We’re back! Everyone made it home, to no one’s surprise, and an extra, tree-hugging passenger tagged along. Dove Cameron, who is generally cute and adorable, joins the cast this week as General Hale’s bratty teenage daughter. Since this is the MCU, she’s not just a typical teenager. She has special talents. And a few demands. And she’s not sure if she’s a good guy or a bad guy, which might be because her loving mother has kept her sheltered. So sheltered, in fact, that her bedroom looks like a bank vault that’s guarded by some of Ivanov’s lower rent LMDs.
A bank vault decorated like a teenager’s bedroom from the 1970s, plus a Quake is My Hero poster. Okey dokey then. Ruby is a fan. Mom’s assignment is to capture Daisy. Hale doesn’t answer directly when Ruby asks if Hale’s supposed to kill Daisy or not. Hale is tasked with finding SHIELD and ending the entire fiasco that is the SHIELD era. Hale is just following orders and building a better world for
the downtrodden citizens Ruby.
But let’s find out how things are going in the Lighthouse, circa March, 2018!
Coulson, Daisy, Fitz and May zap into the present first, followed after a moment by Mack, Elena and Jemma. Coulson sags a bit in relief and tells the latecomers that he’s glad they made it, then puts the still unconscious Daisy down on a table.
There’s a moment of confusion where Fitz has to explain how time travel and the monolith work to everyone in the room and at home, again: This monolith takes you through time, but deposits you in the exact same place, so they’re still in the Lighthouse, but back in 2018. He recognizes the current look of things from his time there with Enoch. Everyone breathes a second sigh of relief.
Fitz pushes some buttons to turn on the lights, and also triggers a welcoming message from former SHIELD Director Rick Stoner, played by the always welcome Patrick Warburton. He gives some background on the mysterious origins of the Lighthouse. It was built in the 70s as a giant bomb shelter for a select group of important people. Project Reclamation was to be triggered only in the event of an apocalypse, or y’know, an extinction level event, as the Chronicoms like to say. The Lighthouse was known to only a few people at the highest levels of SHIELD, and was filled with the futuristic technology of the 80s. Coulson says there was nothing about it in Fury’s toolbox, so it must be that the secret died with Stoner and Howard Stark, and Peggy forgot about it when she lost her memory. No one ever told Nick Fury about it, so it was lost until Enoch found out about it. From Robin?
Stoner’s welcoming message offers a tour of the facility, including the technology storage room. May and Fitz follow along, while Jemma prepares to treat Mack’s injuries from fighting Kasius, and Coulson waits for Daisy to wake up. YoYo, remembering her future self’s predictions, suggests that Coulson get checked out, too, but he brushes it off. The rest of the team can get checked out once they’ve settled in.
As soon as everyone else leaves the area, Daisy lets Coulson know that she’s awake. He tells her that after everything they’ve been through together, there’s no universe where he’d leave her behind. She starts to argue about the risk, but he stops her and says he doesn’t care. He needs her there. She nods in acceptance.
Not to nitpick, but multiverse theory includes the evil possibilities, too, where he’d definitely leave her behind. Didn’t we just see that with Fitz and Jemma in the Framework? Is he tempting fate here? 😉
Actually, I’m a sucker for their father-daughter moments. I hate that this time he keeps saying he needs her, when what he means is that he needs her to replace him. She deserves to know the truth, so that she can be prepared. He expects her to take over SHIELD, whatever SHIELD is now, when it’s in shambles, and to lose the closest thing to a parent she’s ever had, at the same time. At least give her some warning.
May and Fitz find the tech room, with its 1980ish level equipment. Fitz isn’t impressed, but figures he can adapt some of it. They also find three monoliths being stored in the room- the one that took them to the future, and two others. Is the one on the left the Maveth monolith? Don’t let Jemma near it.
Before they have time to react, a Chronicom named Noah appears and says that he and Enoch use that room to store dangerous items, since it’s secret and highly shielded. In fact, everyone who knows about the existence of the Lighthouse is now in the Lighthouse.
What about Robin and her Mom? They were in the Lighthouse when Fitz left. Are they in a different area of the Lighthouse?
