AGENTS OF SHIELD Season 5 Premiere Review

It was a big week for AGENTS OF SHIELD. Back for its fifth season with a two-hour premiere, SHIELD had a lot of ground to cover. At the very end of last season, we found Coulson in space. At the opening of this season, we rewind to day they get taken. We see an alien dressed in his favorite skin suit getting ready for work, taking a shower, and getting ready to lead a squad into the diner where Coulson and company are celebrating their latest victory. 

Important context for this moment, which is only mentioned once, is that the AGENTS OF SHIELD were preparing to get arrested for aiding and abetting Inhumans after the attack on General Talbott. So their diner celebration was about to be cut short no matter what. 

The crew is rounded up and taken to… somewhere. It’s a room and in it is another monolith! Surprise! This one is tan colored and had red markings on it. It instantly liquefies and sucks them up. From here we get a series of scenes where each of the crew appears in this space station. 

I’m not sure how I feel about there being another monolith. It’d been two seasons since we saw a monolith last and that was a huge deal. The idea of there being more than one kind of nullifies the importance of the original monolith. So this begs several questions: where does this monolith come from? Where was it all this time? Is it a Kree invention? Why can it move through time and space? 

Anyway, it isn’t long after Coulson arrives that he meets Virgil. He’s the man with all the answers. He’s the one who expected Coulson and his team to come through the portal. So I guess he knew about the monolith? And the time travel? So much doesn’t make sense about what’s going on. Yet before Virgil can answer much of anything, he’s killed by an alien bug. Figures, right? Alongside the monolith, this was another frustrating aspect of tonight’s episode. Why dangle the carrot so close in front of us, only to rip it away? It would have been cleaner to just present the mystery of where, what, and when without Virgil. It isn’t long before the rest of the group are warped in. Some in better places than others. Mack winds up with Coulson while Yo-Yo and Simmons found themselves a bunch of dead bodies. May on the other hand, materialized with a pole through her leg. That was easily one of the more uncomfortable scenes in the episode, I can only imagine how painful that was. 

It’s with May that we find our next character. If he looks familiar it’s because he’s basically our budget version of Star Lord. It was pretty neat to see May continue to kick ass even though she was so injured. It’s hard to put a stop to her, that’s for sure. Turns out though that our budget Star Lord – Deke – doesn’t know anything. He was only hired to hide some people from the Kree by Virgil. 

So everyone is in the dark and no one has any clue what’s going on. At least by the end of the first part, it becomes clear that not only did the monolith move them through space, but time as well. No one is sure exactly how far they went, but they’re still near earth, just far after its destruction. That’s where we’re left at the end of part one. 

It’s worth noting that all but one of our cast were taken by these people. Fitz, for reasons unknown, was left behind. I can’t tell yet if this was some behind the scenes thing, where the actor was working on another project and simply couldn’t make it. It’s possible that when we come back next week, we’ll get an idea of what Fitz’s storyline is. Or, it won’t be until this storyline is over that we see Fitz again. Either way, it’s very strange. 

In Part 2, we’re given a larger look at how things run on this space station. The Kree have taken control of the last night remnants of humanity. The whole thing is set up as a giant science experiment, squeezing them as tight as they can until they explode. I’m still not sure what the purpose of it all is, but I assume we’ll get there soon. 

It’s in this episode that we get a look at the new characters that will be joining us on this first half of the season. There’s Tess, the engineer, pilot, salvager, and someone who is in deep debt to this man named Grill. This guy, just by the looks of him, you could tell was trouble. So, on top of all the problems and mysteries Coulson and co have, they have this. This storyline felt cheap and cliché. I know that the team was desperate, but come on. There was enough on their plate already. 

The truly interesting storyline is Simmons’. After saving the life of the one of the chosen humans to live among the Kree, she gets taken to Cassius, the Kree leader. This space station is his domain. He chooses certain humans to live among him as a representation of perfection. Simmons impresses him with her knowledge and medical skills. So he decides to bring her into his inner circle. He gives her this alien life form that makes her deaf with the exception of anything Cassius says. It’s a fascinating direction to take Simmons. I feel like she’s usually given the most interesting story lines as it is so I’m excited to see where this goes.

Written by Peter Freeman, AGENTS OF SHIELD Beat Writer

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