Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. does its part to combine storylines together this week, as befits the title “Collision Course.” The first hour of the two-parter is dedicated to detailing what or who exactly the Earth is facing, although it purposely leaves the audience unclear on which version is the truth. And while Mack (Henry Simmons) and Sarge (Clark Gregg) duke out leadership in the fight to save Earth, Fiz (Iain De Caestecker) and Jemma (Elizabeth Henstridge) duke out their marital strife on the way to Earth.
Despite successfully getting his ride back, Mack holds out on giving Sarge full control of his old team. Instead he’s allowed to venture out with Snowflake, but with Daisy (Chloe Bennet) and May (Ming Na Wen) as part of the crew. Oh, and Deke (Jeff Ward) using his tech knowledge on mysterious shrike repulser repair, which incidentally leads to awkward misreading of Snowflake’s desires. He thinks eating his soul is a metaphor for true love; she’s just really hungry right now.
As for Sarge’s account of the force behind the shrikes, a woman named Izel is their maker and plans to unleash their destruction on Earth. But while he’s more forthcoming in “Collision Course” than he’s ever been before, he’s far from honest. Not only does he dismiss Daisy’s (and the audience’s) questions about his Coulson-clone genetics, he also purposely hides his real plan to defeat the shrikes. Which means that when part one of this Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. event ends, there’s a bomb about to go off and kill countless civilians just as an alien spacecraft is descending on Earth.
Who is on that spacecraft? None other than Fitzsimmons and their new friend, Izel. That’s right, the redheaded bounty hunter with a mission waiting back on Earth is apparently the beast that Sarge fears. Except, according to her, she’s on a quest to find the Monoliths before the Shrikes can use them to keep destroying worlds. Maybe she and Sarge are just having a lover’s spat and need to talk it out.
Speaking of lovers’ spats, Fitz has not yet fully adjusted to being the second iteration of Jemma’s fiancé. He’s full of questions about their life together and what he’s missed, while she’s not fully equipped to answer them in a way that satisfies him. A series of interrogations about his ability to satisfy her is particularly humorous, but it also means they have a lot of healing left to do.
That has to wait during “Collision Course,” though, because the scientists soon realize Izel’s methods are a little mad. Despite refuse to take any blame from the Chronicom’s destroyed land and suggesting instead that Sarge is the true villain, we see her infect a crew member with her own shrike. In fact, she’s got a whole army of the shrike-infected and they’re on the verge of stepping foot on Earth. She may be the monster Sarge claims, but he’s about to decimate a town to stop her. So who is the Big Bad?
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. also offers a tease of Enoch in the post-credits, letting us know that the Chronicoms are not out of the game yet. How he will tie back into the main storyline is unknown, but we’re sure glad he hasn’t gone anywhere. The best part of “Collision Course,” though, is how much room it leaves for storylines once the immediate threat is resolved in part 2.