Noah brings May and Fitz to his command center, where he monitors events 24/7 to watch for disasters in the making.
Noah: You’d be surprised how often SHIELD gets mentioned.
May: Yeah, we have a small, but active, fanbase. 🙋🏻
Right now, Noah is monitoring a politician trying to delete his FBI files, an Asgardian in the city (Thor?), and a strange light phenomenon. Oops, it’s that alien white light in the sky that Voss mentioned that started the whole broken earth apocalypse situation.
They quickly make plans to check out the light, which has been seen intermittently in St Louis for a few weeks. Fitz lets them know that he and Hunter left the Zephyr parked outside in a nearby field. They just have to get to it without getting arrested. Noah has the solution for that. The lighthouse has a series of tunnels that fan out to the surrounding area in multiple directions, including to the picturesque small town of River’s End. That doesn’t sound like it belongs in a horror movie, does it. Mack agrees, saying the tunnels are like CHUD.
Daisy decides to play it safe and return to her hacker days. She’ll stay in the Lighthouse and run backend on the mission using Noah’s equipment. May gives Daisy a look as she’s leaving. Daisy begins poking around on Noah’s computers as soon as the team leaves, setting up alerts and such. She soon discovers that they are all on the most, most wanted lists, which means even small town cops have seen their pictures.
Once they get to River’s End, the team
steal borrow a vintage orange Volkswagon bus with shag carpeting for transportation. What is it with all of the 70s references this week? They get momentarily stopped by a local cop on their way out of town, but he just wants to gossip about the Volkswagon, which is a local legend. Mack is enough of a car geek that he can pull it off.
The team makes the best of being squeezed into the relatively small car, remembering how much worse other missions have been.
Jemma: True, we could be enslaved by an alien sociopath in a dystopian future.
Mack: Or we could be trapped inside a virtual reality fascist state.
Fitz: Or stuck at the bottom of the ocean.
YoYo: Or stopping a crazy robot lady.
Jemma: Or falling out of a plane.
Mack: Or fighting Daisy’s mom.
Coulson: Or fighting Daisy’s dad.
May: Or dancing.
Meanwhile, Deke pops into River’s End, on the sidewalk and in the present day, totally alive and healthy. The monolith shard must have been enough to transport him, just a little slower. He says, “Oh boy” because he’s a pop culture geek already, and you know he’ll love Quantum Leap. Next he spots a small tree and stumbles over to touch and hug it. I loved Deke in the future, but I think I want to marry this guy.
From there, he finds an abandoned ice cream cone in the trash and almost eats it, but is distracted by the bar across the street. He heads right over and orders a beer. Alas, he discovers that beer tastes awful, and asks for something alcoholic, but delicious. The bartender gives him a Zima. Then another, and another, and another, until everyone but the bartender loses count.
I hope Agents of SHIELD got paid well for the product placement. Maybe we’ll get some extra special guest stars next week during the 100th episode with the money.
Deke also eats everything on the menu that sounds good, and tries out every iconic bar activity, before he’s ready to hold out his wrist and pay with his metric. Except, that doesn’t work in this time period, so he tries to run for it, but he’s too drunk to make it past the pool table that jumps out in front of him. It’s off to the lock up for him.
The team finds the Zephyr where Fitz and Lance left it, and take off for St Louis. Using the Zephyr’s up to date technology, Fitz examines the light and discovers that it’s not emanating from space like they originally thought. It’s coming from an aerospace facility on the ground. The light is the beacon that Hive used to call the Kree to earth in season 3.
Well, now we know why the Kree showed up when they did. They had an invitation.
Elena takes a quiet moment to hang out in the cargo bay and think about the future, but not in a good way. Mack finds her and tries to jolly her out of her mood, but the situation is too serious. He switches to logic and reason, reminding her that there was a lot of craziness and manipulation going on in the future. They can’t be sure if FutureElena’s predictions were true, or if they’ve changed the timeline yet. Elena appreciates the attempt, but she knows her future self was telling the truth. Mack continues, saying that they need to keep their heads in the game and remember that they’re going to change the future anyway.
