Synopsis 05×12: The team faces their deepest fears thanks to a tear in spacetime. 

The hundredth episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. understandably focused on the legacy and possible future of Agent Coulson, the man who launched the show with a simple hashtag following his untimely death in The Avengers (#CoulsonLives). We are given emotional performances as the leads remark on the impact that Coulson has had on them, and in many ways, these moments remind viewers of why they have stuck around. It’s hard not to like this cast, even when the stories falter around them. 

After the explosion of a device near three monoliths (interesting that we still don’t know what the third one does), a rip in space-time (or a crack in the wall) occurs, allowing another universe to bleed through. But instead of making a cool multi-verse connection, this is simply a dark universe of fear.

And while that premise falls a little flat, watching Coulson grapple with the fact that maybe he never woke up after Loki’s scepter, maybe this is all in his mind while he undergoes surgery (how very LOST of them), is interesting. Maybe that’s why Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. never quite fits in the Marvel Cinematic Universe — because it doesn’t actually exist. 

Now the writers disprove that point by having Coulson overcome his fear, but for a moment, it really seemed like these writers had found a clever out for themselves as writers. 

Ultimately the team closes the rift, at least temporarily, and the day is saved. This episode is almost entirely positive. No final just before the credits scene that points to the conflict of the next. Instead, we are simply left with a wholesome moment for the team, as they gather for the marriage of FitzWilliam (and we get a nice little point to just who Deke is and why he isn’t someone from the comics).

It feels a bit like a season finale, rather than a midseason episode, but that makes sense if the end of this season really is to be the series finale. They give us a midway finale, only to wrap up the series in these last remaining episodes.

And while this episode was nice enough, it still shows off some of what makes this last season a little wonky. Time travel is such a complicated thing (as we’ve pointed out in previous posts). They are handling it better in this show than might have been expected, but this episode does have a bit of a contradictory moment. In particular, in regards to Yo-Yo. She lost her arms and exclaims, “It’s already beginning.” Meaning the events that lead to the future where the earth is destroyed.

However, we saw flashbacks of Yo-Yo after the earth’s destruction where she had her arms, where jaded her argued with sweet Mack. So when exactly did she lose her arms? Or does she get cybernetic arms to replace them but then Cassius removes those when he begins torturing her for information? Who knows. It also remains to be seen how they will handle Deke should the team save the world (which presumably they will). Because if the destroyed future no longer exists, does he cease to exist too?

Guess we’ll have to find out when the team battles angsty Robin and her mom. 

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