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Agents of SHIELD - The One Who Will Save Us All - Review

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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. “The One Who Will Save Us All” was written by Brent Fletcher and was directed by Cherie Gierhart. This is actually Gierhart’s first time directing. She appeared on the show as an ‘Agent’ in “BOOM” and was second unit director for one episode of Inhumans. I suspect that she is related to Billy Gierhart (who has directed many S.H.I.E.L.D. episodes, including “BOOM”). A big shout out to Adrian Pasdar for a terrific performance – I love him and Clark Gregg together. I really liked how Infinity War was woven into the episode, but I think it’s going to be harder to ignore the events on earth – unless the team is about to go after Daisy…

The episode picks up where we left off – with Talbot (Adrian Pasdar) taking Coulson (Clark Gregg) up to the alien ship. They are greeted them as prisoners of the Remorath. Talbot keeps assuring Coulson that he can fix things. Coulson remains unconvinced – and worried.

Back at the Lighthouse, the team tries to figure out what’s happened. Talbot has absorbed all of the gravitonium, and just a little bit drove Ruby (Dove Cameron) insane. Yo-Yo (Natalia Cordova-Buckley) points out that Ruby wasn’t all that stable to begin with – but Talbot has a brain injury! Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) points out that it’s almost a given that Talbot will suffer a major psychotic break.

Mack (Henry Simmons) goes to make sure that all the Remorath have been neutralized – and of course there’s one that isn’t – and to make matters worse he downs a vial of odium. It’s pretty amazing that Mack can take a punch from a guy who can punch through a concrete wall… moving on. May (Ming-Na Wen) stops Mack from killing the guy because they need to be able to interrogate him.

Qovas takes his ship out of Earth’s atmosphere, but Talbot is still not worried. Coulson asks why Talbot took the gravitonium. Talbot isn’t having a problem with Hall and Quinn – they just needed a General to keep them in line! Coulson is also concerned with how quickly Talbot has gotten a handle on his powers. But Talbot feels fine – and has his best wingman with him. He also compliments Coulson as one of the two best military minds on Earth!

They are brought to Qovas (Peter Mensah). Coulson asks Talbot to let him take the lead. He tells Qovas that they’re there to negotiate a deal with Earth. Qovas brings up his deal with Hydra, and Coulson tells him that Hydra doesn’t really speak for anyone. Qovas isn’t ready to deal until Talbot steps in and tells Qovas that this is his ship – and crushes one of his guards effortlessly to prove it. He then makes Qovas kneel before him. Coulson begins to worry more – maybe not the best negotiating tactics.

Yo-Yo checks in on Mack who pushes her away to go help with the interrogation. May asks why the prisoner is so much more rabid than the others, and Mack recognizes the odium from Kassius having taken it. Simmons remarks it must give them some kind of energy boost – and that got me thinking that this might be something that could help keep Coulson alive! Of course, the odium kills the Remorath. Mack’s remark that God wouldn’t want you to drink it really made me think that this would be a moral dilemma for Coulson – and therefore, another reason the show might go that route.

Simmons is not happy when the others want her to open up the Remorath. I loved the looks between May, Mack and Simmons.

Talbot is determined that he’s going to save the world. First we establish dominance and then we dictate terms. We get the first inkling that Coulson may be in trouble when Talbot tells him not to contradict him. Coulson is a master at negotiating – and dealing with fragile egos. He gently nudges Talbot to looking at the “big picture,” but it seems like it may be too late.

Qovas tells them they will have to answer to the Confederacy, as Hydra did. Coulson goes to see Hale (Catherine Dent), who thinks he’s a prisoner. She tells him that without Ruby, she had nothing. Coulson tells her that he’s sorry for her loss. Hale opens up to him about her anger and disappointment. She was trying to make it better for Ruby, but in the end she failed her and Ruby died for nothing. Dent is really great in this scene. Coulson asks for her help. Hale thinks that it was Daisy who got in the machine.

Hale steps in to give them information on the Confederacy when Qovas stonewalls them. Talbot is furious with her, and she apologizes. She reminds him that the earth is in terrible danger and he’s the only one who can save us all. Hale also tells them that the deal with the Confederacy was protection in exchange for resources – Inhumans and gravitonium above all – because its power is unlimited.

Talbot decides it’s time talk to the Confederacy. Qovas insists that it’s a ceremony – and Talbot tells him to bring him up to speed on the protocol. Quovas insists that they have nothing to bring to the negotiating table, and Coulson tells him they have the gravitonium - Talbot!

Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) is finally impressed by Deke (Jeff Ward) who gets the computers up and running in record time. I loved Fitz trying to high-five him and Deke shoving his hand down and telling him it isn’t cool – just like any kid to a parent or grandparent who are out of the loop! Deke points out that he’s not an Agent and wonders why he’s still hanging around – oh gee, I wonder! Fitz points out that he does have family there, and Deke – quite hurtfully, just dismisses that as the reason.