Daisy’s alerts show her that Deke is in jail in the present time. Noah refuses to go bail him out, since it doesn’t seem like an extinction level event. He agrees that Enoch might have done it, but all the cool Chronicoms agree that Enoch is reckless and human-whipped. Daisy comes up with a plan to do it herself, but she’ll need Noah’s clothes.
Daisy shows up at the jail dressed in something sorta resembling business attire, and tells the police that she’s Deke’s social worker, Sinara Smith. She explains his issues to the officers, laying it on thick. The cops are happy to get rid of him. They just need her to fill out the release forms and leave a phone number. Daisy fills out the forms. Wonder just how fake the phone number is.
Coulson’s team breaks into the aerospace facility, then through the firewall enclosing the lab. They find Agent Piper inside, last seen after helping Elena, Daisy and Jemma get the others out of the Framework. She says she’s there to stop the beacon from turning on, same as them. She recognized it as soon as it activated, since it was her first mission.
Piper tells the team that she’s been on the run since the last time she saw them, since she’s on the Most Wanted lists, just like them. They told her to watch for them to come back, then tell their story if they didn’t, so she’s had eyes on every place she thought they might show up. Recently, she saw the beacon and decided to investigate. She sent the lab staff home when none of them could figure out a way to turn it off. Now it’s up to FitzSimmons.
Daisy asks Deke how he got to her time period, since she was unconscious and didn’t know he was operating the machine. He explains the whole process: He thought he was going to die, the monolith shard melted, dizziness, bam, tree hugs, Zima, food shaped like animals, he loves this place, THERE’S AN OUTSIDE, of course he’d never turn them in, why on earth would she even think that. Early 21st century Deke is very stream of consciousness. And Zima.
Shoot, it’s Piper they can’t trust. Fitz finds the timer/battery for the beacon, and it’s a sloppy man-made device. Piper pulls out her weapon and aims at them, then a squad of soldiers comes in through the firewall gate, followed by a woman in a black-masked costume. Piper explains that she cut a deal, because she’s most wanted, too. The beacon was meant to lure them there.
The Agents lower their guns. Piper says that she told their story to Hale. Hale knows they’re innocent. She just wants to bring them in for questioning. Then the black-clad woman orders her squad to kill the team. Elena uses her power to confiscate their guns. May leads the attack as a hand to hand fight ensues.
Coulson argues with Piper over her assurance that Hale promised they’d be captured not killed, while FitzSimmons prepare the beacon for transport. Mack discovers that the strike team are robots and tells May and Elena to go for the head. Coulson convinces Piper to escape with them, since Hale betrayed her.
The fight continues, as Coulson and Piper cover FitzSimmons while they move the beacon. The woman in black has only observed the fighting so far. Now she pulls a sharpened metal throwing ring from her back just as Elena speeds across the room. When Elena comes to a stop, both of her arms have been amputated above the elbows, just like her future self.
Mack sees what happened, finishes off his opponent, and catches Elena as she falls. He wraps her in a blanket and they all get out of the lab, leaving her arms behind, which seems like a serious mistake. Don’t they have state of the art facilities on the Zephyr, so her arms could be reattached? It would have been better to grab the arms than the blanket.
Mack wants to take Elena to a hospital, but she knows it’s to risky, so she asks for Jemma to treat her. They fly the Zephyr back the Lighthouse, where Daisy has discovered that Rick Stoner put in a landing bay under the river with a retractable roof. We’re keeping the Lighthouse as the new headquarters, right?
Jemma does what she can for Elena, while Mack looks on. He’s going to have trouble keeping his head on straight, after this. When Daisy sees Mack, she runs over and holds him. Noah stores the beacon in the technology room in front of the monoliths.
The woman in black returns to Hale’s military facility. She walks into the bedroom, removes her mask, and reveals that she’s Ruby. Hale is waiting for Ruby, and she’s not happy. She asks Ruby to explain what just happened. Ruby says that she tried to force SHIELD’s hand.
Hale says that they had SHIELD where they wanted them. Ruby disagrees, because Daisy wasn’t with them, but maybe if she keeps cutting Daisy’s friends’ arms off, Daisy will appear. Hale tells Ruby that her work is sloppy, and she needs to stop skipping class. Ruby insists that Hale promised her Daisy Johnson.
