TV ReviewsAgents of SHIELD Season 5 Episode 12: The Real Deal Review

Keith NoakesMarch 9, 2018

If you would like to read my review of the last episode, click here.

Synopsis: Coulson finally reveals the mysterious deal he made with Ghost Rider, which will impact everyone on the team. (IMDB)

Writers: Jeffrey Bell, Maurissa Tancharoen, and Jed Whedon

Director: Kevin Tancharoen

Rating: TV-PG

Running Time: 45mins

So this is it, the 100th episode of Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD. After so much fanfare, expectations for this episode were high. While it was still an enjoyable episode, it didn’t quite match those expectations, fair or not, for me at least.

The last episode ended with an explosion in the supply room. Nobody got seriously hurt, except for Noah, but the explosion destroyed the three monoliths that were also down there and subsequently ripped a hole through space-time. This opened up a portal to another dimension, a fear dimension containing everyone’s greatest fears. First a Kree showed up, Lash appeared on a monitor, and a forest appeared on a lower level which was Deke’s fear.

Fitz had a potential solution that may mean a sacrifice. He would have to create a device to stitch the hole back together but in doing so, one may be transported into another dimension. Coulson immediately volunteered, however, everyone was against it. He considered himself expendable and everyone else was needed, especially Daisy. She was a symbol. As soon as he said that, he fainted.

Coulson had been ailing for a while and his death had even been foreshadowed but here he revealed what was happening with him. His ailment was being caused by tissue around his heart and left lung that had been dead for years. This was happening since his deal with Ghost Rider. Though he was being kept alive, his clock now ticked faster.

No one liked that he didn’t tell them. Daisy was upset with his decision to not attempt a solution earlier when Tess was brought back to life. She and Coulson had a moment where she thanked him for what he had done for her. He was the symbol and there wouldn’t be a SHIELD without him. Later, it looked like Yo-Yo was being treated by Simmons but she was an LMD that tried to smother her with a pillow.

Coulson had come to terms with where he was in his life and thought it was time for someone else to lead. He got outfitted with the gear he needed and was given a device to stitch the hole. He then headed to the basement but the team lost communication with him. Also in the basement, he ran into Mike Peterson/Deathlok who was a manifestation from his head.

Peterson told him a story that everything he experienced, pretty much the whole show, wasn’t real. The others wanted to help him but May had faith in him. Peterson claimed that Coulson was still on the operating table and that everything that happened was all a dream mixed with past memories. His mind created all of this out of his fear of never having lived. He was the real deal.

Coulson refused to believe any of it. Meanwhile, after running some errands, Deke came back on a quinjet with the real Deathlok and a few other SHIELD agents. Fake Mike Peterson claimed to not be there to stop him but rather wanted Coulson to walk through the portal with him. Coulson had other plans. Luckily the real Deathlok was there to take out fake Mike Peterson, Lash, and Hive while Coulson through Fitz’ device at the hole which closed it, at least for now.

Hale had made it to the nearby town to look for SHIELD after Daisy was sighted by one of the local officers. They were trying to look into Deke but he technically didn’t exist as there were no records on him since he was from the future.

All of this was leading up to Fitz and Simmons’ wedding on the forest level. This moment was inevitable but it was still emotional to watch. Deke got the rings from a pawn shop in the nearby town. An interesting tidbit from this was that while looking into Deke, she learned that he was related to Fitz and Simmons, likely making them his grandparents.

Overall, this was still a good episode using the lame premise of the fear dimension to bring out some Easter eggs from the series. There was also plenty of emotion here as Coulson didn’t quite die but was coming to terms with his second life (or third life depending on what you believe) and that he was living on borrowed time. Clark Gregg and Chloe Bennet both gave strong performances here, highlighting the father-daughter dynamic they’ve shared throughout the series and with Coulson being confronted with the fact that his reality may not be real after all (and it might be a way to bring him back to the MCU). The Fitz-Simmons wedding was nice and it was great to see them find a way to bring Deke further in the fold by making him their grandson (probably). He has been an excellent comic relief and he had some more funny moments in this episode. Who knows where this season will go next, however, with the wedding, it’s getting ready for the end and that might be okay too.

Score: 8.5/10

If you liked this, please read my other reviews here and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter, follow me on Instagram, and also like me on Facebook.


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