatment that his buddy Talbot received at the hands of Hale and her cybernetic goons, and agrees to help Coulson get the General to safety. There’s a brief moment where Coulson winds up dead, but a quick shock to the heart brings him back to the land of the living where he realizes that Hale’s weird teleportation device can be tweaked to bring them to some point on Earth. He and Talbot manage to escape the compound while Creel goes head-to-head against an out-for-blood Ruby.

The battle ends with both warriors standing and Ruby declaring to her mother that she is the Destroyer of Worlds. Apparently that’s all Hale needed to give her daughter the go ahead to go after Coulson and Talbot.

And FIN!

Just kidding. The episode actually ended with a flashback that likely had longtime fans cheering in delight. Flashing back to four years ago… we see two familiar foes: Ian Quinn and Raina! Yes, as it turns out, Ian Quinn’s recent years of “laying low” can be attributed to the Girl With the Flower Dress. As it turns out, the very Gravitonium that’s now in Hale’s clutches was used by Raina to “disappear” Quinn. Much like Jemma was engulfed by the Monolith at the close of Season 2, poor Quinn was engulfed by the Gravitonium as Raina watched with her standard smirk.

BUT WHAT DOES IT MEAN?!?!?!

Who the heck knows.

We’ve reached the point in the season where the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. writers are throwing a bunch of stuff at us that will likely remain wholly indecipherable until the finale. But now that we’re inching closer to the climax of this arc, with plot lines and tidbits falling into place, it’s only a matter of time before we’re all left with our jaws on the floor as we learn the grand plan.

Episode Grade: B+

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!

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Silje Falck-Pedersen

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