Inside Voices kept things interesting on Agents of SHIELD. The writers typically have the team on the same page, but it’s always fascinating when there’s some fractures within this otherwise tight unit.
Coulson was still Hale’s prisoner. Now that he wasn’t signing on to Daisy being the Destroyer of Worlds, Hale has given up the pretense of playing nice. To ensure Ruby would be fine in her new assignment, Hale tests her gravitonium sample…on Crusher Creel. I will always prefer dumb bully Creel over the show’s more nuanced take, but this episode made their version work really well. Since he can absorb anything, Creel got some of the gravitonium’s memories. In this case, Dr. Francis Hall who’d previously been sucked in. Inside Voice’s stinger also reveals that Raina suckered Ian Quinn into getting absorbed as well. Creel isn’t going crazy — he really does have voices in his head.
All of this led to Creel deciding to test Coulson’s theory that Talbot was also an unwitting prisoner in Hale’s clutches. It’s nice to see Creel has some loyalty to someone. Creel helps Coulson and Talbot escape and even resuscitates Coulson after his heart conks out mid-fight. I’m so glad Talbot didn’t get stuck with that lousy presumed death as he’s one of the show’s best supporting characters. While Talbot and Coulson escape via Hale’s teleportation device, Creel stays behind to keep Ruby off their trail. While Ruby has sliced and diced most opponents, she fought Creel to a standstill, which was appreciated. Creel isn’t the kind of character who should get beat by someone getting angrier.
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Elena was working out her new robo-arms and gradually got sucked into the Fitz/Simmons drama. Mack is on his Captain Save’Em mindset again and doesn’t want her to get hurt. Elena would have so much more room to stand on if she didn’t get her arms chopped off.
‘Deke is your grandson? Wow, I’m sorry?’ nothing was touching Elena for line of the episode with that one. I love how Deke is starting to get the Jar Jar Binks treatment from everyone. Mack isn’t down for her plan to release Fitz, so she resorts to teaming with Gemma on a game of Russian Roulette with water and acid. This was a pretty ballsy move and plays in nicely to this ‘we can’t die’ mindset of the futurists Elena, Fitz and Simmons. For his trouble, Mack gets whoosed into Fitz’s cell. I mean to quibble here — how could Elena move fast enough to get Mack into a prison cell, but not fast enough to avoid Ruby’s arm slicing discs of death??
In the third main subplot, Daisy is struggling to find the right balance as the acting leader. May warns her to dial it back some especially since Daisy is going to pull out May’s sole trigger card — Robin — in trying to find Coulson’s whereabouts. Robin’s arc has become so much more interesting now that the team is back in their proper time. It gives a far greater context to these conversations with Robin.
She greets May as mommy and reminds her she told May that Flint would get them back home. Robin’s powers set up some really intriguing storytelling potential now. Those plans likely won’t include her actual mother, who is keenly aware she’s not in a lot of the future drawings. Give the woman credit for reading the drawings on the wall.
Robin proves useful once again as she comes up with the general location of Coulson and Talbot, who’ve teleported onto a mountain. Provided they don’t freeze to death, they just might be reunited with Daisy, May and the others. But who will get to them first? Elena, Fitz/Simmons; Daisy and May or Ruby and her death squad?
Inside Voices kept SHIELD rolling and the search for Coulson should make for a fun next episode.
Rating: 8 out of 10
Photo Credit: ABC