Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: The Last Day
Original air date: January 19th, 2018
Okay, at first, I did not like this episode—it seemed like Robin wrote and directed it. I watched it over, because I knew my feelings of frustration were impeding my judgement. Time loops, paradoxes and flashbacks are complicated, but the episode did a good job bringing the timeline of what happened had the agents not been transported to the future into the timeline we have been following. Robin is the anchor point at both ends, but in an episode that felt like the love child of Memento and The Arrival, my humanness showed and I was getting impatient for some answers.
I can see how everyone (but May) got infuriated with Robin. Like them, I wanted answers and I wanted them fast. Yet, when I reflected and re-watched it, the way the episode progressed was exactly how it needed to be—the frustration I felt mirrored the agents. The episode conveyed that feeling and more in such an effective manner, that with my second viewing, I flipped on my initial conclusion—this might be one of the best, well crafted episodes of the series.
The thing I thought quite clever was we were given a sense that this process was very cyclical in one brief scene—Fitz expressing his thoughts of futility to May, that time couldn’t be changed no matter what they did, conveyed his helplessness and frustration perfectly. In contrast to shows and movies that show the repetition of a time loop over and over and over (those episodes drive me crazy).
As the audience we get the benefit of seeing a bigger picture, which sometimes takes away from experiencing the urgency the characters are feeling. Fitz and his anger, YoYo’s loss of hope, and Ma’s complacency with the Kree showed how much was at stake—these are not the agents we know. This future offers no light at the end of the tunnel—any chance they have to change time, to change the outcome– they desperately need it.
May, remembered the long game—she kept hopeful they could change time. Her with Robin, as a child and adult, was beautiful. I love how she was the most open minded about concept of time. She believed in Robin and she believed that all of them together would find a solution to a seemingly unsolvable problem. The solution we now know involves Flint.
In both viewings of the episode—YoYo, Mack and Flint fighting the Vrellnexians was awesome. I thought our agents should use the Vrellnexians against the Kree—unfortunately the Kree liked the idea as well and did it first. (I am only slightly concerned that Kassius had the same idea I had.) However, seeing YoYo super speed and kill them all was totally worth it. Mack being reunited with his axe-shotgun was also a great moment. I’m glad the (remaining) humans are now on their side. I just hope the agents on the surface can get to Flint before something happens to him.
Here is my theory on how Flynt is the key: if he ends up not being the reason why Earth explodes, I think he will be the one to put the Monolith back together. He can control rocks, so maybe he can sense different rocks. Or maybe he will be able to control and harness Gravitionium. (There must be a reason why we saw it in the last episode.)
Maybe the Gravitionium has something to do with the Earth being blown apart? I’m still not convinced, though, that Daisy is the one that destroys the world—there are still a lot of unanswered questions after this episode. The video shows her getting off the Zephyr, and we don’t know why—maybe the reason why the Lighthouse and where they crashed remained intact was because of her, not despite her.
My only remaining disappointment in the episode was that Deke did not get reunited with his father. In my head, I thought it would be really cool if Deke turned out to be Fitz and Simmons’ great grandson. There would be a scene where his dad walks in and goes, “Mom? Dad?” and runs and hugs them. Alas, Deke could still be related—actually a lot of them could be if the Kree harvested their DNA, but I’m guessing we aren’t going to get into that.