Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. recap: A spaceship, an airplane, and an armed truck walk into a tower...
This two-part episode sure had some twists and turns, huh? The season isn’t over yet, but “Collision Course” still feels like an explosive conclusion to a lot of the plot threads we’ve been dealing with so far, to the point that I’m not sure exactly what comes next.
It began last week with S.H.I.E.L.D. and Sarge’s team trying to figure out how to work together to save Earth from the Shrike. It was explained to Mack that the Shrike are never what you expect, which dovetailed nicely with the revelation that Izel, the redheaded woman currently towing Fitz and Simmons back to Earth on board her spaceship, is the leader of the Shrike, the great “Beast” that Sarge has warned about.
Sarge tells everyone that a number of Shrike hosts will converge on a specific site, where they will build a tower to summon the Beast. The times we’ve seen him killing Shrike hosts so far were all meant to prevent them from gathering sufficient numbers to build the tower, but he didn’t kill enough of them so now he wants to take his truck to the site and try to save the world. Mack allows him to pick one team member to take with him; he picks Snowflake. Mack then assigns May, Daisy, and Deke to accompany them. Though Sarge also warns him to keep away so they can maintain the element of surprise, Mack ignores that and has Davis fly the Zephyr close behind, with Sarge’s other two team members Pax and Jaco aboard as prisoners.
Speaking of whom, Pax loves to talk and eventually lets slip Sarge’s plan: He has a bomb on board the truck, and is going to drive it straight into the tower. May and Daisy soon find out about the bomb plan and try to keep Sarge under control, but he defies them by teleporting back onto the Zephyr, leaving them stuck on the truck with the bomb — which happens to be an atom bomb! It will devastate the surrounding area and kill many people, but Sarge sees that as a small price to play for saving the planet and killing the Beast. He apologizes to Snow for leaving her behind, but she doesn’t like that one bit.
So that’s how last week’s episode ended: With Sarge’s bomb-laced truck, the Zephyr, and Izel’s ship all converging on the Shrike Tower.
This week, we got to find out what happened when they collided. Having teleported himself to where Pax and Jaco were being held aboard the Zephyr, Sarge teamed up with them to take command of the ship and leave Mack handcuffed and helpless. His goal was to make sure the bomb on board his truck went off without any interference; he even produced a high-tech energy shield to stop Yo-Yo from interfering.
It didn’t take long for this master plan to fall apart. Deke’s futuristic hacking skills weren’t enough to disable the bomb, but Daisy’s quake powers sure were. She didn’t disarm the bomb or turn it off, but she was able to defuse a possible explosion. Sarge is enraged that the bomb didn’t go off, and Yo-Yo uses that as an opening. She manages to grab Pax and tie him up, hoping that Sarge and Jaco will take down the shield long enough to help him. Jaco does, but then Sarge shoots Pax dead and re-arms the shield, telling Jaco that “nobody slows us down.” But the shield was down long enough for Yo-Yo to slip Mack the key to his handcuffs.
After days of fiddling with their ships comms, Fitz and Simmons finally manage to reach the Zephyr over radio. But when they transmit the S.H.I.E.L.D. distress code (226), they’re surprised to hear Davis give it right back to them — which makes sense since Sarge is holding a gun to his head. Sarge realizes what’s going on and commandeers the radio to deliver a message to Izel, who he knows is listening. She tells him that he “finally” remembers his name; if he comes face to face with her, she’ll tell him his name. She accuses him of destroying Chronicom, but he replies that she had already infected the planet by the time they got there. He’s enraged and tells her he looks forward to killing her in exchange for her taking away both his family and his memories of them. She taunts him by wondering if he even had memories at all in the first place.
She certainly seems to win that exchange, and Mack recognizes it. Now it’s his turn to taunt Sarge from captivity, saying he’ll have his ship back by the end of the day. It actually doesn’t take too long; using the handcuff key Yo-Yo gave him, he frees himself from the handcuffs and attacks Sarge. It’s a brutal fist fight, but there’s really only one way this can end. Mack may not be as big as Jaco, but he’s still a big dude and manages to beat the increasingly unstable Sarge into submission. When he wakes up, Sarge finds himself locked in the containment pod while Mack, Yo-Yo, and Davis prepare to board Izel’s ship. He begs them to take him along, saying only he understands Izel, but they deny his request. Instead, they bring along Jaco, who seems happy to help. Sarge was a bit too over-eager to kill his subordinates the minute they weren’t useful, and now he’s completely out of allies.
Mack and Yo-Yo successfully rescue Fitz and Simmons from Izel’s ship, and it’s a delight to see them all reunited. However, several big problems remain. The ship is still full of Shrike-possessed crew members, and there’s still the matter of Sarge’s bomb. Jaco solves both problems in one elegant swoop. He takes the bomb, teleports back onto the ship, and detonates the bomb after they’ve left Earth’s atmosphere, asking the others to tell Sarge he completed the mission. Doesn’t seem good for Izel, but without footage of her dying, I wouldn’t count out the Beast just yet.
After the explosive conclusion comes…a party! For the first time in months, the S.H.I.E.L.D. members finally get to chill out together. Fitz meets Deke again for the first time, Davis finally gets to sleep, and Mack makes up with Yo-Yo.
May isn’t in much of a partying mood, however. She sneaks back to Sarge’s containment cell and proceeds to shoot him multiple times — presumably fatally. Which really makes me wonder where the season goes from here! Our only hint is an indication of Chronicom drama. Enoch (who thankfully is still on the show!) contacts a fellow anthropologist asking for help rebuilding their civilization, while Malachi declares his intention to kill Enoch for betraying them — using the device that absorbed Fitz and Simmons’ memories.
Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) assembles a team of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents to handle strange new cases.