"The Sign" and "New Life" – Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S06E12-E13 Review

Well, that was... unexpected. Some parts of it, not so much. Some parts of it, yes. The unexpected parts were the parts I didn't expect, of course. :)

Coy Stewart, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S06E12

Part 1, "The Sign", has the team launching an attack on the Guatemalan temple. Marcus has disappeared, gone who knows where. Instead, the focus is on Flint (Coy Stewart), who shows up long enough to provide Izel with what she needs to recreate the monoliths. Then he gets a shattered leg, a hunger for tacos, and is quickly whisked off stage not to be seen in part 2. You think they could have used his earth-moving powers, but I suppose the shattered leg made that impossible.

Daisy and Melinda take Sarge with them to Guatemala to rescue Mack and Yo-Yo and defeat Izel. They fight their way through a bunch of Shrike-possessed zombie types, and Sarge acts a little like Coulson. However, when they get to the temple, Sarge kills Melinda with his sword. and that's the "sign" of the title for Sarge and Izel's people to come through the portal.

Back at the Lighthouse, Fitz and Deke argue with each other while Jemma referees. It turns out Deke brought his development team with him to the Lighthouse. Fitz is none too thrilled to find out all of Deke's tech is stolen from either the future or Fitz's ideas, or both. They argue a bit, and that's most of the humor in the episode as Deke (Jeff Ward) continues to act mildly creepy as he tries to impress his grandparents and complain no one likes him.

Jeff Ward, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S06E12

Deke finally uses his "ShawDrive" to teleport to Guatemala. Where he runs around a lot and acts all panicky. We'll get more of that in part 2.

"New Life", part 2, has Deke flying the Quinjet to the Zephyr, and then hold back the zombies entering the temple so Mack, Daisy, and Yo-Yo can get to Izel and Sarge. Along the way, Yo-Yo swallows one of the Shrike creatures and is in danger of being possessed. It's the season finale and all, so I guess we're supposed to think she'll die. Or Daisy or Mack will ram a knife into the Shrike to kill it and her when she starts to sprout crystal spikes. But it's pretty clear they're not going to kill her off. They seem to spend a lot of time just to play up the drama. Or take Yo-Yo and her superspeed off the table so she can't help during the big showdown.

In Sarge and Izel's realm, Melinda isn't dying since life and death aren't concepts that exist there. She kills the three head members, creatively called "The Three", and tosses their amulets through. When Izel comes through to check things out, she and Melinda fight. Izel takes down Melinda and goes back through the portal to do a victory lap gloat.

Chloe Bennett, Henry Simmons, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S06E13

Mack and Daisy are fighting Sarge, who reveals his true CGI alien form and shrugs off Daisy's powers. He and Mack fight, while Yo-Yo lies on the ground and begs Daisy to kill her. Daisy can't bring herself to do it, and neither can Mack when he gets a breather from being beaten around the block by Sarge.

Izel arrives, but Melinda follows her through the portal and stabs her. She's dying since she's back in a realm where death exists, and tosses her sword to Mack. Mack cuts Sarge in half, and Izel's death kills the Shrike in Yo-Yo. Sarge dies as he didn't live--a big dusty CGI cloud of alien--and Daisy tells the dying Melinda Coulson didn't reveal himself at the end.

During all of this, Malachi and his Chronicom Hunters have arrived at the Lighthouse and killed a bunch of agents. Fitz-Simmons discover the Chronicoms are using all of Jemma's memories they got when they put her in the mental prison. The two of them prepare to blow up themselves and the Framework code with Coulson's memories that Deke recreated. However, Enoch (Joel Stoffer) has killed his buddy-turned-Hunter Isaiah and disguised himself as Isaiah. He stops Fitz-Simmons from blowing themselves up, and tells them they will have to do something that will alter the course of their destiny. The funniest part of the episode is them shrugging and essentially saying "Oh, sure, we'll do it again."

Back at the Temple of Doom, Mack, Daisy, and Yo-Yo are just recovering from Melinda's death when an older Jemma and a bunch of hazmat-suited techs arrive. They take the monoliths away, and Jemma injects the dead Melinda with something that will keep her alive but in frozen healing suspension. They board Jemma's Zephyr and fly away, and Yo-Yo is in the back recovering while Mack and Daisy go up to the cockpit and discover they've arrived over a 1930s NYC with the Empire State Building under construction.

