Episode 7 – Together or Not At All
The team is finally (almost) back together, even if it only lasted for about a half hour. A good quarter into the fifth season, and Agents of SHIELD has continued returning to its roots of being a show about spies, reuniting the Bus Kids (what some fans affectionately call the Fitzsimmons + Daisy team ups). There were season one payoffs, such as the Gravitonium discovery, and more recent connections such as Robin Hinton, the little girl who could see all of time and space, as the leader of the Earth outpost.
Together or Not At All started off right where we left off, with Fitz, Simmons and Daisy making a mad dash escape from Kasius’ arena. Fitz gets right to work helping Daisy when they have a free moment while Jemma ditches the slave garb. As the Kree catch-up, Jemma’s implant sets off and she is rendered immobilized, leading Fitz to an impromptu extraction while Daisy fends off the attackers. From there, the trio make their way through the Lighthouse to discover the Gravitonium, get saved by Deke and reunite with the rest of the team, sans May.
Accompanying this storyline is the growing animosity between Kasius and his brother Falnouk, as they each pit their best warriors to take down the agents. This is all happening while May meets Enoch for the first time in her haggard state and is then scooped up by the humans on the Earth outpost.
There was action, there was deceit, there was a continuation of Roman politicking by means of Kasius stabbing his brother in the back (and the front), and coupled in with the show’s brand of humor and heartbreak. This time around, the funny bone spotlight points to Fitz, whose line that he could have bested everyone in the arena fights because he’s been working out, and his push-up count is in the double digits, was a pure delight. He had an equally funny moment toward the end of the episode where after telling Mack and Yo-Yo he left a weapons cache on Level 3 – a roach infested level – that they missing the point of his forward thinking.
The heartbreak turn centered around Mack, Yo-Yo and their decision to stay on the Lighthouse with Flint while the rest of their team jet sets off to the remnants of Earth. Mack continued his fatherly streak, and not wanting to part from him, Yo-Yo joined in, also having a connection with Flint due to helping him come to terms with his Inhuman abilities.
There were some heavy-handed issues tossed into the episode, especially surrounding Flint, who after killing Grill in last week’s episode, continued his killing streak. And although his targets were Kree, it does pose a question of morality for the youngster. He does make the decision to do this after learning about Tess’ death, so it could also just be Flint trying to stand up and have a taste of vengeance.
With Kasius, Falnouk and Sinara, we learn some very important details about Kasius’ exile to the Lighthouse. With Falnouk, we are lead to believe Kasius abandoned post on a suicide mission, with Sinara saving his back. However, as we later learn, Kasius had his generals killed by Sinara in order to flee the suicide mission.
In this episode, we are left with warm fuzzy feelings over the reunion of Fitz, Simmons and Daisy with Coulson, Yo-Yo and Mack. While short lived, the writing here stands well as it plays with the different dynamics that teammates have with each other.
One difficulty the show has to yet to fully navigate is the Daisy is the Destroyer of Worlds paradox. If she’s in the future the whole time, how does destroy the Earth in the past? Perhaps with Robin in the mix we can get a fuller picture. Either way, when shows attempt time travel they are often left with people scratching their heads unless there are arbitrary rules in the mix, such as Doctor Who (which Fitzsimmons briefly referenced with Allons-y!). In the same vein of bringing up Doctor Who, there is a song from the season 7 soundtrack of the show called ‘Together or Not At All – The Song of Amy and Rory,’ and that, to me, was a damn cute reference.
Doctor Who References
Time travel paradox is weighing in
Could be more ass-kicking