Early on in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s season five premiere, Mack quips their being in space “makes sense, it’s the one thing we haven’t done yet,” which seems very fitting for the feel of this double header episode. And I mean that in the best way. Last season, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. upped the stakes, the drama, and the quality at every turn. If this premiere is any indication, they are set to do it again in season five.
You remember how we left things. Our agents were victorious but slightly traumatized by the Framework. They went to have some pie at a diner. And next thing we see, Coulson is in space. Here’s what happened: a group of specialized agents were called in to extract Coulson and his team (but not Fitz, who wasn’t “on the list,” which makes me question the criteria they use to make the “list”). But extraction meant setting the team in front of another monolith, like the one that transported Simmons to the blue planet. This one sends everyone to a space station. Oh and the specialized agents? At least one of them is an alien in a human skin suit, Slitheen style.
Helpfully, Coulson comes through in the same compartment as Virgil, who knows Coulson, S.H.I.E.L.D., and everything about the station they’re on. For example, there are killer aliens called Roaches all over. Mack swoops in and knocks out the overexcited Virgil. When Simmons and Yo Yo join the guys, they learn the Kree, the blue-skinned aliens from Guardians of the Galaxy, run the station and use the humans as labor. There’s little else Virgil can contribute before he’s killed by a Roach. Ouch.
May arrives on the station but lands in the middle of some metal tubing, which injures her leg. She quickly encounters a Star Lord lookalike, whom we’ll learn is named Deke. Even injured, May nearly overpowers Deke but he has some anti-grav technology to give him an edge. He ties her up and implants a “metric” into her wrist. Ouch again.
Deke does come in helpful when Coulson and the others are picked up by the Kree and locked away. He talks the Kree guard into letting him escort them elsewhere, believing they’re the people Virgil hired him to hide. Which they obviously aren’t because they are from Earth… which was destroyed a few generations ago. After boosting a spaceship, May and Simmons see that what remains of the planet is floating outside the station. Any hopes Simmons had of sending Fitz a message evaporates.
Strangely enough, the team does find a postcard from Fitz that says “working on it.” Based on what Deke, his friend Tess, and a few others say, it sounds like Fitz started a belief among the humans on the station that the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents would come from the past to save them. So that’s somewhat promising except most everyone has forgotten that belief ever existed.
And things on the space station aren’t utopian. The Kree swooped in right after Earth was destroyed and helped save the humans but at the cost of total submission and obedience. Simmons sees the practices firsthand when one of the Kree’s chosen humans, all dressed in white and painted gold, is accidentally stabbed during a fight between two other men. The assailant is immediately killed by a Kree woman with two metal balls she controls telepathically. Simmons tends to the injured man and is taken along with him to meet the Kree in charge, Kasius, who is impressed with Simmons’ work and her beauty (I mean, fair). However, the injured man will have a scar on his face and Kasius demands perfection and therefore kills the man. Simmons is chosen to take his place.
Coulson, Mack, and Yo Yo see their own example of the Kree’s sadism. The motto around the station is “a life spent, a life earned.” A few humans are randomly selected via their metrics to kill someone else or themselves. Our trio runs for cover and make a deal with Salvage manager, Grill, to give them metrics. Which he does and then ties them up as easy pickings for one of the unlucky “kill or be killed” humans. Thankfully, May comes to their rescue. Because even when she’s injured, Melinda May is still the biggest badass on this team of badasses.
Supposedly, Daisy destroyed the Earth with her quake powers, which seems… unlikely. She’s powerful but not that powerful. That rumor sounds like someone made Daisy the scapegoat to divert attention from the true destroyer(s) of Earth.
At one point, Mack and Yo Yo are captured by Kree and tortured just for fun. During this, they talk and flirt in Spanish, which was the best. However, she’d surely have some significant damage to her hands considering the Kree were trying for several minutes to freeze them.
Yo Yo: “So S.H.I.E.L.D. doesn’t have a space division called SPEAR or something? Really? I always thought you guys had people hiding on the moon!”
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!”
Simmons: “Well, I’m a biologist, but, sure, I can invent time travel. Just give me a minute.”