The sixth season of ABC‘s Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is all about Coulson’s old team hitting rock bottom. The first few episodes of the season centered around FitzSimmons (Iain De Caestecker, Elizabeth Henstridge) sacrificing everything, morals and friendships included, to reunite. Now, the cursed couple head back to Earth, just in time for rest of the S.H.I.E.L.D. team to take leave of their better judgment. This week’s episode, “Collision Course Part 1,” is a convergence of worst-case-scenarios, leading up to a cliffhanger of impending doom.
A speeding 18-wheeler of MAJOR SPOILERS ahead…
Mack (Henry Simmons) is so obsessed with filling Coulson’s shoes that he’s not even filling his own anymore. The new director distances himself from the rest of the Agents – as well as his personality and sense of humor. While Yo-Yo (Natalia Cordova-Buckley) promises Mack that he still has the faith of the rest of the Agents, it is not evident on screen. Additionally, Condova-Buckley and Simmons seem to have lost their onscreen chemistry during the hiatus. Deke’s (Jeff Ward) conversation with Mack as he is recruited for Sarge’s (Clark Gregg) mixed team is the most honest anyone has been with the new director in ages. And it is refreshing.
S.H.I.E.L.D. finally gets its act together and Mack insists that Daisy (Chloe Bennet), May (Ming-Na Wen), and Deke go with Sarge and Snowflake (Brooke Williams) on the mission. However, it is ridiculous that no one questions Sarge’s insistence on making the 17 hour drive to the mission site in his truck. The Agents have the Zephyr at their disposal, an aircraft that could get the team to the site in time to prevent the convergence. And yet no one asks Sarge why that truck is so important, until its too late.
On the truck things go completely off the rails. May and Daisy try to interrogate Sarge, but have apparently forgotten all of the fancy tactics S.H.I.E.L.D. taught them. Both women opt for brute force questioning, with heavy doses of sarcasm and hatred thrown in. Yes, Sarge wears the face of their former mentor and friend, but he has valuable information they need. Two professional S.H.I.E.L.D. agents should be better equipped to question a valuable asset. In fact, Deke’s extracurricular canoodling with Snowflake is the most useful thing anyone has done to turn a member of Sarge’s team so far. Granted, it is a little gross, and Snowflake will probably try to kill him in the end, but at least she’s on his side now.
On a related point, the sidelining of Agent May this season is disappointing. It is possible that the writers are trying to show that May has retreated within herself since Coulson’s death. But, in practice, it looks a little bit like no one knows how to write a scene between May and anyone other than Clark Gregg. As the team speeds towards possible destruction, it would be nice to see her do something other than glare, shout orders, or fight.
As the Agents on Earth head towards destruction in the sky and on the ground, FitzSimmons find themselves hurtling through Earth’s atmosphere. The couple realize that Izel (Karolina Wydra) had something to do with the destruction of the Chronicom homeworld. At the same time, the Agents on Earth find out Izel is the Creator of the Shrikes. While it is concerning that FitzSimmons don’t realize that Izel has turned the entire crew into her own zombie army, at least they didn’t tell her anything useful about Earth or the monoliths.
In fact, other than the knowledge that Izel is evil and FitzSimmons have no way to contact Earth, not a lot of plot development happens in space. Fitz does have an adorably Fitz freakout, where he gets incredibly jealous of his dead self. While the scene is a cute and funny interlude from the crisis on Earth, it isn’t exactly vital for the story.
As Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. heads into next week’s conclusion of the “Collision Course” two-part episode, our favorite “doomsday magnets” are all hurtling towards a major crash. Like an unlucky game of chicken, the survival of the Agents, Sarge’s team, and millions of Earthlings will be determined by who blinks first. It is time for S.H.I.E.L.D. to get its poop in a group and redeem itself.
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. “Collision Course Part II” airs Friday, July 12, at 8 p.m. on ABC.