Things are getting interesting on Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD. “From the Ashes” deals from the fallout of last week’s mind-blowing revelation. Sarge (Clark Gregg) is a copy of the original Coulson, that is inhabited by a non-corporeal being, just Izel (Karolina Wydra).
It all goes back to season five. The team found the original Monoliths stored in the lighthouse, but someone blew the stones up, releasing the energy within. The team thought the explosion opened a breach to a fear dimension, but it was actually the energy of the Monoliths. Coulson closed the breach with a gravitonium orb that now holds that energy, and by doing so, created a copy of himself that was transported to another realm.
Coulson’s copy traveled through space and time and landed in Izel’s realm. A being named Pachakutik, aka Sarge, took Coulson’s. Izel decided she wanted a form too. After finding a suitable host, she left the realm and Pachakutik followed her, but he had forgotten who he was. The memories of his family are actually of May (Ming-Na Wen) and Daisy (Chloe Bennet), but he couldn’t see their faces until now.
Izel left the lighthouse with the orb and in Agent “Yo-Yo” Rodriguez’s (Natalia Cordova-Buckley) body. Mack (Henry Simmons) went with her. Sarge/Patchakutick was taken into custody and is now question the validity of Izel’s revelation.
Temple of Doom
Yo-Yo and Mack wake up on the quinjet. Mack fills her in how they got there and that Izel is looking for a temple where she releases the energy from the monolith. It’s a good thing the only person who knows that information isn’t there. Dr. Marcus Benson (Barry Shabaka Henley) has been in the Yucatan looking for any and all information about the Monoliths. That’s information that Izel is really interested in. And she’s possessing Mack at the moment. She leaps out and asks them to call Benson.
Izel, disguised as Mack, threatens Yo-Yo if she tries anything. Benson is happy to see them and goes right into his research on the monoliths. The ruins he found reference a site where the monoliths can be used to open a door between Earth and Izel’s homeworld for the purpose of releasing “trap souls.”
Benson located three possible locations and one of them is on a ley lines intersection. He tells Yo-Yo that Keller would be proud. She replies that Keller, who is dead, will be amused when she tells him, signaling that something is wrong. Benson picks up on it quickly that Mack is not Mack. Mack/Izel is ready to see these locations, but Benson suggests they get hard evidence from the sites first. Mack/Izel asks for the coordinates. Benson deletes them from his files.
Izel realizes that her ruse is up. So she kills Benson’s assistant. She leaves Mack’s body and Benson is scared, saying the stories are true. If Benson has heard the stories, then he knows what Izel is capable of. She asks him to help find the location of the temple. If he doesn’t comply she will kill Mack with Yo-Yo’s body. Benson refuses to help her, saying he’s not afraid of death. But everyone is afraid of something.
More Questions, No Answers
Daisy leads the search for the quinjet while May questions Sarge. Agents Piper (Briana Venskus) is helping in the command center. Piper is worried about what happens when they find Izel. Daisy says Team FitzSimmons is working on a way to stop Izel.
Team FitzSimmons is stumped. They start brainstorming ideas in front of Daisy, but she doesn’t want to hear it. She needs them to find a way to kill Izel. Deke (Jeff Ward) and Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) get back to work, and Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) talks to her about Sarge. They haven’t gotten anything about what Sarge is, but May is trying to get some answers. The only concerning thing is that May watched the footage of Sarge and Izel’s talk. She focused on the part about his memories is an echo from the host he inhabits. May thinks Sarge is remembering the team.
May really isn’t getting anywhere with Sarge. He thinks she’s trying to trigger the Coulson within him, but that’s not him. He says the memories he had of his family aren’t real. Then doesn’t that mean his quest for vengeance against Izel isn’t real either? May wants to know if he felt something for the people in his memories. Sarge yells at her, saying he’s not her cure for loneliness. He slams his hand on the metal table and leaves a deep hand imprint. May decides to let him cool down.
That’s Not Coulson
May and Daisy go at it about how to handle Sarge. Izel said the only thing that can stop her is within Sarge. Daisy wants to release that part, but May doesn’t. That’s what Izel was trying to wake up. Daisy reminds May that Sarge is not Coulson, that is not the man she loves. May knows that but she’s willing to see the good no matter how much it scares her. She tells Daisy to take a shot at Sarge, but if it backfires, it’s all on her. May is more worried about finding Mack and Yo-Yo.
Daisy goes to speak to Sarge and he assumes she’s there to talk about his memories. She doesn’t care about the memories. She wants to release whatever is inside of him that can defeat Izel. It’s getting stronger, but Sarge doesn’t want to be like Izel. He’s been hunting her for decades and hasn’t been able to kill her. Daisy thinks he doesn’t want to fight back. Sarge doesn’t think he’s worth it. He says he can feel the rage inside of him. He doesn’t want to let it out, he wants it to go away.
Daisy thinks he’s scared of the inside monster because it’s stronger than him and it’s the real Sarge. She tells him to show her what he really is. Sarge tries to turn things around, saying Daisy has her own rage to deal with. He says it has something to do with the face he’s wearing. Daisy gets upset, saying Sarge is nothing to her. She gets up to leave, clearly bothered by what he said.
