Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 5 episode 21 review: The Force of Gravity

Thanos isn't even the main problem for SHIELD in the latest season 5 episode. Spoilers ahead...

This review contains spoilers for the episode and Avengers: Infinity War

Avengers: Infinity War spoilers coming. It’s been weeks people, get with the programme.

So Thanos wipes out half of humanity, right? And all that’s happening in the background of Agents Of SHIELD while Graviton and his cadre of alien killers prepare to attack an Earth already being besieged by Thanos. Man, the MCU is busy.

With Thanos in the midst of his attack (which we know about through background news reports – it’s all very meta), Glenn Talbot, in his new guise of Graviton, wants a power-up in order to defend the world from Thanos. Of course, with Talbot, it’s all about ego which is very evident with his over the top puffed-out chest costume and his Just For Men Doctor Strange goatee, but whether it’s heroism or ego, Talbot needs more Gravitonium to become Earth’s saviour.

Ad – content continues below

That Gravitonium is located within Carl Creel, the Absorbing Man, which brings us to a super-villain team up. Or super-villain tear down really, as after some pretty words, Talbot essentially absorbs the Absorbing Man and now has doubled down on the Gravitonium. So, Carl Creel is no more as Graviton is now the most powerful human villain currently walking the Earth in the MCU. Damn man, I was dreaming of a Thor versus Absorbing Man confrontation just like in the funny books.

But the Talbot chicanery doesn’t end there. Talbot heads out to meet with his wife and kid. At first, the ‘lil Talbot is happy to see daddy dearest in his cool superperson costume, but things soon take a terrifying turn as the fractured Talbot turns his power on his wife. Graviton is in full villain mode when Mack, Yo-Yo, and SHIELD arrive to attempt a Talbot takedown, which just fails on every level. Talbot does his best Magneto impression and gravities the heck out of some SUVs. Really, Agents Of SHIELD gets pretty cinematic as the series is making sure it spends its entire FX budget before the close of the season.

We are over 350 words here, and I haven’t even mentioned the agents yet. This week’s Agents Of SHIELD is all about Coulson and May with a generous dash Of Quake and a wee bit of Deke added in for good measure. The shout sheets appearing in this week’s Marvel comics feature an image of Qovas and May, with the caption something along the lines of “Only One Will Survive.” Spoiler, it’s Qovas who doesn’t make it, which isn’t really a super surprise but how May takes down the badass Qovas is pretty darn cool.

But it’s what happens before the May versus Qovas brawl that should really resonate with longtime SHIELD fans. Because after five years, after countless ‘will they or won’t they’ moments, Coulson and May finally share a very passionate kiss. Yeah, they’ve swapped spit before, but this was a Han and Leia kiss, a swashbuckling heroic kiss with Coulson protecting May behind his holographic SHIELD shield as aliens open fire on the two while Quake kicks some extraterrestrial behind.

After all that, Qovas throws down with May, and in the back of my mind, I am thinking, would they really kill May after her and Coulson finally come to terms with their love for one another? Well, the answer is no because not only does May lay the smackdown on Qovas, she also distracts the alien while Deke reprogrammes a pair of missiles that Qovas fired at Earth. Deke also hijacks Qovas’ teleporter and really just systematically takes down the invader. Well, at least one alien invader is taken down by a human hero during the era of Thanos (Oh, Spidey, it still hurts).

But you guys, Coulson and May totally kiss! And then nothing horrible happens. And the good guys kind of won. Okay, I’m lying because as soon as May and Deke join Fitz and Simmons on Earth, Coulson passes out from a slight wound and is haemorrhaging like the elevator doors in The Shining. All this is due to Coulson’s mysterious ailment… Marvel! You killed Groot; can we have a moment of happiness? Jeez!

Ad – content continues below

But there are other moving parts happening here as well. The Kree Kassius (the evil poppa of future arch villain Kassius from earlier in the season) is totally interested in Daisy’s power and is still a power player while Graviton is still rampaging. The question remains: is Daisy the destroyer of worlds, or is it Talbot? Fitz and Simmons have the means to cure Coulson via the DNA of Daisy’s dead Inhuman mother combined with the season one centipede tech, but they also discover that the same centipede tech can be used to take down Talbot.

So will it be a cure for Coulson or a weapon against Talbot? And does any of this matter anyway because we are like hours away from Thanos wiping out half the population? And oh yeah, we get a stinger that reveals that Graviton has now abducted the Inhuman precog Robin which is all sorts of messed up and scary because how can Talbot be stopped if he knows the future?

We still don’t know if Agents Of SHIELD will be returning for a sixth season, but it feels like there’s an endgame coming that could involve Graviton, the Kree, and Thanos, and that’s a MCU crossover to look forward to. So as we wait for the word of the future of SHIELD on ABC, we also wait to see which of our beloved agents will survive Graviton and Thanos. Will Marvel just keep hurting us?

Read Marc’s review of the previous episode, The One Who Will Save Us All, here.