Danny Hale reviews the tenth episode of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 5…
Well, that was emotional. The decision to open ‘Past Life’ with Kasius finding Sinara’s body was a great move; it ignited the episode with a further blow to Kasius, building on where we left him last week. The Kree is being pushed to his limit, causing him to become more erratic and violent. It set up the episode in a great way and established the volatile state of mind he has been driven to. This shortly followed by setting up the team’s elaborate plan for escape gave us a great premise for the episode that followed.
Seeing Kasius with Sinara’s body and his denial of her death truly shows how deep his affection was for her. This was some of my favourite material this week, mainly because Sinara’s death is the catalyst that drives Kasius to embark on his suicide mission. By taking the Odium he can stop S.H.I.E.L.D. escaping, leaving the Earth whole and vulnerable for his father. The substance will kill him but he sees this as reuniting with Sinara and as it turns out this is preferable to him than gaining his long sought ratification from his father. I wasn’t expecting this kind of development this week so that was a welcome surprise; it makes Sinara a bit more integral and strengthens her arc. Her demise directly impacts Kasius and spurs him into action.
In this week’s most chilling scene Yo-Yo comes face to face with Kasius’ seer, herself from the future. Natalia Cordova Buckley’s performance was beautiful; her realisation that Mack was near and “still alive” was incredibly moving to see ; the only flicker of hope or happiness to be found in this version of Yo-Yo. While I had suspected the seer may be Elena I was not prepared for the finer details of this reveal. Seeing a character as strong as Yo-Yo so damaged and broken is not easy, learning that she has been repeatedly killed and revived is horrific but the final gut-punch comes when we see the full extent of Kasius’ physical torture as Yo-Yo uncovers her severed arms. From what we have been previously taught in this show is that you cannot change the future, no matter what. Given this, seeing Yo-Yo watch her future self creates a frightening sense of inevitability. While the team will continue to hope for a way to prevent these events from happening, we have little evidence to suggest how they will actually achieve this.
Enoch and Deke had some beautiful moments this week as they both seemingly and willingly gave up their existence in order to send our team home. Enoch’s simple and calm resolution in dying for his friends was particularly moving. I was hoping the emotionless chronicom would stick around long enough to be the secret MVP of the season so I’m genuinely sad to see him go. Deke’s insistence on keeping their imminent destruction from the team made the whole act that more tragic. While I STILL think Deke will possibly return, this was a powerful moment for him and one that shows the heroic, selfless side of him.
Mack had a lot of great material this week, primarily coming face to face with Kasius and taking him down. In a brutal display Kasius murders Elena in front of Mack and while we know this is not the Elena from our time it doesn’t diminish the effect the moment has. Mack knows no better and in an emotionally charged encounter he and Kasius now under the influence of the Odium clash in “the crater”. While the idea of Kasius’ rage serum is not incredibly innovative this scene still worked for me; we have seen Kasius pushed to this point, we also understand he is not a fighter and with Sinara gone this is truly his best hope for revenge. Aided by a consistently strong performance by Dominic Rains the previously pristine Kree devolves into blind rage as he and Mack pummel each other. Simmons, however, thankfully got her own moment of vengeance against her captor as she hits him with one of his own implants, silencing him. She also got to make sure he knew it was her before Mack delivered the final blow. The ensuing reunion of Mack with his Elena was expectedly moving; the look of complete confusion and love on Mack’s face as he takes in every inch of her was appropriately subdued and very powerful.
Past Life packed a lot of action and developments for our team. We had many answers answered and many plots closed but thankfully there are still plenty of intriguing questions going forward. How exactly is Coulson dying? Will Daisy legitimately be able to forgive Coulson for icing her and forcing her back to Earth? And how soon will alien ships appear in the sky heralding the end of the world? I am starting to think that Kasius’ father will be the one that attempts to invade Earth and if this is the case then I am massively intrigued to see what kind of character he is. The show returns to Earth after this break where we will finally catch up on the fallout of last season’s events and likely will have said goodbye to the likes of Tess and Flint. It was great spending time with both characters and should they never return again it’s nice to know they are together, working to save a destroyed Earth. Will our return to Earth bring back Hunter? Will we see more General Hale? March 2nd will begin our next pod and I honestly can’t wait to see where this goes next.
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