Coulson Reveals His Superpower And Simmons Spills Her Secret In Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s “Adapt Or Die”

Credit: ABC

Simmons’ Secret

Even though their plans aren’t going exactly as predicted, the Chronicoms are undeterred. In fact, they’ve decided to outright attack S.H.I.E.L.D. while they’re stuck in the 1970s and their position is clear. Mack has a similar idea. After Deke reports back that, against orders, he killed Malick, a pissed off Mack orders him to stay on the ship while he and YoYo go into the Lighthouse to rescue his parents. They’ve barely headed out when missiles streak towards the Zephyr. Although they’re coming from the Lighthouse, S.H.I.E.L.D. isn’t controlling any of their systems. The Chronicoms are. 

Only one missile makes contact but it’s enough to knock out the Zephyr’s carefully designed system that allows it to time jump. If they don’t fix it immediately, whenever they jump again, parts will be left behind and destroyed. The wrinkle here is Simmons can’t remember how to repair a vital part of the ship. While Enoch is trying to fix her memory, Deke walks in and completely misreads the situation. He thinks Enoch is a traitor but really, Simmons deliberately implanted a memory suppressor into her head (and named it Diana). Their ability to track the Chronicoms is linked to Fitz’s location. If she were to remember that location, their entire mission and Fitz’s safety would be compromised. Together with Deke, she’s able to fix the Zephyr and Enoch is able to fix Diana. Simmons makes Deke promise not to tell anyone else her secret.

Coulson’s Superpower

The Lighthouse is under attack from the inside. While being questioned, May identifies an agent as a Chronicom, though Coulson isn’t so convinced because the woman seemed expressive. He and May argue, not about the significant threat to the timeline but about their relationship. He’s upset she won’t provide any comfort or reassurance for him even though she must know he’s struggling with the reality of dying and coming back as an LMD. May fires back that Coulson has died so many times she simply can’t deal with mourning him again. Her outburst makes Coulson realize the Chronicoms have learned to mimic human behavior by uploading the memories of the humans they replace. And General Stoner is their next target.

At the last minute, Coulson and May are able to take out the Chronicoms before Stoner is replaced. He believes their insane story now, of course. While Stoner and May go to help get Mack’s parents to safety, Coulson ventures underneath the Lighthouse to find the Chronicoms’ ship. He interfaces with the terminal the Chronicoms use to communicate with their predictor, Sibyl. The two have an interesting conversation where she argues that the Chronicoms deserve Earth as their home because they can live much longer than humans. Coulson counters that humans are superior because, despite their short lifespan and fear of death, they’re willing to sacrifice for one another. And Sibyl is wrong about something else. Coulson isn’t afraid of dying and hasn’t been for a long time. “The fact is, dying? It’s kinda my superpower,” he says. Then he leaves the conversation, drops the bag of explosives at his feet, and sets it off. 

Quacks and Quakes

Daisy and Sousa wake up in what looks like a barn. Daisy’s powers aren’t working, probably because she’s still heavily drugged. That’s just how Nathaniel Malick wants her. He believes both of his prisoners are Inhumans (how else could Sousa be alive and relatively youthful in the 1970s?), and he plans to experiment on them, starting with Daisy. They take some of her glands, blood, and spinal fluid and graft it onto Nathaniel in the hopes that he’ll acquire her powers. 

To keep Daisy awake, Sousa tells her the story of losing his leg in the war. As a thank you, she reveals a shard of glass she smuggled in for him. He puts it to good use against the next guy who checks on them. But with Daisy out of commission and Sousa still recovering from being drugged, he’s barely stood up before Nathaniel walks in. The experiment worked, at least somewhat. He has Daisy’s powers but he’s bleeding from the mouth and his bones are cracking. Then the roof collapses on him so I think that experiment was a failure after all. 

Meet the Parents

Elsewhere in the Lighthouse, Mack and YoYo find his parents and start leading them safely back to the plane. As they work to open the last door between them and the plane, Mack goes to fight back the Chronicoms on his own. He gets a key assist from May, who then leaves Stoner to create a cover story. When May reveals Coulson was in the explosion that took out the Chronicom hunters, she assures the team that he always comes back. As they near the Zephyr, Mack’s dad thanks May for her help and touches her shoulder. She feels nothing. Both of Mack’s parents are Chronicoms and have been for a while. Mack and YoYo are forced to kill them. 

With the team safely onboard the Zephyr, and Daisy in a healing chamber, they jump to their next time destination. Mack immediately takes off on his motorcycle for some alone time. Deke follows after him but something goes wrong. All of a sudden, the Zephyr jumps again, leaving Deke and Mack behind.

Field Notes

  • May to Stoner: “Melinda May. I’m not an HR liaison.”
    Coulson: “I think he got that from the bag of explosives.”
  • When Coulson said, “Melinda,” my heart soared. I don’t care that he’s an LMD. I still ship it. 
  • YoYo trying to cover for Mack in front of his parents by calling him Director Macklemore had me loling for real. 
  • May to Coulson: “You never die. You always come back. You know how many times I’ve mourned you? I’m not doing it again. And I’m certainly not doing it for a decoy with a simulated personality.” 
  • Just last week I saw an online comment from someone shipping Sousa and Daisy together. I scoffed at the idea. But this week I find myself not entirely opposed. He did decide to stick with the team rather than hang back in the 70s like he was planning last week. 
  • How many times is Daisy going to be tortured on this show??
Stephanie Coats