As the season barrels toward its conclusion in a few weeks, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is becoming more and more serialized to accommodate — and the saga of the “Destroyer of Worlds” just took a jaw-dropping turn.
Spoilers ahead for “All Roads Lead…,” the latest episode of ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which aired Friday, April 20, 2018.
We’ll begin at the end: Ruby is (apparently) dead, after having her throat slashed at super-speed by Yo-Yo. After being warned by her defeated future self that there is nothing she can do to change this chain of events, modern-day Yo-Yo takes matters into her own (robo)-hands to kill Ruby while she’s still stumbling around trying to figure out how to harness her Gravitonium powers. With everyone in shock — and Daisy pissed that she went against a direct order — Yo-Yo proudly proclaims she probably just saved the world. But did she? We don’t know the exact turn of events that leads to the broken future, and maybe slashing Ruby’s throats is exactly what causes the end of the world in the first place. Have they broken the loop? We still don’t know, but it certainly seems like this is being framed as a turning-point moment.
Whether or not it’s a turning point to save the future — or fall back into the trappings of every other loop — remains to be seen.
As for Ruby, she was driven positively mad after absorbing a mere 8 percent of the Gravitonium. The personalities battling inside the fluid start tearing at her mind, and between that distraction and an inability to harness the abilities, she accidentally crushes the head of Strucker in a shocking and brutal scene that brings that Hydra legacy to a swift close. It seems Hall and Quinn were literally trying to escape through Ruby and take over her body? It’s unknown at this point if killing Ruby also killed the remnants of their personalities, or if they still persist in the remaining cache of Gravitonium.
Checking in with the rest of the crew: The clash brings Fitz, Simmons, and Yo-Yo back into the fold of the main team, though it stands to reason there will still be some fallout for their mutiny. Yo-Yo is hurt and needs some recalibration with her new arms, but only a little worse for the wear — at least physically. Hale, after turning herself in to Coulson’s team, escapes in the chaos after Ruby’s death. Talbot narrowly survives a near-suicide attempt to break the Hydra programming in his mind, after trying to kidnap Robin.
With four episodes left in the season, there’s still a whole lot of breathing room remaining for this story to take some twists and turns. To that end, it stands to reason Yo-Yo didn’t actually save the world with the quick slice of a blade. The Gravitonium inside Ruby exploded mysteriously, which likely doesn’t bode well for anyone, and we still have a few more hours of story to tell.
There’s also the episode-closing moment where a vengeful Hale reaches out to her alien comrades and tells them that S.H.I.E.L.D. has the Gravitonium — all they have to do is come down and get it. How does this brewing alien war fit into it all? Looks like we’ll find out soon.
*Coulson and May’s mostly unspoken relationship remains a highlight of this show. So much said with so little.
*Deke continues to be a great addition to this ensemble, made even more fun by the fact that the guy is crushing hard on Daisy — and now everybody knows it thanks to his painkiller confession. Nice to see he tracked down a lemon, sure that will go over really well. Also, turning to Mack and Coulson for love life advice went about as well as anyone could imagine.
*Some great action scenes from May and Daisy busting into the bunker, nice to see some old-school butt-kicking from two of the deadliest women in the MCU.
*If this really does end up being the final season of S.H.I.E.L.D., they look to be wrapping things up with a big story that actually brings some lingering plot threads back around to put a bow on the series. Considering how heavily they’ve touted the finale as a potential series ender, it’ll be interesting to see where everyone is left once the dust settles — and who actually survives it all. Because the only way to really be sure they’ve broken that time loop is for someone they know should be alive to bite the dust along the way.