Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. Visits The 70s And Finds “A Trout In The Milk”

Credit: ABC

This is the last season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and every episode feels like an attempt to have as much fun as possible. Case in point: the super groovy 70s opening to this episode. I love everything about it. So does Coulson. As he and May walk down the street in New York, he is digging the 70s vibe. May, on the other hand, is only feeling whatever other people pass to her. Poor Sousa just can’t get on board with bellbottoms but Daisy looks fab in the period clothes. This might be the best episode of the season yet, but that also means it’s going to get a bit dark. Strap in. 

The More Things Change…

The team visits Koenig’s old hideout and find themselves in the middle of a celebration for General Rick Stoner. Any hopes of reuniting with Enoch are dashed when the staff report they haven’t seen him in over a year. But that bad news pales in comparison to Stoner’s announcement: Wilfred Malick is in charge of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s newest global security effort, Project Insight. It’s the same technology and oversight HYDRA uses 40 years into the future. Since they have it now, Coulson knows the Chronicoms must be involved. 

In an attempt to gain more intel, May talks to Stoner and learns Insight is three years away from launching. Daisy encounters a young Gideon Malick and his younger brother, Nathaniel. In the original timeline, Nathaniel and his father died in 1970 but they’re both alive and well now in 1973. 

On the Zephyr, Deke asks Simmons about Fitz partially out of genuine concern and partially because if Fitz and Simmons don’t eventually have a daughter, Deke may never exist. But Simmons brushes him off and doesn’t mention the glowing implant in her neck is bothering her. Once they learn of Malick’s presence, Deke correctly surmises that in his three extra years of life, Malick has likely gotten up to plenty of evil plans. That includes the Lighthouse. Mack and YoYo had checked out the base, which was supposed to be abandoned. Instead, they found it full of agents building Project Insight on the Lighthouse’s own launchpad.

What Daisy and Sousa find in Malick’s hidden office is potentially even worse. It’s a list of targets for Project Insight, including Bruce Banner. HYDRA can pick off the Avengers before they even become heroes. As the team attempts to head back to the Zephyr, Malick stops Coulson and clearly recognizes him. The Chronicoms show themselves and are ready to wipe out the team right there until Daisy holds Nathaniel hostage in response. Malick won’t risk his son and so S.H.I.E.L.D. is able to escape but on the way, Nathaniel sees Daisy use her powers against the Chronicoms. Enoch picks the perfect moments to reappear in a car. “Come with me if you want to continue to exist,” he says simply.

Do the Time Jump

With only 10 hours left in their stay in 1973, the team wants to prevent Project Insight from moving forward. But suddenly, the countdown goes haywire and the ship jumps ahead to 1976. Now, it’s the day of Insight’s launch. So the plan is to flood the Lighthouse, which will stop the launch and leave the base usable in the future. To make sure everyone makes it safely out of the base, Daisy hacks into the security feed. However, she and Sousa are knocked out by Nathaniel, which leaves May and Coulson high and dry in the base. They resort to stealing Stoner’s key card. 

To take Malick out of play, Mack sends Deke and YoYo to bring him in. Earlier, the Chronicoms gave Malick leverage over S.H.I.E.L.D. and assured him Insight would go forward. He’s not surprised that Deke has reappeared to point a gun at him again. Malick believes the Chronicoms know everything and are always a step ahead of S.H.I.E.L.D. That’s when Deke shoots him. YoYo is aghast but didn’t we all see this coming? She opens the envelope the Chronicoms left with Malick and gasps at the contents. 

Soon, Mack knows too. In one of the cells at the Lighthouse are his parents. If he floods the base, they’ll drown. Unable to sanction his parents’ death and possibly his own, Mack orders the mission aborted. May and Coulson are arrested by agents. But Mack isn’t taking a total loss. At the risk of giving away their position, he shoots down Project Insight just after it’s launched using the Zephyr’s missiles.  

Elsewhere, Nathaniel Malick still has Daisy and Sousa tied up in his car. He makes a stop to place a call to Daniel Whitehall. Nathaniel wants to know if Whitehall can really transfer special abilities from one person to another.

Field Notes

  • I absolutely need my very own S.H.I.E.L.D. tracksuit like Deke is wearing. 
  • I don’t know what else Iain De Caestecker was working on during the filming of this season but I do know that it feels like we’re being a bit robbed of FitzSimmons in this final season. Although, that’s how basically every season has been…
  • Speaking of ships, look, I know Coulson is an LMD but can May please at least acknowledge the absolutely adorable way he acts with her? If real-life Coulson could make out with May’s LMD, who was evil at that time, then real-life May can make out with Coulson’s LMD, who is not evil at all.
  • S.H.I.E.L.D. is really asking fans to remember a lot about past seasons. Gideon Malick is from season three! A lot has happened since then. 
  • Daisy to Sousa, who refuses to change out of his 1955 suit: “Fortunately for you, there’s unfashionable squares in every decade so you are set.”
  • Daisy to Coulson: “Ok Dad, let’s not keep Enoch waiting any longer. He’s been chilling for like four decades.”

 

Stephanie Coats
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