Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. recap: 'Option Two'
After watching Ruby Hale get totally overwhelmed by Gravitonium last week, Phil Coulson has a better plan for the mysterious substance: Shoot it into the sun. After all, if the Gravitonium is destroyed, then no one can use it to destroy the world. His team has even come up with a plan for how to do that (slingshot the Zephyr around the planet and fire the stuff at the sun), but unfortunately they get sidetracked by the fact they still haven’t discussed what happened to Ruby Hale. Yo-Yo defends her choice to kill the girl who was calling herself Destroyer of Worlds, but her teammates still aren’t happy about it and think she was motivated too much by revenge for the loss of her arms. FitzSimmons, who actually saw what Ruby was like under the influence of Gravitonium, understand her, but Daisy is still mad that Yo-Yo disobeyed her orders. Some leader she makes, huh?
After all that fun arguing, Coulson checks in on Talbot, who’s been stored in a cell for now. He wants to know why Talbot had taken Robin to the Lighthouse’s control box last week. Poor Talbot’s brain is a jumbled mess these days, but eventually he remembers the important information: The control box can work as a beacon. Sure enough, a massive alien ship soon appears in the sky above, commanded by Hale’s alien friend from the Confederacy.
Fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe surely know this is not the only massive alien ship to be appearing in the sky right now. Indeed, Avengers: Infinity War does get a small nod during this episode. After the big argument, Daisy leaves the Lighthouse to pursue a lead about prolonging Coulson’s life. She meets with Mack’s old friend Tony “Candyman” Caine. While they’re speaking of aliens, Caine asks “have you seen all the weird stuff happening in New York?” Daisy replies that she “can’t watch the news, it makes me crazy.” If she had, she would’ve known that aliens, which are far more scary than these guys, had recently touched down in Doctor Strange’s Manhattan neighborhood. Now I’ll shut up because it’s basically impossible to talk about Infinity War without spoiling it, but the point is, Caine has the last sample of the “Centipede Serum” John Garrett once used to keep himself alive. Daisy wants to use it to help Coulson, but unfortunately, it’s missing a key healing component. It’s referred to by a single word, which Caine can’t find on any map. But Daisy knows better than anyone that it’s not referring to a place at all. The word is “Jiaying.” (Recap continues on next page)
While Daisy’s off doing that, the Lighthouse prepares for a siege. Emergency protocols kick in, and unfortunately Coulson selects “nuclear attack” before the “alien invasion” operation even appears on the menu (always wait for the whole menu!). The bad news is that the Lighthouse locks itself down for 15 years, but the good news is that the aliens won’t be able to get in now! Wait, actually scratch that, because these aliens are unstoppable ninjas with foot-long razor claws, and they also have a copy of Hale’s teleporter machine that allows them to teleport right inside the Lighthouse. So that means the only actual good news on offer is that we get to see Patrick Warburton again, as the voice of the Lighthouse’s security systems. It’s hard not to smile when you see that guy.
Desperate times call for desperate people, and Talbot is certainly desperate. When he and Simmons find themselves holed up in the room with the Gravitonium infuser, he decides to take matters into his own hands. Talbot ices Jemma and gets in the machine himself. The Gravitonium was hard on both Creel and Ruby, but Talbot appears to take it in stride — perhaps because his mind was already a mess beforehand? Emerging from the machine, the Gravitonium-powered Talbot makes short work of the alien invaders. His powers compact all of them into little balls in a simultaneously astounding and horrifying special effect. It’s safe to surmise that Talbot has now taken on the role of Marvel comics character Graviton (in case you missed it, as he makes his debut as the light falls on the crate of Gravitonium in such a way to block the “-ium” part). Reminding Coulson that he said he could fix this, our new Graviton then takes Coulson up into the sky with him. I’m not even a Coulson-Talbot shipper, but any fans who are must be having a delightful time this season. First their solo journey through the snow together, now they’re flying into the sky together. It’s quite a friendship.
Coulson still doesn’t want his teammates to save him, especially when the fate of the world is at stake, but Daisy has the opposite conviction. The last thing we see in this episode is her literally digging up Jiaying’s grave, in the hopes her mother’s body might still have enough regenerative juices left to save Coulson.