Agents of SHIELD 5.08 Review: “The Last Day”

Previously on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the crew reunited except for May (Ming-Na Wen), who came face to face with an older version of the young seer named Robin while stranded on the surface. And while ‘The Last Day’ was quite confusing from a narrative perspective, it was also rich in the heart and soul with May provides the team – something that has been missing from much of the season.

Here At The End

‘The Last Day’ switches back and forth between two timelines, showing how the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. slowly lose faith during the end of the world as well as how they’re trying to make their way home in the timeline we’ve gotten to know all season. The connection between both timelines? The presence of Robin, the young Inhuman who helped Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) reunite with his friends thanks to her clairvoyant powers. But it’s not Fitz who stands by her side in every timeline regardless of the circumstances, it’s May. Despite Robin’s life being a deck of cards all shuffled out of order, and despite every other character losing patience with her ramblings and giving up on saving the world, May stays firm that Robin is not to blame and in fact holds the key to their salvation.

Aside from all the plot points that move around in ‘The Last Day,’ most of which involve Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) and Fitz finding a strange machine that may be able to send them back through time, we are also treated to some lovely moments of bonding between the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. who haven’t seen each other in several episodes. May’s reunions with Coulson (Clark Gregg) and Daisy (Chloe Bennet) are especially touching, especially when May and Daisy are both experiencing feelings of helplessness. While injured, May thinks she’s useless to the team and finds comfort in Coulson’s unconditional trust and later in Robin’s memories of their life together. Meanwhile, Daisy must contend with the temporary loss of her powers as well as the knowledge that regaining them may lead her to destroy the world – but even she is able to bond with Deke and help herself by helping him.

Speaking of Deke, it’s clear from the moment he arrives on the Surface and asks about his dad that his father is dead. What he doesn’t learn until later, however, is that his father’s friend Voss is the one who killed them. It seems that Deke’s father had a piece of the monolith which sent the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. through time and Voss was hellbent on preventing them from going home. He thinks that he can save the world by killing Daisy, but instead he merely winds up killing Robin to keep her from revealing how to return.

It turns out that Robin’s warning about “the day it all ends” referred to her own death, but her tragic story still has a peaceful ending in her eyes. Why? Because her mother, in the form of Melinda May, was at her side. Raising Robin in the alternate timeline and protecting her even when everyone else abandoned the cause left a deep mark on the girl, and she uses her final moments to whisper the secret of how the team saves the world. It is this beautiful sequence that really cements May’s importance as a character and team member, because no matter how stoic and fierce she may appear on the outside, she has the biggest heart of all. We still don’t know exactly what happened, other than that it really was Daisy who Quaked the Earth open, but we do know one thing: saving the day requires help from Flint.

Who Is Flint?

Kasius, who is tragically still alive, seeks answers to the whereabouts of his enemies. He sends Sinara after the Destroyer of Worlds, demanding that she show no mercy, while he decides to get come down even harder on the poor Lighthouse humans.

This means that Yo-Yo (Natalia Cordova-Buckley) and Mack (Henry Simmons) must face the consequences of staying behind with new Inhuman Flint while searching for the weapons cache. The other residents blame the young man for the lights and water being shut off, which affects Flint’s mood quite a bit – but thankfully Elena is there to remind him of what her experience as an Inhuman was like.

After obtaining their much-needed weapons and tech – hello, Shotgun Axe, you’ve been missed – they discover that the vrellnexians on Level 3 have been sent below to attack the humans, and it’s up to the remaining Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. to save them. ‘The Last Day’ doesn’t spend much time on the adventures of the Lighthouse, but the three heroes do come up with an excellent plan to drive the roaches into one room and trap them using gas bombs. Now that their lives have been spared, the humans seem much more willing to cooperate with Mack, Flint and Yo-Yo.

Now that Mack has convinced them that they cannot let Kasius pit them against each other, Yo-Yo begins removing the devices from everyone’s arms. And while it seems like they’re well on their way to connecting Flint with the other agents and thus the means of saving the world, it’s bittersweet to note that in the alternate timeline Yo-Yo finds herself without Mack and claims he is “never coming back.” Not sure what happened to him there, but hopefully we never have to experience it firsthand.