‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ Season 5×16 Review: “Inside Voices”

Disclaimer: Spoilers for the episode below. Previous episode review here.

I have said it countless times around but this season has made a great effort in bringing back familiar faces. New HYDRA is already made up of Carl Creel, The Superior, and Werner von Strucker; and General Talbot, Deathlok, and Lance Hunter have made appearances as well. Now, a couple fan favorites that originated back in season 1 capped off the episode teasing for what might be the MCU reveal of Graviton.

First, let us back things up. Yo-Yo is seen training with her new robotic arms (FYI, they are very badass). I have to say that when Yo-Yo was first introduced back in season 3, I did not really like her. She seemed all anti-S.H.I.E.L.D. and hesitant and just another ‘Skye’ (more on that later). However, she has evolved into easily being one of my favorite characters. Her and Mack are constantly tossing loving quips at each other (shoutout to “If the arm fits”/”Oh, now we’re making arm jokes?” as well as the “Wow, I’m sorry” to Fitz when she found out Deke is his grandson), and, overall, she represents everything S.H.I.E.L.D. should be. A lot of heart mixed with drama and laughter. So it is a shame to see Daisy start to revert back to her old self. By old self, I mean annoying. Daisy is at her best when she is just off being Quake. As Fitz mentioned in the last episode, and I paraphrase, “How many times have you quit the team again?” Daisy gets all confident and authoritarian, and then off she goes doing her own thing. Coulson is a good leader. Daisy still has a lot to learn. It’s important she realizes this, as bringing Robin and her mother out of hiding and then not returning them seems like a pretty dumb move.

Speaking of Coulson, him and Talbot attempted to make an escape with Carl Creel as their bodyguard. Well, I guess it was a successfully attempt as they managed to get the hell out of HYDRA’s clutches. I don’t quite remember the relationship between Talbot and Creel, but Creel must respect Talbot as he was willing to not endanger Coulson once Coulson told him about Talbot.

Speaking of Talbot and Creel, the episode’s title “Inside Voices” refer back to both of them. For Talbot, it is simply that he needs to use his inside voice as he spends most of the time shouting. However, for Creel, it opens up a number of possibilities the series could play with. Earlier in the episode, Creel touched the gravitonium, and it touched him back. It transported (?) the voices of Franklin Hall and one other into his head. We were treated with flashbacks to Franklin Hall’s one and only appearance back in 1×3. It was not until the end of the episode that we found out who the other voice inside his head was.

Ian Quinn, mentioned earlier by Hale as haven gone into hiding, had really been stuck inside the gravitonium all this time. Finally closing the book on “What happened to Quinn?” that fans have been wondering about since season 1. This closing scene also brought back Raini who trapped Quinn inside the gravitonium. It was a joyous payoff for two characters fans had wanted to see more of, it just took four years.

Otherwise, this episode did not establish too much else, beyond the fact Yo-Yo, Fitz, and Simmons believe themselves to be invincible. Marvel’s The Invincibles coming to ABC next fall. I mean, that acid/water test really got me. However, it begs the question if the world is in a loop and time can truly be changed.

Final Verdict: Not much here except moving pieces around to set up the final few episodes of the season. Coulson and Talbot are now free from HYDRA, but Ruby is hot on their trail wanting to prove she is the “Destroyer of Worlds.” FitzSimmons and Yo-Yo are off looking for gravitonium while Daisy and May are still searching for Coulson. We got a cool Creel v Ruby fight and a fun Tahiti joke, but obviously the best part was the episode’s clincher. Could Ian Quinn or Franklin Hall return as Graviton, in the comics the supervillain persona of Franklin Hall, to wreck havoc on the agents. Is he the real “Destroyer of Worlds” or could Ruby bond with the substance to take up the persona? I guess we’ll find out as S.H.I.E.L.D. inches towards its season finale.

Grade: 9/10