When Daisy (Chloe Bennet) finally makes contact, Deke fills her in, but Yo-Yo meets her when she lands. Yo-Yo calls Daisy on her lie about where she was – and the fact that the rules don’t apply to Daisy. I know a lot of people are down on Yo-Yo right now, but she’s not wrong here. When can digging up your mother’s bones ever end well? The two fight and are only stopped by May. May gives Yo-Yo a choice – help or leave.

Talbot gets a new look – and it really is pretty cool. He’s determined to go to the negotiations alone, and it’s clear that he’s slipping further away from what makes him Talbot when he snaps at Coulson.

The Confederacy is not happy to see Talbot, who introduces himself as Earth’s Mightiest Hero. Yep. The gravitonium has definitely gone to his head. Estella (Nayo Wallace) is particularly skeptical about Talbot’s claims about the gravitonium. They also tell Talbot that they’ve only ever had 6 members – there’s no room for Talbot. Estella tells Talbot that they are a democracy and all voices are equal when he demands to talk to their leader. It’s hilarious – and appropriate – that Talbot comes out as a Republican… Taryan (Craig Parker – who was amazing in Reign, so I was thrilled to see him here!) helpfully tells Talbot that Crixon (Gabriel Hogan) is often considered the “most wise.”

Crixon steps forward and tells Talbot there is no room for a human at the table. Talbot tells him that his mistake is thinking that he’s still human. And then, instead of pretzeling Crixon, Talbot absorbs him. Which is both horrifying and actually pretty smart because now he should know everything that Crixon knows. Of course, adding more voices to the inside of his head might not be quite so smart. The end result is an empty space at the table.

Deke goes to check on Daisy. It’s hilarious that she’s creeped out by the lemons on her bed – which Deke puts off on Fitz! Deke muses that he escaped the Lighthouse in the future only to be trapped in it now. Daisy gives him some hope when she tells him she’s glad he stuck around. When he suggests that they’ve gotten closer, however, she completely pushes him away. Everyone who gets close to her dies – and Deke says that’s something they have in common! But then Daisy mentions Lincoln – the first Inhuman that she got close to and who died for her. She admits that she’s still in love with him. How can Deke compete with any of that! She tells Deke that that’s why she can’t lose Coulson – he’s closer to her than anyone.

Deke reassures her that they’ll find a way to save him, and then Daisy realizes that Deke had come to tell her something. Rather than tell her about his feelings, he tells her that Fitz and Simmons are his grandparents. Daisy isn’t shocked – it makes sense! And she then says he and Fitz are so much alike… “such special people” – and everyone knows that’s not code for a compliment. Ward is terrific in this scene as he hides his pain at Daisy being completely oblivious to his feelings.

Fitz and Mack work on the gravitonium engine. And it’s exactly the same one Fitz and Simmons saw in the future. Fitz tries to apologize to Mack for locking him up. Fitz tells him he didn’t actually know, but Mack points out that Fitz went along with it. Fitz tries to tell him that they were trying to get ahead of the problem – and it’s clear that Mack is holding Fitz at least partially responsible for Yo-Yo killing Ruby – something he knows fundamentally changes her.

Mack sees things fundamentally different from Fitz. Fitz insists that things aren’t that simple, but Mack tells him that how you live a good life is simple. It’s doing the right thing – according to the good word – every time. Fitz points out that there are many instance in history where it was necessary to sacrifice the lives of a few to save the many. Mack sees that as an excuse for Fitz for his own actions. Fitz thinks that Mack just doesn’t see the whole picture. I hated to see this rift between the two of them. Mack finishes there conversation by telling Fitz that what’s inside of Fitz needs fixing.

Daisy brings the centipede to Simmons as she’s doing the autopsy on the Remorath. She’s looking at the exploding heart (yes, I know, all kinds of Marvel universe references here!) and Simmons remarks on it being macabre – and then Daisy tells her that the necessary secret ingredient to save Coulson is Daisy’s mother’s DNA – now THAT is macabre. Simmons suggests that they may be crossing a line – do ya think??? Daisy, of course, is full steam ahead. This scene was a nice parallel to the Mack/Fitz conversation that preceded it. Simmons brings up the moral issues, and Daisy dismisses them. She sees it as simple: Is Simmons willing to let Coulson die?

Deke joins May, Daisy, and Davis (Maximilian Osinski) on the mission to the Remorath ship.

We learn that Taryan is Kassius’ father. He slimes his way next to Talbot. Taryan and Qovas turn the conversation to the events in Infinity War. It’s kind of hilarious when they suggest those events have a much greater impact than anything the Confederacy could do! LOL! The biggest box office ever (pretty much) against S.H.I.E.L.D.’s unexplainably low tv ratings – a sad but clever reference writers! Taryan also tells Talbot that the Confederacy had never intended on honoring their deal with Hydra. In fact, they couldn’t honor their deal.