Hale says that the beacon was meant to be a backup, but at least it will do what it’s supposed to do. Ruby is her daughter and a disappointment. She walks out of the room. The camera follows her, and we see that the walls to Ruby’s room are at least a foot thick, with a huge lock on the door, and two robot guards. This isn’t just a normal tense mother-daughter relationship.
Noah and Fitz wait with the beacon while it finishes powering down. Daisy comes in to make sure they scanned for trackers. They did and it’s clean. But it’s not cooling down, it’s heating up. Noah tells them to run, which makes them freeze for a moment, then they go. Noah throws himself on the explosion to block it.
But we know a Chronicom has a powerful battery inside that can run a monolith. Won’t that fuel whatever is going to happen?
General Hale pulls up next to Carl Creel, the Absorbing Man, as he jogs. He tells her that he doesn’t want to be her hired gun, and she says that she’s looking to form a team. He decides he’s interested after all, and gets into the car.
Enoch is taking Frozen Sleeping Beauty Fitz to his off-planet holding site so Fitz can wait out the 70 year time gap, so Noah holds down the fort for this episode, until the beacon explodes. Are we assuming the explosion kills him, or does the proximity to the monoliths send him somewhere in time/space?
Deke really should have said something about the lady’s dog when he was hugging the tree. They had small trees in the Kree orchard, but a dog would be completely new to him.
The town is the town from Deke’s version of the framework. I’m disappointed that Scott from Jane the Virgin wasn’t bartending like he was in the speakeasy bar.
I really, really like Deke and Daisy as partners. Listen to how cute their names sound together. They’re a great comedy team. I’m not asking for a romance, though that would be fine. I just want him to stay on the show and pretty much whole, human, and a good guy. The team hasn’t had any fast talkers since Bobbi and Lance left, so if they’re not coming back to be the resident con artists, we need Deke.
This isn’t the first sudden arm amputation we’ve seen on this show. Mack performed the last one to prevent the terrigenesis crystal from killing Coulson. Now Coulson has a set of cool robot arms that he switches out. Once we all get over our shock and horror at the senselessness of what just happened, we can move on to planning what kinds of improvements Elena’s new arms will have. The MCU loves its characters with cybernetic arms. Is Elena the fourth, or the fifth? I can’t remember if Deathloc’s arm was cybernetic or just augmented. I’m counting Misty Knight as already having her arm and Bucky having his replacement.
Does Ruby want Quake to be her friend, or does she want to prove that she can kill the powerful inhuman? Ruby seems like she’s trained to be the ultimate inhuman hunter.
Does Daisy get off the Zephyr and go into LA because someone (Ruby or Hale) has demanded she go there and she’s hoping to appease them, then the world ends? Is there a hostage/ransom situation going on?
Someone has to say it- if everyone guarding Ruby is an LMD, what’s Ruby? And what’s Hale? Were the two soldiers that Hale shot LMDs? Is this an Ivanov plot?
My bet is that Hale is an LMD, but Ruby is enhanced, probably inhuman. Obviously very fast, since she took YoYo’s arms while YoYo was speeding. But raised in a lab, without any normal human contact, leaving her a sociopath. There might be a real General Hale somewhere, but no normal human would go into that room with Ruby and her killer speed. She’s likely too valuable to get rid of just because of a few stray murders, and she’d kill anyone nearby way before she could be stopped.
Ruby likes to push Hale’s buttons and stretch the boundaries, but only to a point. They have some form of punishment that she really hates and won’t rebel hard enough to earn. She might be biding her time and hoping to escape though, once she gets certain elements in place.
Wow, it’s convenient that the explosion happened right in front of those time and space travel monoliths the week before the big 100th episode retrospective, huh? Think anything will come of that?
Can we go all Legends of Time and have the monoliths create anachronisms throughout the universe and timestream that the Agents of SHIELD, now cleverly disguised as the Agents of SWORD, have to fix? Is it a reboot? Is it a spinoff? Is it the same show with a new focus? Who cares, just give us a few more seasons. They could go back to dressing in business suits all the time when they’re on earth, like the Men in Black. Coulson could have his sunglasses back.
Photos from ABC/Marvel.