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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - The Force of Gravity - Review

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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. “The Force of Gravity” was written by the team of Drew Z Greenberg and Craig Titley and was directed by Kevin Tancharoen. The best news going into the finale for the season is that it is only “The End” for the season – the show will be back for another season but not until the summer of 2019 and only for 13 episodes. This episode had a lot of great moments – that KISS! And a heartbreaking choice for the team. Props to Adrian Pasdar who really brings it as Graviton.

As the episode opens, Daisy (Chloe Bennet) thinks she’s with Taryan (Craig Parker) – at a neutral place at the edge of the galaxy. Daisy is not happy to meet another Kassius, or be called an experiment. Taryan tries to convince Daisy that he’s not a bad guy, and that he’s her future.

Meanwhile May (Ming-Na Wen) and Coulson (Clark Gregg) are Qovas’ (Peter Mensah) prisoners of war. Coulson is defiant and Qovas is arrogant. He makes the supreme mistake of saying that with humans it’s all about the gun… so the wrong thing to say to May! Qovas asks Talbot (Adrian Pasdar) whether they are to be killed or not, and Talbot doesn’t really give an answer. They are both focused on getting more gravitonium.

In the lab, Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) and Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) focus on a cure for Coulson, by gruesomely using the Jiaying’s skeleton. The centipede serum can carry any serum they put in it to cells – so Jiaying’s healing DNA would heal Coulson. Simmons and Fitz worry about Yo-Yo’s (Natalia Cordova-Buckley) warning, and Fitz points out that her warning was that the world would end if they TRY to save Coulson – but what if they succeed? I loved that his mind went there! Simmons points out that Coulson wasn’t in the future, making it seem likely that he did die in the loop. I loved that Simmons was so pleased that Fitz is finally thinking that maybe they can change time.

At some point, we really do need to find out what the heck happened to Davis (Maximilian Osinski)!!!! Agent Kim (Chen Tang) is killed when Talbot comes to take the Quinjet from the Zephyr. We get a quick look at a shout out to Infinity War as Mack (Henry Simmons) is watching the devastation of New York, but is then interrupted by Deke (Jeff Ward) warning him about Talbot.

Mack doesn’t understand why he’s not reading the Quinjet’s signature, and Yo-Yo suggests maybe he’s gone dark. Mack is hopeful that they can find Talbot and talk him down before anyone else gets hurt. I really liked how Cordova-Buckley played this scene as she enjoys watching Mack work and also appreciates his optimism – all of which passes across her face. But she also isn’t nearly as hopeful that it won’t come to violence.

May wants to talk about Talbot. Coulson feels responsible for Talbot and guilty. May muses about when they first met him. Coulson points out that things change and evolve and so do people. May agrees and that sometimes you can’t save them, but Coulson points out that you still have to try. She’s convinced that there’s no hope for Talbot. But this is also a nice moment of them understanding each other’s position about Coulson’s life. She knows it might be hopeless, and he knows that she has to try.

Talbot goes to see Creel (Brian Patrick Wade) who is still being treated. They’re pleased to see each other. Talbot understands what Creel is going through and offers to help Creel, telling him that they are stronger together. Creel realizes that Talbot isn’t quite himself. Talbot offers to silence the voices for Creel. He asks Creel to join him and holds out his hand. At first, it gives Creel peace, but then Talbot absorbs him completely, telling him his suffering will be over soon – and then thanking him.

Meanwhile, Taryan offers to help Daisy “unleash” her powers. Um, yeah, I think she’s got that down, dude… He tries to relate to Daisy in the same way that Talbot tried to relate to Creel, but here, the two are nothing alike. I loved Daisy explaining that while she’s been given a hard time by some humans that’s just a facet of human’s complex nature, and as she’s explaining this to Taryan, she also comes to terms with her conflict with Yo-Yo: “We fight, but not with a lack of respect.” When Daisy tries to use her powers and can’t she immediately thinks that she has a dampener on again. Taryan makes his big mistake by telling her that she’s not conscious yet and is in the process of being brought to him.

Taryan thinks that he has Daisy right where he wants her. He’s using keeping her out of time and space to break her. I loved Daisy throwing it back in his face that she’s sees the future too – and tells him about his sons – and their terrible make-up! She tells him that she’s stronger than he knows – and then she proves it by breaking the chip on her forehead that’s holding her – and taking out her Remorath guards.

