There are spoilers, since the series hasn’t finished that long ago here in Blighty.
Agent Phil Coulson – Clark Gregg
Agent Melinda May – Ming Na Wen
Agent Leopold Fitz – Ian De Caestecker
Agent Gemma Simmons– Elizabeth Henstridge
Daisy ‘Quake’ Johnson – Chloe Bennett
Alfonso ‘Mack’ MacKenzie –Henry Simmons
Elena ‘Yo-Yo’ Rodrigues – Natalia Cordova
Zeke Shaw – Jeff Ward
Grant Ward –Catherine Dent
Glen Talbot – Adrian Pasdar
Enoch – Joel Stoffer
Cassius – Dominic Rains
Ruby Hale – Dove Cameron
Overview: Having done the destruction of S.H.I.E.L.D. in season one, it’s resurrection in two, the Inhumans in three, magic, robots and Hydra in four, there wasn’t much that the show hadn’t looked at in the Marvel Universe, with two exceptions, space and the future, so it wasn’t much of a surprise when they did it in season five. Back to being a rag-tag group of scrappy underdogs, the team found themselves in a space-station run by the oppressive Kree, who were mining the place for Inhumans to be used as weapons or slaves. The team arrives on the station thanks to one of the monoliths, last used in season three to transport people to Maveth. This one seemed only to take people 70 years into the future and it’s not a rosy one. Earth was destroyed shortly after they left and they are in an old S.H.I.E.L.D. lighthouse facility, which was part of the remains of Earth’s carcass. So we are dealing with ideas of predestination, paradox, aliens and the aftermath of the Framework and it’s lingering effects.
Initial Status Quo: Episodes 1-10 The team are in the future, the Kree are in charge, Inhumans are currency and the only hope for the team is the help of Zeke (a local to that time who is cynical to the point of sci-fi trope) and the less than coherent visions of Robin, an old woman where the team are and a little girl in the past. The team have to do whatever good they can, as well as find some way to return to their own time and maybe, prevent the destruction of the Earth.
Twist: They soon learn that not only is S.H.I.E.L.D. blamed for the Earth’s fate, but in the time they are in they had already returned home and failed to prevent it, they are in a time-loop, proved by YoYo’s existence in the future, killed and resurrected by the Kree with her arms missing and her life filled with pain and regret. They get home, now once more fugitives in an old S.H.I.E.L.D. base (the same Lighthouse from the future) determined to prevent the future they witnessed
Second Status Quo: Episodes 11-20 The team return with Zeke and start to piece together how the Earth is broken up and deal with a gravitational anomaly in the basement.
Twist 2: After hosting the Ghost Rider, Coulson is dying and the day the team come back, YoYo is maimed, losing her arms, just like her future self had done and the team have to do with the last remnants of Hydra, as well as a Coalition of alien races, including the Kree.
Twist 3: Zeke Shaw is the Grandson of Fitz and Simmons, who are married as they return.
Finale: Episodes 21-22 The team reach the point where the Earth is lost, but it’s not S.H.I.E.L.D. that will do it, it’s Graviton, the mix of the Gravitonium from season one and Glenn Talbot, who is ready to power up and save the world from the threat that the Coalition fears, the mad Titan Thanos. But Thanos isn’t the problem, Graviton is and the team has to face their former friend to literally save the world, knowing that every time this has been done, they have failed and not all of them make it out alive.
Overall: This is where you could end the series, everyone gets an arc, from Coulson accepting his fate, to everyone else trying to save him. Melinda goes from being the coldest of warriors to embracing her love for Coulson and the idea that in the future she would be Robin’s mum. Simmons and Mack only become more themselves, while YoYo strays and Fitz comes to the realisation that he is still the villain he was in the Framework, not the hero that Simmons sees him as. Even Quake and Zeke go from hostile to friends as Zeke realises he loves her, almost as much as he loves living in the green and pleasant land that is the past. It’s the strongest the series has been in regards to characterisation and still keeps the action and sci-fi flavour strong with returns from the Absorbing Man, Deathlok and Lance Hunter as well as new characters like the Kree, the Remoraks, Enoch and Noah and Flint. If this is where the series ended, that would have been a strong way to go, but it looks like ratings were strong enough to give it one more go, but we don’t get a teaser for the new series. The second life of Philip J Coulson was a five year romp through the side streets of the Marvel Universe and am glad this seeming end of his personal journey was so much fun to walk through.
Stand out Episodes:
Orientation: A cynical and almost beaten team (less Fitz) arrive in a desolate future, the odds are against them and there are many unknown dangers.
Rewind: We learn what happened to Fitz as he and Lance Hunter attempt a prison break and 75 year rescue mission.
The Real Deal: Coulson faces the idea that the whole series is just his mind coping with his death at the hands of Loki as he lies bleeding on the operating table. It’s believe that, or believe all the stuff that’s happened to him since then. Then Deathlok arrives and the series gets to episode 100.
Rise and Shine: General Hale’s life is shown to us as she realises that she isn’t going to be able to save the world on her own.
The End: Graviton is ready to save the world, he might just destroy the whole planet to do it as the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. make a desperate attempt to stop him and save lives, not all of them make it out of there alive.
Next Time: I have no idea, the only original cast members left are Simmons and Quake and who knows what the deal with S.H.I.E.L.D. is anymore.