Three episodes into Season 5 of Agents of SHIELD and it’s starting to feel like a slog. I was willing to give the SHIELD in space subplot time to play out, but so far Season 5 is still struggling to find its way. A Life Spent continued that theme while the team slowly tries to figure out their plan.
Granted, this isn’t something Coulson’s seen every day, but overall the team doesn’t have much direction right now. Coulson, Mack and Yo-Yo are working off their debt to Grill; Daisy is freely running around and Simmons has not managed to decipher lip reading.
I’m not loving the whole indentured servant tone of Coulson’s subplot and writers Lilla and Nora Zuckerman seemed to carelessly throw out the line where Grill tells the team’s one black man that he owns him. As far as bad looks go, that was pretty awful. Maybe the show’s black writers weren’t around that day…
Coulson discovers Virgil’s secret radio prompting them to convince Tess to take a joyride to find the source. Grill is suspicious and sends his main henchman Zev to join them. The most frustrating aspect of A Life Spent is how Coulson and crew just presume things will work out. There’s little planning and their desperation for more information is making them reckless.
The best part of the episode was Yo-Yo setting Zev up by planting a gun on him. Mack wasn’t too happy about that, which will cause some strain later for them. But it’s not like the team had any other options. Zev was going to rat them out and they were going to be imprisoned or worse. It’s not like they owe Zev any loyalty. Earning a momentary distrust reprieve, we see the scene with Coulson that ended last season. That seemed kinda randomly thrown in and didn’t amount to much after all.
Maybe it’s because we just finished watching a season devoted entirely to them, but I’m kinda over Inhumans in general. Simmons helping young Abby (Ciara Bravo) control her powers only to horrified as she’s thrown in a gladiator battle was a nice twist, but the Inhumans power learning curve subplot feels played out. Overall, Simmons silence or be silenced subplot is coming off flat. Kasius lacks the presence of other main villains and Sinara has a neat killer ball gimmick, but that’s it.
I loved the Heroes Reborn Easter Egg by having Rya Kihlstedt playing Kasius’ superior. Kihlstedt played Eve Harlow’s mother in Heroes Reborn. On SHIELD, they’ll be on opposite sides again.
Daisy continues to make a ruckus and disregarding the status quo as she tries to find Simmons. Not too surprisingly, she ends up fighting a pair of Kree soldiers before getting gassed by Kasius.
This ends in a way to suggest Deke sold Daisy out, but his playing the long game comment likely means he’s still trying to help her. Of course, from Deke’s perspective what does he really have to gain by helping these SHIELD troublemakers? If anything, Deke would lose a lot more in helping these wild cards out.
That’s a bigger issue with this season so far. For spies, SHIELD has drawn way too much attention to themselves and are creating their own problems. The villains are mostly oblivious to them and SHIELD is working overtime to get on their radar.
A Life Spent didn’t restore much faith in the direction of the season so far. Hopefully something will develop to rekindle my interest.
Rating: 7 out of 10
Photo Credit: ABC