Monday, April 11, 2016

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 3x15 Recap: "Spacetime" (Fight The Future) [Contributor: Alice Walker]

Original Airdate: April 5, 2016

When a homeless Inhuman's powers give Daisy a glimpse into a dark future, she and the team rally to try and change fate. It's an ambitious endeavor, and one that brings out the more stereotypical elements of the team. But before we can look at changing fate, let's back up and look at this vision.

A 911 call that name-checks Daisy Johnson brings the team to Charles Hinton, a brand new Inhuman whose touch gives people visions. Not just visions of the future (a la Raina) but visions of death. Grim stuff, but hey, it makes for good TV. Daisy is able to snag him just as HYDRA helicopter lifts him away (which is officially my new dream exit from work). Flashes of a terrible future appear: a knock-down-drag-out fight, Coulson shooting Daisy, FitzSimmons holding hands in the snow, and Lincoln covered in blood (that last one is really not so bad). No matter what's happening here, it has "bad time" written all over it, and Coulson is all for leaving this way alone. But Daisy — now so confident in her powers she is willing to stop time itself — feels she was meant to see this man, meant to save him. They called her name, you see.

What ensues is by-the-numbers examination of fate versus free will. Choice versus divine intervention. Fitz, ever the scientist, explains that time is time and cannot be changed no matter what — in fact, time is just a concept we created to grapple with the more unknowable parts of the universe. But Daisy isn't having it and Coulson is a pragmatist: if Daisy stays at the base, the future will be changed. May is assigned to go in her place, and there is no force in the universe that could stop her from her mission.

Except fate or coincidence — depending on where you fall on the Fitz/Lincoln scale — has other ideas and in walks former dreamboat Dr. Andrew Garner. All of May and Jemma's searching was pointless. He's come to say goodbye to May before Lash takes over for good. Andrew calling May’s name is the one thing that would deter her from a mission. She stays behind for a Hail Mary pass, waiting to see if the Inhuman vaccine will work on him. To no one’s surprise, it doesn't, and their goodbye is bittersweet and sad: a fitting end to a monstrous evolution. Lash is back on the scene full-time now — and we have yet to unravel the mystery of why he feels compelled to snuff our Inhuman life (coming soon, to an Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. near you).

So Daisy ventures off to the building where HYDRA has Charles and we see her vision play out in real time. As with most future-visions, context is everything: Coulson wasn't shooting her, he was shooting at the HYDRA agents behind a two-way mirror. Lincoln was covered in blood, but that was due to a fire extinguisher shot to the head. Daisy almost stops them, but is taken down by Malick, who is reaping the rewards of rescuing Death and rocking an exoskeleton that would make Deathlock jealous. He proceeds to beat the stuffing out of her, reminding both Daisy and audience that just because she has control of her powers doesn't make her invincible.

He's stopped by Charles, who gives Malick a new vision. We don't yet know what it is (his own death perhaps?), but it's enough to shake the cocky CEO and have him call for his security Inhuman. He might need to find a new bodyguard since this one is bosom buddies with Ward/HIVE/Neo, who is rocking a trenchcoat and plotting something seriously dastardly.

In the midst of all the action there was a quick, pigeonholed moment where Coulson and FitzSimmons realize the man Malick is working for is none other than Grant Ward. This was the most off-key note in the entire episode as this revelation was met with a blink and a shrug. This is a man — a former friend – who Coulson crushed to death and left on another planet. Now he's back and they've already figured out he is a possessed alien? That is quite a recovery, even for an experienced S.H.I.E.L.D. agent. The reveal has been teased since the long mid-season break, and it deserved more attention then it got. This will be explored in greater detail next week, so let's hope the team has a better reaction then Coulson and Fitz.

Highlights and lowlights:
  • We see more flashes of Lincoln’s loyalty and protectiveness for Daisy when he warns Coulson from shooting her. Countdown to his going evil starts now.
  • I like it when Coulson calls Daisy "Skye." It adds warmth and layers to their conversations, and keeps history alive
  • Daisy is now sworn to protect Charles' daughter Robin, which smacks of a comic book tie-in. 
  • "I wouldn't change a thing. You're still the center of the best moments of my life." Man, this show has really perfected the bittersweet goodbye 
  • Another shot of that bloody spaceship, which officially ups the odds that Yo-Yo is not long for this world 
  • FitzSimmons’ casual reaction to Daisy's vision possibly being of her own death felt wrong. Would they really not try and help her? Why is everyone under-reacting to things this week? 
  • An entirely Mack-less episode! You get one, S.H.I.E.L.D. Let's not do that again.

1 comment:

  1. I too was very upset about no Mack, but if you remember that he was injured in the last episode then it kind of makes sense.
    I did wonder why there was such an under-reaction to the Ward/Hive reveal. I mean, they've been building up to it since the mid-series finale! And both Fitz and Simmons had personal interactions with Hive that weren't so pleasant, so why wouldn't they react more?