Recap: Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD 5.01-2 “Orientation”

 

 

 

 

 

At last, the Agents of SHIELD will go where no agents have been:  outer space….and the future. It’s a dystopian world that they might have accidentally created, and it’s ruled by the Kree

SPOILERS BELOW

After bring kidnapped from a local diner, the agents find themselves in a spaceship, at least 70 years in the future. The Earth is destroyed, and the Kree are in charge. At least that’s according to Deke (Jeff Ward), one of the last remaining Earthlings in the ship known as the Lighthouse. It seems when the Kree took over, they erased the past. The only important thing is survive because hope sure didn’t

ABC chose an interesting strategy in promoting the very late start to the show’s fifth season. Earlier this week, it released the first act of the first episode, which was shown at New York Comic-Con last October. It had the agents in stressful situations, but many people wondered why Leo Fitz was missing.

A recent article in CBR explains it’s linking the show to recent hits Guardians of the Galaxy Volume Two and Thor Ragnarok. It’s also supposed to unite the team after some difficult times, especially being stuck in the Framework for much of season four.

Make no mistake, this is the most ambitious opener they’ve ever had, literally putting the show in a new world. Seeing the agents react is also a hoot, especially when Mac (Henry Simmons) keeping quipping about how he wished he quit SHIELD and the agents deciding to stick together and looking cool doing it. It takes the edge off a very tough situation.

The first half, written by showrunners Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tanchareon, was a good start because it kept the agents off guard as they try to figure out where they are and why. It looks like they’ll get some answers from a guy named Virgil (Deniz Akdeniz), who apparently knows about them. Too bad a Vrell Nexian eats him. It almost gets them until Daisy (Chloe Bennet) dissolves it.

They try to go through several possibilities, like they’re in the Framework again. Soon, Deke makes his entrance like Star-Lord, and is very upset the agents are there, He later mentions that Virgil and the former Elders of future Earth had some prophecy that SHIELD would arrive from the past to defeat the Kree. It sounds a little too much like Dirk Gently trying to find the boy to save Wendimoor. Deke’s hardly an ally, maybe an anti-Browncoat. When he finds out the agents killed two Kree, he is really upset because other Earthlings could get killed for revenge.

The big moment comes at the end when May (Ming-Na Wen) is able to fly Deke’s ship and tries to send a message to Earth. They soon find out they can’t…because Earth is destroyed. It looks like a severely cored apple, but they don’t know why.

The second half has the agents being forced to blend in. They also meet Tess (Lisa Harlow) and Grill (Pruitt Taylor Vince), two other people who will do anything to survive. This is especially true when it’s revealed that the Kree force the “low-earners” to fight for their lives. Either they get kill or must kill someone else. Grill is in that situation, and sacrifices three agents, including Coulson (Clark Gregg). They all live, thanks to Tess.

 

 

 

It’s also shown the Kree are ruthless. Even some of the Earthlings literally give up their humanity to join the Kree, and paint themselves to look like them. When a Servitor tells the people his boss Kasius has generously decided to give them more food, which looks like wet Dog Chow, everyone literally fights to it. The Servitor gets stabbed, and Gemma (Elizabeth Henstridge) naturally tries to save him. That stunned a lot of people, and she is brought to Kasius.

This guy is going to be an interesting villain. He may say he’s Kree, but he could be an ex-human. Played by Dominic Rains, he’s a mixture of class and ruthlessness. He is fascinated by Gemma’s “perfection”, and soon decides to make her a new Servitor after the old one is scarred by his stab wound. She is struck deaf and dumb thanks to a device inserted in her ear, but can only hear Kasius. She is now his slave, and soon sees a ship coming that could be more Kree.

Meanwhile, Daisy discovers Deke has his own version of the Framework, and provides it to Earthlings as a way to escape. He also pieces together what parts of the past the Kree hasn’t wiped out. According to him, Daisy somehow blew up the world and brought the Kree to make Earthlings submit. That’s all he knows, and it gives him reason to distrust the agents. Once again, SHIELD has ruined the world, just like with the LMD invasion. This is going to haunt Daisy for quite some time. She may say she’s no destroyer of worlds (and Deke could be wrong because maybe the Kree really did it and hid the evidence), but she’ll start considering that possibility more and more. Maybe she’ll decide to sacrifice herself in the future so that she doesn’t return to the past and blow up the world.

So where is Fitz (Iain de Caestecker)? He’s supposedly at the diner, noticing his friends are gone. The only hint we get of that is a very old Lake Ontario postcard that says “Working on it”. Thing is, how can he make a portal to the future if he’s wanted by law enforcement? When will he show up, if at all?

One other thing: the show opens with the guy who “arrested” the agents at the end of last season, swimming in his pool. He also takes off his fake human skin to shower before he goes to the agents. So, is this an alien plan, and which aliens?

It’s still early in the season, but the show has put the agents in an almost impossible situation. It’s been done pretty well, though. Many other reviewers have praised the opener, and the fact it’s better than the entire Inhumans  series may be a reason why. Still, if this story is supposed to make them one team again, it’s hard to do that with Fitz missing, Daisy thinking it’s all her fault, and Gemma now a Kree slave.

Things will get a lot worse, but whether there will be some hope before the holidays end remains to be seen.

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Post Author: David Mello

Worked nearly eleven years at a radio station as a board operator, news reader, and assistant producer for baseball broadcasts. Have been a staff writer for Whedonopolis since July 2008