Older Jemma says Fitz isn't there and she can't know where he is. Then she checks in with Fitz on the radio, who apologizes. Then she reveals that to deal with the Chronicoms, they need someone who knows S.H.I.E.L.D. history. Thanks to Enoch, they've installed the most up-to-date Chronicom technology in a LMD. Mack and Daisy realize what Jemma is talking about, and as Mack suggests they think about it, Jemma hits the go button and a LMD of Coulson (Clark Gregg) steps out.

So we're left with who knows what? Deke is gone, presumably back at the temple which Older Jemma blew up as they departed. Snowflake and Pax are still in a cell somewhere. Or they were, but now aren't because they're in the future. Ditto for Flint, so who knows what happened with him? We have Mack, Daisy, Melinda, and Yo-Yo in a future along with a very chipper Coulson, a very enigmatic Jemma, and a very unseen Fitz. Who Jemma says she can't know where he is, but knows enough about where he is to talk to him on the radio.

Chloe Bennett, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S06E13

The Chronicom Hunters show up and take over the Lighthouse. And then are kind of neutered as a threat. They're still hanging around and are responsible for the devastation of NYC. And they still want to turn Earth into a new home world for their people. I don't know why they don't just pick an empty planet and set up shop there. If nothing else, you'd think the Avengers and the Defenders and Cloak & Dagger and the Runaways and Dr. Strange and the X-Men and the Fantastic Four and Spider-Man would give them problems. But I've long since given up on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. being tied in with any other Marvel property.

We don’t find out what happened to the Hunters after Enoch rescues Fitz-Simmons. I guess they're still around, but it's hard to see them as much as a Big Bad for Season 7. Hopefully, they'll get more development--and a more impressive leader than Malachi--for Season 7. Malachi is the leader of the Hunters who take the Lighthouse in "New Life", but he's still not very impressive.

As for the wrap-up with Izel and Sarge, the whole thing felt appropriately earth-shaking for a season finale. The threat of thousands of their people coming to Earth and possessing human bodies still seems a bit distant. And I'm unclear on the whole possession thing. Daisy says she destroyed the Shrike. But then Izel summons a new flock. But her people are going to come through and possess more humans. So are the zombies Shrike possessed, or Izel's people possessed? As is gaslit, they're not stupid. But they don't seem to be particularly smart, either.

Also, the zombies and the Shrike on Earth collapse when Izel dies. Which is convenient from a plot approach (Yo-Yo is instantly free! Deke doesn't have to get overrun by zombies and torn apart!), but isn't very impressive from a "This villain is really bad" approach. I suppose the creative team had to clear the table for whatever will happen in the next and final season.

And one wonders where they go from there? If they get a mention, every hero on Earth except S.H.I.E.L.D. has fallen. Will the team attempt to go back and change the past? Are they going to have to live in the new Hunter-occupied future Earth? I'd think the former, because otherwise they're in an alternate reality where Marvel Earth as we know it doesn't exist. Then again, it hasn't really existed for the show for quite some time. So maybe this is the creative team's way of cutting the show off from the rest of the Marvel Universe, and preparing for the show's demise next year.

One wonders where Deke and Snowflake are. I won't be sad to see Deke go, if the alternative is watching more of the overly-caffeinated fame-and-glory obsessed and "impress my grandfather" version of Deke from this season.

They reintroduced Flint and raised questions around him not being the "real" Flint but just a creation from Mack's and Yo-Yo's memories. And... so what? They dropped Flint and the aforementioned questions pretty quickly. So far he's existed to provide Izel with a handy way to create the monoliths, and then make a few humorous references. And that's it. I could see Flint linking back up with Team 2019. Heck, they linked him up with them to bring back the monoliths. But he doesn't seem to contribute much to the team.

We do get a cool pair of fights: Melinda vs. Izel in a sword fight, and Daisy and Mack versus Sarge. Both are well done, although Yo-Yo on the floor gagging tends to distract from the fight choreography.

Overall, "The Sign" and "New Life" wrap up the season pretty well. Seeing how well "New Life" sets the stage for Season 7 is something we won't know until next summer. It could be good, it could be bad. Undoubtedly it will have some of the same sparks of humor and characterization Season 6 had. And that pretty well sums up Season 6 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Not too good, not too bad, sparks of human and characterization.

But that's just my opinion, that I get paid the big bucks to write. What do you think?

Written by Gislef on Aug 3, 2019


DVCnerfherder posted 11 days ago

Season 7 is looking like they took their inspiration from season 5 of Fringe. Time jumping bad guys want to take over the earth to create a new homeland because their home has been wiped out.

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