The timelines seem to be aligning, and for folks trying desperately to derail a planet-destroying future, that’s a very bad thing. This week on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., that manifested with some alien hunters who turn out to be familiar for at least one team member.
Spoilers ahead for “Option Two,” the latest episode of ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which aired Friday, April 27, 2018.
It looks like we’ve finally met the Destroyer of Worlds, and it turns out it's the last person almost anyone would’ve guessed: Talbot.
The team has tried everything — including Yo-Yo going rogue to slash Ruby’s throat — to prevent the “Destroyer of Worlds” from manifesting via Hydra’s Captain America-style Gravitonium chamber. But all those efforts were derailed during the chaos of an alien assault on the Lighthouse, which found a desperate Talbot climbing into the Gravitonium chamber and super-charging his frazzled and damaged psyche.
After being psychologically tortured for months, and brainwashed to the point of unknowingly betraying the team and giving up the base’s location, Talbot aims to fix things. With the team on the verge of being overrun by talon-wielding aliens, he makes the only play he sees left on the board. At least in the immediate moment, the move works, as Talbot saves the team and effortlessly crushes the alien soldiers into tiny balls of murderous goo. But considering we already saw the psychic toll just 8 percent of the stuff took on Ruby, there’s absolutely no predicting how Talbot will react, between both his psychical and psychological scars.
The closing shot finds Talbot lifting Coulson out of the base into the world above. What happens next? Yeah, it’ll probably play a big role in determining whether S.H.I.E.L.D. has broken the time loop.
As for the set-up that finally unleashed the Destroyer of Worlds? General Hale remains MIA after sending the alien scavengers to do her dirty work, and it turns out these attackers do have a connection to the earth-shattering future we know and love. Deke recognizes these guys immediately, and confirms they’ve menaced humanity from time to time where he’s from.These scavengers showed up on occasion with demands, and Deke says future humans were powerless to stop them. So they gave them whatever they wanted and cleaned up the trail of dead once they finally left.
The space politics are obviously still coming into focus, but it seems this loose confederacy of aliens clearly has some connection to the Kree who will eventually rule the Earth. Even now, there’s seemingly still an alien ship above the base (a ship that was conveniently hidden from the world upon arrival, since you have to take into account all the MCU-ness of it all). So that is still a very active threat, despite Talbot’s newfound powers.
*Daisy continues to rundown Deathlok research, and has seemingly come across a lead in her quest to save Coulson. The old Centipede tech reemerges, and Daisy heads to her own mother’s grave to find a missing piece of the puzzle. This story promises to be interesting, and fans are still waiting to see if Season 5 really will be the end for Coulson.
*As for the timeline debate, it rages on. Simmons has come to the conclusion that Deke is a canary in the coal mine — meaning she believes they’ll only know if they’ve succeeded in saving the future if he disappears. Deke has a different take, and believes he’s an anomaly that will remain no matter what, having broken from his own timeline. Again, only time will tell. However it turns out, there’s no doubt Deke has made for a great addition to the team. Plus, his crush on Daisy continues to be hilarious. The team also continues to follow threads from the future timeline, like setting up the Zephyr for spaceflight (though it was done in a failed attempt to destroy the Gravitonium). It’s a fascinating exploration of fate vs. free will, playing out in real time.
*The base computer lockdown gag was classic S.H.I.E.L.D. at its best. This show has one hell of a sense of humor, and it always manifests in just the best ways. C’mon, Coulson. Always wait for the menu to finish!
*Yo-Yo has finally come clean about her future self’s warning to let Coulson die, and that’s one heck of a reveal to drop into the ether. It also looks like she and Mack have hit one major rough patch. But again, that damage feels earned after everything that’s happened.
*This episode introduced a few redshirt agents to serve as fodder, a classic trope in sci-fi, but at least S.H.I.E.L.D. actually feels in on the joke. Piper can be seen chatting with an agent who seems to be finishing a fascinating story of survival, as she asks why he never told the rest of the team. His answer? They don’t care. Even the redshirts know they’re redshirts in the MCU.