Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S05E16 Inside Voices review
If you’re following reviews at the UK pace, with episodes screening on E4, hit this link and go back to episode S05E07.
Airing Fridays in the US on ABC
Director: Salli Richardson-Whitfield
Writer: Mark Leitner
Essential Plot Points:
- Daisy pulls young seer Robin and her mother out of the safe house to help her track down the imprisoned Coulson.
- Yoyo and Simmons break Fitz out of his cell to go find the weapon Hale wants before she can get to it. Simmons also tests their invincibility theory, which seems to hold.
- After trying to absorb some gravitonium, Creel attacks Coulson but is eventually convinced of Hale’s evil plan. The two of them break out Talbot, before Coulson and the general escape using the transporter.
While there’s still plenty of action/adventure this episode, it’s the quieter moments that really shine through. Having seen a much older Robin be confused about where she is, because she experiences different points of time, seeing the younger Robin do the same could be a bit of a bore. Yet her recognition of May and the way she calls her “mother” in front of her actual mother has a real emotional heft. Both Ming-Na Wen and Lola Glaudini handle this moment well, never slipping into melodrama as could so easily happen.
Elsewhere, it’s the friction between Mack and Yoyo that plays out most strongly. It’s great to see Yoyo breaking in her new robot arms, and that they’ve given her a boost in strength that make her even more kick-ass than usual. But Yoyo’s belief that because she’s seen herself alive in the future, she can’t be killed in this past, puts the two of them on a collision course. And when Yoyo locks Mack in Fitz’s cell, he gives her a look that suggests they won’t be making up anytime soon.
As for that theory: if S.H.I.E.L.D. is to save the Earth from being cracked apart by the destroyer of worlds, then there’s a big correction coming, and they will have to break the time loop. When that happens, will one of the “invincibles” (as they’ve dubbed themselves) die, possibly sacrificing themselves to cause the break?
Creel’s interactions with the gravitonium also see this material give up some of its secrets. And they date all the way back to Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. series one! It seems that doctor Franklin Hall, who was consumed by the metallic liquid substance, is still somehow alive inside it. And as the final moment shows, he’s in there with Ian Quinn. Will these two be able to exert some influence over Creel, as they seem to when he first comes into contact with it, once the tests on him resume?
- Creel’s power, which can seem a bit one-note, actually gets some great use this episode. Not only does he merge with the material of any door to open it, but he connects to a power source and then turns to metal to jump-start Coulson’s heart.
- We generally love the callbacks that reference previous elements in the show but with this storyline we’re starting to wonder what casual viewers make of plot points from years ago. And any viewers new to the show must really be wondering who those two people with the gravitonium in the van are at the end of the episode. A little more explanation couldn’t hurt, so viewers don’t feel left behind.
Coulson’s Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog reference:
“You can tell General Hale that I’m not going to join her Evil League of Evil.”
Review by Matt Chapman