Saturday, August 1, 2020

Agents of SHIELD S07E10: Stolen

A very uneven outing.

Back to the '80s this week as the team came back from their time vortex trip and returned to help Jiaying and company. The big surprise came fairly early on as we saw Malick recruit another blast from the past in a young John Garret. Originally played by Bill Paxton, Garrett was one of the best villains the series has seen, played here by Paxton’s son James. His young counterpart unfortunately did not live up to Bill’s performance.

In fact while I appreciate how they tried to pay tribute here, boy did the young Paxton not impress in the acting department. Eyes bugging out and mugging for the camera, he was laughably bad. Adding him to the already unimpressive Nathaniel and mediocre Kora, our big bad team up for the final season is looking oh so sad at the moment.

But onward we go and it was back to the lighthouse, which even May and Daisy seemed exhausted by at this point. They mention the Triskelion SHIELD headquarters is already in use way ahead of the original timeline, in fact they make mention the timeline is coming apart. Daisy tells Gemma about her freak out last week leading Gemma to believe a terrible fate has befallen Fitz, and on top of all that Jiaying shows up to the base as she is being hunted.

Sibyl is still influencing events as Malick is using her knowledge of the time stream to recruit the many people SHIELD will make enemies of in the coming years. Though the fact that everyone they approach is so quick to believe in time travel and fates shown to them in a computer simulation is a bit far-fetched, the idea itself is a clever one and nice use of future knowledge.


Malick has streamlined the power stealing process and is building his army of powered people, not for Hydra, but instead for chaos. Like most college anarchists, Malick too seems to have little idea of what he’s really trying to achieve. He hasn't gotten far yet as only a foot soldier with knife guy's powers and Garrett taking the teleporter, Gordon’s powers, and then subsequently dying from the transfer.

The meat to this episode was Daisy and Jiaying. Daisy finds out about her sister and realizes a few key things. One is that her sister must have killed herself originally, and second is that event is what drove Jiaying to leave Afterlife and eventually meet Daisy’s dad, so the question of how she will ever be born was already in play. Sousa always has great advice telling Daisy to talk to her mom, as he brings up that the idea of honoring the timeline is gone. The timeline is utterly screwed.

We see Daisy and her mother bond, sharing their pain, Jiaying the pain of not being able to help a daughter in need and Daisy the absence of a mother and the being hurt by that same mother. So when Malick shows up and reveals to Jiaying that she is the absentee mom Daisy was talking about, the exchange of looks between the two actresses spoke volumes.

It looked like we were going to get a Quake-off for a moment before Malick unceremoniously snapped Jiaying's neck, driving Daisy into a rage. But Garrett shows up in time to rescue Malick, leaving the team behind to clean up the mess. From here Garrett and  Malick kidnap Gemma to force her into finding Fitz and take off in the Zephyr.

The team does manage to capture their men and free the Inhumans, capturing Kora in the process, but Kora seems to want to be caught so obviously there’s a much bigger plan going on than we are aware of. I’m really mixed this week as there were some great ups but a lot of downs with the younger cast really pulling things down. I have no clue where the series is heading for it’s finale. I'm still very interested but the villain deficit is really starting to show.

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