AGENTS OF SHIELD Season 5 Episode 12 Review: Seeds

We’re here! This is it! The 100th episode of AGENTS OF SHIELD. We’ve come a long way since episode one, five years ago. It was fun to see, as the episode opened, all the different title cards the series has used over the years. That said, that was really the only bit of looking back we got from the episode.

The episode opens almost directly after the explosion at the end of last week’s episode. We’ll get to that in a moment. But because the explosion happened near not one, but three monoliths, it tore a hole in space time, allowing energy from a “fear dimension” to leak out into the base. 

Fitz figured out a way to close the gap, but it involves someone going down right near the tear itself. The odds of surviving that one wouldn’t be good. Naturally, our fearless leader Coulson volunteers. It soon becomes apparent that Coulson is weak, and that he might not be long for this world. In the middle of arguing with Daisy, Coulson collapses. 

Here’s where things got weird. I wasn’t sure if it was an editing mistake or what, but for Coulson to go from unconscious to walking around and planning his mission in the span of a commercial break was jarring. It wasn’t until Simmons came into the briefing room that I realized we’d jumped a few minutes or something. 

But yes, this is where we find out what the Ghost Rider wanted from Coulson. Turns out it was whatever “alien ju-ju” brought Coulson back from the dead. I like the idea of the Ghost Rider being highly against anyone getting a second chance at life, so that would naturally include Coulson. The moment was handled with an appropriate amount of emotion. Everyone was very upset, May and Daisy most of all. It made sense for them to be so pissed at him. Someone of that magnitude shouldn’t be kept from people. 

Despite this revelation, there was still a job to do. The fear dimension had to be closed. The energy was spreading, creating illusions so strong that they could kill. I assumed that throughout the episode we would see everyone’s fear, one at a time. It would allow them to bring back old characters and have people deal with old wounds. Instead, people’s worst fears, such as Hive or Lash, were passed over with nothing more than a single bullet. Considering how powerful some of these characters were, it seems a disservice. 

In reality, the only fear that was truly focused on was Coulson’s. As it turns out, Coulson’s biggest fear is not someone like Ward – who I’m surprised didn’t make a single appearance – but something much larger. As Deathlok appeared to him as Mike Peterson, we learned that Coulson’s biggest fear is that he’s been dead all along. That he’s still on the table, dying after being stabbed by Loki. 

It’s a valid fear to have, I imagine, for someone who was already dead once. That your entire life is all a massive dream as you attempt to reconcile what’s happening to you. Obviously, that was never going to be the case. But it allowed Coulson to double down on his convictions and the people in his life. It was a rousing moment, but I felt it lacked the punch something like a 100th episode needs. 

This episode was so focused on Coulson that it left everyone else behind. More than Coulson, all of the other characters have evolved. They’ve grown and changed. Remember when May was stoic and kind of an asshole? She might still be kind of an asshole but she’s softened quite a bit. Daisy used to be called Skye. Fitz and Simmons used to be super nerds who were unbearable when they where in the same room. These characters have come far and for them to be left behind in lieu of a single character is a disservice the show. 

At the very least we got a wedding. Finally, as the episode came to a close, Fitz and Simmons finally got married. It was a nice, happy change of pace for the characters. One well deserved for those two, who have spanned time and space – both literally – to stay together. We also learned here that Deke, as people thought, was their grandchild. I’m not really sure what this is supposed to add but I guess it explains Deke’s purpose in all of this. 

Lastly, I thought, initially, that this explosion was meant to help the military track SHIELD’s location. Yet they seem none the wiser. The reason they showed up at the town was because the cop thought he recognized Daisy. So why bother with the bomb then? It seemed like a total waste of a plan. 

I still have to wonder what the final arc of AGENTS OF SHIELD is supposed to be. I imagine that they will still be attempting to stop the future they came back from, all the while dealing with the military on their backs. I can only hope that this leads to a great and powerful tie-in with AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR, which looms ever closer as AGENTS OF SHIELD comes to its likely conclusion.

Written by Peter Freeman, AGENTS OF SHIELD Beat Writer

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