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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - Inside Voices - Review

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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. “Inside Voices” was written by Mark Leitner and was directed by Salli Richardson-Whitfield, who might be better known as an actor, but whose other credits include Chicago Med, The Magicians, Lethal Weapon, and of course, Eureka. Leitner also wrote for the Slingshot mini-series. The team is at odds about how to proceed. There’s been a lot of negative fan reaction to the “invincible three,” but I have to say I’m kind of loving it.

I loved the opening scene with Coulson (Clark Gregg) complaining to Hale (Catherine Dent) about her taking away his cot and Captain Crunch and destroying the Earth.

Hale is planning on making Coulson pay for Talbot (Adrian Pasdar) once he hands over the Inhumans – um, what? Even Talbot doesn’t blame Coulson! And she really, really doesn’t know Coulson if she’s handing anything over. Meanwhile, she’s moving ahead with her plan. She has a new material for Creel (Brian Patrick Wade) to try – gravitonium! Did anyone think this was a good idea? For someone who was top of her class, she’s a bit of an idiot.

Ruby (Dove Cameron) is clearly not an idiot and is already starting to suspect her mother. Hale maintains that she just wants Creel to touch the gravitonium because they know so little about it. There’s a nice little easter egg as she mentions that Ian Quinn (David Conrad) was the real authority on it and he’s been in hiding for years – and as we find out in the final scene – with a nice surprise cameo from Ruth Negga as Raina – he’s hiding right in front of Hale – in the gravitonium!

Ruby presses Hale to just ask Coulson. Hale maintains that she doesn’t want to infuse Ruby’s cells with something they don’t know anything about. Naturally, Creel touching the gravitonium goes badly and it’s about to suck him in when the robots manage to pull him out. He tells Hale that the gravitonium is alive.

At the Lighthouse, Yo-Yo (Natalia Cordova-Buckley) is trying out her new arms. Mack (Henry Simmons) is concerned that she’s pushing too hard and too fast. Sensing Mack’s discomfort, Yo-Yo backs away from her declaration that she can’t be killed.

Deke (Jeff Ward) comes to see Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) I loved how this scene was shot so that you can clearly see the resemblance between the two as Fitz declares there is none! Great casting by the show – though the dueling scruffy beards do help. Fitz tells Deke that he didn’t mean to kill anyone when he had the robot hold the gun to Deke’s head. Deke, however, tells Fitz that that was the first move Fitz pulled that really made him respect him. Deke is on board for playing the long game. Deke has to run or risk Daisy (Chloe Bennet) being angry. I loved Fitz’s reaction when Deke asks him if he’s noticed what a hard-ass Daisy’s become!

Simmons has a nice walk and talk with Deke as she tries to get more information about – and insight to – her and Fitz’s relationship. She asks about major injuries or scarring. Deke tells her that he doesn’t have a lot to go on – everyone even changed their names when they were being hunted down. He only knew them as Nanna and Bobo. Fitz was BOBO!! Deke tells Simmons that his mother talked about them a lot, but never mentioned any health stuff. It’s a really lovely moment when Deke tells Simmons that she reminds him of his mother – who he clearly loved very much. He offers to tell Simmons stories from his mother’s childhood, but Simmons doesn’t want to know too much. Simmons knows that she and Fitz will live long enough to create his mother – and clearly long enough for Deke to have met them if he had names for them… Simmons has also noticed the change in Daisy.

May (Ming-Na Wen) tries to dissuade Daisy from going after Robin (Lexy Kolker), but Daisy won’t budge. She also won’t budge when Simmons asks her to re-consider releasing Fitz. Daisy is convinced that Fitz is sick. She also tells Simmons that Mack is in charge – and under strict orders not to release Fitz. May tells Daisy to dial it back. Daisy’s leadership is new to everyone, including her. Daisy insists that she’s only leading them to get Coulson back – and then she’s handing command back over to him.

Simmons decides that they need a new plan of attack and drags Yo-Yo to Fitz’s cell. Simmons insists that it’s time for them to start thinking differently. Simmons proves she understands Yo-Yo’s belief that she can’t die. They might not have seen themselves in the future as Yo-Yo did, but Deke is their proof. Simmons reveals that Deke is their grandson. Yo-Yo declares them the invincible three.

Simmons tells Yo-Yo that while Daisy may get answers from Robin, they also have a lead on a weapon that uses gravitonium – that could get them one step ahead of Hale. Fitz points out that he can’t go anywhere. Simmons tells him that she trusts him – regardless of what he’s battling inside himself. She asks if he trust her – and of course he does! Simmons has a plan to get him out. When Yo-Yo points out that Mack won’t let them get Fitz out – we see that darker, harder side of Simmons – her different way of thinking – as she says Mack will TRY.

