‘Agents of SHIELD’ 5×04 Review: “A Life Earned”

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So, how about that ending?

Yes, Fitz is back! For all of season 5 so far, many fans (like me) we’re wondering if we were going to get to see Fitz in the future as well. At first, I thought he could possibly be the voice in the message from Earth to Virgil but instead that’s revealed to be Deke’s father. (More on that in a sec).

As for the moment Fitz shows up – A masked reveal demanding that Daisy fight to the death in a showcase of her powers- was a shocker for a number of reasons. Now while I’m 100% sure this is a plan by Fitz somehow to free the team, how this will……I don’t know and I don’t care. I’m just going glad to see Fitz again.

Because boy oh boy, does this season need him.

Sorry but I’m just not feeling this whole time travel/space arc. It’s not clicking for me and I don’t know why. Maybe I had higher expectations after the successful “Agents of Hydra” arc and even though not bad, this is nowhere as great as that was. Maybe I was hopeful for a fun romp through space, not a depressing future story.

“A Life Earned” would be a forgettable episode if not for two things: Fitz’s reveal and Mack dealing with the pain of losing a child again.

Henry Simmons is my MVP of the season so far and its wonderful to see Mack get a lot of time  this season as it has been the biggest bright spot of the season showcasing Henry’s talent. This episode brings back to the surface the pain of losing a child not just once but twice now as Mack did in the framework.

Mack and Yo-Yo go to confront Gunner, a man who owes Grill a package. While it’s found out that the package is a baby, Gunner lays into Mack big time. Insults and then the biggest one of all: Hoping he would never be a parent because he would let his kids die.

Needless to say, Mack beats the man down pretty badly (and who would blame him) until Yo-Yo stops him. This leads to a gutwrenching but beautifully done scene between the two as Mack tells about how the first time Hope died in the real world and how he went through the pain of trying to move on. So when he lost her again in the framework, the pain came right back and it hasn’t gone away. The pain in Mack’s face and voice is so sad and I just wanted to hug Mack right there myself like Yo-Yo did.

The other two stories of the episode were less emotional and interesting due to characters I could give two rats butts about.

  • Daisy is still the captive of the walking thesaurus known as Kasius and she meets another Inhuman also captured. This fellow has mind reading abilities and is able to save Daisy and Jemma with those powers in a nice tense scene. Too bad the guy was pretty bland to the point I was referring to him as ” New Lincoln.”
  • May and Coulson find out about Deke’s betrayal of Daisy in the last episode and pretty much declare him a piece of crap. Meanwhile we get Deke’s sad story if his parents getting killed for being rebels. Which leads to the life he lives now. Deke and the team find out the message they recovered on Earth belongs to his father (lame) long thought dead. Before anymore of this can be discussed, Kasius’s right hand lady shows up. We get a shirt fight between her and a still injured May which leads to May defeated (BOO) and her whereabouts unknown.

So with next week’s episode looking like it will show us how Fitz got into the future, I’m ready for the break from the distopia future storyline. I’m ready for some Fitz fun and I’m ready for Agents of SHIELD to be fun again instead of nothing but sadness and depressing.

Agents of SHIELD airs at 9 pm on Fridays on ABC.

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