Talbot is eager to get down and join the Avengers in fighting Thanos, but Taryan tells him that he’ll lose against Thanos. Taryan, however, seems to have some kind of plan… which will no doubt be completely self-serving.

Hale and Coulson have a nice scene as they wait for Talbot to get back. Hale at least finally gets to see Earth from space. She clearly regrets her career choices. Talbot returns and tells them about Thanos. He tells them that the Confederacy can’t help against Thanos. Coulson is eager to get back. And then Talbot tells them what Taryan suggested. There are untapped deposits of gravitonim UNDER the earth – if they get it out, they can make him invincible – there’s that word again! It’s clearly never good! And is this how the earth gets cracked apart? Sure seems likely…

Talbot clearly has been jealous of Coulson all along when he says that he can now be the shield! Coulson tries to warn Talbot about Kassius, and Talbot brings up all the times that Coulson played him in the past. Qovas accuses Coulson of lying – Kassius is the most noble house in the galaxy! And suddenly Talbot is more willing to trust these new “allies” over Coulson. He gives him an ultimatum – he’s either with him or against him – seems like we’ve had a lot of these this episode. Coulson tells him that he’s with Talbot, and Talbot tells him to kneel. Talbot starts to crush Coulson to demonstrate his power, and Coulson kneels.

The team works together to get the Zephyr into space. Yo-Yo and Mack exchange a tight smile. Has she made her decision? Will Mack give her another chance? Simmons and Fitz watch from the lab. Fitz would rather be in the command center but knows he’s not welcome there right now. Fitz and Simmons discuss the viability of using Jiaying’s DNA for her regenerative properties. Fitz asks if she thinks it’s a good idea, and Simmons answers that the less they think about it, the better. May and Daisy prepare to go in as a strike team.

Talbot gets Quinn to tell him where he first found gravitonium. Talbot knows that the Zephyr has cloaking, so knows it’s them when they dock. Talbot is furious with Coulson, accusing him of knowing that they were coming to take his ship. Talbot asks Hale if she knew, and she seems to sell him out by saying she told him not to do it. Coulson tries to convince Talbot that he’s not lying, that S.H.I.E.L.D. is not his enemy. But Talbot doesn’t believe him.

Daisy and May come in and try to convince Talbot that they’re there to save him, but he uses his power to levitate Coulson, telling Daisy that he dies if she quakes. Hale steps forward to defend Daisy, saying she trusts her! Clearly, they bonded over Ruby. Daisy kept her word when Ruby was “infected.” Talbot takes offense at the word “infected” and throws shade on Ruby – the gravitonium wasn’t meant for her, it was meant for a hero, like him. That finally gets Hale angry and she tries to use the Hydra brainwashing to make Talbot comply.

It looks like it’s working, and then Talbot crushes Hale. Daisy then tries to quake Talbot in retaliation while he’s distracted, and she’s no match for the gravitonium. May actually has brought a gun – but she surrenders when Talbot threatens to kill Coulson. He has them taken as prisoners of war and declares that Coulson was always the enemy.

In the final scene, we see that Taryan has taken possession of Daisy. It certainly looks like she is not going to be the one to destroy the world…

I thought this was a reasonably fast-paced episode. I hope we get the entire team back on the same page in the next episode though. Will the team go off in space after Daisy? Will we get any more links to Infinity War? What did you think of the episode? What are your thoughts on the end of the season if this is the last season? With only two more episodes to go, and the last episode title of “The End,” it’s making me nervous… Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Some favorite lines:

Talbot: You and I are going to show these ETs whose boss.

Couslon: Really wish you’d stop saying that.

Mack: Not this again.

Coulson: I feel like we’re seeing this adventure a little differently.

Coulson: You skipped the tutorial and went straight to Big Boss level.

Mack: It’s not the first creepy crawler I’ve had to go toe to toe with.

Simmons: I really wish we could happen upon some non-slave-trading aliens.

May: Of course it would have a dumb name.

Mack: God definitely doesn’t want you drinking that garbage.

Coulson: Seems there’s been a development with your Destroyer of Worlds project. Turns out it’s a go.

Coulson: Actually, it was someone a little more out of the box.

Coulson: Couldn’t you just find a fun game on your phone instead?

Deke: What are you doing? Fitz: It’s a thing people do to celebrate! Deke: Not cool people!

May: We’re going to help Coulson. Either find a way to pitch in or don’t be here when we get back.

Talbot: How do I look? Coulson: Pretty cool actually.

Talbot: Anybody here disobeys an order, you’ll suffer the same pretzel-logic your friend did earlier. Alright Chuckles, lets hit it.

Mack: When does killing become the only way? We’re S.H.I.E.L.D. We’re supposed to be better than that.

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