Creel is feeling the after effects of the gravitonium. He has flashes of Franklin Hall – the Canadian scientist from the season one episode “The Asset.” He taught Fitz and Simmons at the Academy and went to Cambridge with Ian Quinn – where they became best friends. It was Quinn who had imprisoned Hall on Malta where Coulson found him – and where he fell into the gravitonium!

Hale comes to check on Creel and he tells her that he can’t control the gravitonium. Hale simply attributes it to Hydra falling apart and Creel not knowing what his next step is. I am not digging Hale’s new wardrobe at all.

Daisy at least has the decency to apologize to Polly (Lola Glaudini) for dragging them out of hiding. Polly tells Daisy that Robin hasn’t been doing well for a couple of weeks. Not drawing or talking to her. Daisy tries to get Robin to talk to her. Daisy asks her to help her find Coulson, but Robin won’t talk to her.

Ruby comes to check on Werner (Spencer Treat Clark). He has to recreate all of his father’s journals – he can’t simply extract the information they need. Ruby tells him that Hale is up to something. Werner is firmly on her side and insists that she has to be the Destroyer of Worlds.

Yo-Yo lets Mack look after her arms, and then tells him that she’d like to do more. She asks him to let Fitz out to go after a weapon that uses gravity to go after Hale. Mack is having none of it. He tells her to take it up with Coulson when he gets back. Once again, she tells him that she saw herself in the future and she wants to use that. Mack furiously cuts her off, declaring that that doesn’t make her bullet-proof. She tells him that there are things that she learned about the future that she can’t let go of. Mack points out that she might be alive in the future because he insisted on – and did – protect her. He’s adamant. She and Fitz are both staying where they are.

Creel hears Hall tell Coulson that he hears the future – so he goes to Coulson. Creel picks up Coulson and Coulson sees that Creel isn’t well. Coulson tells him that S.H.I.E.L.D. might not be perfect, but they’d never do what Hale did to Talbot. Creel does still care about Talbot – and that was Coulson’s way in. Creel had no idea – he thought Hale was getting Talbot care. Creel takes care of the guard and takes Coulson to check out his story.

Daisy rendez vous with the Zephyr and Robin still won’t talk – or draw. Polly apologizes for not being able to help. When Polly shows Daisy Robin’s last drawing, Daisy immediately recognizes that Robin has drawn her own death – and yep. That would shut anyone up. Daisy has the good sense not to traumatize Polly by telling her what it is. It’s also clear that Robin is “out of time” synch the way she was in the future near the end.

When Robin finds May flying the Zephyr, she calls her Mom. Robin hugs her and tells her that she missed her. She also reminds May that she told her she’d get her back – she has memories of the future!

Creel and Coulson find Talbot’s cell easily enough by following his voice. Talbot is even more hilarious than usual. Creel is convinced to help get Talbot out of there.

Yo-Yo brings Mack to Fitz’s cell where Simmons has prepared an experiment – to test an hypothesis. She’s determined to prove that she can’t be killed. Mack thinks she’s simply detached from reality – and Fitz has no idea what she’s doing. Her experiment consists of four glasses filled with clear liquid. Three glasses are filled with water and one with toxic liquid – enough to kill. Fitz is not happy either! Simmons insists that she wouldn’t be doing it if the science wasn’t sound.

While Simmons turns her back, Yo-Yo mixes the glasses up. As she drinks the first glass, Mack and Fitz ask her to stop. The science may be sound, but Simmons is clearly afraid. Mack pulls his gun to stop her from drinking the third – he’d wound her – after all it doesn’t make sense to shoot to kill when he’s trying to prevent her from killing herself! Mack begs her not to drink it. It seems like she’s ok and then she falls to the ground in agony with Fitz screaming her name.

Mack is desperate to help Simmons and looks to Fitz. Fitz tells him what to do, but Mack doesn’t know where to find the material to help. Yo-Yo tells Mack to let Fitz out so he can get it because Fitz knows where it is. As soon as Mack unlocks the door, Fitz runs out to get the antidote, and Yo-Yo pushes Mack into the cell and locks it… and Simmons is suddenly fine.

Fitz is relieved – and a little angry at not getting a heads up, but pulls Simmons into a hug and compliments her on her performance. It wasn’t all a lie, however. The experiment was real. The three are now convinced that they are invincible. There is another great scene between Yo-Yo and Mack as she apologizes – but he turns his back on her. She tells him that if she doesn’t come back – and Simmons finishes – they’ve broken the time loop. We get further proof of their invincibility when the gun gets knocked off the table and goes off, seemingly right at them and none of them are hit.

