If you’re following reviews at the UK pace, with episodes screening on E4, hit this link and go back to episode S05E04.
Airing Fridays in the US on ABC
Writer: Craig Titley
Director: Brad Turner
Essential Plot Points:
- Anomalies from the fear dimension are still leaking through and an under pressure Fitz needs to figure a way to seal it for good.
- Daisy gets her powers back, but the cost may split the team for a significant amount of time and make it hard for Fitz and Simmons to be together, despite their recent marriage.
- The S.H.I.E.L.D. team capture General Hale. But it’s a trap, and Coulson has to go with her or the Bus will be blown up by Creel and his C4 vest.
We were afraid (gag intended) the breach to the Fear Dimension was going to be plugged without its inhabitants getting a proper run out, but we needn’t have worried. The ‘anomalies’, as the team calls the fiends coming through, are still finding their way past Fitz’s technical Band-Aid. Even if the budget for them only runs to a man in a space suit sometimes.
Anything that brings evil Fitz back is OK in our book. Short of an Emohawk from Red Dwarf sucking out his compassion, we never thought we’d see that guy again. Leopold, the Doctor from the Framework, doesn’t waste any time messing things up for the team, as you’d expect from an evil genius. The question is, who’s fear is it? Fitz seems terrified of his dark half (Daisy: “Where’s the real Fitz?” Leopold: “Oh believe me, you’re looking at him.”), but has someone else brought this fear to life? Or is there a darker explanation?
The answer to those questions is astounding. You might start off thinking, if Leopold harvests Daisy’s inhuman power, could that be what breaks the Earth apart? But by the time you see the real incarnation of evil Fitz, you’ll get goosebumps akin to seeing Grant Ward unveiled as a monster. The kicker is that his inhuman (in the usual sense of the word) actions save the world at this point from the Fear Dimension. Whether unleashing Daisy’s power will eventually drive mankind to the brink of extinction remains to be seen.
Elsewhere, we were lauding the return of the spy element to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. last week, but the players seem to have forgotten the game a little since their time away. Such an easy capture of their main enemy should have alarm bells ringing but the team seem surprised at a counter move involving Creel and a stash of C4. And Doctor Leopold isn’t the only return this week, as Hale is also revealed to be working with Anton the android. For all his toughing it out, he’s soon revealed to be a puppet.
Biggest current fear, as there so much chatter about that emotion: the time loop. Both Yo-yo and Fitz have suggested it can’t be broken – hell, her amputee status suggests everything that has happened before, including the destruction of the Earth, will happen – and so far everything suggests that’s still the case. It makes her pleading with Mack to let her be even more pertinent than the words of a cranky patient, adding another layer to their relationship. It’s hard to be the protector of someone who knows she doesn’t need protecting.
Yet the best moments of this episode are those between Fitz and Simmons, once the actions of The Devil Complex are complete. Newly married, she should look at her husband with disdain for what he’s done. But having come to the only conclusion he can about sealing off the fear dimension, can he really be vilified for choosing such extreme measures?
- Deke having a full-on Back to the Future moment where he fears for the safety of his grandparents, aware he’ll never exist if they die.
- Parking the invisible quinjet on the road and having General Hale ride right into it is a great tactic. Bravo.
- The astronaut being the main anomaly from the Fear Dimension. Saving the budget much, Marvel?
Fitz: “I want Hobnobs!”
Personally, we’ve done time in America, and those British snacks really help you get through.
Agent Piper: “Another trap. Feels like you’d be safer if you just tossed me out of the plane.”
Melinda May: “We should at least consider it.”
Review by Matt Chapman