Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - Season 6, Episode 6 Review
Whilst the meta aspects of 'Inescapable''s trippy, mind-bending dream sequences may seem obvious - Fitz is haunted by his potential for evil, Simmons is haunted by the fears and anxieties she'd locked away in her music box - they do serve to give the episode stakes. The characters' inner demons are given physical form to pursue them through the maze of their own shared dreams, which helps to keep up the pace when things seem to be getting a little too slow. Once everything is all resolved and FitzSimmons are back together as a unit though, so are their demons - in a rather humorous end to the episode.
It's probably worth mentioning that Iain De Caestecker and Elizabeth Henstringe are both fantastic throughout the episode, and it's great to watch some flashback scenes of the two at S.H.I.E.L.D. Academy and meeting Coulson - getting to see how far they've come over the course of the series. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. doesn't often handle relationship drama too well, and often comes across as a bit over-dramatic and soap-like, but the relationship between Fitz and Simmons is one gradually crafted by the writers over multiple seasons, allowing audiences to actually invest in them as a couple. 'Inescapable' showcases why the two are meant to be together, and also pokes fun at the seemingly endless string of bad luck the two have endured over five-and-a-bit seasons.
This is also the best balance of humour and tension so far this season, with frequent humorous interludes and a lot of bizarre, eccentric plot elements, but not going too far, and balancing the lighter touches with a few horror scenes. No, they're not too horrifying, but the strange zombie creature from Simmons' music box does eat a chunk out of dream Mack's shoulder, so it's not too PG. The focus is very much on Fitz and Simmons, and as such makes for a satisfying viewing experience, especially given how large the scale and cast of this season has been so far. Just when I thought Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was losing its touch, it wins me back on its side with a great character-centric episode that takes a breather from the rest of the action.