Once she’s seen May, Robin begins drawing up a storm, including lots of Kree. May asks her about her last picture. May tells her that they are working to make sure that that future doesn’t happen. Robin knows that it’s Philip J Coulson who can put all the pieces together. May tells Robin that Coulson is lost – and she’s lost without him – and Robin adds that Daisy is also lost without him. Wen is terrific with Kolker. Robin also tells May that Coulson is going to die – she can see it. But May insists that they can save him. Robin doesn’t seem to believe her. May finds a drawing – and recognizes Coulson.

Deke remarks that once again he’s relying on a crayon drawing, and Daisy comments that it must be terrible to bounce back and forth in time as Robin does – but Deke once again (hilariously) thinks she’s talking about him! May shows them the drawing of Coulson, identifiable because of the black spiderweb on his chest – and we recognize Talbot. Daisy is able to use the mountains in the background of the drawing to determine their location!

Ruby has just brought Werner food when the alarm goes off. Hale comes in and orders Ruby to go after them – but not to kill Creel.

Simmons, Fitz, and Yo-Yo take one of the Quinjets. Simmons tells Yo-Yo that they have three potential locations. Yo-Yo points out that they don’t have a pilot – but Fitz is planning to rely on the auto-Pilot that he designed.

Creel is still struggling with the voices fighting in his head, but pulls it together to fight when the robots try to stop them. Coulson joins in the fight but one of the robots stops his heart by punching him right in the chest. Talbot manages to get a gun and take the robot out. He then also leaps into action to try to save Coulson – the fallen hero! Talbot finds no pulse and calls on Creel to help – but the only thing the voices in Creel’s voice agree on is that he shouldn’t help Coulson! Of course, both Hall and Quinn hate Coulson! I loved Creel using the electricity of the robot and making himself a defibrillator to bring Coulson back!

May explains that they don’t have time to put Polly and Robin back into hiding but will keep them safe at the Lighthouse. Polly thanks May for helping Robin. Polly knows that Robin has a connection with May – that she doesn’t have to explain because Polly has seen the drawings. She knows that she’s not in the drawings. May cuts Polly off before she can finishing asking May to look after Robin if anything should happen to her. It’s clear that May is torn between caring for Robin, losing her to Polly, and knowing she needs to change the future.

While Creel holds off Ruby, Coulson and Talbot get away using the alien transport device. Coulson wisely figures out they just need to avoid the altitude dial. The two disappear just as the robots come in, guns blazing. We get a pretty fantastic fight between Ruby and Creel. Ruby is just about to kill Creel when Hale tells her to stop. She throws her blade anyway – but Creel turns to wood and saves himself. Hale sends Ruby after Coulson and Talbot.

Coulson and Talbot find themselves in deep snow in the woods. As the camera pans back, we see the mountains from Robin’s drawing.

It will be interesting to see if Hale and Ruby continue to be threats as they become increasingly less stable. Will Creel keep working for Hale now? Will Coulson send Daisy, May and Mack after the invincible three? It does seem to be a bit reckless, but it also opens up some interesting conversations about fate and free will. If they can’t die, it also means that they can’t change the future. I wonder if – or when – the change the future, if Deke will simply cease to be. Fitz and Simmons could still have his mother, but would she have met his father or chosen him had circumstances been different? The time questions turn my brain into a pretzel too! What did you think of the episode? Henstridge and Wen get my nods for performance of the week. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Favorite Lines: 

Mack: You were murdering that heavy bag.
Mack: I’m not babying you, I’m a mechanic! A well-oiled machine needs oil.
Deke: I don’t know what to tell you Grand-Pappy. I guess your daughter found a real man.
Fitz: Of all the people. Why couldn’t it have been Flint? I liked Flint.
Deke: Ever since she’s been in charge, Daisy is kind of a hard-ass.
Yo-Yo: Deke?! I’m sorry…
Yo-Yo: So we’re the invincible three.
Yo-Yo: You can’t protect me forever. Mack: Did you ever stop to think maybe you’re alive in the future because I did.
Coulson: You can tell the General there’s nothing you can do to make me join her evil league of evil.
Talbot: Straighten up and fly right, airman! You look like a damn hobo!
Coulson: Glen. I know we’re under a bit of strain here, but I’m going to need you to use your inside voice. … Your softer, inside voice.
Simmons: What’s an experiment without a little skepticism?
Mack: I’ll wound you to stop this madness!
Deke: Well, once again my life depends on a crayon drawing of a crazy person.
Talbot: I’m not the only one with a cooked noodle… hey! Keep your hands off me.
Talbot: Fallen hero.
Talbot: You die more than anybody I’ve ever met.
Talbot: Oh no, no. I’m not interested in going to outer space! I’m not a damn cosmonaut!
Talbot: Maybe next time send us someplace warm. White sandy beaches and the palm trees. Coulson: That’s not really my thing anymore.

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