Agents of SHIELD 4.07 Review: “Deals With Our Devils”
The break is over and questions need answering. Where are Coulson, Robbie and Fitz? What happened to Eli? And where exactly did Mace send Simmons? Luckily, one of those questions is answered quickly.
The Ethereal and The Tangent
I thoroughly enjoyed this episode being told in two stories. It helped push the fact that Coulson, Robbie and Fitz were screaming into a void. It felt like when there’s necessary backtracking in a video game. Revisiting plot to reveal more layers, both figuratively and literally in this case. Conversely, we see May, Mack and Daisy grasping at straws as they try to bring their cohorts back from the brink.
Robbie is coping with the situation in a much graver way than Coulson and Fitz. Despite being intangible, he still feels physically ill. Nausea sinks in and he begins feeling cold. It turns out the Spirit of Vengeance doesn’t take too kindly to being caught between dimensions.
This is where the Spirit doesn’t wait around any longer. That driving force needs to feed off of something and Mack is a towering emotional monument. Suddenly he’s determined. Disregarding orders and heading out on motorcycle, shotgun-axe strapped to his back. Mack has always been the coolest guy on the show, and this just upped that by leaps and bounds.
While “monologuing,” the Spirit declares that Mack’s pain could sustain it for years. After backtracking again, we see that he’s talking to an intangible Robbie.
Probably my favorite moment of “Deals With Our Devils,” was just that. Robbie making a new deal with the Spirit. Acknowledging that he still needs the power but gaining a bit of control in his situation. Perhaps not a partnership with his fiery side, but an understanding.
Gabriel Luna continues to be the spotlight this year. He’s clearly giving everything to Robbie Reyes and it shines in the finished product. Side note: give me a Mack & Robbie show.
Simmons and the Cocoon
After, what appeared to be kidnapping tactics, Simmons finds herself surrounded by scientists while she gazes at an Inhuman cocoon. I do wish a bit more time was spent with Jemma, but her scenes got right to the point.
She’s strong and capable while caring and understanding. The other scientists in the lab couldn’t work out how to “help” the Inhuman inside come out. It took a firm hand on her side to force them out of the room, and a soft hand to coax her new patient out. Granted, there are still questions tied to these moments. We still don’t know why Director Mace is playing for both sides right now, hopefully we’ll find that out soon.
The Mama and The Papa
Getting to see May worry about Phil was also nice. May is tough as nails but at her heart she cares for everyone around her and will do anything for her friends. Even if that means opening up the Darkhold, a book that ultimately could be the demise of life as we know it. I’m not a shipper, but I feel like the Philinda folk out there are definitely gonna be picking up some major vibes off these moments.
Aida: Gate Builder
Speaking of the Darkhold, finally Aida has a purpose beyond getting Fitz in trouble! With the fact that May and Radcliffe realize it’s too dangerous for them to read themselves, Aida steps up. Albeit at the behest of a ghostlike Fitz. I’m still not sure how Aida could hear him so I’ll chock it up to some sort of crazy-accurate AI perception, because comics. After learning how to create a gate that could pull intangible forms into the physical world, she puts on some Power Gloves cracking a dimensional safe. Once open they can see Fitz trying to save Coulson from being sucked through a wall that looks quite similar to the kaleidoscope divider into the Mirror Dimension in Doctor Strange. Perhaps that was just me though.
I will say that making Eli a baddie resting-in-wait wasn’t as impactful as it was played. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy where he’s going since he seems to be the MCU version of Carbon. It just takes a bit of weight off of Lucy and Joe’s story, or worse makes them filler. Even with that, I do think Agents of SHIELD is having its strongest season to date. It’s been a super fun ride so far and hopefully things continue heading in that direction.