Project T.A.H.I.T.I. Episode 101 – “Past Life”

Reading Time: 7 minutes

Past Life

Jared and Jess recap and discuss “Past Life” from season 5 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

We begin with a discussion of some when-it-was-recorded Agents of S.H.‪‪I.E.L.D. news, referring to post-series finale interviews with Mo and Jed, and Brett Dalton, and Elizabeth Henstridge’s episode by episode watch-along with fans! We found out why Ivanov sucked so bad…well, another reason, with a connection to the upcoming Hulu Marvel animated show, MODOK starring AoS’s own Agent Koenig, Patton Oswalt. We get into a little about how rewatch nostalgia for older shows is rough, because stuff does not always age well, and oftentimes we can see how much stuff tended to be very problematic with the benefit of our current perspectives.

The Zephyr arrives at the Lighthouse for Kasius to discover Sinara’s lifeless, impaled body. Sinara’s character was fridged, and the vast potential that her character was given was never given a chance to be fulfilled. The S.H.‪‪I.E.L.D. team was prepared, and fled the Zephyr to the containment pod, leaving only Enoch on the ship to protect half of the Monolith, and the portal (don’t call it a time machine) device, ready to rendezvous with the team when they return with Flint. Mack, Yo-Yo, Flint and Tess are waiting for the rest of the team to return on the Lighthouse, but Yo-Yo remembers when she was revived, and the cries of pain she heard from other Inhumans being tortured nearby. They all have their role to play, planning to save the other Inhumans from being exploited by Kasius, with the others helping get Flint the rocks he needs and to where he needs to go, and back to Enoch and portal with the team. Yo-Yo tells Flint to take care of the big guy, asking him to watch out for Mack on her behalf. Kasius has gone totally delusional about Sinara’s death, disconnecting from reality, and reacting to the Kree doctor’s explanation that he couldn’t use the same process he uses on humans and Inhumans to resurrect her by executing the doctor immediately. Jared poses the question…”can an eternal be murderable?” and “is ‘murderable’ a word?” With the last of Robin’s drawings recovered by his men Kasius figures out that S.H.‪‪I.E.L.D. team was going to use the Monolith to return back to the past, and the Inhumans’ trainer take Odium and go be a berzerker and die for Kasius. While this is going on Mack and Flint are bonding, with Mack talking about looking forward to getting to ride his bike, referring to his motorcycle, and Flint asks him if that isn’t what little kids ride. Mack vehemently defends motorcycles as rockets with two wheels, and not at all childish, and it’s a very cute scene. He tells Flint he’d be welcome to come back to the past with them, but Flint doesn’t want to leave his time. Fitz and Simmons show up with the rest of the Monolith rock The rest of the team are rescuing Inhumans, and taking out the Kree to help the surviving humans, and May and Deke have an exchange about guns being something that need to be regulated, in a very true, if not obvious, reference to real life gun control, and the lack thereof in the U.S.. The Inhuman trainer comes for Daisy on Odium, and despite being shot at by Coulson continues to come for her for a moment, he turns his attention to Coulson, slamming him against the wall and distracting him long enough for Daisy to get something to stab him with. With the Odium-enhanced trainer taken out Daisy notices Coulson clutching his chest, his shirt ripped open, but denying that he was wounded, and insisting it was merely a wardrobe malfunction.

Tess and Deke are reunited, and they discuss how they appreciate each other’s friendship more since she died and was resurrected. Coulson sees her struggling with the adjustment to life after death, and mentors her a bit, telling her its all worth it to be able to help those in need. We still don’t like that she was killed for the development of Flint and Deke, and even bringing her back doesn’t make it less gross and problematic. Kasius is talking to Sinara, despite her being really dead still, and has gone full on bananas. He intends to bring glory to his family, and looks and sounds like someone totally deranged at this point, with nothing connecting him to reality, and intends to go out in a blaze of glory with odium. We find his other Inhuman seer, and it’s Yo-Yo! We were way off with how long she would be around, but this older, alternate timeline Yo-Yo meets our Yo-Yo, to explain that she has been brought back from the dead over and over again by the Kree, killed and resurrected repeatedly, tortured, and used her for information, and to harvest her DNA. The older Yo-Yo explains that she’s been trapped in a time loop, and that they’ve gone through this conversation more than once before, and that they will not be able to stop the loop. Meanwhile, Enoch calls the team requesting for help, and Deke volunteers, dismissing Daisy’s intention to help, telling her that she needs to be ready to return to the past. Deke tells her to stop being so ready to die for people there, and that she is actually meant to be a hero to save people in the past. They say goodbye, and this is where he falls for her. At this point Jemma has gone from anti-Inhuman bigot to Inhuman power expert, and coach. She talks Flint through how to feel out and sense rocks with his powers, and understand and use his abilities. During their conversation Fitz was setting up a decapitation wire behind them to behead the crew of Kree soldiers coming after them, and it was horrific, and kind of awesome. Fitz was being practical, not monstrous, at least, not intentionally so. Nevertheless, Jemma is understandably disturbed, as it recalls his time as a Nazi dude in the Framework. Back to the Yo-Yos, where the older Yo-Yo tells us how she was upset she couldn’t change Coulson’s choices. Daisy tells Coulson and May she won’t come back to the past, and that it can help prevent the Earth’s destruction. He ignores her wishes, hitting her with an icer and knocking her out. While this is happening we hear older Yo-Yo tell our Yo-Yo that Coulson is dying, and they need to let him, and close the loop. This is where we get Yo-Yo’s problematic arm loss reveal. We don’t have the expertise or bandwidth to speak on it with authority, but it felt somewhat sensationalized and ableist, if not exploitive, and above all, it seems unnecessary, and done with no consideration to members of the amputee community, and in a very gross way puts another Woman of Color in the series through significant trauma for entertainment purposes.

