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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - A Life Spent - Review

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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. “A Life Spent” was written by the team of Nora and Lilla Zuckerman and was directed by Kevin Hooks. This episode continues to explore the world the team finds themselves in. There’s a great elevator fight and terrific special effects.

The episode begins by revealing that Kasius (Dominic Rains) and the Kree are actually living within what’s left of the earth. Kasius is welcoming his visitors – who are another new race. Lady Basha (Rya Kihlstedt) snubs Kasius, however, sending her Emissary (Doug Simpson) instead. They aren’t interested in rubbing elbows with Kasius – they’re only there for business. Kasius is clearly desperate to win influence and rank.

Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) watches things unfold with no sound – even her vision is hazy. Another effect of whatever was put in her ear? I really loved the way the picture was softened around the edges as we get her point of view. She watches as Kasius has a temper tantrum when Tye (Max E Williams) doesn’t give him good news about the ceremony. She also watches as Sinara (Florence Faivre) whispers in Kasius’s ear. It’s clear that she is out to get Simmons. She suggests that Simmons can fix their problem.

Meanwhile, back in the Lighthouse, the rest of the team are being treated like slaves by Grill (Pruitt Taylor Vince). Coulson (Clark Gregg) tries to steal a few minutes to decipher the book he found in Virgil’s room. It’s also clear that Lt Zev (Kaleti Williams) has it out for YoYo (Natalia Cordova-Buckley) when he zaps her for being too slow! OH, the irony! It looks like Mack (Henry Simmons) has lost it when he goes after Zev with an iron bar.

Of course, the door to the storage room is rigged, and Mack is stuck to the door and then zapped by Zev. Grill tells Mack that he doesn’t stand for laggards, thieves, or agitators – and as long as they owe him, he owns them. YoYo is not happy that Mack thought he had to defend her honor – but he didn’t do it for that, he was trying to get a look in the office and spotted the Kree tablet and a gun.

Daisy (Chloe Bennet) is frantic to find the others when they aren’t at the rendez vous point. Deke (Jeff Ward) accuses her of “deflecting” – not dealing with his accusation that she is the one responsible for quaking apart the earth. Daisy tells him flat out that she simply didn’t do it because her powers aren’t that strong. He tells her – not yet, and then he introduces the multi-verse theory! I really, really hope that if Marvel is now also going the multi-verse route that they do a much, much better job with it than DC has done, especially on Flash.

Deke tells her that quantum physics has a theory that for every universe there are infinite parallel universes, so maybe she hasn’t done in her universe, but she has in his! I loved her slapping him, and asking what universe it happened in! Deke realizes that there’s been a renewal and three people are dead – but not her friends, so they must be hiding. He tells her to try Grill’s because one of the dead was from there and there’s a vacancy. He tells her not to do anything stupid…

Tess (Eve Harlow) and May (Ming-Na Wen) are going on a run, and Coulson tells them to take him along. Tess asks for extra help, and Grill tells her to take the agitator – and another one. Unfortunately, Zev insists on going too because Grill doesn’t trust them.

Simmons is assigned to “fix” Abby (Ciara Bravo). When Simmons tries to touch her to comfort her, her hand passes right through Abby’s hand – she’s Inhuman. Abby tells her that she’s had seizures since undergoing terragenesis. Abby is terrified that she won’t be ready for the ceremony, which requires her to have control of her power. She’s clearly having trouble because of stress.

It seems Tess does have a heart as she lets Flint (Coy Stewart) stay on the ship when it’s not in use. Coulson has determined that Virgil was doing recon when he was flying. He’s been focusing on one piece. Tess says she’s seen it and it’s just a hunk of dead rock. Tess hesitates to help them because she’s still on the hook for a double haul. And nobody is happy when Zev shows up.

Abby tells Simmons that terragenesis was hard, but worth it because her family will be rewarded. Abby thinks that she’s going to get to travel the galaxy as an ambassador. Simmons realizes that Abby can control her molecular density. Sometimes she can pass through things and sometimes she’s as solid as lead. Abby shows her her “blocker” that’s been implanted. It prevents her from using her powers – I wonder who’s going to get one next…

May and Coulson share a moment on the bridge while Mack keeps Zev distracted. Uncharacteristically, May doesn’t try to put on a brave face about her leg, and Coulson squeezes her shoulder in sympathy. She in turn reaches up to grasp his hand – progress! #Philanda Coulson is also not quite himself as he fatalistically says that there may not be a way for them to get back. He wonders if their destiny is here, in this time, helping these people. May is fine with helping, but then she wants to go home to her own bed!

Daisy comes to YoYo, who tells her what’s going on. I loved how YoYo got Grill to remove her Metric by making him think there was something wrong with it. As soon as it’s out, she takes off, grabs the scroll, hands if off to Daisy, and is back before he knows it. It’s always a great special effect – as is all the stuff in space.

Coulson is shocked that anyone survived the destruction of Earth. Tess has Virgil’s little globe and says he refused to leave without it. Coulson finds the lost knob in it, and they discover a radio – Virgil was talking to someone! Unfortunately, Zev appears right at that moment and catches them.

