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Review: AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. S6 E12 Recap: Zombies Attack

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (2019) - Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen)
Find out if Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 6 episode 12 "The Sign".

Show: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Network: ABC
Title: "The Sign"
Season: 6
Episode: 12
Synopsis: "With time running short, the team will have to go to hell and back to stop the end of everything. Who will survive?"
Director: Nina Lopez-Corrado
Writer(s): Nora Zuckerman & Lilla Zuckerman
Airdate: August 2, 2019
Starring: Clark Gregg, Ming-Na Wen, Chloe Bennet, Iain De Caestecker, Elizabeth Henstridge, Henry Simmons, Natalia Cordova-Buckley, Jeff Ward, Joel Stoffer, Karolina Wydra, Christopher James Baker, Jan Uddin, Shainu Bala, Christian Ochoa, Geri-Nikole Love

If you thought Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. couldn't get stranger then you haven't seen the two-part season finale.

If you want to avoid spoilers for this episode then skip to the overall section at the end.
Warning: Spoilers for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 6 episode 12 "The Sign"

When we last left the team the body stealing alien Izel (Karolina Wydra) had kidnapped Alphonso "Mack" Mackenzie (Henry Simmons) and Elena 'Yo-Yo' Rodriguez (Natalia Cordova-Buckley) to force them to help her reclaim the Monoliths and open a portal to allow her friends to come to Earth. She takes them to an ancient temple in Mexico in Zephyr One. Meanwhile, Daisy 'Skye' Johnson (Chloe Bennet) and the rest of the agents are looking for them. Leo Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) and Jemma Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) are working with their future grandson Deke Shaw (Jeff Ward) to build a device to stop Izel's body stealing abilities.

If all that sounds weird then you haven't been watching the last two seasons. Things are a little bonkers. So Mack and Yo-Yo wake up chained to a post. Izel starts telling them her plans to open the portal but she needs the Monoliths. What's she going to do? Mack tells them they're not helping her. Which is odd because it seems redundant to tell a maniac you won't help them kill people. Turns out Izel doesn't need their help. She plans to use the Di'Alla of Creation to pull the memories of the stone structures into reality.

Suddenly a person is formed from the Monolith and it's a very confused Flint (Coy Stewart). The last time the two had seen him was in the far future. Mack says she failed but everything is going as planned. She jumps into Flint's body and realizes he can control earth and rock to rebuild the Monoliths. Bad news.

Sure enough all the rocks and sand in the temple, which are made of the same material as the Di'Allas come together to remake the structures. Izel goes outside and calls a bunch of the bat-like Shrike's to find her an "army" of human hosts for the incoming aliens.

Flint is too weak to take down the monoliths but he does manage to take the cuffs off Mack and Yo-Yo. But Izel sees what's happening and bodysnatchers Elana and has her use her robot hands to crush Flint's knee. When she jumps back out poor Yo-Yo is horrified what she's made her do to her friend. That just might be the worst thing Izel's done so far and she's done a lot.

Meanwhile back at the Lighthouse base in Lake Ontario, Daisy faces off against Sarge / Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) aka "an alien with the body of Coulsen sharing his memories". Skye tells May she's going to kill Sarge but just when she's about to shoot him Sarge's face starts getting weird and he begs her to kill him. He's afraid he's going to kill everyone when he hears her "song" in his head. It sounds like a very Coulson thing to do and it makes her think twice about it. She hugs him and it flips Sarge back to Earth. Not Coulson but not "full metal Sarge".

Back in the lab, Fitz, Simmons, and Deke are watching the recording and Deke realizes the song aka vibrations are the key. Izel uses vibrations to inhabit the body of her hosts. So if they can stop the vibrations she can stop Izel.

Daisy preps her team for the assault on the temple. May, Piper, and Sarge are in the team. To the surprise of everyone, Deke made a bunch of special slap bracelets to stop Izel taking them over. FitzSimmons melts down Sarge's knives to make bullets that can kill the Shrike and maybe Izel.

When they're getting ready to take off on the mission May confesses that she's hoping there's a way to split Sarge in two. Making a new Coulson and leaving his alien host Pachakutiq. After they land they find the Zephyr abandoned in the jungle and wrecked. Agent Piper (Briana Venskus) sets out to try and fix the ship. Meanwhile, a bunch of guys starts attacking them. They're Shrike zombies who are basically dead. The team blast holes in them and decides to head for the temple. They separate into two groups to distract them. Skye heads one way and May and Sarge head the other.

