When the title of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 5 Episode 8 was revealed to be "The Last Day," many doubtless assumed that it referred to the last day of Earth and that the story would revolve around the truth of its destruction.
That turned out to not be the case. Instead, the title turned out to have more personal relevance, with the end of the world simultaneously and oddly paradoxically both irrelevant and essential to that.
Robin's scattered mind and thought processes added a dramatic and believable frustration to the protagonists as they attempted to extract vital information from her.
The viewers got to see bits and pieces of the alternate past through her flashbacks peppered through the episode but received tantalizingly few concrete answers, much like Team Coulson.
For instance, Voss insisted that Daisy was definitely the cause of the destruction Earth in spite of her claims that she doesn't have the power.
Nothing he showed her convinced me that she did destroy Earth, rather than, say, a purple guy obsessed with shiny gems and a big metal glove. Though Voss quite emphatically thinks Daisy's responsible.
That doesn't entirely explain what happened to Deke's father Owen. Voss clearly believed in the truthfulness of Robin's visions. Owen was a true believer. Why kill Owen? Something I'm missing?
Anyone else wonder if they're setting things up for Deke to join the team on their return trip to the past? Because they've definitely got someone else on the burner already...
We *do* go back. Robin told me how. We can save everyone. Just one question, though. Who’s Flint?May
The adventure of Mack, Yo-Yo, and Flint back in the Lighthouse felt rushed and almost out of place with the rest of the episode's drama. So much so that it can be summed up about one sentence.
On the plus side, Mack was reunited with his beloved the shotgun-ax, so that was something!
Flint: I don’t get it. Doesn’t the ax make it harder to shoot?
Mack: Well, it makes it easier to chop heads off!
Very little to say about that thread other than the convenient lack of lighting made for a suitable setting for the Roach hunt. The darkness also help hide potentially dodgy CGI, too!
The growing bond between Mack, Yo-Yo, and Flint is sweet. I loved seeing Mack stand up to the other humans over Flint. Sometimes it just takes one person doing the right thing to make a difference.
Speaking of one person: Melinda May.
Who would have expected the tough-as-nails, stoic fighter to have such a profound maternal core? Actually, it makes much more sense than one might expect at first glance.
May and Coulson have always been the "Mom and Dad" of the team. And Melinda repeatedly demonstrated powerful protective tendencies.
One might also recall that her character-defining moment prior to the series came with her killing a girl to save others. This time, she raised a girl to save others.
Somehow, I doubt the parallel is a coincidence.
The way Melinda connected with Robin and helped her manage her powers, even when Fitz is throwing up his hands in frustration, made for some beautiful quiet moments in this episode.
I'm left to ponder the nature of the universe in which Team Coulson is currently inhabiting. On the one hand, the Earth was destroyed and they were there when it happened.
And at the same time, they had already been kidnapped and thrown into the future, aside from Fitz, who was frozen by Enoch and hidden away.
For this timeline to make any sense at all, there have to be two teams existing in this universe! I'd say they could have simply hopped to an alternate reality, but that wouldn't explain how Fitz got there.
Then again, who knows what Enoch actually did while he was asleep?
A few final thoughts before I turn the discussion over to you:
- There was a beautiful long tracking shot of Daisy in the Zephyr after she talked with Coulson and May as she walks through the plane to meet with Zeke.
- Where was Enoch while Voss was busy stabbing Robin? He could have easily prevented that if he hadn't vanished for the sake of plot.
- Fitz should have a serious conversation with Stephen Strange, who knows only too well that time is not immutable.
- I snickered when Mack referred to the Kree as The Blue Man Group.
- Does it make sense for Kasius to massacre humans by loosing Roaches on them? They're essentially his source of personal income, aren't they?
What did you think of "The Last Day"? Were you disappointed not to learn more about what happened to Earth? Were you surprised that May adopted Robin and raised her?
Let us know in the comments section below!