When we last left our agents, Coulson and May were finally taking some time together before Coulson succumbed to his old chest injury. The rest of the team took off in the quinjet with the intention to find the version of Fitz who was still in cryo-sleep somewhere in space. As you may recall, the present version of Fitz died during last season’s finale. Now we meet up with (almost) everyone a year later and, well, things aren’t looking much better.
Season 6 starts with Fitz’s ship being destroyed and his sleeping self seemingly dead. However, our old friend Enoch (the bald alien from last season) saves Fitz at the last minute taking him… somewhere. That change complicates things for Davis, Piper, Simmons, and Daisy, who have been looking for Fitz for a solid year. They’ve followed leads all around the universe but the travel has hardened them a little. Daisy is sporting a new hairstyle and even more badass energy. Simmons seems 1000% done with everything standing between her and Fitz.
This foursome makes a rocky landing on an alien planet and captures one of the members of a boarding party. The whole party tried to flee upon realizing who Daisy is but it was too late. Simmons interrogates the captured alien for information that could lead them to Fitz.
At the Lighthouse, Director Mack is in charge and rebuilding S.H.I.E.L.D. (again). There are many more agents than we last saw, which makes sense because May is in charge of recruiting. At the moment, she’s leading a team to Indiana to investigate a portal that has opened on a playground. One man is able to force his way through but his friend gets stuck half in and half out and is partially encased in concrete. May’s team arrives in time but the man shoots at the jet and is able to escape. Mack is frustrated by their failure.
He regroups with everyone and tries to work out what to do next. When no one offers anything particularly helpful, he retires to his office and watches a holocube Coulson left behind with leadership advice. May follows him. “I’ll never be the director Coulson was,” he tells her. “No, you’re a different director,” she responds. “That’s not a bad thing.”
The conversation briefly turns to her last days with Coulson, but she only comments that they “had more time than [they] thought”. That time has softened May a bit though. After noticing the way Yo-Yo and a new agent, Keller, glanced at each other during the meeting, May encourages her to make a move. Yo-Yo and Mack haven’t been together for a while now. We learn later that after he became director, they had a falling out and though she tried to work it out, he shut her out. In fact, she’s already moved on with Keller, though the relationship is still a secret for now.
Up in space, Simmons and the team find Fitz’s empty cryo chamber. Daisy, Davis, and Piper agree it’s time to return home. But alone, Simmons climbs into the chamber and cries. That’s how she sees a small inscription of where the chamber was made. She realizes Fitz most likely saw this too and might have gone there and so she proposes that they follow him. The only problem is, it’s in deep, deep space and the other three aren’t eager to explore that far.
Any further conversation is interrupted when a Confederate ship shows up overhead. Although they try to silently wait it out, it fires on them. During their hasty escape, Simmons gets to the coordinate input first and launches them towards what she hopes is Fitz’s location, even as Daisy yells for her not to.
S.H.I.E.L.D. could certainly use a team scientist right now. To help fill the gap, Mack and May try to recruit an old colleague of May’s ex, Andrew. Dr. Benson is intrigued by their proposal to build a new S.H.I.E.L.D. academy but less interested in pursuing “bogeymen.” Of course, the latter is what S.H.I.E.L.D. has in abundance. Two more people have come through portals. Together with the first man, they prepare to destroy a museum to make sure their boss, whose portal will open at that location, can come through too
Benson helps Mack examine the half concrete man, who surprises the hell out of everyone by somehow still being alive though he dies right after grabbing Benson. He also drops a device that shows where his comrades are heading.
S.H.I.E.L.D. gets to the museum in time but the portal still opens. The force of it blows everyone back and leaves May disoriented. She only just dives out of the path of a semi-truck that apparently came through the portal too. A man steps out. It’s Couslon! May can’t believe it… and then watches as he coldly shoots a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, claiming never to have heard of S.H.I.E.L.D.
In the kicker, Fitz is revealed to be working for someone called the “Controller” on an alien planet. Fitz also seems somewhat alien himself. He speaks an alien language fluently and injects himself with something that gives him demon-like eyes.
I’m not going to complain about having Clark Gregg still on this show. All I will say right now is it seems cruel and emotionally manipulative to the fandom to build up a huge farewell to a beloved character, give him a beautiful exit, and then be into him back as an AU version that’s a bad guy. And because I ship it, this seems particularly mean to May and Philinda fans.
Yo-Yo: “I’m not afraid of Mack finding out.”
Keller: “Well I am. He is not small.”