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Recap / Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S5E18 "All Roads Lead..."

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Ruby finally gets her wish.


Tropes in this episode:

  • Alas, Poor Villain: Ruby's death is painted in a tragic light, particularly given that it happens right in front of her own mother. Sure, she was a cold-hearted killer who showed no remorse for her actions, but her entire life had been designed to make her that way and she'd never had a chance to be normal. In the end, she's just a teenager who's scared to death of something she doesn't understand.
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  • Anyone Can Die: After Ivanov bit the dust last episode, this time both Werner and Ruby die. In the end, Hale's proposed team is in ruins, with the aforementioned three dead and Creel uncooperative.
  • Ate His Gun: Attempted by General Talbot to fight his brainwashing but thankfully averted by Coulson and Mack through an I.C.E.R.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Ruby wanted to become the Destroyer of Worlds, but what she gets is unbearable pyschic pain and power she has no control over.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Talbot's already having a hard enough time because of his brain damage, but the Faustus brainwashing on top of that nearly drives him totally around the bend.
  • Brick Joke: When his crush on Daisy is first brought up, Deke mentions that in the future, people confess their feelings to the person they have a crush on by saving up enough money to buy a lemon and leave it on their bed. Later in the episode, Mack calls him "Lemons" when telling him to shut up.
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  • Choke Holds: Talbot uses a blood choke on Polly; realistically, she's able to scream for help the whole time.
  • Complete-the-Quote Title: The first part of the saying "All roads lead to Rome".
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Ruby accidentally caves Werner's head in, since she can't control her powers thanks to Hall and Quinn arguing inside her head.
  • Death by Irony: Werner Von Strucker's last few appearances had him valued primarily for his memory, both by Coulson's team and by General Hale. He ends up killed via Your Head Implode.
  • Defeat Equals Explosion: When Ruby is killed, the Gravitonium inside her is released as an omni-directional burst. It's harmless, but the distraction allows Hale to escape.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Before the big confrontation, Daisy thinks Ruby can be reformed, even become an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.. Hale is understandably skeptical.
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  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: Ruby dies in her mother's arms by bleeding from the throat.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Ruby is set up as the Destroyer of Worlds, only to be killed by Yo-Yo in one shot. The Confederacy takes the stage as the final threat.
  • Distinction Without a Difference: Yo-Yo insists she didn't kill Ruby, but that she saved the world by killing its supposed Destroyer (Ruby).
  • Driven to Suicide: Talbot attempts to kill himself because he can't completely fight off the Faustus brainwashing. Coulson instead talks Talbot into pointing the gun at him, allowing Mack to show up with an ICEr and stun Talbot.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Werner's death more or less happens as a side-note of Ruby's breakdown.
  • Enemy Mine: Hale surrenders to Daisy and May when they break into her facility, as she's seen what the Gravitonium will do to Ruby and needs their help to stop it.
  • Everyone Can See It: When Mack calls out Deke on his crush on Daisy, Coulson admits he figured it out a while ago.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death:
    • Alex/Werner having his head slowly caved in by Ruby's gravity powers (and the resulting enormous pool of blood) definitely qualifies.
    • While not as grotesque, Ruby's death, with her throat being slit by her own weapon. (Consider also that Dove Cameron was primarily known at this point for family-friendly Disney productions.)
  • Heel–Face Door-Slam: Hale has been trying to get S.H.I.E.L.D. and HYDRA to work together against the Confederacy, but this episode sees her willingly surrender to S.H.I.E.L.D.'s custody in the hopes of saving her daughter. Yo-Yo killing her daughter, though, drives her to side with the Confederacy against S.H.I.E.L.D..
  • History Repeats: Once again, the death of a HYDRA leader's daughter causes them to switch sides to defeat the one responsible, only this time the situation is reversed: an outside alien force killed Malick's daughter so he then teamed up with S.H.I.E.L.D. to go after Hive, whereas a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent killing Hale's daughter causes her to team up with the Kree to go after S.H.I.E.L.D.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Ruby is killed with one of her own chakram blades.
  • Hopeless Suitor: Deke doesn't think much of his chances with Daisy, since she hates him for selling her to Kasius.
    Coulson: Most definitely.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight:
