Hey, remember that time Phil Coulson and Melinda May finally got together and kissed and decided to spend Coulson’s last days on a beach together? This week, we finally get a few glimpses of what happened on that beach. In fact, that’s where we start. Coulson and May are in lounge chairs on the sand and it’s beautiful and romantic… but something’s not quite right. May keeps flashing between the beach and the back of Sarge’s semi-truck. When she comes to, she drugged and tied up.
Sarge sends Snow out on a “bag and gag” operation and then proclaims he’s going to convert May to their side. I roll my eyes. Good luck, buddy. First, he tries to understand why she seems to hate him the most and it takes very little effort for him to figure out she loved Coulson. May responds to this deduction by promising to kill Sarge and “make sure it hurts”. She also pokes several very good holes in Sarge’s bravado by confidently saying she knows everything about Coulson. What does Sarge know about himself?
In another beach flashback, Coulson reveals he’d planned to ask her out back in their youth but chickened out. When he tries to refill their drinks, he’s too weak to get up. That’s when May comes back to the present again. She’s brought into a room where Sarge shoots a random guy, leaves May one of those weird daggers, and locks the door. The dead guy gets up, obviously operated by the same parasite that took over Keller, and it’s somehow even more horrific than last week. I did not sign on for Agents of HORROR.
The parasite is trying to exit its dead host and enter May but she kills the dead guy again. When he starts exploding into crystals, she stabs him with the dagger. Sarge returns and clues May (and us) into what’s really going on. The parasites are creatures called the Shrike. Sarge and his crew aren’t implanting people with the Shrike; they’re hunting down Shrike who are disguised on other planets. Left unchecked, the Shrike take over entire civilizations and/or destroy planets. But Sarge’s method isn’t perfect. He can only track beings that aren’t supposed to exist in a certain time or place, which is why he went after Deke.
Later, May is able to knock out Snowflake. Then she tries to strangle Sarge while he’s driving the semi-truck, which is maybe not her best idea but I get it. They fight and he makes the mistake of taunting her about Coulson so she smashes his face a few times until he’s unconscious and handcuffs him to the door. May takes control of the truck.
Having escaped Kitson, Simmons and Daisy are now a bit stuck. The Zephyr only has enough fuel for one more space jump and they aren’t sure where to go. Enoch is too busy whining and moping to be helpful until the two women appeal to his friendship. They reveal to him that in the future, he saved their lives and all of Earth by sacrificing himself. Just when they’re getting somewhere, the Zephyr is surrounded by Confederacy ships. Everyone readies their weapons but Enoch simply opens the door. In steps yet another Chronicom, this one named Altarah.
She throws Davis and Piper into a holding cell and takes the other three on board her repurposed Confederacy ship. There she reveals that the Chronicom homeworld was destroyed in one of a series of “distortions” that has been taking place across all of space. This sounds very much like Sarge’s work but we’ll get to that later. For now, Enoch surmises that Altarah wants to know how S.H.I.E.L.D. time traveled so that she may go back in time to save her planet.
To motivate them to help, Altarah shows a hologram of Fitz and the bounty hunter. She threatens to send Fitz far across the galaxy. But here’s the problem: Daisy and Simmons legit don’t know how they time traveled. The best they can do is say there was a machine in the future that made it possible. At first, Enoch tries to bargain for Fitz’s life but when it’s clear Altarah knows he’s best used as leverage, Enoch instead suggests Fitz can figure out time travel… if Simmons’ life is on the line.
Daisy and Simmons have a similar “curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal” look on their faces. When Altarah orders Simmons to be taken and the others killed, Daisy blasts her and they escape, leaving Enoch behind. Although they manage to spring Davis and Piper, they’re quickly cornered again. Seeing no way out, Simmons offers to go with them willingly to help Fitz solve the time travel problem if everyone else is allowed to leave. Daisy has no choice but to watch Simmons walk away with the Chronicoms.
At the Lighthouse, Mack’s attempt to console Yo-Yo about Keller turns into an awkward standoff about the downfall of their own relationship. Clearly still hurt by the break-up, Yo-Yo doesn’t give Mack an inch of sympathy as he confesses his fears of losing control of S.H.I.E.L.D. and not measuring up to Coulson.
Benson confirms that the dagger does indeed kill the Shrike and when that happens, the creature becomes more like the crystals. Yo-Yo says they’ve seen the makeup of the crystals before. Turns out, it’s the same substance as the monoliths. After a quick briefing on the monoliths, Benson theorizes the Shrike control life and death like the monoliths controlled space and time.
All of this is helpful but not very positive. However, Mack finally gets some good news: Daisy, Davis, and Piper are home in the Zephyr. At the same time, he hears May is returning to the Lighthouse with someone. Mack wants to know where FitzSimmons are. Daisy wants to know who May has. They’re both in for rude surprises.
In the kicker, Enoch tells Fitz what he did and Fitz is, rightfully, furious. He basically disowns Enoch, which is sad but again, understandable. Probably doesn’t help that directly after this Enoch releases some kind of knockout gas into Fitz’s cell.
So glad S.H.I.E.L.D. came back for another season just to deliver a huge helping of Philinda pain. Thanks, I hate it!
Ok, I don’t actually hate this season but wow is it dragging more than a little. We’re halfway through and what’s even happened?
May realizes Sarge and Coulson have some of the same phrases. Could Coulson have been resurrected or plucked out of time and “rebooted” as Sarge in order to save civilizations from the Shrike? Or is Sarge another type of Chronicom or similar alien that’s taken on Coulson’s appearance for some reason?
Did I miss the part where the fandom was clamoring for more Chronicom-related plot? Enoch was fine and all but I thought his role had reached its natural conclusion last season.
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