Coulson and Talbot go galactic while the rest of the team have more Earthly concerns in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 5×20.

Talbot gets strange

This week’s episode, titled “The One Who Will Save Us All,” focuses heavily on what happens when the gravitonium-infused Glen Talbot gets a taste of new possibilities. Armed with the righteous motivation of sparing humanity from the onslaught of the alien Confederacy, Talbot quickly takes the lead on the whole invasion problem. Coulson, for his part, is sort of like the driving instructor in a car without a passenger break.

Because it turns out that having the power of life and death in your fingers doesn’t make the difference between right and wrong any easier to spot. (A powerful theme of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 5×20, in fact.) And even the strongest of heroes can be mislead by the right promise dangled from the right (blue) lips.

Talbot’s been on a wild ride in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 5, and trust me, the changes will keep on coming.

Fight club

While Coulson has his hands full with Talbot-on, the rest of the team grapples with more mundane concerns. You know, getting the Zephyr into outer space, fighting off stray aliens, and… each other.

I’ll be frank. Daisy’s return to the Lighthouse in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 5×20 is not exactly a joyful homecoming — in fact, there are moments that make the tenser points of last week’s episode seem downright fuzzy in comparison.

Because, beneath the pressure of the timeline and the years of lingering trauma, between the fear and exhaustion and complete lack of answers, there are much deeper questions at hand. What are these people willing to do to change (or NOT change) the future? What lines will they draw, consequences be damned? And what kind of people do these choices reveal them, fundamentally, to be?

Suffice to say, no two members of the team come up with quite the same answers in “The One Who Will Save Us All.”

Closing the loop

With only three episodes to go before season’s end, “The One Who Will Save Us All” finally begins to slot in some of those uncomfortable realities that make the future possible. That’s not to say that the path to Earth’s destruction gets all that much clearer (it does, but not by much!) But there’s a smell of the endgame in the air, adding weight upon weight, and no shortage of consequences, to every seemingly forgone decision.

Crush me

When the world is about to end and an inscrutable timeline threatens to damn most of humanity, there’s really nothing better than spending some quality time with your crush. And that’s exactly what Deke attempts to do in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 5×20 — you know, because it’s been working out so well for May and Coulson, Mack and Elena, and Fitz and Simmons.

But it turns out that there are surprisingly touching moments to be had between a guy from the future and a gal with superpowers and the weight of the world on her shoulders. They might not be what you (or Deke) were expecting, but they are certainly there.

To ‘Infinity’ and the… present

In its typical twisty way, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 5×20 somehow manages to reference the events of Avengers: Infinity War without acting as a significant spoiler. But though the Avengers may be WAY too busy to think about (or remember) anyone from S.H.I.E.L.D., the unspecified dark portents of the MCU’s greatest battle is a remarkably effective goad in the episode.

Bonus hint: Are you somebody that I used to know?

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 5×20, “The One Who Will Save Us All,” airs Friday, May 4 at 9:00 p.m. on ABC.

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