This week’s Agents of SHIELD picked things up right where we left them last week. While no major revelations this week, we did get a little forward momentum and some setup that I feel is heading in a predictable direction.
We followed two stories, the first being the main group all working together to figure things out, while the smaller story was Gemma’s. Being under the watchful Kree eyes of their captors, Gemma has become one of the chosen servants. Quickly we found out some of the baggage that comes with this new position. How horrible the POV shots are, showing us that they can basically turn her hearing off when they want. We also see them silence her speaking with a command as well. I am curious just how much control they can exert over her through these commands. Will she be forced to hurt her friends or herself before it’s all over?
The bulk of Gemma’s story dealt with her being tasked to help a young Inhuman girl train to use her powers. This was a sweet and different look at Gemma. Seeing her be almost motherly to this poor girl, and also excited by the science behind her powers, able to phase through objects or make her body as dense as lead.
There are some things that I didn’t like. The timetable she is given seems ridiculous considering the girl’s importance, and why would they already set up a demo of her powers if she is still so bad at controlling them? It’s also suggested Gemma was being set up to fail by the bad ass Kree woman. Why? Is she actually jealous? It seems like they look at humans like animals. Would the Kree leader actually be attracted to her?
Once the young Inhuman shows the smallest bit of control, she is hauled off for a “performance” which we find out is a Thunderdome style battle to the death. You have to give it to the writers of SHIELD, they didn’t hold back. That little girl got her ass kicked. The big brute of a warrior they had face her looked like he was right out of Mad Max. When she finally gets control over her power the way she reaches into his chest and pulls a bloody arm out was gory to begin with, having a little girl do it was truly twisted. Gemma’s surprise at her then being sold and thinking she could do anything about it was frustrating. She’s a genius, literally! Yet she still can’t understand and intuit what they might want with powered people? Nothing about this future is nice and cuddly.
Going from that and back to the main group, a running theme seems to be slavery and / or forms of indentured servitude. Many mentions of what is owed are made, as if anyone actually pays off their debts in this world. But there are some very interesting things we see in this side of the story.
The big one is the message being broadcast … from earth! Though we’ve been told how deadly it is, somehow a message, and apparently people, are still on the remains of earth waiting for our team to make contact. My bet is these people will be our link back to Fitz in the present. He still hasn’t been shown and it feels like the time to juxtapose the future adventures with the present’s endeavors to bring them back.
Best sequence of the episode has to be Yoyo’s theft. Great use of her powers. Setting off multiple “errors” and then during the few seconds her metric is being fixed, stealing the scroll and getting it to Daisy. Loved it!
Also some nerd info for you. Two fairly deep dives in this episode, sort of linked, the first being Multiverse theory. A tried and true comic trope, and recently rumored to be very important to the MCU movie past the Infinity War, here was thrown out as more of fan service. Much like the other bit of geekiness, the 616. Used as coordinates here, but most Marvel Zombies know that in Marvel’s many realities, the 616 is the designation for the main one, the reality that most of their comics take place on. For you DC people, Marvel’s 616 is basically Earth. A throwaway line but one that is fun for those in the know.
Mack got a couple good quips in, his “hungry hippos” line was great as was Coulson’s disappointed reaction, and Yoyo was the total MVP. Not only in the heist but also in using her power to frame head thug Number 1 and covering everyone’s butts in the process. It’s about time she got more to do and she is being used perfectly.
So after Daisy gets to do an appropriate amount of butt kicking we get the sudden but inevitable betrayal by Deke. I mean his name is Deke, of course he’s a scumbag. My only question: is he really betraying her or will he have a change of heart and help her in the end? Or is the whole betrayal really just him setting up a plan and it will turn out he was on her side the whole time? C’mon, you know it’s one of those two options.
So “A Life Spent” was a fair outing for the show but I’m still underwhelmed. After such an amazing season last year, this all feels so small, run of the mill. Especially considering how grandiose it all is on paper. I’m hopeful things will ratchet up but right now … it’s fine, just fine.
Agents of SHIELD airs Friday at 9:00 PM on ABC.
What did you think of this episode? Tell us in the comments section below!