Team FitzSimmons has come up with a possible weapon: Sarge’s sword. It’s a more complex version of the daggers and the metal has a familiar crystalline structure like the monoliths. It could be reverse engineered to create more weapons.
Daisy doesn’t get it. If they use a sword, that means they have to get close to Izel. She can leap from person to person, making it dangerous for anyone near her. Daisy is frustrated because nothing is working out as she hoped. Simmons says it’s because she’s not listening.
Simmons pulls her aside and says Daisy has a pattern of behavior when something upsets her. She ran when she got her powers when Lincoln died and again after Coulson died; that’s why she went to space to find Fitz. She is literally facing Coulson right now and not handling it well. Simmons says it doesn’t do any good to keep things bottled up. If Daisy needs them, they are here for her.
Izel locked Mack and Yo-Yo in a containment pod, giving them an opportunity to talk about their relationship. She says if it’s going to work, he needs to let her be in danger some times. Mack promises that his decision to tag along was tactical. With the two of them there, Izel can only possess one person at a time. And it gives the team time to figure out how to stop her.
Izel and Benson return and it’s time for him to face his fears. Izel explains that of the three monoliths, Creation is the most powerful. It reaches into the mind and builds whatever it sees. Humans have great imaginations but lack the control to create anything but what they fear.
When she opens the gravitonium orb, Mack and Yo-Yo yell at Benson not to believe what he is seeing. It isn’t real. Benson’s husband, Thomas (Robb Derringer) Marcus manifests in front of him. Benson explains that Thomas was in a car accident and was on life support for several days before Benson let him go. Even though he was brain dead, Thomas says he remembers those last moments. Benson’s hand holding his and every word he said. He also remembers the words of his family when they begged him to hold on a little longer. And he says he could smell the liquor on Benson’s breath that last night. Benson gets very emotional.
Izel makes Thomas disappear and tells Benson that no matter how many times he creates Thomas, it will always be his fault that Thomas died. Dying seems like it would be a release, but it’s not an option. Benson looks at Mack and Yo-Yo apologetically, then asks Izel where she wants to go.
Daisy finally reads the letter that Coulson left her before he died. She gets a little emotional and goes back to Sarge’s cell. She asks when the memories and powers came to him. He says it started after May shot him. The memories became clear while he was unconscious. She asks if one of the faces he saw was hers. Sarge doesn’t confirm, instead, he says it doesn’t mean anything. He says he’s nothing, but Daisy says he’s something and quakes him, snapping his neck.
Team FitzSimmons saw the whole thing and freak out when Daisy kills him. She sits at the table waiting for him to come back to life. Daisy tells Simmons that she read Coulson’s letter and is more certain than ever that Sarge is not Coulson. She wants to know what he is though. They check the scanners for signs of life and see energy spread throughout his body. He’s alive. Simmons tells Daisy to get out of the room, but she wants answers first.
Piper pulls up the footage on Sarge for May. May says Daisy is trying to wake up the monster inside of Sarge. She explains that Daisy thinks he’s another Izel. Piper thinks it’s a bad idea to release another demon on the base. May says he’s different. He’s not like Izel.
Sarge wakes up and demands to be let go. Daisy wants answers first and stands between him and the door. He sees flashes of memory, including three hooded figures in a Mayan temple. He continues to try and get past Daisy, but she insists he talks first. She threatens to snap his neck again if he doesn’t comply. Sarge swings his arm back, skin flaking like dust from his hand, and he hits Daisy…hard. She flies across the room. Sarge punches a large hole in the wall and escapes.
Daisy runs to the lab to find out if they got footage of Sarge waking up. Of course, they did, but Team FitzSimmons is more concerned about stopping Sarge from getting to Izel. Daisy picks up Sarge’s sword, saying she is ready to test its capability. Simmons suggests there may be a little bit of Coulson left, but Daisy reminds her that Coulson died a year ago. She says Everyone needs to stop pretending that didn’t happen.
Daisy is walking around the corridors looking for Sarge. He’s tearing up the place, looking for a way out. May contacts her from Command. She has a strike team ready and tells Daisy to hold her position. Daisy says she needs to face him alone, but May disagrees. Daisy says the fact that May believes Coulson is in Sarge is the reason she has to face him alone.
Mack and Yo-Yo stare at the orb. He says he’s not sure what he would have done in Benson’s shoes. As far as following Yo-Yo and Izel, it really wasn’t tactical. She knows that because she would have followed him too. The ship turns around, making them lose their balance. Benson gave the coordinates of the temple to Izel. They have to come up with something to stop her. Yo-Yo says her plan doesn’t work without the orb.
Izel returns to the cargo bay to put Benson in the containment pod. As soon as she opens the door, Yo-Yo runs out for the orb and returns inside the pod. Izel immediately possesses her and starts beating up Mack. She pulls him out of the pod and throws him around. He gets close enough to release the containment pod to send it back to home base and keeping Benson safe.
