Nathaniel Malick meets a young John Garrett before the he’s ditched S.H.I.E.L.D. for HYDRA and convinces him to join Malick’s team. After meeting Sibyl and seeing what was once his future, Garrett signs up. As a bonus, Nathaniel promises him some new superpowers using their streamlined process for transferring Inhumans’ powers to their own people.
Our S.H.I.E.L.D. team is still stuck in the 1980s and figures it’s about time to take out Nathaniel once and for all. Returning to the Lighthouse, they find Deke’s team have become actual S.H.I.E.L.D. agents and S.H.I.E.L.D. is advancing faster than in the original timeline. May transmits their location to Jiaying, who immediately appears with Gordon before May can also tell Daisy about her half-sister. In order to reestablish the timeline, they need to reclaim Afterlife. It’s agreed that Gordon will drop Coulson in a secluded location and they will rescue the captured Inhumans. Jiaying also wants assurances that her daughter, Kora, will be taken alive.
Daisy is stunned and upset to hear the news about her half-sister this way, though May assures her she wasn’t keeping it a secret so much as they were fighting to stay alive every second since her visit to Afterlife. They surmise that in the original timeline, Kora likely killed herself, which put Jiaying on the path that led to meeting Daisy’s father and so on.
Despite Coulson’s warning that they should tell Jiaying as little as possible, Sousa encourages Daisy to talk to her mom. Skirting the elephant in the room, Daisy reveals only that Jiaying taught her how to use her powers 30 years in the future. Jiaying talks lovingly of Kora, even calling her daughter her “greatest gift,” which is almost too much for Daisy to handle. This is the mother she always dreamt of.
After hearing that she was inconsolable without the implant, Simmons begins to wonder what this means about Fitz. Is he dead, again? She broaches the subject with Deke while talking about the time drive, which doesn’t seem to be communicating with Fitz anymore. Simmons thinks the Zephyr was likely preprogrammed to follow the Chronicoms. That combined with the fact that Fitz hasn’t answered any of her messages leads her to believe the memory implant is keeping the incredibly painful truth of his death from emotionally crippling her. But Deke won’t even entertain the idea and promises they’re going to all be reunited soon.
Gordon successfully delivers Coulson to Afterlife but Nathaniel has been forewarned by Sibyl and immediately captures them. He transfers Gordon’s powers to Garrett, who uses them to take Nathaniel to the Lighthouse. May is able to get in several good hits on Garrett before he teleports away. Meanwhile, Nathaniel pursues Jiaying and Daisy and drops not only the “Daisy is your daughter” news but also tells Jiaying her whole future. Daisy quakes him before he can finish but Nathaniel, who has had far more years to learn his powers, is formidable. When Daisy is knocked down, Jiaying tries to drain him but he kills her.
It doesn’t matter; he wasn’t there for mother or daughter. They wanted Simmons and Garrett has her. Nathaniel escapes with a bullet wound courtesy of May and takes off with Garrett and Simmons in the stolen Zephyr. Deke, who was working on the time drive at the time, is secretly along for the ride. Having seen every possible future, Nathaniel knows that any time his team fails, it’s due to Fitz’s interference. So they want Simmons to take them to her husband.
Gordon uses the last of his power and life to teleport Coulson to find the other Inhumans. Mack and YoYo provide excellent backup. The rescue is a success. Coulson even manages to stun Kora and bring her aboard the quinjet. But there are hints that the people on board may actually be Nathaniel’s team, not the Afterlife Inhumans.
- Fitz being dead would make a lot of sense for his complete absence this season. It also makes Enoch’s last line (“Fitz was my best friend”) a lot sadder.
- Loving the banter and sweetness of Sousa and Daisy’s relationship. Also loved Simmons noticing but saying very little.
- One of the fun aspects of this time-hopping season is moments from past seasons repeated but slightly different. In this episode, Jiaying and Daisy have an intense conversation where the latter knows Jiaying is her mother but Jiaying doesn’t. The same happened in reverse in season 2.
- Sousa: “I think I’m a fan of the 21st century.”
Daisy: “Yeah, don’t get your hopes up. We make a mean prosthetic but fascism is back.”
Sousa: “You mean the thing I helped wipe out ten years ago?”
- Daisy: “You really are square, aren’t you?”
Sousa: “Harsh but yes.”
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