12:30 pm EST, April 5, 2018

‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ 5×16 hints: Tempting the fates

After a Hydra-centric episode, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 5×16 brings our heroes (much) closer to someone’s end. Here are our hints for “Inside Voices.”

Captain Daisy

With Coulson MIA, it’s finally Daisy’s turn to take command of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s threadbare assets. But you didn’t think it would be easy, did you?

The growing fissures within the team, spidering out from Fitz’s drastic actions, lead to significant pushback against Daisy’s leadership in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 5×16. But don’t look for any resolution just yet — only May is even attuned to the degree of the problem. Not that she has much time to contemplate the issue; Daisy’s plan brings young Robin Hinton back into the fold, and in addition to seeing the future, Robin’s gifts include a knack for drawing everyone’s attention.

Oh, and reminding us of how dire her freaky drawings are. That, too.

Coulson is not here for drama

Meanwhile, trapped within the halls of the Hydra School for Aspiring Evildoers, Coulson is more concerned with the present than the future. Fortunately for him, Hale also has something occupying her attention in “Inside Voices” — the gravitonium, her plans for which roil the waters of loyalty and ambition within Baby Hydra.

But true to form, Coulson is unimpressed by the family drama. Instead, he tries to turn the situation to his advantage, sounding out allies and enemies in classic Coulson fashion. It’s a fraught prospect however, as the elements within Hydra grow increasingly unstable. And after all, Coulson himself has to play this game what you might call a significant handicap, which makes itself very powerfully known over the course of the episode.

Quite possibly the craziest plan yet

Speaking of handicaps, Elena is coming to terms with her own overcome handicap in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 5×16, a process that leads to some surprising conflict with Mack. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Inspired by Elena’s reports from the future, Simmons cooks up a scheme that almost rivals Dr. Fitz’s for diabolical craziness. Bound together by confidence in their own invincibility, Simmons and Elena take steps to grab the future by the scruff of its uncooperative neck. But it’s hard to see this as anything other than straight-up playing with fire, and in the sandstorm of variables that fate has become, viewers will be hard-pressed to tell if any path leads somewhere other than destruction.

A stinger for the loyalists

I won’t say much about the final moments of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 5×16, but it’s clear that this is one for the superfans. The stinger for “Inside Voices” puts one or two long lingering questions to rest, in a style that we haven’t been able to enjoy in a very long time.

Bonus hint: Bad Horse?

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 5×16, “Inside Voices,” airs Friday, April 6 at 9:00 p.m. on ABC.

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