REVIEW: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S5E15 – Rise and Shine

So. “The plot thickens” is one way you could summarize this episode. ‘Cuz it thickens a HECK of a lot.

First of all, now we know all about General Hale’s sordid history with HYDRA. (And we know that Ward killing his dog was not just a one-time thing that Garrett made him do; all HYDRA recruits/students in their creepy underground school had to do the same thing as their ‘final test.’ In case you weren’t already sure that HYDRA is the worst). We know Ruby’s intended purpose, and a little more of the reason why she’s unstable and creepy. Because let’s be honest, I don’t think anything Whitehall engineered could be anything but unstable and creepy. And the name of that super soldier program Whitehall wanted to prepare Hale’s daughter for? Oh, it’s just “the Destroyer of Worlds program.” Totally sane and safe. Much like Whitehall himself.

Poor Talbot. He may be a self-important blowhard, but he didn’t deserve this. (Kudos to Adrian Pasdar for a brilliant performance this episode).

Speaking of Whitehall, how great was Coulson’s line in response to Hale asking if he was familiar with that old HYDRA supervillain? “I buried him. Go team!” BWAH! I just love Coulson so much. He must not die. He cannot. Do NOT kill him off, show!! That was far from his only awesome moment this episode, though. There was everything from not falling for Hale’s opening shtick with Ruby, to his delight at the Cap’n Crunch Berries, to his unwillingness to go back to space so soon after coming back to Earth, and his amazing comment about the “Confederacy.” That’s not even mentioning his terror at realizing the origin of the horrific future he and the rest of our team saw. Too bad Hale’s understandable issues stemming from being a woman who endured a great deal to reach her current position – and her skepticism about Coulson’s story – means she refuses to believe him. I wonder what she would have done if she did believe?

No surprise that the mood back at the Lighthouse is a bit grim, with Coulson captured and Fitz still locked up as a “supervillain” (in May’s words) himself. It’s even less surprising that Daisy is the one who’s the most furious with him. She said in last week’s episode that she’ll never forgive him, and it certainly seems like she’s sticking to that. May can understand him pretty well, having been Framework HYDRA herself, and even Mack has some sympathy for what the Framework does to a person. But of course Simmons is the one who is most willing to try to bring him back to himself. In one of the best scenes of an episode full of great scenes, she comes into his cell with some tea (awww, British gestures of love) and a revelation. I think Fitz’s reaction to learning that Deke is his grandson has got to be one of the top five most adorable/hilarious Fitz scenes in the whole show. Can’t wait to see how his interactions with the man himself will change – maybe starting next week, since Deke doesn’t show up in person at all this ep.

“But… he’s the worst!” Best. Face. Ever.

And lastly, what are we to make of this growing idea of invincibility as a result of knowing about the timeloop? I know Mack doesn’t believe Yo-Yo is invulnerable, just because she saw her future self. I thought Simmons was one of the proponents of time not being unchangeable, too. So maybe she’s just using that idea to get through to Fitz?

Anyway. Next week we’re hopefully going to get Yo-Yo with her badass robotic arms, and we’ll find out just how unsuitable – or maybe perfect – Ruby’s temperament is for being turned into the Destroyer of Worlds.