Agents of SHIELD Recap: A Major Bomb Is Dropped As It Is Revealed That [Spoiler] Needs to Die in “Past Life”

Credit: Eric McCandless/ABC

For a season with a relatively high death toll for named characters (even if one of them did come back to life), there hasn’t been too much emotional trauma. Until now. With weeks in between this episode and the next, Agents of SHIELD knows exactly how to leave us hanging.

The Zephyr successfully returns everyone to space but when Kasius comes aboard he finds the plane empty. The team has split up to accomplish three goals: rescue the remaining Inhumans (both dead and alive), get Flint to reform the monolith, and kill Kasius. The latter might be more difficult than they think. With his best soldier, Sinara, dead and apparently not coming back to life, Kasius reveals a tradition customary in this family. When their defeat or death is imminent, they take a special potion that gives them berserker-like strength right up until it kills them. Daisy later refers to it as “PCP in space,” which is pretty apt.

While rescuing the Inhumans, Yo-Yo finds Kasius’ Seer. It’s an older version of herself. The two Yo-Yos talk for a little while and we learn that SHIELD is indeed stuck in a time loop. They keep coming to the future, going back to the past, and the Earth is still destroyed. The only solution the old Yo-Yo can think of is letting Coulson die. Unbeknownst to anyone else, Coulson was infected during a fight with the Kree. Whatever steps SHIELD inevitably takes to save him somehow also leads to the world’s end and this infinite time loop.

As you can imagine, present Yo-Yo doesn’t take this news well. But she’s also struggling with being confronted with a future version of herself, a version that has been killed and resurrected by Kasius countless times, a version that is missing both arms and whose blood and has harvested again and again to make new Inhumans. And she learns that Mack dies in some kind of fire. So it’s not a great conversation.

But old Yo-Yo might be right. Coulson has already made a decision that might lead to Earth’s destruction. Daisy tries to stay behind, theorizing that if she’s not in the past, she definitely can’t even potentially contribute to Earth blowing up. Coulson and May tried to talk her out of it but when that didn’t work, Coulson ICEd her.

Flint is able to recreate the monolith using his powers but the machine Fitz found on the Zephyr is needed to power it. Enoch does his best to fight off the Kree trying to destroy the machine but is injured in the process. Knowing all of the time travelers must be in front of the monolith when it activates, Deke volunteers to help Enoch. It’s a decision that means certain death. To power the machine, Enoch is using his personal battery, which will then explode, killing Enoch and Deke. And with Enoch badly injured time is running short. The team isn’t ready to go through the monolith yet because some of them are missing.

Mack went in search of Yo-Yo and was lured by Kasius into the arena. Kasius downs the berserker potion and kills old Yo-Yo right in front of Mack. Not knowing that she’s not his Yo-Yo, Mack loses it but he’s no match for powered-up Kasius. Simmons comes in at the right moment to silences Kasius with one of his own implants. Then Mack stabs him through the chest with the shotgun-ax. The present-day Yo-Yo then runs in (where has she been?) and embraces Mack.

But the fight has delayed all three of them from reaching the monolith in time. With no more time to wait, Enoch and Deke activate the monolith and last we see, only Fitz, May, and Coulson (with Daisy in his arms) are in front of it.

Field Notes

  • Haven’t we already done the “Coulson has to die” storyline? Because in no way is Phil Coulson ever allowed to die.
  • That said, I did get a little excited when Coulson implied he was forcing Daisy to come back with them because he “needs [her] to lead.”
  • Did Fitz and Simmons just get separated again?
  • I ended up liking Deke far more than I thought I would and he became the true ally SHIELD needed to survive and get home. But if they do fix the past and prevent the Kree future, I hope Deke gets a happier story.
Stephanie Coats
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