Agents of SHIELD season 5, episode 16 review: Inside Voices
In the latest Agents of SHIELD, Carl Creel absorbs more than he bargains for, Yo-Yo and Jemma pull a trick, Robin the prophet returns, and Talbot and Coulson make a daring escape.
At is best, Agents of SHIELD is a well written spy thriller with superhero underpinnings, showcasing wits and heart to spare. At its worst, it’s still all of those things, but in an unfocused, meandering sort of way. When it’s brave and ambitious and event-drive, it’s a wonder to behold. But even when it’s not, it’s still an awful lot of fun.
Agents of SHIELD is the pizza on the Marvel Television buffet: even when it’s bad it’s still kind of good.
Unfortunately, this week was one of the just kind of good ones. Nothing Earth-shattering (which has become a literal expression in this series) really happened. No new character arcs or angles were exposed. Just the same old routine excellence we’ve come to expect from Coulson and the gang. Flawless chemistry, snappy dialogue, and,mostly, tight storytelling. What would be achievements for lesser superhero shows are simply ho-hum offerings from AoS.
Oh, the burdens of greatness.
For the most part, this was a bookmark episode, content to hold the story in place, reminding us what has happened and teasing what is yet to come, but failing to deliver much forward movement.
Coulson, who has spent the last few episodes at the mercy of General Hale and her more progressive Hydra, is still doing his best to adapt to life in confinement. He’s holding up well even after Hale took his Crunch Berries away, which, I’m pretty sure, counts as cruel and unusual punishment in many countries.
Phil finds an unlikely ally in The Absorbing Man, Carl Creel, who is having second thoughts about his alliance with Hale after coming into contact with Gravitonium – and the mysterious consciousnesses that seemingly inhabit it. Together, the two make a break for it and rescue the long-suffering and now slightly mad Glenn Talbot.
Hale, never one to lose graciously, assigns her daughter Ruby (who has been busy scheming with the young Von Strucker) and a gaggle of Hyrda bots with the task of stopping the attempted Shawshank Redemption.
Coulson and Talbot manage to escape using the space-hooka that allows Hale to communicate with The Confederacy, but Creel is not as lucky, and is recaptured after he and Ruby fight to a draw. Ruby, who is every bit the sore loser her mom is, tries to end Creel with a dirty move, but the Destroyer of Worlds in training finds the Absorbing Man to be made of sterner stuff than her usual opponents.
Meanwhile, the SHIELD team is still cuaght in the middle of a spat in the aftermath if Fitz’s quasi-villainous turn. Elena, not fully armed and dangerous, and Jemma believe the Scot has suffered enough and hatch a plan to get him out of the brig. After expounding on her own guaranteed survival – subscribing to the same theory of temporary immortality that Yo-Yo believes in – Jemma performs an elaborate and potentially deadly shell game using water and clear acid that convinced Mack to open Fitz’s cell. In a flash, Yo-Yo locks Mack in the same room he just opened, and Jemma reveals that she was never in any true danger.
It seems Deke gets his trickiness from both sides of the family.
The final plot-line of the episode revolves around Daisy’s search for Robin, the Inhuman sage who set the stage for much of this season’s time-traveling paradox. Nothing is ever quite what you expect with the clairvoyant child, and this time is no different, as Robin has given up soothsaying and drawing in the aftermath of her cataclysmic predictions.
It isn’t until she is reunited with May, her once and future mother, that she comes out of her shell and returns to scrying the future and doodling it out.
Which is fortunate for the group, as this allows them to find the recently escaped Phil Coulson. From an artistic perspective, it will allow the upcoming episodes to meddle in the same mind-boggling time riddles and head-scratching plot deception that prophets usually herald. This season has always been an out-of-tune instrument with tangled strings leading in all directions. Robin is the maestro, and the sound hole at the center.
Her reemergence can only signal that it’s time to tune up the band and play this season’s swan song. It’s shaping up to be a piece as beautiful as it is tragic.
Let’s hope that next week brings the first chords of that long awaited song, and not another mic check.
Original article at BamSmackPow