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TV REVIEWS: FTN Reviews Agents Of Shield Season 5 Premiere

December 2nd, 2017 by Todd Black Comments

After an unfortuantely long absence due to the arrival (and failure) of Inhumans, Agents of Shield has returned, and the premiere, ironically called “Orientation”, answered many big questions, while also setting up the plot for at the very least the next pod of episodes. But…it came at a cost.

For months now, people have been speculating about where Coulson and the team were. We knew they were in space, but where in space? Many thought it was S.W.O.R.D., the space equivalent of S.H.I.E.L.D., which would bring in many Marvel characters that likely wouldn’t be in the MCU movies. After watching the premiere…I really wish they did.

Don’t get me wrong, Orientation had its moments, but you almost have to feel that the team knows this will be their last season. It’s been widely documented that Disney demanded ABC not cancel AOS after Season 04, so it looks like they’re trying to go out with a bang, but that doesn’t mean the “bang” is a good one.

I’ll keep it quick. The team is in space, but not on SWORD, or a colony, or anything like that. They’re in a future where the Earth is destroyed and the rest of humanity is contained within a single complex that just so happens to be run by the Kree. Adding to the “fun” is that Coulson and team were apparently sent here for some reason, and some of the people on the station knew about it.

Again, as a storyline, it’s not bad. But, it immediately falls into some problems. Especially when we find out that one of the team is apparently the reason that the Earth is gone. Which automatically means that this future (95% chance anyway) is going to be gone by the time this season or pod is over. Because obviously the Earth CAN’T be destroyed, if for no other reason than the MCU would thus cease to exist. That makes it so that the stakes can only go so high. But not high enough.

What’s more, certain oddities are glaring here. Such as Fitz “not being on the list”, and thus not being on the station with the others. That honestly doesn’t make sense unless they had a diehard reason not to take Fitz. Hopefully, we see what’s happened to him soon, but until them, his absence will be missed.

While I do applaud them for putting the season premiere together, that doesn’t save it from the exposition that happens a lot. Viewers have to get used to the new status quo in a big way, learning new terminology, new players, and settings, it can be a lot to process.

The team though do make it a bit more bearable. If you didn’t know better, you’d swear they were breaking the fourth wall at times with all their jokes about space and their past adventures. My personal favorite being when Coulson, Mack, and Yo-Yo each have an arm pinned to a wall, and Yo-Yo goes “where’s an axe when you need one?” To which Coulson says, “Still too soon.” and Mack adds “There’s never a good time to joke about that.”

But, again, there is a limit here. While I don’t mind them going through the motions and trying to figure out stuff, I think they showed their hand a bit too much. Are you really trying to tell me that this future SOMEHOW saved enough of the Earth so that the Framework could be rebuilt? That honestly doesn’t make sense based on what else was said about the ship being old and falling apart in some ways.

And while I appreciate some of the new character we get, not all of them land. And again, if this future goes away, why should I get connected to them?

I will say this though, they do paint the Kree as very menacing, including borrowing a trick from Magneto when they decide to do executions. And Kasius does play his role rather well, and he is very intimidating in his own right. I fell bad for Gemma right now.

In the end, “Orientation” was not the ideal premiere that fans likely were hoping for. But, it may get better as the season goes on.

Todd Black is reader of comics, a watch of TV (a LOT of TV), and a writer of many different mediums. He's written teleplays, fan-fictions, and currently writes a comic book called Guardians ( He dreams of working at Nintendo, writing a SHAZAM! TV series, and working on Guardians for a very long time!