‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ Season 5 Review: Rewriting the Future

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Many shows take a shot at being the best comic book show on television– from shows such as Preacher or Legion to the DC/CW ones like Arrow and The Flash. While they all have moments of glory, none perform at the consistent level of excellence Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has these last few seasons. Season 5 continued that trend as the show kept taking risks, showcasing what excellent storytelling looks like.

While not always perfect, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. delivered us heartwarming and heartbreaking moments — sometimes in the same episode. Season 5 sent us into the dark reaches of space and time, while never losing the heart of what gave the show its small but passionate fanbase. New characters were introduced successfully and old ones were brought back to add to the story without ever losing focus on the core group.

Changing the future like the team did throughout the season, AoS secured a sixth season by the skin of its teeth. Even though the show won’t be back until next summer, we are very thankful the Season 5 finale was not the end of the story, but instead just the end of of the latest chapter.

OVERALL IMPRESSION

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is the rare show that only has gotten better after each season. Season 5 had a tall task in front of it after such a successful Season 4 with the wildly popular Hydra arc. This season was able to almost overtake that season as the best of the show’s strong run. With a trip to the future and a return to the present, the team got to see its dark side while trying to change the future. Characters evolved and changed but the heart of the show maintained through it all. Even with a season finale that could have serves as a series finale, we can’t wait for the next chapter in the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. world.

WHAT WORKED

Courtesy of ABC

 

SPLITTING THE SEASON INTO TWO PARTS

Usually a season on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is split into three separate arcs for the season. This year, they changed it up a bit by making it only a two-arc season that very much connected to each other. Having the first part in the future/space helped add a new element to the show. Returning the team to the present for the second part gave it the spark it needed for the rest of the year.

NEW CHARACTERS

In the first half of the season we got to meet several new characters–some good and some bad but were never boring. The most important character introduced in Season 5 was Deke, a rogue the team met in the beginning of the season. A frenemy at first, he slowly grew into a trusted ally — and a potential future love interest for Daisy.

Oh … and he’s also FitzSimmons’s grandson! That reveal led to some funny moments later in the season as Fitz and Simmons dealt with the information.

We also met Flint and Tess in the first half. They became fan-favorite allies to the team as they tried to find their way home from the future.

The second half of the season introduced a batch of new villains: General Hale and her daughter Ruby. What made these characters work, unlike in other comic book shows, is that we were given time to understand them and their motivations. Showing why people do what they do instead of telling you why is a lost trait in television, but Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is one of those that hasn’t lost it quite yet.

CHEMISTRY

In later seasons, some shows forget what brought them to the dance and ignore their main group to push new characters — usually to the detriment of the original beloved characters. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. avoids this pitfall ,thanks to their excellent writing and even better actors. FitzSimmons, Philinda, Mack/Fitz, Daisy/Coulson — all of these pairings got moments to explore and grow.  Even in the darkest moments, these characters are never written differently. They stay true to themselves and Season 5 highlighted this plenty of times.

FITZSIMMONS WEDDING

A beautiful moment for our favorite couple. (Let’s not mention what happened later in the season, shall we?)




 

WHAT DIDN’T WORK

 

VILLAINS

Don’t get us wrong. From Kasius to Ruby to General Talbot, the villains this season were for the most part enjoyable. But after having Hydra and AIDA last season, anything was going to be a step down. Ruby was a excellent idea and Dove Cameron played her very well, but Ruby was gone much too soon. General Talbot’s descent into madness was brilliant but also a little almost too cartoonish at times.

TIMEY-WIMEY

Okay so the frequent time-travel and future predictions/visions/whatever could get a little confusing at times. Whether it was the story of Daisy as the Destroyer of Worlds to all the symbols and Robin’s vision drawings, it could be a bit difficult to follow on occasion.

KILLING FITZ

Yes, Simmons is going to look for the Fitz that froze himself to go into the future. However, we’re still angry about the show killing Fitz in the season finale. This Fitz won’t remember marrying Simmons in that beautiful ceremony. The Whedons, why do they hate love?

 

FAVORITE EPISODES

“Orientation” (5×01-5×02): The team (sans Fitz) arrives in their new destination – 90 years into the future. Here they meet Deke and learn how awful things have turned out. Is it because of one of them?

“Rewind” (5×05): We finally see what happened to Fitz as we get the return of a long-time missing ally in Lance Hunter. Hunter and Fitz make a great duo as AoS once again shows how well they do this type of episode format so well.

“All the Comforts of Home” (5×11): The team returns to the present to find out they are wanted criminals and that the people they can trust is very very limited.

“The Real Deal” (5×12): Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s 100th episode is also one of its best as Coulson goes through a emotional journey and we get the FitzSimmons wedding!

“The Devil Complies” (5×14): This episode has the feel of a psychological thriller as the unexpected happens to some members of the team.

“The End” (5×22): In what could have worked as a series finale, Coulson says farewell to the team as the future of S.H.I.E.L.D. is changed forever.

OUR THOUGHTS ON THE UPCOMING SEASON

Season 6 doesn’t arrive until summer 2019 (ugh), but that doesn’t mean we can’t think about it right now. The big question at the moment: Will Phil Coulson come back? Last we saw him, he and May were going to live his final days on a beach in magical Tahiti. But this being a comic book show, we highly doubt this is the last time we see either of them again – even if Coulson passes away.

Other questions left include : Will Jemma be able to find present-day Fitz? How will Daisy hold up as the new leader of S.H.I.E.L.D? Can Mack and Yo-Yo repair their relationship? These and tons more are left for us to find out next year on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

What were your thoughts on Season 5 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.?




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