Well, with"Collision Course (Part 1)" we get a little more explanation. And more of Deke acting like... Deke. Or at least the current version of Deke. Was he this big a Deke-dick last season? I sure don't remember him as such.
The explanation? Fitz and Jemma's savior from last week, Izel, is apparently the world-destroyer Sarge has been going on about, and Sarge knows who she is. He plans to kill her when she gets to Earth. And she's coming to Earth with Fitz and Jemma. So ruh-roh.
How do this all work out? As I noted in last week's review, the deal Mack made with Sarge to get help for Yo-Yo and Diaz was a bit shady and full of loopholes. Mack only lets Sarge leave with one of his "real" crew--Snowflake--and tells him Melinda and Daisy are now part of Sarge's crew. When Sarge has trouble with his Shrike repellant device, Mack threatens Deke so Deke will go along as well. Meanwhile, Mack holds onto Jaco and Pax as insurance. Although Sarge doesn't seem to care too much about them, judging from how he treats Snowflake later.
As they drive to the rendezvous, Sarge finally tells Daisy and Melinda the world-destroyer is named Izel. Daisy goes on about how he has Coulson's DNA, but Sarge finally gets tired of discussing it, and tosses her out of the truck cabin. I have to admit, I'm tired of it as well. Crap or get off the pot, folks. Sarge and Coulson's DNA-sharing so far doesn't seem to have anything to do with anything, and comes across more of an excuse to keep Clark Gregg on the show after the creative team wrote themselves into a corner by killing Coulson off last year.
Maybe they'll be some big revelation down the road about how the shared DNA is critical to defeating Izel, or lets them bring back Coulson, or something, but right now it's just something they keep talking about, and talking about, and talking about. It doesn't add up to anything except a lot of concerned faces.
We finally find out Sarge has the truck rigged with auto-drive and a really big bomb. The Shrike are using the spikes emitted from their host bodies to make a big crystal tower. Once Izel gets to Earth, the tower will draw on Earth's magma core, get even bigger, and release a swarm of Shrike to possess everyone. Which also destroys the planet, somehow. I'm not sure where all of the Shrike from the last planet Izel ate have gone.
Sarge abandons Snowflake, who has decided she's attracted to Deke and vice versa so they have sex. Jaco and Pax have escaped and been recaptured while being transported on the Zephyr, and Sarge uses the teleport circles to get to the Zephyr and free them. And using the Zephyr is apparently better for their plan than their usual scheme.
Out in space, Jemma and Fitz rig up the ship (called the Lazy Comet in the press releases, but I didn't hear it described as such onscreen) to jump back to Earth. Izel gives them a story about looking for the monoliths and the guy who stole them. Which kind of lines up with Sarge's story, from Izel's point of view. There's a chance Sarge is the bad guy in the whole thing, but given Izel creates Shrikes and infects all of the crew except Fitz and Jemma, it seems like Izel is at least as bad as Sarge.
Jemma and Fitz spend most of their onscreen time arguing about how Jemma has already married future-Fitz and therefore present-Fitz is jealous. Their ship gets to Earth, and they finally realize the crew has gone missing because they're busy marching through the corridors with Izel.
We hear about Marcus when he sends some photos from Guatemala back to Mack. The photos are of an ancient bird goddess, and the legends say said goddess, named Izel, comes from a realm of fear and darkness. So nothing plot-advancing there since we already hear most of this from Sarge on the truck.
The episode ends with the bomb-rigged truck heading for the crystal tower on auto-drive. Sarge is on the Zephyr with Jaco and Pax. Mack is studying the ship approaching the tower on radar and wondering what to do. And we get an out-of-place end tag where Enoch contacts another Chronicom, and they resolve to put their society back together from the Chronicom anthropologists who were off-planet. We also see Malachi (Christopher James Baker) and another Hunter talking about how they're going to use the recordings they made of Fitz and Jemma's minds to get the time travel they need to go back and stop Izel from destroying the Chronicom homeworld.
Not a lot happens this episode. Well, things happen, but the only thing that advances the plot is we find out Izel is a bad person. Which most viewers with a knowledge of TV tropes and scripting could have figured: it's not like a good character just shows up to provide two of the main characters with a convenient way home, and isn't up to something villainous.
I suppose there's also the convenient reversal that we're expecting some big evil planet-eating Beast, and get a woman in a wig. I wasn't expecting some big budget-blowing planetary FX, so I'm not surprised by the reveal the Beast is a humanoid woman. Besides, if they had managed to swing it, we would have probably gotten Gas-Cloud Galactus from the second Fantastic Four movie anyway.
Overall, the first part of "Collision Course" was... okay. Which can be said of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. in general. It pulls off the great character moments on occasion when the need arises. The need just never arises that often.
After getting the Fitz/Jemma relationship "right" a couple of episodes ago, it seems off this episode. Fitz bothered by the time-travel nature of his relationship with Jemma seems a bit odd. It's not like Jemma is rubbing it in his face. And her reaction is equally strange. Jemma keeps going on about it. Can't you see it's bothering him, for whatever reason? Quit poking the beehive and shut up about it. It also doesn't seem like a subplot that is going anywhere. Is Fitz going to break up with Jemma over the fact his future self time-traveled back and married her before he could? I don't think so. And if the creative team does go that route, it seems awfully boring. Maybe they can pull it out. But it doesn't seem like a subplot that could generate a rich character development for either of them.
So "Collision Course (Part 1) was at least okay, and a bit above average. But that's par for the course for the show. The creative team seems content to keep things at about that level and wait for "big moments" to go above and beyond. I can see why ABC isn't enthusiastic about the show: no one seems enthusiastic about the show. It gets treated like a placeholder by Marvel, by Disney, and by the creative team. So that's how ABC treats it, and that's why it has ended up in summer TV doldrums. I wish the creative team would take a few risks. It might turn off enough of the remaining viewers to make ABC cancel the show. But nothing ventured, nothing gained. It seems like AOS needs a kick in the butt, and nobody is willing to do the kicking.
But that's just my opinion, I could be wrong. What do you think?
Written by Gislef on Jul 6, 2019