Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 5 Episode 10 Review: Past Life

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Remember that one time Nick Fury used a drug made from Kree blood to resurrect his days-dead friend and S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, Phil? Yeah... turns out the scriptwriters of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 5 Episode 10 remembered.

Unfortunately for Yo-Yo, definitely.

One Last Chance - Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

We've now reached the end of the first half of this season, as well as the end of Team Coulson's adventure in the dystopian future. There's a lot to unpack from this episode, so let's get down to business.

Props to Dominic Rains for portraying Kasius' devolution over the course of the arc, as his character loses more and more control, both physical (over the humans and Inhumans) and mental.

Kasius ended as he began, seemingly master of his own destiny... yet not at all.

At the start, he owned the human race but was basically a non-entity to his father and the Kree. In the end, he tried to destroy his enemies in a blaze of glory on his own terms, but just wound up dead by shotgun-ax.

Nice symmetry.

Perhaps even more satisfying than Kasius dying was the role Simmons played, overcoming him with his own enslaving technology which had been forced on her, thus reclaiming her own agency.

At the same time, we bid a sad but fond adieu to both Enoch and Deke, who heroically sacrificed themselves to power the machine to activate the new monolith.

For a bland, seemingly-emotionless automaton, Enoch has been a source of constant amusement in an otherwise very bleak season, even to the very end.

And then there was Deke, a fellow of debatable morals, who got to enjoy (endure?) quite the meaningful character arc. Not only did he die to make sure Team Coulson made it back, he wanted Daisy to get back, too.

The very same Daisy he once directly blamed for the end of the world.

When the other side of you is a friggin’ hero who can’t help herself but do good, then be *great*. The world needs that person to make it home. Just try not to destroy it when you get there.

Deke [to Daisy]

The scene between the two Yo-Yos simultaneously moved and unnerved. Natalia Cordova-Buckley beautifully played the horrified but hopeful Present Yo-Yo and the tortured and empty Old Yo-Yo.

Old Yo-Yo's brokenness immediately evoked the scattered mind of Robin, the "other" seer. Knowing everything that happened, yet unable to say more than an echo of what she'd already heard herself.

In the end, Present Yo-Yo did learn one essential detail:

Phil Coulson is dying. And you have to let him.

Old Yo-Yo

One might be tempted to think that this was related to the fight with the drugged-up Inhuman handler, since Coulson apparently suffered what he called a "wardrobe malfunction" during the encounter.

But Old Yo-Yo specifically said he was "sick." And there are more details to note. One: Coulson covered up the blackened veins on his chest and didn't seem at all surprised to see them, indicating they had been there awhile.

Two: remember the exchange between Coulson and Robbie Reyes at the end of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 4 Episode 22?

"You know why [Ghost Rider] made the deal in the first place, right?" "I do." "You gonna tell the others?" "No. And I'd ask that you don't, either. I will when it's time."

That screamed to me that Coulson knew he was dying already, a full half-season ago.

Not to mention the location from which the blackened veins seemed to be sprouting -- the very place where Loki skewered him to death in the first place.

I would love for the minds behind Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. to pay off on the details like this. Please, make it so.

While I enjoyed "Past Life" quite a lot, there were a few weak points. Like, how did Simmons manage to find where Kasius was beating the stuffing out of Mack? And how did Yo-Yo find them?

Even so, we still got a great end to an arc, looping back into a new yet previously-established arc for the back half of the season.

If nothing else, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. definitely deserves note for its bold decision to change up the narrative with this time travel adventure. Some fans loved it, some fans declared the series was dead.

But it was definitely ambitious and daring in many ways. Whether the temporal paradox mess works out to anything less than confusing remains to be seen at this point.

Check out our Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. quotes page before you go! And here are a few of the unanswered questions to ponder during the Olympic hiatus:

  • Why is Coulson dying?
  • Would letting Phil Coulson die actually stop the looping time somehow? What great mistake did the team make to save him, and is the Ghost Rider involved in some way?
  • As Coulson pointed out, we still don't truly know what destroyed Earth in the first place, despite Daisy's increasing worries that she really was responsible after all.
  • On a related note, Daisy still has her Quake abilities suppressed. Will this play a factor in the End of the World?
  • What position will Team Coulson be in when they travel back to Present Day? (And did Simmons, Mack, and Yo-Yo get back in time to join them?)
  • What, exactly, happened to Flashback Mack?

If you haven't watched this episode yet, or simply wish to relive the experience, watch Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. online!

Meanwhile, we are forced to wait a month for the back half of the season to kick off; Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 5 Episode 11 is slated to air on Friday, March 2, 2018 at 9/8c on ABC.

One little ray of sunshine, though: the 100th episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will air the week after that! (That would be March 9, 2018.) Stay tuned!

What did you think of "Past Life"? Were you surprised that Kasius' "seer" was actually Old Yo-Yo? Did you find the character deaths satisfying or disappointing?

And most of all, what do you think of the time travel arc, now that Team Coulson is headed back to Present Day? Let us know in the comments section below!

Past Life Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (78 Votes)
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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 5 Episode 10 Quotes

Deke [looking at his gun in awe]: Where has this *been* all my life?
Enoch: Level Three. Hidden in a wall cavity.
Deke: Now you tell me.

I always knew that working with you guys was gonna blow up in my face, but it’s about to get LITERAL!