After a string of very strong episodes in an equally strong season, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 5 Episode 9 didn't quite measure up to its predecessors.
Leaps of logic coupled with a few head-scratching developments prevented "Best Laid Plans" from soaring, but there's still quite a bit to recommend it.
Let's start with Enoch. As I've mentioned in previous reviews, Enoch might well be one of the best recurring characters of the entire series. His comically serious dialogue is an unfailing source of humor in a fairly dark story arc.
No matter how ridiculous the line, Joel Stoffer delivers. Even acting opposite the utterly deadpan snarker Melinda May, his comedy gold performance stands on its own two feet:
Enoch: Agent Coulson, we are evacuating to the caves for shelter, are we not?
May: Zephyr flies again, metal man.
Enoch: I am mostly plastic alloy. And chronicoms do not have gender.
As for May, the characters acknowledged the bombshell revelation of the previous episode, that Melinda had raised Robin. Given the chaotic nature of the situation, it didn't come as a great surprise that they didn't dwell too long on it.
However, it made for a touching moment that it was Robin's bird figurine floating in the air that ultimately provided the key inspiration to get the Zephyr aloft once more. Fitting, indeed.
Sinara's death came almost anticlimactically, the way she impaled herself on that pipe. Don't get me wrong, the fight sequence as a whole worked with its intensity and energy.
But the way it ended... just sort of happened. And unless Kasius magically resurrects Sinara, too, that's the last we'll see of a character who had been an unstoppable force to this point.
And let me tell you, I don't really like resurrection as a plot point. It makes death cheap. Stakes potentially become meaningless. "What, Character X died? No problem, just bring 'em back!"
Which is why I'm desperately hoping that Tess's death and subsequent resurrection were all part of some elaborate staging for Kasius to demonstrate his supposed divinity.
It’s time to remind the humans that I am not their enemy. I am their *god*.Kasius
The weird thing is that up to now he's shown no particular delusions of godhood. Grandeur, certainly. Arrogance and pride, absolutely. Being an all-around evil manipulator and murderer, sure.
But now he's raving about how he's the humans' god (not that they listen to his ranting, but still).
I find this particular behavior odd because Kasius has always to this point displayed a keen awareness of how low and pathetic his standing is, despite all his play-acting in front of his guests. Maybe killing his brother went to his head.
One could argue that it's not that he believes that he's an actual god, just that he believes that the humans should treat him as such and that he's angry they're not playing their appointed role in the charade.
Of course, he's also under the bizarre assumption here that having possession of Daisy would somehow turn into an I WIN button for him.
Hate to break it to you, man, but you had control of Daisy a few episodes ago. Didn't work out, and you got stabbed in the face for your trouble.
Finally, there's the perplexing reveal in the stinger that Kasius... apparently has a seer of his own? Whoever it is, he or she should be fired, because the only useful information provided was "Coulson and company are on their way in a plane."
Surely, a seer could have told Kasius more than that, and earlier. Had he an actual seer, could he not have consulted said seer earlier? Like, when he first discovered Daisy and Simmons?
Unless Kasius was speaking metaphorically and actually has some sort of spy or bug or something decidedly less mystical than an actual seer like Robin.
Before I turn the discussion over to you, here are some miscellaneous thoughts:
- Was anyone else laughing out loud at Kasius's Big NOOOOOO! when Mack set off that bomb?
- Unintentionally funny: Mack's overly-dramatic reading of "Not just kill. Incinerate." As if being killed in ways other than incineration would be less fatal.
- If he killed all his human "stock," how was Kasius planning on explaining the situation to his father? Even as a mere business problem, that's a massive investment he just tried to incinerate.
- Quick poll: how many people seriously pondered whether Deke might turn on Daisy, as urged by Voss?
- In a moment of personal gallows humor, Fitz actually pointed out pretty much exactly why I hate predestination-type time travel as discussed in the comments for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 5 Episode 8 review!
- There were a ton of great lines in this episode, so be sure to stop by our Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. quotes page.
And get ready to mark a big milestone! The show's 100th episode is coming up soon, and it's almost definitely going to be a corker.
What did you think of "Best Laid Plans"? Were you surprised at Tess's return? Did Sinara's death come in a satisfying manner? What did you think of the rebellion at the Lighthouse? Who's Kasius' seer?
Let us know in the comments section below!