Simmons and Fitz finish the simulation and Simmons thinks it will work. Mack is happy to hear the news and seems to be softening toward Fitz, but Fitz is still hurt, though he assures Simmons that they’ll work it out. Mack tells them about Talbot and gets them working on a solution.

Coulson is about to blast their way out when Deke suddenly arrives and rescues them. They all go in search of Daisy. They find some writing that is the same as what was in the Lighthouse in the future and Coulson is incredulous that Deke can’t read it. May is incredulous he survived. Deke is a little upset and accuses them of losing Daisy!

Mack and Yo-Yo watch as Talbot absorbs Creel, and it’s not surprising that Mack is horrified by the unnatural thing that Talbot does to Creel. He asks Yo-Yo if he ever told her about his friend Isabel Hartley, and Yo-Yo remembers that Creel killed her. He tells Yo-Yo that he thought he’d never forgive him but once Creel was de-programmed, Mack realized that he was a decent guy, and he’s glad that he got the chance to forgive him. Much as he needs to forgive Yo-Yo… and Yo-Yo remarks on his amazing ability to forgive people. Mack is determined that Talbot needs to be stopped, and Yo-Yo suggests for good, but Mack insists if it comes to that, it’s his decision.

Fitz isn’t making any headway on how to neutralize the gravitonium in Talbot’s system – and it’s obvious where they are going when he turns to ask Simmons how she’s doing with the serum for Coulson. Simmons remarks that they’ve come full circle with the centipede serum. They also discuss the possibility of a terminal solution for Talbot. Simmons feels badly because he was one of the good guys but suggests using the odium and using the centipede serum to deliver it right into his cells.

May, Coulson, and Deke almost have to engage the Remorath, but then Daisy is there. Deke wants to get out right away, but Coulson tells him that Qovas has missiles pointed at the Lighthouse. Deke is sure that the Lighthouse can take it, but Coulson points out that River’s End can’t.

Mack and Yo-Yo discuss where Talbot might have gone. Yo-Yo is convinced that all he wants is death and destruction, but Mack points out that he saved them from the Remorath. He also points out that everyone is a hero in their own story. He presses Yo-Yo for what Talbot said before getting in the machine. She remembers he kept saying he could fix this. Maybe he’s trying to prove he’s still a good man, a good soldier. And it’s Mack that makes the jump to good father.

The phone rings and there’s a knock at the door at the same time at the Talbot household. Carla (Raquel Gardner) answers the phone while George (Jack Fisher) answers the door – and it’s Talbot. Carla asks if he’s ok and he tells her he feels great. He tells George that he’s a superhero now like the Avengers! In fact, he’s even better because he can fly without having to use a hammer (Thor) or an iron suit (Ironman)! Talbot tells George he’ll take him to fly with him, and he gets angry when Carla wants to talk – it was S.H.I.E.L.D. on the phone…

When Talbot sees that George is getting scared he tries to control his anger, but when Carla tells George to go upstairs again, he pins Carla to the wall. George tearfully asks Talbot to let Carla go. She pleads with him, telling him that she’s always been on his side. He wants her to join him as the only way he’ll ever trust her again – luckily for her, they’re interrupted by Mack and Yo-Yo.

Deke is still determined to leave. Coulson refuses to leave until they finish the job. May tells Coulson to leave with Daisy, she and Deke will take care of the missiles. The come under attack, and Daisy takes off after a Remorath. May continues to tell Coulson to leave until they are attacked. And this might have been my favorite scene of the entire season – Coulson flings up his shield and kisses May!!! Even better? Deke and Daisy’s reactions!

We do get some pretty good stunts and effects with Talbot. I loved him effortlessly lifting their SUVs into the air and dropping them. It’s also a bit cool when he stops their bullets and sends them back at them – but not so cool that he’s killing his own men. It’s clear that he’s definitely losing control and any sense of who the good guys are.

May and Deke work together to take the bridge. May realizes that the launch coordinates, which are for the Lighthouse, will work to set the transporter to get them home. Deke finds the navigation system while looking for the weapons system, and thoughtfully takes the data with him. No doubt that is going to come in handy… May’s plan is to give the missiles a new target.

