Baby steps forward for Agents of SHIELD in A Life Earned

ABC

Is it just me or does everything this season feel very … same?

I know I’ve touched on this in the past but it struck me especially this week during “A Life Earned” that SHIELD feels like just one long episode split into many parts so far. A big part of that I believe is the setting. This monochromatic dull interiors are just weighing me down.

Daisy’s interrogation scenes provided some interesting and tense moments. With the addition of another Inhuman who has psychic abilities, a direction for the plot is starting to form, albeit very slowly. The idea of a psychic fighter who anticipates an opponent’s every move has definitely been done at some point but here it felt fresh. Him later being able to project thoughts into Gemma allowing Daisy and her to get their stories straight was an interesting twist as well. But one big question: why do the Kree trust him to tell the truth? While using him as a lie detector they just take his word on things, but why would he be loyal to his enslavers? Also though the Kree may not know the extent of his powers, they also don’t know if Gemma and Daisy worked out a cover story ahead of time, something very common for spies to do.

The rest of the gang was on a two-tiered mission. Seemingly to see how hard we can hit a nail on the head when it came to Mack and Yoyo. I could see it coming but the way the writers are having Mack suddenly have a crisis of conscious is silly. He and Yoyo debating their methods just wasted time. Here are two members of a covert team that engage in hand-to-hand combat and gun fights all the time. Are you saying there has never been a casualty before? Mack carries an axe/shotgun hybrid as his weapon of choice, that’s the guy who suddenly doesn’t want to rough a guy up? Dude, you’re in a dystopian future, man up and do what you gotta to stay alive!

Later when Mack threatens the one guy’s “delivery” without the knowledge it’s a baby? Come on guys, you’re better than that! Mack’s Hope storyline from last year was effective, but dredging it back up here felt cheap and forced. A guy he is threatening taking the time to declare him unfit as a father? Who would do that in this situation? Plus if Mack wasn’t the paternal type it wouldn’t even be an insult.

Oh yeah, and we offhandedly found out there are no babies anymore … except those grown by the Kree. So we had Aliens in the premiere, now we’re getting a dash of Children of Men? I feel like there are more homages I’ve missed and maybe that’s the running theme this year. But the way the issue is brushed aside with little explanation was frustrating. Saying “we think they put something in the food” is not a real answer. Hasn’t anyone ever looked into this? No, just move on and accept these vague, undefined rules for this world.

One of my questions from the premiere got answered this week and the Kree warrior woman lottery went to May! Yup, our resident badass got to tangle with Big Blue! Or at least her stunt double did. While still an impressive action sequence, with some cool camera moves to boot, the use of stunt double stuck out like a sore thumb. Now this one I’m giving a total pass. Actress Ming Na Wen completely blew out her knee this year and has been through extensive surgery, thus the in show injury hobbling her and the heavy cutting and constant stunt double presence. Hey, I hurt myself raking leaves sometime, I’m not throwing any shade at her for taking care of herself.

I was so glad to see that SHIELD charm still present when Coulson and May immediately distrust Deke. Also thoroughly whomping his nose once they found out about his duplicitous deeds. Of course he tries to explain and gets cut off by a stabbing … stabbed off? Is that a thing? Did we just make that it a thing?

Anyway, Coulson made the right choice in welding him in his room even after the revelation that *gasp* the voice from Earth is his father, long thought dead! Or he’s just full of crap. Either way, having him out of the way is for the best.

We also kept hearing about this prophecy with still very vague details. SHIELD will come from the past to save people? Or something like that? I think answers are coming soon … which brings us to something I called last week … Fitz! From the previews it looks like we’ll be seeing his actions that lead to him also being in the future with our favorite former Agent Lance Hunter. Unfortunately Mockingbird is still on her own space adventure on The Orville.

The way they introduce Fitz though, that lingering shot on a helmeted figure in the background at a party of a degenerate criminal who treats people like slaves? Was I the only one thinking of Return of the Jedi? In particular Leia in bounty hunter gear to save Han. Well I’m saying it was an homage and I loved it! In a sea of meh, the ending and preview were just so damn interesting. Overall the episode was another okay one, a couple high points and couple low ones but nothing really memorable.

I will say the “meat grown” for food line gave me the willies. Yeah, they just grew that meat, you go on believing that! In a season that has gone to space and fought alien bugs, it says a lot that I’m most looking forward to Fitz and Hunter just being their entertaining selves.

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!

 

 

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