Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Best Laid Plans Recap

Synopsis 5×9: The revolution is live. Mack, Yo-Yo, and Flint begin to lead other humans in the struggle against Kasius, in the battle for earth.

Rating:
Where last week’s episode floundered a bit in its depiction of time travel, this one struggled with making the actions of the characters seem compelling. In order to attempt surprises, they set up what seemed like obvious double-crosses that weren’t. So viewer double-double-cross?

With Mack, Yo-Yo, and Flint slowly taking back segments of the Lighthouse, they are also faced with questions of morality. All of humankind or the Inhumans? For Mack, the answer seems obvious, save everyone. Kasius, however, seems to believe that he can easily turn mankind against itself. 

Kasius brings back Tess, trying to use her as a bargaining chip and proof that he is a god. But of course, S.H.I.E.L.D. has seen this before. And Kasius didn’t realize that Mack is more than just a pretty face with some muscle. He’s also a brain. 

Using some sleuthing skills, he discovers that Kasius has wired explosives into the oxygen lines across the system. But Mack is on the job!

On the surface, the remainder of the team struggles to understand the visions that Robin left them, and also the science behind the gravity and flight systems, in particular before another gravity storm strikes. 

Unfortunately for them, Sinara has also arrived on the surface and she and Daisy will have to fight to the death, again. But don’t worry, even without her abilities, Daisy will overcome. With a little help from the not-treacherous Deke. One of those not double-crosses that they pretended to set up.

While this episode had a lot happen, it also felt like nothing happened, mostly because either the payoffs were too obvious, or there were thinly veiled references to the past versions of S.H.I.E.L.D., but from a history that we have not yet seen.

While it makes sense that the lead characters might be in the dark, it would feel more fulfilling as a viewer if this felt like it were more slowly set up, so that reveals would feel more surprising. Instead, the revelation of May as a surrogate mother to Robin (from the last episode) felt lackluster, apart from a couple of fun moments of Daisy pointing out May’s “mom face.” Similarly, Kasius clearly recognizes Yo-Yo, but we have barely seen whatever other side of Yo-Yo there is. 

This also felt like, in a lot of ways, a conclusion to the first half of the season, and it seems a little uncertain where the show will go from here. Clearly, Flint will be able to create the obelisk that can send them back in time. The humans on the Lighthouse stood up for themselves. Kasius still seems to believe that he has a card up his sleeve, and I guess that’s what we’ll find out next week. 

The future is a paradox. Or a loop. Or something. Here’s hoping it will loop back towards a better storyline.