Coulson and the team are faced with some of their greatest fears and our S.H.I.E.L.D. agents have to scramble to close off a riff that’s threatening to rip the Earth apart. Revelations abound and a huge surprise or two await us by the end of the 100th episode.
Spoilers ahead for “The Real Deal,” the latest episode of ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which aired Friday, March 9, 2018!
“If you wanted a symbol, you are the symbol. There’s no S.H.I.E.L.D. without you.” – Daisy to Coulson
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. picks up where we left off last week following the explosion of the Kree beacon that has destroyed the three monoliths that had been stored in the Lighthouse.
S.H.I.E.L.D. did just what it promised to do for its 100th episode by revealing the deal Coulson made with Ghost Rider in order to take down AIDA last season. After Coulson collapsed following his decision to risk his life to seal off the “fear dimension” that’s bleeding into our world, the team learns that dead tissue surrounds his heart and lungs, and it’s progressing rapidly. Coulson finally comes clean and reveals that the price he had to pay to become a temporary host for the Spirit of Vengeance was that Ghost Rider would be burning through the “alien voodoo” that was holding him together since his resurrection following his death by Loki’s Scepter in the first Avengers movie.
Understandably, everyone is upset that he kept the secret he was dying from them, and none more so than Daisy, who has always seen in Coulson a surrogate father. Their confrontation was emotional and hit us right in the feels, but we can safely say the gang will do everything they can to save Coulson, even if this one has come to terms with dying a second time. Since we know the Season 5 finale is also being written as a series finale, it could definitely end with Coulson’s death.
So it was the fear dimension that brings us (fake) Lash and Hive, a Kree warrior and a Simmons LMD who tries to kill Yo-Yo. (Side note: We just love how strong a couple Yo-Yo and Mac are despite the tragedy that has just struck her.) Sadly, their appearances are no more than brief cameos at best, as they are dispatched a bit too quickly and easily. Yes, they’re nice callbacks to past episodes and seasons, but we wish there had been more meat to their appearances, especially Lash and Hive. Talking about Hive, Grant Ward should have been the one to make an appearance only because he has been the biggest thorn on S.H.I.E.L.D.’s side since it was revealed he was a Hydra agent.
On the other hand, the return of Mike Peterson/Deathlok (the fake and real versions) was a welcome one, and we wish we could see more of him in the future, even if he doesn’t want to stick around in any permanent way. The scene where fake Peterson tries to convince Coulson that none of what happened during the previous 99 episodes was real, and that it’s all a figment of his imagination as he lies dying after being stabbed by Loki, was a nice way to tie the show back to the events of The Avengers.
The episode ending on the surprise wedding of Jemma Simmons and Leopold Fitz was definitely the icing on the (wedding) cake for viewers and the rest of the team as Coulson officiated the wedding. After what those two have been through over the course of five seasons, to see them tie the knot by the end of the episode provided the one positive beat to an emotion-filled episode. Taking advantage of the forest that showed up on Level 27 before it disappears, and surrounded by their friends, it was nice to end the Marvel series' 100th episode on a joyous celebration, even though we know this is only the calm before the storm.
*The reveal that Deke is actually the grandson of FitzSimmons was a neat one. The fact that he picked up a wedding ring for Simmons that looked just like his grandmother’s set off some alarm bells until our suspicion was quickly confirmed soon after in a scene with General Hale. How long will it take before everyone concerned finds out about the family connection? Is that why Deke made it back to the past/present?
*Talking about Deke, his thinking of a forest as an “overwhelming collection of branchy things with birds and bugs and florals covered in worms” being a horror show (despite hugging a tree last week) was hilarious. We guess it must be understandable for someone having grown up in space with no contact with real vegetation whatsoever.
*And so, another Chromicon did bite the dust. R.I.P. Noah, we hardly knew ya. Your sacrifice, though maybe useless in the grand scheme of things, will never be forgotten.
*General Hale is really like a dog with a bone where it concerns apprehending our S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. Woman is really hell-bent on catching them.
*“We need fresh blood to lead the team.” – Coulson. In the Marvel Comics, Daisy/Quake took over as director of S.H.I.E.L.D. for a time. Is that where the show is headed if Coulson dies? If not, it's a nice little easter egg.
Up next: The team goes to search for more Gravitonium, and are looking for a way to save Coulson.