May makes sure that everyone is secured to the wall, and then hits a space rock. Coulson and Tess try to get the zapper, but Mack shows up in the nick of time, crushes it and knocks Zev out. Tess is freaking out though. They’ve attacked a superior. They’re dead.

I loved how Simmons was with Abby. When Abby gets frustrated and shatters the floor, rather than being scared, Simmons is impressed. Simmons uses science to help Abby understand her gift. Between the particles of the universe is infinite space. She tells Abby to imagine that her body is a field of stars and she can control the space between the stars. Abby is able to hold her hand steady for a time in a glass pitcher before she loses it and it explodes. Simmons tells her not to worry, it takes months to really master a talent – but that is time they don’t have.

Kasius comes to take Abby to the ceremony. When Simmons asks for more time, Kasius silences her again. Kasius confronts Sinara – did she set Simmons up to fail because he thinks Simmons is pretty? Sinara suggests that Simmons is able to succeed because she has compassion.

Deke tries to stop Daisy from “storming the castle.” He tells her that she should be playing the long game. He even tells her that he could make it so that she would get an invitation from “the big man.” But Daisy insists that where she comes from they help each other. Deke warns her that if she starts something, the blues will kill the workers. She finally loses her temper and pushes him back. He’s impressed – was he baiting her all along to see her power? She tells him never to call her ‘Quake – Destroyer of Worlds’ again.

Back on the ship, Tess proposes that they murder Zev. Mack is appalled. Coulson has picked up a transmission of some kind and the source is the lifeless rock in front of them. May says the signal is bouncing off of 616 and actually coming from the surface of the earth!

Lady Basha finally deigns to arrive for the ceremony. Again, she’s dismissive of both Kasius and his gifts. They proceed to the ceremony, which Kasius refers to more accurately as an exhibition. Abby is faced with a huge warrior. Simmons tries to object and Sinara is right there with her balls, keeping her in check. Simmons watches in horror as Abby is flung around the arena.

It looks like all is lost when Abby looks at Simmons and she mouths ‘think of the stars’ just as Lady Basha gives the signal to her Champion to kill. Abby turns solid as he punches her, breaking his arm. He then ends up with her arm inside him, which then materializes, killing him. Lady Basha is finally impressed, but it seems unlikely that Abby meant to kill him.

Coulson records the transmission, but still can’t understand what’s being said. Tess is adamant that someone is going to die and wants to jettison Zev. Mack refuses, telling her no one is being sacrificed. Zev cuts the fuel line, and they have to go back to the Lighthouse.

Basha gives Kasius a backhanded compliment and then exchanges money for Abby. Simmons tries to stop Abby, and again, Sinara is there with her balls. Simmons accuses Kasius of selling her, and he tells her that without her help, Abby would not have fetched such a high price.

Daisy makes her way to the upper levels and ends up in a horticultural floor. She transfers to another elevator to go higher up still. I loved that she tried the sticking to the ceiling trick again – but starts slipping, giving herself away – but giving us a great elevator fight!

Grill is furious and threatens to kill them all for stealing. Tess throws herself in front of the bus, and says it’s all her. YoYo tells Grill that if he’s looking for contraband, Zev has a gun. The team tell Grill that they didn’t want to get him in trouble with the Blues. Grill is adamant that he’s going to report Zev himself, telling them that no one is above the rules.

Daisy is captured by Kasius after wandering into a corridor and getting gassed. Deke has betrayed her! Or has he? He tells her that he’s playing the long game – which is what he urged her to play earlier, so is this code that he’s really working to save her?

The final scene is a repeat of the final scene of last season with Coulson getting out of bed and telling himself to get back to work. Only this time we see what work he’s talking about. The team is trying to decipher the transmission, and they finally do. It’s a voice asking Virgil if he’s secured the delegation. They’re worried because they haven’t heard from him in three days. Coulson wants to get to the surface, but Tess insists that nothing can survive on the surface – it’s where they send people to die. And the final scene is Zev being devoured by roaches on the surface – his punishment.

This was another fast-paced episode – but then what episode of S.H.I.E.L.D. isn’t? It’s clearly a dog-eat-dog world, regardless of what level you live on. I’m completely on the fence about whether Deke has really betrayed Daisy. Tess certainly has a bigger heart than we might have given her credit for at first. I really loved Simmons interaction with Abby – look how far she’s come in her acceptance of Inhumans. Given the discussion of mult-verses and Inhumans, it’s pretty easy to see how they might have been seeing an Inhumans/S.H.I.E.L.D. crossover. I’m quite fine with that never happening! What did you think of the episode? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Favorite Lines!
Daisy: So what universe did that just happen in? Mine or yours?
Mack: Not stupid. Recon!
May: So less than 24 hours and you’ve already been taken prisoner. That a record? Coulson: Not even close.
Mack: I’d rather not go where no one can hear you scream… but ok.
Coulson: This isn’t the side mission. It’s THE mission.
Coulson: Say what you will about our future dystopian horror show – it has a nice view.
Mack: Had to. You all pinned to the wall, flailing around like a bunch of Hungry, Hungry Hippos! Coulson: In my mind, it was cooler than that.
Mack: At S.H.I.E.L.D. we live by a code and we’re not bending to your twisted World-view.
Daisy: I really thought this’d work.
Daisy: So not as stealth as I’d hoped.

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