Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. recap: Attack of the body-jumper from another dimension
Coming out of last week’s violent cliffhanger, everyone is trying to figure out what happened. Fitz, who has not previously encountered Sarge, now has to deal with his bloodied and bullet-riddled body lying on an operating table. He didn’t even see the real Coulson die!
Everyone else wants to know why May did it. But once they put her in a holding cell, she can’t remember anything. She remembers leaving the party because she was tired, and nothing until she came to in this holding cell. At the same time, in the medical lab, Simmons is astonished to discover that Sarge’s fatal wounds have already healed completely.
After several tension-building minutes, we start to figure out what’s happening. Izel, apparently, possesses the ability to jump between bodies. That’s how she survived Jaco’s kamikaze nuke attack on her ship: She jumped into Davis’ body and smuggled herself out through him! That’s also why Davis was so zonked at the party and passed out pretty much immediately; he had a whole alien woman inside of him. The last thing May remembers from the previous night is leaving the party and bumping into Davis on her way to her quarters. That’s when Izel jumped into her and used her to shoot her biggest enemy.
Except…are Izel and Sarge really enemies? They’re apparently figuring this all out at the same time we viewers are. It’s Fitz, of course, who helps point us in the right direction. Because he doesn’t remember the whole “fear dimension” thing from last year’s 100th episode (that was the other Fitz; this one was still in cryo-sleep) he has an outside perspective on it. He knows that Izel wants the monoliths and that she thinks they have the power of creation; he knows that two of the monoliths can control space and time, respectively; and he’s heard the story about material visions emerging from the “fear dimension” created by three monoliths exploding at once. So here’s his theory: If two of the monoliths had power over space and time, then the third must have had creative powers. Is it just me, or are these monoliths starting to sound suspiciously like Infinity Stones…?
Here’s what Fitz concludes: When Coulson stepped into the fear dimension to seal it up with gravitonium, he stepped into some kind incorporeal protean realm. The creative element of that monolith-mush created a person in his image and then sent it off in space and time to materialize on some other planet many years ago. And that’s Sarge.
Once they’ve figured out that Izel can body-jump, Mack tries locking down the Lighthouse so she can’t escape, but the power to control people without harming yourself is quite a potent one. First, she steps into Piper’s body and makes her shoot herself through the hand. Then, to prove she’s really serious, she possesses Davis long enough to make him leap off a high enough point to die from the fall. That would be the meaning of this episode’s title, “Leap.”
After that, Izel takes Mack as a hostage and makes her way to the room where they keep the gravitonium containing the monolith energy. Sarge escapes from Simmons’ infirmary and makes it there around the same time. He unloads a clip of bullets into her, but they have pretty much no effect. Then Izel explains what she’s figured out: Sarge is like her. They both hail from the same incorporeal dimension. When Coulson stepped through, Sarge’s spirit took his form to escape. Sometime later, Izel followed suit. He hasn’t been hunting Izel to destroy her, he’s been pursuing her out of longing. Sarge is “Pachacuti,” the Shrike god.
For now, Sarge is not ready for a 180. He refuses to join Izel, and she walks out of the room to be greeted by Mack, Yo-Yo, and Daisy. Izel jumps into Yo-Yo’s body and threatens to use her superspeed to kill anyone who gets in her way. So Mack lets her leave. In fact, he accompanies her onto the plane (both as a hostage and to keep an eye on Yo-Yo’s body). As May explains to Daisy afterward, Mack’s trusting his team to figure out a solution without him.
A whole dimension of incorporeal beings…I don’t know. Things are getting a little too abstract here, compared to the visceral emotional stakes of Mack’s leadership competition with Sarge and Sarge’s all-or-nothing approach to hunting the Shrike that has dominated the last few weeks. But we’ll have to see what happens in the coming weeks.