    • Mack and Coulson try to talk Talbot out of his brainwashing. It's good enough to get him to release Robin, but he has to be forcibly stunned to keep him from hurting himself or anyone else.
    • Daisy and Hale try to get Ruby to fight off Hall and Quinn within her mind, with mixed success. She regains control at points, but quickly loses it. Yo-Yo ends up killing her.
  • Interrupted Cool Down Hug: Hale and Daisy were almost getting through to Ruby, but Yo-Yo cut her down before she had a chance.
  • Mama Bear: Twice from Hale.
    • When S.H.I.E.L.D. storms her hidden bunker, she hesitates for only a few moments before surrendering and asking them to help save Ruby from herself.
    • After Yo-Yo kills Ruby, she is willing to kill all of S.H.I.E.L.D. (and possibly doom the entire Earth) solely to get payback.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • Hale is finally forced to face the consequences of her abuse of Ruby, and her determination to bring Whitehall's vision to life, when Ruby loses control of her new powers.
    • Although she moves into justification mode when challenged by Daisy, Yo-Yo's immediate reaction to killing Ruby is this as though she is equally horrified by the murder.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Yo-Yo kills Ruby to stop her from destroying the world. It leads Hale to renouncing her plan to stop the Confederacy and siding with them instead to avenge her daughter.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Coulson is so off from May's Love Confession that he calls her "Melinda".
  • Outliving One's Offspring: Hale loses her only daughter.
  • Percussive Therapy: Still mad at Coulson, May decides to work through her anger by punching mooks.
  • Pet the Dog: Hale willingly works with S.H.I.E.L.D. to stop her daughter and actually talks her down from killing Daisy.
  • Power Incontinence: Even with only 8% of the Gravitonium in her body, Ruby struggles to direct the power, let alone make it do what she wants. The fact that she now has two guys who really hate each other constantly arguing loudly inside her head probably factors into this.
  • Pragmatic Hero: What does Yo-Yo do when she sees Ruby's newfound and out-of-control gravity powers? Cut her down. There might also be a bit of a revenge factor at play, as Ruby was the one who cost Yo-Yo her arms after all.
  • Prophecy Twist: Ruby becomes the Destroyer of Worlds — only for Yo-Yo to slice her throat not too long thereafter. However, in doing so, it drives Hale to side with the Confederacy.
  • The Quisling: Hale becomes this to the Confederacy for real in the wake of Ruby's death by telling them where to find S.H.I.E.L.D. and the gravitonium. This is after previously playing along as The Starscream.
  • Revenge Before Reason: After Yo-Yo kills her daughter, Hale abandons all her original plans and fully sides with the Confederacy to get payback at the people who cost her her daughter, despite acknowledging previously that their designs for Earth likely aren't altruistic.
  • Sanity Slippage:
    • Creel has gotten even worse since touching the Gravitonium, barely able to control himself.
    • Having Ian Quinn and Franklin Hall inside her head drives the already emotionally unstable Ruby right over the edge.
  • Shipper on Deck: After seeing Fitz-Simmons interact, Ruby outright says "I ship it". Given that she tries imitating them with Werner, she may have been sincere.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Slashed Throat: Yo-Yo kills Ruby by slicing her throat with her own chakram.
  • Storming the Castle: Daisy and May break into Hale's bunker to confront her.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: Daisy feels very sorry for Ruby, outright telling Hale that her daughter is not to blame for her current state and could have been an excellent S.H.I.E.L.D. agent. After Yo-Yo kills her, she is outright horrified.
  • Through His Stomach: In Deke's time, the customary method of confessing romantic feelings for someone is to save up enough tokens to buy a fresh lemon and leave it on their bunk. Mack and Coulson assure him that it's totally what they do in the present too.
  • Trailers Always Lie: Trailers suggested Manchurian Agent Talbot would try to murder Coulson or Daisy. Instead, his mission was to kidnap Robin Hinton and take her to Hale.
  • Troll: When Deke explains the future custom of leaving lemons on someone's bed to let them know you have a crush on them, Coulson and Mack assure him that it's totally what they do in the present too, and he should definitely do that for Daisy.
  • Unholy Matrimony: While previous episodes only hinted at it, this episode directly shows that Werner and Ruby are in a relationship, not that it lasts long.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Daisy calls out Yo-Yo for killing Ruby when she might have been talked down, but Yo-Yo sees it as having saved the world and is unrepentant. However, going by Yo-Yo's expression before she struck, her actions could be a combination of getting revenge for her brutal mutilation at the hands of Ruby, and acting out due to her recent trauma and the prophecy taking their toll on her.
  • Your Head A-Splode: Or implode, rather, in Werner's case when Ruby accidentally kills him with her powers.


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