Hello, and welcome to a brand-new season of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.! I am overjoyed to be serving as your reviewer this season. And let me tell you, if it follows in the train of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 5 Episode 1 and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 5 Episode 2, we'll have quite the time.
If you were left with more questions than answers after watching the two-hour opener, I hope it means that you're eager for the next installment!
Even the first few minutes left us with a few good headscratchers that will hopefully be answered at some point down the road. Like, what was the deal with the creepy dude who took off his skin? (Yuck, by the way.)
The revelation that the team had been transported to space wasn't exactly surprising. That much had been revealed at the end of the previous season finale.
Simmons: Okay. Alright. Any idea which *part* of space we’re in?
Coulson: Uh… outer?
What was a surprise, however, was the tiny little detail that the mysterious obelisk hadn't moved them through space, like the black on that sucked up Simmons. This one moved them through time.
The visual effects were fairly impressive, between the ruins of the Earth and even the alien "roaches" running around.
Despite the seriousness of the situation, the one-liners were flying fast and furious throughout the episode. Take this little exchange:
Simmons: Magic is just science we don’t understand yet!
Mack: Oh, please! We just got zapped through space by Stonehenge, and we’re trying to rule out the involvement of a flame-headed demon from East LA! Science, my ass!
Stop by the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. quotes page to enjoy some of the zingers, because there were some really great ones throughout.
The first hour mostly focused on the team's immediate survival (complete with direct shout-outs to Alien). The second truly introduced them to the current state of humanity, and it was not pretty.
Less than a hundred years or so removed from the present day, and these sad remnants of the human race truly shocked Team Coulson.
It was fascinating to see their reactions as they came to really understand the utterly different morality this station operated under. I especially enjoyed the team's practical behavior as the addressed the situation.
Zeke's secret business of using Framework technology to create an illusion of Earth-That-Was would be infinitely preferable to the downtrodden humans than their real lives.
This, of course, presented an rather interesting opportunity to compare and contrast with the team's recent Framework experiences in the previous season. Remember, no time has passed since then, as far as they're concerned!
One might also recall the Mirror of Erised in the Harry Potter stories: the mirror shows the viewer what they desire, but the images are just images, not reality -- and also a potential trap for the unwary.
Zeke's version of the Framework is a little bit different from last season's original iteration, however. Zeke made a point of digging up every scrap of information he could, so it's possible that this could become a medium by which Fitz, still in the past, could communicate with the future.
The declaration that Daisy was responsible for the end of Earth must be taken with a grain of salt. There are a few ways this could go, each of them with intriguing storytelling potential.
First: his information is accurate, and Daisy did destroy Earth. What were the circumstances that could cause this to happen?
Second: his information is flawed, and Daisy was not responsible. Why does he think she is, and what really happened?
Third: He's lying about Daisy destroying Earth for as-yet-unrevealed reasons.
Then there was the rather creepy view of things from the Kree side. Kasius, the man in charge, embraced a distinct sort of blue-and-orange morality that is actually consistent with the Kree we've met previously.
Ronan the Accuser, the fanatical villain from wonderful Guardians of the Galaxy film, wanted to cleanse the impure from the face of the galaxy.
Even the "nice" Kree, Vin-Tak, from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2 Episode 12, wanted to immediately kill Daisy when he discovered she was Inhuman.
Kasius and his fellow Kree here took that belief in Kree superiority to a whole new level of creepy, and it worked wonderfully. It makes them come across as truly alien, particularly coupled with the dystopian setting.
While the humans lived in squalor, the Kree lived in splendor. But their human servants were just as much slaves as their less-well-bathed fellows, as Simmons discovered.
I leave you with some more of the unanswered questions:
- Why wasn't Fitz on the "list"?
- Who was the skin-removing creep in the beginning, why did he send the team to the future, and where did the time monolith come from?
- If Daisy is in the future, how can she destroy the planet in the past? (Wibbly-wobbley, timey-wimey!)
- What happened after Team Coulson was abducted in the past? Did the government think they had fled?
What unanswered questions do you have, fellow fans? Let us know that, and your thoughts on the season opener, in the comments section below!
Meanwhile, you can watch Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. online; be sure to tune in as the series moves to its new regular time slot on Friday, December 8, 2017 at 9/8c with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 5 Episode 3, "A Life Spent."