Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Recap: Season 5’s Finale Is “The End” of an Era For The Team

Credit: Kelsey McNeal/ABC

Ok, we all knew there were going to be tears in this finale. With Coulson’s life and the fate of the world in the balance not to mention Thanos’ actions in Infinity War looming, there was no chance we were leaving this episode without needing tissues. But along the way, there’s a lot to cover. Like, saving the world.

The team hotly debates whether to save Coulson or use the Centipede serum on Talbot instead. Daisy makes a solid point that no one can get close enough to Talbot to inject him. Fitzsimmons and Yo-Yo argue that this decision is exactly what has been keeping them all stuck in a time loop. That argument would hold a lot more weight if they hadn’t been using it as an excuse for their behavior for like half of this season. Fed up with no one listening to her (did I miss the part where Yo-Yo calmly explained all she learned from her future self?), Yo-Yo speedily snatches the Centipede serum so Daisy cannot give it to Coulson. Mack tries to talk reason into everyone but May, who has mostly been silent, smashes the odium vial they needed to stop Talbot. Now there’s no reason to not give Coulson the serum.

However, May still gives Coulson the choice whether or not to take it. He hesitates to express his feelings for her, verbally that is, because he’s struggling to let her go. “So don’t,” she replies and I agree! Meanwhile, Daisy gets some good advice from Deke as he’s on his way out. He wants to see the world before it ends or he potentially blinks out of existence. He tells Daisy she needs to mend the team’s bonds with one another in order to be an effective leader. But Daisy knows she’s not the right person to do that and says so to the team. Instead, she appoints Mack as Director, and everyone else votes in agreement. Coulson walks out and voices his approval as well, then hands Daisy her gear.

By using her mother as a bargaining chip, Talbot forces Robin to tell him where the gravitonium deposits are. As we’ll later see, it’s the all of the Earth except the small hunk leftover in the future. There’s no doubt now who causes the Earth to crack apart. Talbot begins his quest in Chicago and SHIELD is hot on his trail. Mack, May, Fitz, and Yo-Yo work on getting civilians to safety and go up in a high rise to save Robin from Talbot’s crashed spaceship. When Robin says her mother is still on board, Mack runs in to find her just as Fitz appears to tell May that neither Robin’s mom or Mack make it to the future.

Daisy and Coulson are en route to Talbot but as they arrive, Coulson confesses he didn’t take the serum. He tells Daisy she can stop Talbot herself and as she goes out to try, she tells him to go back and take the serum. She and Talbot collide, and she smashes him into a bus, then tries to reason with him. It seems to work… until Talbot reminds her of the many other times SHIELD has partnered with him only to deceive him behind his back. He grabs Daisy and flies her high up and rams her back into the ground. Believing her powers will help him acquire the gravitonium faster, he grabs her and tries to absorb her like he did with Creel.

That’s when Daisy sees something in her arm gauntlet. It’s the Centipede serum. She jams it in her neck and blasts the gravitonium away. Then she launches Talbot into the sky and all the way into space where he dies. Victory!

But not without cost. Mack was able to free Robin’s mom but was attacked by two of those alien guards. Thankfully, May and Fitz jumped in to help and they all got off the ship. When Talbot slammed Daisy into the ground, it set everything rumbling and dumped a bunch of debris on Fitz. Mack and May are able to dig him out but there’s a large piece of metal stuck in his abdomen. There’s nothing they can do but hold Fitz’s hand and watch him die.

Coulson is also dead, at least for a few moments until Yo-Yo is able to revive him with CPR. The team gathers to raise a glass to the fallen. But it’s not for Fitz. No, see he’s out there, frozen in suspended animation waiting to get to a future that isn’t going to happen now. They just have to find him. So the team is raising a glass to Coulson. An engraved plaque is installed in the Zephyr in Coulson’s memory. It’s all a little premature. He has somewhere between days and weeks left to live after all. And he’s going to live them out on Tahiti with May. AS HE SHOULD!

Now excuse me while I go cry into a pillow.

Field Notes

I don’t doubt for a single second that the way Clark Gregg’s voice caught while saying his farewells to the team was anything less than genuine emotion.

Coulson: “I’m just having a hard enough time leaving you behind.”

May: “So don’t.”

Coulson to Daisy: “May you find the strength in your heart to appeal to his good nature. And, if you can’t, may you find the strength in your arms to beat his ass senseless.”

Daisy: “I love you.”

Coulson: “I love you too.”

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Stephanie Coats

Stephanie Coats is the Lead Events Editor at 4 Your Excitement. She has a B.A. from Hope International University and an undying passion for all things geeky. In addition to 4YE, she also writes for, and works full-time as a communications coordinator.

You can follow her on Twitter for nerdy posts about Doctor Who, Agent Carter, Agents of SHIELD, Harry Potter and more.
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