This review contains spoilers for Agents of SHIELD.
Agents of SHIELD Season 6 Episode 9
What a cathartic episode of Agents of SHIELD this was! Because “Collision Course” was a two parter, there definitely was the expectation the conclusion would at least bring the team back together, but the illusion of an actual solution to the overall problem is what really makes this episode shine. Daisy shatters the shrike, but are the creatures gone? Jaco blows up Izel’s ship, but is she dead? May shoots Sarge in the face, but is that really going to end his mystery? Even though we know we’re being lulled into a false sense of security (there are, after all, four episodes left), we bask in the comfort of the celebration at the end of this episode.
Part of this relief comes from the reconciliation between Mack and Yoyo. Although their breakup happened off-screen before the season began, Mack’s reasoning for keeping his distance seemed sound, and Yoyo’s cold demeanor felt like more of a reaction to Keller’s death than a response to Mack’s treatment. However, when he tells her he didn’t worry about her once when they were trapped on the bridge of the Zephyr without her, it becomes clear that he didn’t need to protect her from the pitfalls of being in a relationship with the boss. He trusted Keller and Yoyo to keep it professional; he should have trusted himself as well and most definitely her. His apology was pitch perfect, and their makeup kiss was heartwarming.
Yoyo also showed excellent judge of character when she decided to flip Jaco to SHIELD’s side instead of disabling him altogether. The earlier conversation about being the runt of his family and a baker by trade had already softened us to this gentle giant, but his unwavering trust in Sarge made him seemingly incapable of betrayal. However, his loyalty to his own team members, the ones Sarge was willing to sacrifice, was beautifully framed by his clarification that the “no on slows us down” adage is only something Sarge says, not something he believes. His use of the red-circle portal in the end provided both a brilliant escape and a poignant moment of sacrifice that we should have seen coming but somehow didn’t.
Snowflake might not be able to claim that she’s likable the way Jaco did with Simmons, but her bond with Deke is starting to seem more and more genuine (anyone spot the hickies?), which makes Deke’s continued egotistical flirtation with Daisy even more ridiculous. However, Daisy should be equally praised both for encouraging Deke as he tries and fails to defuse the bomb and for insisting that Snowflake be imprisoned for basically being a psychopathic killer no matter how nice she may be. It is admittedly very odd that Snow may be the sole surviving member of Sarge’s team, so it will be interesting to see what Agents of SHIELD does with her moving forward.
That’s, of course, if you believe that Sarge is actually dead. Yes, he took several gunshots to the chest and presumably one to the head, but there’s still the mystery of who or what he is. We hear once again that Izel took his family as well as his remembrance of them, but she also talks about those memories never being real in the first place and refers pointedly to “the skin you’re wearing.” Sarge may throw a very human tantrum when his bomb fails to go off, but his humanity could be even more questionable than the many human-like aliens we’ve encountered thus far, such as Mr. Kitson, the fire-breathing Jaco, or the entire crew of Izel’s ship. Is it possible that Sarge’s death may merely reveal his true nature?
Izel may have more tricks up her sleeve as well. Sarge mentioned that she vanished mysteriously during the battle on Chronica-2, and we clearly saw that Agent Davis and Jaco were unable to flank her on the bridge of the ship before it was destroyed. If anything, Davis’ weariness at the celebration raises a few eyebrows despite Piper making light of the situation by referring to his exhausting home life and taking prank selfies. Did something happen to Davis before he met up with Jaco? Is the ancient Incan goddess hitching her own ride inside someone else’s skin? A crackpot theory, perhaps, but something to think about.
Meanwhile, Daisy should get extra bonus points this week for not only cushioning the fall of Sarge’s atom bomb with her quake powers but also for using those same increasingly fine-tuned abilities to break apart the crystalline structure of the shrike. Presumably, she dissolved the entire flock (although a wide shot of clear skies would have been nice to be sure) and averted the crisis of a parasitic takeover of the entire planet, but again, we have to wonder what this means for the final four episodes. Are we now going to focus on the nature of Izel and Sarge and what this all really means?
While we wait for the big answers, it’s enough to enjoy the reunions, including the hilarious Deke and Bobo interaction (the Zima was a nice callback to season 5). The turning point may have come a little later than some Agents of SHIELD fans may have preferred, but we’re definitely gearing up for some surprises leading into the finale that hopefully will be worth the wait. Plus there’s still the question of how the Chronicom hunters will use Fitz-Simmons’ memories and whether the Enoch pager will be used this season. Needless to say, the level of intrigue is high, and we’ll be on the edge of our seats until next week.
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Michael Ahr is a writer, reviewer, and podcaster here at Den of Geek; you can check out his work here or follow him on Twitter (@mikescifi). He co-hosts our Sci Fi Fidelity podcast and coordinates interviews for The Fourth Wall podcast.