Back at the Lighthouse Fitz and Simmons wonder how they're going to get down to the temple quickly. Deke warningly says he may know a way. Then they head to an unused floor on the Lighthouse where Deke secretly set up some of his start-up employees and their developing technology based on S.H.I.E.L.D. and Kree tech. Fitz is furious and says Deke's stealing tech and making a profit. Deke says it's all stolen tech anyway. There's a really moving moment where he admits he just wanted people to take him seriously. Just when Simmons is misty-eyed he uses the experimental Jump Drive or "Shaw Drive" to teleport to the temple.

As Deke suddenly appears in the temple he slaps wristbands on the shocked Mack, Yo-Yo, and Flint. He's shocked Flint is there. Sort of. Basically, he's just a creation of the Monolith, but Mack insists he's as real as ever. Deke leads the Shrike-Zombies away to let the three escape. It seems like a good plan until he finds out he can't jump again for another 30 minutes. Eep.

Meanwhile, Izel changes into a "not-creepy-at-all" robe and starts vocalizing. It's not exactly Mariah Carey but it starts making things go weird(er). The Monoliths activate and create a portal. Deke leaves a camera so the rest of the team can get a view of what's happening.

Mack, Yo-Yo, and Flint make it to the Zephyr to meet Piper. Just then Daisy heads onboard chased by Shrike-Zombies. They barricade themselves in. Mack is furious that she's trusting Sarge after he tried to kill them.

Dasy and Sarge go to the temple to take down Izel. She's opened the portal and getting ready to let her brethren in. Sarge jumps down and attacks her. He's decided to end the pain of the many worlds he's watched her destroy. Just when he's getting ready to stab her with his special sword he stops. Izel smiles and reminds him that Pachakutiq could never kill her.

May steps in and tells him the pain he's been feeling is love. Love for her and the rest of the team. It looks like she's getting through to Sarge's human side. But then Coulson decides he has to get rid of the weakness he sees in himself. He stabs her with the sword and throws her into the portal. This definitely didn't go how she'd planned. Is she really dead? Is anyone ever really dead on this show? We'll find out next episode.

Back in the future city on Kitson, the synthetic anthropologist Enoch meets with a fellow Chronicom named Isiah. He has a plan to rebuild their home planet. Turns out they've all been reassigned. Just as Enoch is going through the list he sees they're all "Hunters" now. Including Isiah. Just as Enoch turns Isaiah suddenly lunges at him and it cuts to black.

Check below to read the next episode recap when it's up.

Overall: 
Nina Lopez-Corrado directed AoS episodes like "Hot Potato Soup" and "The Last Day" so she does a good job capturing the feelings and emotions in this episode. The action feels little stiled but they are fighting zombies so it works.

This episode is really all about Sarge and Deke. The two showed an impressive range. Clark Gregg is best known for his humor and sitcom work so this episode gives him some drama to chew on. Ward gets to explore the twisted relationship he has with his grandparents and his challenges to being taken seriously.

The acting is good overall.  Where the story suffers is in the script by Nora and Lilla Zuckerman. They tried but the story is far too convoluted and jumps between locations without a lot of focus.

Overall Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5 stars. Watch it
The episode is flawed but is a trippy action-packed episode with heartbreaking moments.

Next Episode Recap: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S6 E13 "New Life"

Click on the link to read more television reviews

About Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode The Sign

Official synopsis: "Part 1 of 2. With time running short, the team will have to go to hell and back to stop the end of everything. Who will survive?"
Directed by Nina Lopez-Corrado
Written by Nora Zuckerman & Lilla Zuckerman
"Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." stars Clark Gregg, Ming-Na Wen, Chloe Bennet, Iain De Caestecker, Elizabeth Henstridge, Henry Simmons, Natalia Cordova-Buckley, Jeff Ward, Joel Stoffer, Karolina Wydra, Christopher James Baker, Jan Uddin, Shainu Bala, Christian Ochoa, Geri-Nikole Love,

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs Fridays on ABC

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