Danny Hale reviews the seventeenth episode of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 5…
‘The Honeymoon’ followed Fitz, Simmons and Yo-Yo on their lead to England while Coulson and Talbot continued to flee HYDRA with no means of getting home. This was a fast-paced, action heavy episode with some strong emotional beats that all brings the apocalyptic future closer to realisation.
Opening with some much needed exterior shots added a splash of colour to the aesthetic of this season. While I commend the creative team behind this show for so effectively managing an ever decreasing budget, to have scenes set in a snowy forest and lush green Hertfordshire is undeniably welcome. It was awesome to see Fitz, Simmons and Yo-Yo embark on a mission together and what a better way to set the tone for the episode than to have the invincible three leap from the quinjet and skydive in. We quickly discover that HYDRA has a presence here in the form of an Ivanov android and some of his puppets. He’s been tasked with protecting the Particle Infusion Chamber by Hale and stands between our team and their objective. As soon as Ivanov walked on-screen I needed Yo-Yo to take him on; her new arms levelling the playing field between the two. Then, in a surprising turn, it’s revealed that Yo-Yo cannot use her powers without causing her robotic limbs to malfunction causing her intense pain. It was an effective development as suddenly the team felt a whole lot more vulnerable against their adversaries and their certainty in their own survival started to fade. It also helps prevent Yo-Yo’s injuries and trauma from being diminished in light of her new, super strong limbs. Luckily, Yo-Yo manages to recover enough to throw down with Ivanov in a really nicely choreographed encounter. (The action on this show is so much fun). Once she successfully destroys the Ivanov android the surrounding drones fall inactive just in time to save Fitz and Simmons. Unfortunately, Ruby and Alex then arrive and discover that Fitz has disabled the Particle Infusion Chamber. With their lives on the line Fitz and Simmons will likely have to repair the sabotaged component while simultaneously stalling their captors. Luckily, Elena saw the HYDRA vessel arrive so will surely see about getting them aid.
Ruby’s clash with Daisy was great; the fight was very hand-to-hand focussed, amplified by the slightly claustrophobic clearing they were in. With minimal use of weapons and powers we got to see the two go toe-to-toe on pretty even footing. Of course Deke, ignoring Daisy’s orders, gets himself shot trying to help her and while they hurry him to safety Hale is able to reclaim a beaten and pissed Ruby. My favourite development from this was Ruby’s breakdown to her mother; she’s devoted her entire life to HYDRA and her mother’s cause but she wants the power promised to her so badly she’s willing to abandon both of those things in order to secure it. I wasn’t expecting that kind of vulnerability from her and while her sanity is definitely questionable this scene made her far more compelling to me. This was further strengthened by her locking her mother in her cell; I thought she was going to kill her in a true act of madness but I think this pushes Ruby into a bland archetype. It’s a lot more interesting to see Ruby still trying to prove her mother proud and with Alex finally cracking the code on his father’s works it isn’t that surprising that he was able to convince her to leave with him against her mother’s orders. Ruby’s main goal now is to become the destroyer of worlds and to beat the infamous Quake.
After being so happy seeing Talbot return to the show, ‘The Honeymoon’ is making me wish he’d stayed away. His scenes with Daisy this week were really touching and it was sweet to see these two share a few kind words with each other. Talbot’s desire to speak to his family and let them know he is safe and thinking of them is easy to relate to so it’s sweet that Daisy finds a way for him to call home. Unfortunately, we learn that aside from regular old torture it appears HYDRA has prepped Talbot as a sleeper agent. It’s a smart and obvious choice on Hale’s part and I’m kicking myself for not seeing it coming. I just hope Glenn can make it through this and it won’t add to the already large amount of guilt and shame he’s holding on to.
‘The Honeymoon’ was a fun and exciting episode. May finally got a chance to take Coulson aside and in a powerfully performed rant she pulls him up on his recent actions. She fumes at his acceptance of death and shuts him up by finally saying those words, “I love you.” It was so beautiful in only a way that May could make it and Clark Gregg did a wonderful job of looking both dumbfounded and moved. Deke meanwhile confessed to his not-so-surprising crush on Daisy; Jeff Ward, once more showing his prowess at comedy, endearingly delivers this under heavy anaesthetic. There hasn’t been much room this season for Deke to pursue any romantic interest he might have so this scene felt like a natural way for him to voice his feelings. He has grown up knowing Quake’s face and her reputation but as an adult has experienced her heroism first-hand. Maybe Deke will be another victim of unrequited love or perhaps before the season is out he’ll find a way to tell Daisy how he feels but with so few episodes left I can’t see when Daisy will have time to even process the idea. We go forward now with FitzSimmons in Ruby’s hands and the creation of the Destroyer of Worlds hinging on them repairing the Particle Infusion Chamber, bringing them one step closer to the future they are fighting to avoid.