Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Recap – “The Real Deal”

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Banner by the Collected Mutineer
By The Nerdling

The 100th episode was as devastating as promised, yet it was filled with so many beautiful moments.  A perfect love letter to fans. 

The Spoilers are all in Your Head

Coulson Lives!

100 episodes is a really big deal.  Not many shows get to this big milestone.  Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. definitely had its stumbles in the beginning making us fans wonder if we would see more of our favorite agents.  When the show was first pitched, it was made to seem as if AoS was going to be centered around a resurrected Phil Coulson, whose death united our heroes during the Avengers, while being a bridge between movies and the big names from the films popping in and out.

That is not what we got.  Instead we got something better.  A family working together to keep the world safe from dangers too wild and complicated for those crazy Avengers.  And here we are, celebrating nearly 5 seasons and 100 episodes with Coulson, May, Daisy, Fitz, Simmons, Mack, and Yo-Yo along with some returning faces.

Fear Dimension

Leave it to the brilliant writers to take a way overused mcguffin and still turn it on its head into something we didn’t expect.

Coulson, Daisy, May
Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

The beacon exploding at the end of last week’s episode did in fact kill Noah (RIP, we hardly knew ye) and destroyed the monoliths in the basement level.  This created what Fitz could only describe as a rip in spacetime to a “fear dimension” which taps into all the agent’s worst fears.  This allowed for a brief appearance of the Kree, LMDs, Lash, and Hive to mess with everyone’s heads.  The funniest result of the fears manifesting was the appearance of a beautiful forest on one of the levels.  Poor Deke.  Of course, someone who grew up in cramped quarters where the outside is dangerous would be terrified of a wide-open space.

Fitz uses Deke’s gravitonium belt buckle to create a rip-repairing gadget, but someone has to accompany the device and that person might not survive.  Coulson steps to the plate and reveals the deal he made with Ghost Rider.  Allowing the Spirit of Vengeance to use him burned up the GH 325 keeping Coulson alive.  Now the flesh surrounding the stab wound Loki inflicted upon him is deteriorating.  Coulson will die much sooner than later.

The news devastates the team leading to the most gut-wrenching conversation between Daisy and Coulson.  “You were what I believed in,” she tearfully confesses, “there’s nothing without you.”  Ugh, knife meet heart.  The always simmering romance between May and Coulson was also addressed once again when May asked if his fate was why he took a step back.  He didn’t want her spend more time on another dead-end relationship.  May tells him she will decide who is worth her time.

All in your head

Coulson assures the team he will do everything possible to make it back.  He may be at peace with his fate, but that doesn’t mean he is ready to die just yet.  Down in the basement, Coulson is not confronted by monsters of the past, but with a pre-Deathlok Mike Peterson.

Having J. August Richards back for episode 100 was the perfect way to bring everything full circle.  The Ghost-Of-Christmas-Past Mike proceeds to mess with both Coulson’s and our heads.  “It’s time I told you what’s really going on here,” Mike starts.  “You’re on the table, Coulson, code blue… and we are desperately trying to bring you back.”

Fake Mike and Coulson
Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Everything we have witness in the show, TAHITI, the father/daughter relationship with Daisy, his mentorship with Fitzsimmons, his crush on May, the grand adventures in saving the world, are all happening in his head as he is dying on the table while medics work to revive him after Loki ran the scepter through his chest.  And for a moment, Coulson (and us) are buying it.  Could this all be a long dream?  Could the writers really mess with us in this way?

But then I screamed with excitement when the REAL Mike Peterson/Deathlok arrives just in time to save his former boss just as he realizes it was all real.  Coulson throws the thing and the rip is sealed, but not before we get one last glance of future roaches, Lash, and Hive.

“Quickly, please, before this forest collapses around us”

And the moment we have all been waiting for since episode one.  Fitz and Jemma get married and I’m not crying, you’re the one crying!

In the beautiful fear generated forest, Coulson officiates as everyone plays witness.  The joining of these two beloved characters is made even better when Hale figures out Deke is their grandson.  Fitzsimmons will have a child, a girl, and for a time they will be happy together.  That is all us fans could ever ask for.  I’m going to admit, the entire wedding I was anxiously waiting for some disaster to happen.  Whedon run shows don’t give us happy moments like these very often without something bad occurring.

The Wedding
Image Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Thoughts

This quietly intimate episode was the perfect way to celebrate the big 100.  The fake out over everything taking place in Coulson’s head was a nice way to acknowledge what has come before and see how far these characters have progressed.

It also continues to hammer home how much I’m going to miss this show if it ends this season.

Coulson’s pending doom has been confirmed and we all know the team is going to work to save him.  But how is this going to play out once Yo-Yo reveals attempts to save Coulson are directly tied to the end of the world?  That letting him die will save the future?  This is going to put a massive strain on all the relationships.

Next week, we get back to preventing the end of the word as S.H.I.E.L.D. goes in search of gravitonium with a little help from Jake Busey.

Till Then!


The Nerdling was born in the majestic land known as Texas and currently resides there after several years of journeying through Middle Earth in a failed attempt to steal the one Ring from that annoying hobbit, serving the Galactic Empire for a time, and then a short stint as a crew member on the Serenity. Since moving back to her homeland, Nerdling flirted with a hero reputation. Saving children from the dangers of adoring domineering, sparkly vampires (champions with souls are the only vampires worth loving) and teaching normals the value of nerdom, all while rooting for her beloved Dallas Stars. Then came the Sokovia Accords and her short spell of saving others came to an end. With Darth Vader’s reputation rightfully returning to badass status, Nerdling is making her way back to the Empire. They do have cookies, you know. You can find her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram

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