Benson already gave Izel what she needed anyway. Mack says his team will know where to find them. Izel is happy about that because her people will need hosts when they get to Earth.
More Capable Than You Know
Daisy encounters Sarge and threatens him with the sword. She says she’s going to kill him to make sure it will work on Izel, which Sarge is okay with. He tells her to do it because it would be easier than doing it himself. She pulls the sword back and Sarge begins yelling at her. He calls her Skye and she hesitates. Sarge doesn’t know about Skye.
While Sarge is talking, his face looks like something is trying to burst out of him. He says he started to remember everything, the pain, the memories and Izel’s song coursing through his body. He says he’s growing stronger and could potentially kill everyone in the lighthouse. She has to kill him now.
Daisy can’t do it, especially after he tells her that she’s always been more capable than she knows. She lowers the sword and realizes he’s willing to sacrifice himself. She says, with tears in her eyes, that’s what Coulson would do. He says he could kill her, but she knows he won’t. Daisy hugs Sarge, crying as she does.
Fitz and Simmons are exhausted from brainstorming, while Deke goes over the footage of Daisy and Sarge’s talk. He focuses on the part when Sarge said he remembers the sound of Izel’s song coursing through his body. He takes one of the daggers and hits it on a metal desk. The dagger rings in a high pitch. Deke figured it out!
Izel is enlightening her atoms to harmonic resonance. They need to disrupt the harmonic frequency to keep her from leaping from person to person. To do that, Team FitzSimmons must design something compact, like a belt buckle, that send audible frequencies that reverberate through a person’s body. Then match the frequency of the dagger’s alloy, except out of phase to create a sonic barrier. Fitz hands over the design to Deke with confidence making Deke feel good about being a part of the team.
They inform May about the plan as Piper gets word that Benson was found in the containment pod. He gives them the coordinates to the temple that he sent Izel to. And lets them know that Mack and Yo-Yo are alive.
May checks in on Daisy. Daisy says May was right. She doesn’t understand it, but Coulson is in Sarge. She didn’t want to believe it though. May says she needed to see it for herself. They will need Sarge soon so May wonders if he can control his powers yet. Daisy says his powers are dangerous, but it’s what they need to stop Izel. She puts things into perspective saying Sarge is looking for a place to belong. And all Coulson wanted was for them to take care of each other. If they can do that for Sarge, he’ll do the same for them. Meanwhile, Sarge is in his room and stares at the hole in the wall. Daisy left the sword in the room so he picks it up to examine it.
From the Ashes
Yo-Yo wakes up, tied to a pillar with Mack. She asks about Benson and Mack says he’s safe. They haven’t heard from S.H.I.E.L.D., but it’s just a matter of time. They watch Izel open the gravitonium device in the temple.
Izel says the temple was built from the same stone as the monoliths. Soon it will resonate in harmony to open the gateway to her home. Her family will come through and take over the shrike hosts and then spread across the galaxy. Mack says if it were that easy, she would have already done it. Izel explains with the stones destroyed, there isn’t a way to complete the ritual. They have to rebuild the monoliths.
Yo-Yo warns that she shouldn’t tell them her plans. When the bad guy reveals his/her plans, that’s when they die. Izel told them the problem because they are going to solve it for them. They’ve seen the monoliths intact. Their minds are going to recreate the monoliths for her.
Izel threatens to use their fears against them if they don’t comply. Yo-Yo says they aren’t afraid of her. Mack says their fears aren’t about her or the monoliths, their fears have to do with losing the people they love. And they’ve already faced that fear. He says she’s not going to get any help from them. Izel smiles as someone arrives. She asks who it is. It’s Flint (Coy Stewart), from the future. And he’s just as confused as to where he is and how he got there.
Meanwhile, In Space
Altarah (Sherri Saum) informs Malachi (Christopher James Baker) and his team that they have learned much and she is confident they can save Chronica II from destruction…in the past. Malachi suggests a different strategy. He wants to send out hunters to establish Chronica III. They are ready to make preparations, but Altarah denies their request. Malachi reminds her that the first rule of data is to always have a backup. Without Chronica III, the Chronica II mission becomes vulnerable. Altarah disagrees, saying there are no flaws in their current plan. Malachi sees one flaw…her. He kills her, telling his team to pursue their new targets.
Of course, Coulson is in there! Coulson Lives! But seriously, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has resurrected Coulson before, so why would anyone doubt that they could do it again. The tricky thing this time around is, how much of Coulson is Coulson…and how much is Pachakutik? I have a feeling that once this season is over, Pachakutik will have a way to restore him to full Coulson. At least I hope.
I’m very pleased with how quickly this season is flowing. However, the space story with the Chromicons is out of place. It will all become clear very soon, and possibly leading into season seven, but for now, it’s hard to be concerned about them. I’m most concerned about what Izel is going to do to Mack and Yo-Yo. I just don’t want anyone to die!
We’re coming to the end of the season and anything can happen now.