Talbot tells Mack and Yo-Yo that he’s now a Superhero and he plans to do what needs to be done. George tells him that he’s not a Superhero. Yo-Yo tries to save George, but can’t get near Talbot. Talbot meanwhile insists to George that he’s just giving them a warning. He’s not really trying to hurt them. He tells George to watch the news – he just needs a little more fuel in his tank to do what needs to be done. And then he “jets” off…

Daisy and Coulson make it to the Zephyr and find it under attack. Coulson cuts his arm in the fight and insists that it’s nothing. Coulson tells Davis to fire up the engines – they’re heading for home. There’s a sweet scene as Daisy patches Coulson up where she brings up him kissing May. I love Bennet and Gregg, and we haven’t gotten enough of these two this season!

Qovas interrupts May and Deke, and we get yet another terrific fight scene. I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating. The fight scenes in this series beat any others on television – not only in their execution but in the way they are filmed. I loved Deke dodging them as they fight – just because the choreography wasn’t good enough!

Qovas thinks he’s punishing May by blowing up the Lighthouse before killing her, but she tells him that she’s changed the target. May and Deke make it to the transporter.

When they see the ship blow up, Coulson checks in to the Lighthouse, and Simmons tells him they’re all there. She also tells him about Talbot and Creel. Coulson is disappointed but resigned that they will have to do something about Talbot. Daisy notices that Coulson is still bleeding heavily, right before he collapses.

Simmons briefs the team. Coulson’s conditioning is worsening and accelerating, though he isn’t dying (and that doesn’t really add up, but ok…). Daisy asks about the treatment that they discussed, and Simmons says they have something that they think will work. Mack wants to know about a solution for Talbot whose condition has also worsened. Fitz tells them that they think they have a solution, but it’s not a cure. Daisy tells them that the problem is there’s only one dose left of the centipede serum. The team is faced with an impossible choice – save Coulson or save the world. It’s perfect to have May concerned about Coulson, and Yo-Yo still on her path to save the world.

In the final scene, Talbot has picked up Polly (Lola Glaudini) and Robin (Lexy Kolker). He knows that Robin drew him and sees him in her head. He asks her if she’s ever seen him tear the earth apart and bring something up from the ground. She nods yes, and he presses for where. This would seem to support the idea that Coulson has to die to save the world because it’s Coulson who tears it apart. It’s hard to see at this point why Daisy was called the Destroyer of Worlds as Talbot is making his presence known. But maybe the events of Infinity War have overshadowed his presence? Maybe Daisy fails to stop Talbot but is there when it happens? Maybe she is blamed for saving Coulson and thus not taking out Talbot?

This was, as always, a fast-paced episode with lots of action, humor, and feels! That kiss! #PhilindaForever! Talbot seems to be an insurmountable problem, but I can’t imagine the show without Clark Gregg. Pushing the next season so far into next year might be a way to carve out room for Gregg to work on Ms Marvel. I can’t wait for the finale – but I’m dreading such a long hiatus. I foresee a lot of season rewatches in my future… what about you? Happy for the renewal but sad about the wait? What did you think of the episode? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

A few favorite lines….

Couslon: You’re just the villain of the month and you’re going down.
May: I don’t need a gun to stop you.
Fitz: What happens if we don’t just try? What happens if we actually succeed?
Fitz: What if all we have to do is not fail?
Fitz: Maybe it’s time to be audacious…
Deke: That’s the most incredible story I’ve ever heard, and I’m the same age as my grandparents!
Coulson: Prison cells are all the same no matter what species built them.
Daisy: What is with your family and this God complex?
Simmons: The centipede serum was part of our first mission, and now it’s the key to curing Coulson. We’ve come full circle.
Deke: I also no zero, so NO. I know 6 numbers!
Coulson: We can fight or we can run. May: Fight!
Yo-Yo: He’s in full villain mode! Mack: Everyone’s a hero in their own story.
Qovas: Kill them with their own weapons. Let them die in shame and dishonor. {awesome because that’s how May kills him}
Coulson: Are you giving me an order? Because that sounded like you were giving me… May: Yes! I’m giving you an order. You’re just going to slow me down, so zip it and get to the…
Coulson: I thought that might shut you up.
Daisy: Copy that, Hotlips!
Coulson: We can’t lose our pilot again!
Daisy: So… you made out with May…
May: Told you I didn’t need a gun to stop you!
May: So we either save Coulson… Yo-Yo: Or we save the world.

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