We open with Deke reporting to May what happened. It’s 1982. A man named Russell, who works in an electronics store, receives a strange message on a computer and fax machine from someone asking for help. Intrigued, he agrees, and Sibyl replies that she’s been waiting for him. By following her instructions, Russell is able to give her a voice and then a Short Circuit robot body, which he seems to think is his girlfriend now? Oh, Russell.
Mack Gives Up and Coulson Lives
Back at where the Zephyr used to be parked, a depressed Mack believes their mission is over but Deke isn’t so sure. If that were true, wouldn’t the Zephyr have taken them back to their own time rather than stopping in 1982 for a few minutes? Mack doesn’t really care. He’s angry about what’s happened to his parents and even though Deke is really considerate by offering to talk about things with Mack, the Director leaves him on his own. Mack visits his parents’ grave and weeps, then watches his younger self from afar.
And that starts Mack on a steep downward spiral. He holes up with beer and model car kits. Deke shows up a few times but can’t persuade him to even open the door. Eventually, he’s able to get Mack out to a bar where Deke’s surprisingly popular band is performing Simple Minds’ “Don’t You (Forget About Me),” which Deke claims as his own. He’s altered the lyrics a bit too so it sounds like he’s singing it to Daisy.
But the band is supposedly a cover for a new SHIELD team Deke is trying to assemble. He has taken over the Lighthouse as a base and party pad and claims to have picked up traces of the Chronicoms’ continued existence. Well, Coulson’s really done that. Although his LMD body as destroyed, Coulson’s mind was preserved on a hard drive that Deke has managed to connect to a TV. So Coulson “lives” in a TV monitor now. He warns Mack that Sibyl is using the city’s power supply and building new hunters, and he’s absolutely correct. Russell walks in on robot Sibyl building another robot, gets jealous and flips out, and is then predictably murdered by yet another robot.
The Deke Squad
Eager to show off his team’s “talent,” Deke asks Mack to watch them train on what is basically a paintball course. They end up shooting each other and blowing something up. Unimpressed, Mack turns to go and even a brand new and upgraded shotgun-ax isn’t enough to sway him. When he insults Deke and the team, Deke defends them because of their loyalty and steadfast friendship, something Mack can’t claim. On his way out, Mack learns Deke regularly checks in on his younger self and his brother and even gives them presents. That combined with Sibyl and her sidekicks attacking the base (one even shouts, “Exterminate!”) is enough to finally get Mack moving. He really hates robots.
After saving Deke and his band from one robot, Mack gears up and somehow comes out looking more badass than ever with a bandana, a jumpsuit with no sleeves, and his new shotgun-ax. Coulson believes Sibyl is attacking the Lighthouse because the timestream is there so the team gets to work blowing up one robot at a time. They even counter Sibyl’s laser beam and take her down. But they don’t know that one baby robot escapes with the timestream. Deke takes Mack to the house where his younger self is growing up with his brother in their uncle’s house, and Deke fills him on little Mack’s life so far. Passing himself off as a friend from Deke’s band, big Mack visits and leaves a new model car kit for his younger self.
The Zephyr reappears in the 1980s almost two years after it left. May and YoYo fly off immediately to find Mack and Deke at the Lighthouse. They’ll have 27 days to return before the Zephyr takes off again. YoYo and Mack embrace immediately and it’s very sweet. May tells Coulson she’s been tasked with bringing his hard drive back to the Zephyr where Simmons may (or may not) have built him a new body.
And that baby robot? It carries the timestream all the way to a still-living Nathaniel Malick who is also in communication with Sibyl.
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