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Photo: Mitch Haaseth (ABC)
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As Chekov once wrote, “nothing good ever happens when the monster-killing bomb goes off ten minutes before the end of the episode.” Trust Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., though, to defy such conventions — unless, of course, you were a big fan of Sarge.

In “Collision Course, Part II,” those 10 minutes at the end don’t include some jaw-dropping twist: Instead, nearly everyone gets treated to a happy (for S.H.I.E.L.D., at least) ending after what feels like endless drama. FitzSimmons are finally back on Earth, Yo-Yo and Mack are back together, Deke’s serial killer alien girlfriend may be in confinement but she’s got a big ass TV, and May got to do what she’s wanted to do for quite some time and put a bunch of bullets in the man impersonating her deceased lover. Everybody wins!

And all it took was poor ol’ Joco sacrificing himself with an atom bomb, though the real MVP of the episode proved to be Daisy. Googling reveals that the headline above is not the first time that someone has made reference to Daisy’s superpowers saving the day as a “Daisy ex machina,” but she did it twice this week, and thus it feels especially apt. Snowflake and May’s reaction to Daisy literally vaporizing the oncoming flock of shrikes was cute in the moment: “Are all the females on this planet so powerful?” “They are.”


But that is either a glib avoidance of just how powerful Daisy has become, or an indication that her powers will be a topic of concern down the line. Given how much seems to get resolved in this episode, with this much of the season left to go, a “threat from within” could be just the thing to escalate the plot.

The theoretical meat of the episode, including a knock-out brawl between Mack and Sarge and Yo-Yo proving more than once to be a strategical genius when it comes to using her powers, is the sort of reasonably well-executed action taht proves a bit standard for S.H.I.E.L.D. Also, the number of low-level agents who get hurt or killed on a semi-regular basis raises questions about how much recruiting S.H.I.E.L.D. as an organization has been doing lately, because the cannon fodder count has to be getting low. Maybe that’s why, when yet another low-level agent get shot just as she crosses in front of a series regular, Mack agrees to Sarge’s initial demands to turn over control of the Zephyr, so that her life will be spared. After all, the hiring process can be a pain.

While “Collision Course, Part II” contains a lot more denouement than one might expect, the likelihood that Izel is actually dead feels non-existent — and whatever the body-possessing Sarge might be, it also feels like he’ll be back in some form.

Photo: Mitch Haaseth (ABC)

Which is good news, because Izel and Sarge’s confrontation over comms revealed more than expected, including the fact that Izel knows Sarge’s true identity. One of the strongest elements of their dynamic is the fact that thanks to the way Izel was introduced into the narrative, there was a real opportunity to learn about their individual motivations without necessarily deciding who was more right or more wrong. Sure, the balance probably tips to Izel and her ability to make people into “bird zombies,” but Sarge’s mysterious motivations and unforgiving tactics have never exactly screamed “good guy” either. All I know is, after watching several episodes spent teasing out the mystery between these two, if no resolution comes I may want to set some stuff on fire.

Next week’s episode is called “Leap,” which could literally apply to anything, but could someone (or something) jump into Sarge’s now-bullet-riddled body? Or will Sarge leap back into action? The official description: “The party’s over, and now the team must trust each other in order to face impending doom and an enemy that’s closer than they think.” Doesn’t sound like a good time for anyone involved. But at least this week, there was a fun party.

Stray Observations:

  • THIS WEEK IN SHAMELESS FITZSIMMONS APPRECIATION: While certainly there are some issues they need to work out still, Simmons’ smile after Fitz tells her “You smell nice” is just adorable. Even if it’s more than likely that Fitz was lying. (It’s not easy to shower in space, after all.)
  • Extra credit points to the make-up department for giving Deke at least two (visible) hickeys on his neck, after what can only have been some considerable time alone with Snowflake.
  • Last week’s decision to pair Deke up with Snowflake, for the record, was one of the more unexpected fun twists of late, especially given the way it grosses out Daisy.
  • Of course they showed that “Sarge is thinking with portals” shot from “Part 1" in the “Previously On”s. Frankly, if they find a way to show it every week in the future, that’ll rule. (Much like that shot did.)
  • But along the same lines, while of course it would have cost precious VFX dollars to show the full team using Joco’s portal to escape from the spaceship, BOOOOOO to doing it off-screen (and not really proving that creative when it came to Joco’s return).
  • In short, more portals please.
  • “Simmons, are you by any chance on that spacecraft in the upper atmosphere?” Just a normal day at the office for S.H.I.E.L.D.

Liz Shannon Miller is a L.A.-based writer who recently spent five years at Indiewire. Her work has also been published by the New York Times, Vulture, Variety, THR, the Verge, and Thought Catalog.

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