This week’s Agents of SHIELD asks the age-old sci-fi question “is the future set?” through a story about an Inhuman who can show someone the future, with the vision always containing a death. Daisy receives a vision from the Inhuman, Charles, showing her being unable to save him and is determined to change the events.
The vision is fairly chilling, its highlights including Lincoln covered in blood and Coulson seemingly shooting Daisy. Fitz explains Charles’ powers as a way of viewing time all at once, stating that what he sees is the absolute future, not a possibility. This immediately sets Daisy up for failure but the show attempts to suggest that things will be changed.
The biggest problem this episode faces is that in spite of the vision, the stakes are still very low. It’s hard to believe that Lincoln or Daisy will die, particularly so soon after the show has removed two of its main characters. The amount of time spent preparing for the idea of May going into the mission in her place also feels wasted when we know full well that Daisy will end up going, though why she needs to go in alone is still not really explained.
Meanwhile Ward/Hive (I’m fairly certain he’s still not actually been given a name) engages in corporate takeover, gaining control of the company who made technology for Coulson’s original prosthetic arm. This allows for another scene in which Ward gets to use his powers to gruesomely reduce people to goo-covered corpses. It is hard to see how the Agents of SHIELD will actually fare against somehow who can so easily kill an opponent. It is unclear why Ward feels the need to own this technology, but Malick gains a supersuit out of the deal.Also in a story that is for some reason reduced to a C-plot, Dr Garner returns to say goodbye to May before his final transformation into Lash. This storyline is one that could have been used to great effect but is instead introduced far too late in the episode, allowing for only a few minutes of screen time. It seems to suggest the writers have little care for the Andrew and May dynamic, raising the question of why the audience should as a result.
Daisy’s vision plays out, with a few of the events being revealed to be not as bad as she thought, but inevitably events play out just as she foresaw – proving Fitz’s theory correct. This is when things get slightly more interesting, as she receives a final vision from Charles, showing the death of an unidentified SHIELD agent. The vision ties into the ‘3 months from now’ flash forward shown 4 episodes previously, seemingly confirming that one of the cast will die at the end of this season.
As a whole this episode fails to create suspense with its vision plot line and overall falls flat. The Inhuman plot has made very little headway in recent weeks and Ward’s plan needs to move forward sooner rather than later. For now it feels like the writers are stalling until the finale, which is never a good thing.