This week marked a significant departure from the traditional storytelling of Agents of SHIELD as the team attempted to stop the future and failing completely. The third season hasn’t shied away from taking riskier chances and more impressively, they keep paying off. Spacetime was another fun and creative episode that proves AOS still has several surprises left for viewers this season.
I love stories about time travel and efforts to affect the future — Looper (+ UltraViolet Digital Copy) [Blu-ray] is one of my favorite recent films — so this week’s episode was right in my wheelhouse.
SHIELD was called in to respond to a storeowner asking for Daisy Johnson. A homeless man named Charlie touched the storeowner and showed him the future and his death. Daisy made contact with Charlie and she saw equally horrifying visions just before Hydra nabbed him with their Giant Claw. Hydra pilots must train on those arcade claw machines non-stop.
Daisy naturally took the visions to mean she was supposed to save Charlie even if it put her at great risk. There was some strong team dynamics at play this episode. Fitz was adamant there was no changing the future no matter how much they tried to prevent the inevitable. I liked this more serious side of Fitz as he got to be a strictly scientist instead of the goofy and awkward comic relief. I loved Coulson’s simple resolution to the issue — bench Daisy and let May handle it.
May’s training for the scenario was a fun segment as it was a rare SHIELD training session focused on one mission — not to setup long expository scenes. The plan was a go until Andrew popped up. He was afraid Lash was about to take over for good and he wanted to say his farewell to May.
Daisy arrived at the building in her vision ready to save Charlie. Evil Ward, Mr. Giyera and Gideon Malick were already there as Malick just got his hands on a fancy exoskeleton to give him the equivalent of super powers. Almost immediately, Daisy’s vision flashes started come to fruition in unexpected fashion. Daisy’s first encounter with powered-up Malick was a great scene and felt far more like the final scene in a SHIELD movie than just a standard episode.
Charlie touched Malick, who presumably saw his fate, which provided Daisy enough of a distraction to temporarily take him out. Charlie had a fairly tragic story arc — he had to avoid physical contact else he would reveal a forthcoming tragedy. Daisy has solidly been on the side that every Inhumans’ power was a gift, but through Charlie it appeared she finally saw how the gift could also be a curse.
And when he touched Daisy, she saw that mysterious space explosion we saw earlier this season suggesting Daisy is at least on the doomed shuttle. But we know the show wouldn’t be so bold as to kill off its lead character, don’t we?
In the post-Inhumans era on the show, the writers have done a much better job of giving the spy thriller and super-powered equal time. That’s going to remain important especially with Bobbi and Hunter off the team as AOS doesn’t need to turn into Daisy and her Amazing Inhuman Friends.
As much as I want something to make me invested, the Hydra subplot feels like it’s going nowhere. What once was a strength of the series — an evil mirror version of the heroic spy group — is now just Malick and Not Ward posturing and being menacing.
Malick’s end game of simply wanting more power feels too uninspired. This is a guy who the president is leery of crossing and he wants more power to do … what exactly? It seems clear the season will culminate in a Lash vs Alien Ward battle and SHIELD vs Malick’s Hydra remnants, but I wish I was more invested in Hydra’s agenda this late in the season.
Rating: 9 out of 10
AOS keeps finding exciting avenues to explore and this was another great episode. The show is on a creative roll right now and it doesn’t appear the ride will be over anytime soon.
Photo Credit: ABC