Fitz gives Flint Deke’s Star Lord-esque helmet to gather more rocks in space to make up for missing components of the monolith. A bunch of scenes converge, with Coulson carrying Daisy’s unconscious body, the Kree attacking Enoch, and Kasius going in to the older Yo-Yo’s cell to get something from her, Kree going through Kasius’s throne room as Flint bursts through from outside with rocks, sending the Kree flying out into cold space and their deaths. Deke shows up to help, and asks if they should fix Enoch, but Enoch insists their time is better spent fixing the portal device, damaged in the fight with Kree. Flint is looking around him at the rocks he’s controlling and all that he’s just done, and the rest of the team arrives without Yo-Yo, and Mack notices Fitz mention his fiancée and he gives his good buddy a hard time, and then realizes that Yo-Yo is missing. He goes after her while Daisy meets Flint and‪‪ they have a sweet introduction, and May encourages Flint to go ahead and save the day, showing a sweet and motherly vibe in the way that May would/does. Flint’s sand/rock power effects look pretty cool, and make use of some of the style or technology they used for Ward/Hive’s powers (total aside, but Ward/Hive’s mind control squid powers reminded Jared of Jarro, the Starfish Wonder in recent DC comics, who is amazing). Also, Jared was aghast to learn that lots of people thought that Billy Zane was the Mummy in the Mummy, and he was *not*. And Jess realized that she needed to watch Doom Patrol, because Brendan Fraser is a sad robot daddy, and it’s great, and insane! Tim Dalton is great in it, and Diane Guerrero is also amazing in Doom Patrol, and Jess recommends Diane Guerrero’s book In the Country We Love: My Family, so check that out! But getting back to S.H.‪‪I.E.L.D., Mack hears Yo-Yo’s screams, but it’s the older Yo-Yo in a trap laid by Kasius in the arena. After slitting Yo-Yo’s throat violently he goes after Mack all ‘roided out on Odium. Mack smacks Kasius with his shotgun axe, and then shoots the Kree guards and Kasius, which is pretty rad. Meanwhile, Deke and Enoch are trying to repair the portal’s gateway, and that he would have to give up his life, causing his battery to combust and power the device. Deke and Enoch are both willing to sacrifice themselves to save their friends, and it’s very touching. We talk a little about Jeph Loeb’s probable involvement in all the gross and weird problematic deaths, abuse, and exploitation of the People of Color on the show. Coulson tells Flint to get everyone to safety, and he goes and says he has more work to do. Kasius with his Odium strength is whaling on Mack, which is hard to believe, because Mack just doesn’t look like he’s going to be thrown around by Kasius. Mack is taking being thrown into walls and smashed all over the place, but defiantly standing up, and Jemma shows up and disables Kasius with the ear bug thing he used to fill her ears with white noise, getting some sweet revenge. Mack stabs him in the chest with the shotgun axe, and Mack is despondent, believing that Yo-Yo was dead, until our Yo-Yo screamed his name, running through the doorway and into his arms. Enoch is dying, ready to power the machine, and Fitz asks him to hold on a little longer and calls him his friend. They show up with Coulson carrying an unconscious Daisy, and hoping she will forgive him, as Deke sends the team back to their own time, and Enoch explodes to save the world. Flint and Tess note that Deke didn’t make out of the range of the blast, but fall short of proclaiming him dead. Flint is left to remake the Earth, and prepared to do so.

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