Agents of SHIELD 5.06 Review: “Fun & Games”

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Since ‘Rewind’ brought us up to speed on Fitz’s (Iain De Caestecker) whereabouts two weeks ago, it’s time for ‘Fun & Games’ to forge ahead with whatever’s next for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. And forge it does, tying most of the season’s disparate story lines together and culminating in the epic escape and reunion that we’ve been waiting a month to see.

The Harvest

First, though, we must deal with the ends that are still loose. ‘Fun & Games’ opens through the viewpoint of an unknown young human named Flint (played with spunk and pathos by Coy Stewart), who is collecting and trading throughout the Lighthouse. He seems to be on decent terms with everyone there, including Grill who offers him an orange for his wares. But he doesn’t get a chance to eat it before being carted away by the Kree for the Harvest that befalls all the children of this dystopian future.

Meanwhile, Phil (Clark Gregg) and Tess are catching up the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on the Inhuman black market. Mack (Henry Simms) is horrified to discover most of the kids are barely teenagers. And then, with almost no preparation, the process of Terrigenesis commences and Flint is encased in the mist while the other three children are untouched. Before the Kree can make their move,  Yo-yo (Natalia Cordova-Buckley) makes hers and whisks him away in the blink of an eye.

The Kree immediately suspect Tess of hiding Flint away because of their previous connection, which does not bode well for her fate in ‘Fun & Games.’ At the same time, Flint feels like he’s been kidnapped rather than saved until Yo-yo reveals her own Inhuman powers and explains how she first discovered them. It’s a sweet story that gives us more insight into her background, as well as that provides some cute interaction between her and Mack. Moments of levity have been few and far between this season, so we have to soak them up. Of course, it can’t last long, because just then Grill find them and prepares to bring both of the Inhumans to Kasius. He laughs in the face of Coulson’s prophecy and almost succeeds in taking the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and their new friend back to Kasius, but Yo-yo coaxes Flint into controlling his gift of rock bending and he uses it to smash Grill. As hard as it is for Flint to have killed a man that he knew so well, he saved everyone’s lives and prevented a circular storyline from dragging the plot out too long.

It’s not a happy ending, though, as they soon find Tess’ dead body in a depressing but unsurprising twist. ‘Fun & Games’ leaves us unsure of what they will do next, but the rest of the episode provides hope that they will soon reunite with their group.

Boshtok

Enoch gives Fitz the rundown on everyone’s identities back at the Kree base and deems him ‘Boshtok,’ a vile space marauder of unlimited wealth. Fitz is focused on the mission at hand, but almost loses his grip the moment he sees Jemma (Elizabeth Henstridge). There is a beautiful and heartbreaking moment between them in which Fitz promises that “A love like [theirs] is stronger than any curse,” and it’s made all the more painful by the fact that we know she can’t hear him. He even proposes marriage – cue everyone’s screams of delight – but gets no response. When Kasius arrives to see what the matter is, though, Fitz taps into his Framework persona to make Boshtok the worst dude around and even succeeds in restoring Jemma’s hearing with his bravado.

Dinner with friends and Kree alike ensues, in which we learn that Kasius is estranged from his family and exiled from his planet, buttons that Fitz can push in his bid to purchase the Destroyer and Jemma. Watching from the sidelines, Ben snarks at Daisy (Chloe Bennet) now that he’s been offered up as a fighter after helping her escape Kasius’ wrath. She apologizes and suggests that they work together to get out of it in the first of many hints at the theme of getting out together or not at all.

Given my extreme worry over her fate ever since the fourth episode, it was something of a surprise when none other than Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen) herself emerged as Ben’s opponent in the ring. ‘Fun & Games’ did a good enough job of making him likable that I regretted his inevitable death in order to secure May’s life. The battle between the two of them is tense and well-placed, and replete with May once again throwing out the offer of teamwork. There’s even a demonstration of how well it works, as Fitz stands up on her silent signal to demand a more interesting fight and May’s own release to the surface.

Ben scoffs that this merely delayed the inevitable, and in a way he’s not wrong. Obviously the roaches on the surface are no match for Agent May, but Ben himself meets his end in ‘Fun & Games.’ Kasius reveals to his captive audience that Ben lied when he protected the Destroyer and Jemma before killing him on the spot, despite Daisy’s pleas and Fitz nearly blowing his cover to save him. While Ben asks Daisy not to blame himself, Fitz must live with the knowledge that he caused this chain of events in the process of saving his friends. The bitter taste of the death is ameliorated slightly by a sweet bonding moment between Daisy and Jemma, something that’s been sorely missed this season on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. The theme of teamwork is echoed once more, and it’s clear that ‘Fun & Games’ is leading up to a great show of force from our favorite agents.

A wrench is thrown in Fitz’s plans to save his friends, however, when Kasius’ brother shows up to try and purchase the Destroyer of Worlds for himself. The tiff between the Kree brothers is not particularly compelling, especially when it leads to a moral struggle for Kasius rather than for our protagonists. His brother commands that Daisy battle Kasius’ most trusted advisor Sinara rather than another Inhuman, and the great leader of the Lighthouse can do nothing but acquiesce in the face of his father’s approval. Another fight for survival breaks out, though Daisy does not get to do nearly as much Quake-ing as expected. While the audience is distracted, Fitz and Simmons take out their weapons (a butter knife for Jemma!) and attack the Kree and fellow slavers before escaping with Daisy in tow. And, lest I forget, Jemma beats Fitz to the punch and proposes as soon as they’re reunited. It’s a perfect moment in an imperfect situation, which seems to be what Fitzsimmons excel at.

‘Fun & Games’ ends on a high note that follows several episodes of misery, and leaves us with a final image of Enoch headed to the surface in full Kree glory. He is warned that no human has ever returned from there, but good thing Enoch is not a person.

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