Agents of SHIELD Season 7 Episode 4: Out of the Past Recap

CLARK GREGG as LMD Coulson in Agents of SHIELD S7E4

Due to a glitch in LMD Coulson’s matrix as he’s rebooting from the EMP, Agents of SHIELD goes full on black and white film noir in episode 4. The team is still in 1955, dealing with Daniel Sousa and the aftermath of the destruction of Helius Project.

Sousa quickly moves on to his next assignment, transporting an artifact to Howard Stark in Los Angeles. But according to history, this was his last assignment. Once he turned the artifact over to Stark, he was murdered, becoming the first official SHIELD agent to die in the line of duty on US soil (still not letting you erase Bucky Barnes, MCU), and inspiring generations of SHIELD agents with his dedication to duty.

The history books forgot to mention that Hydra and the Chronicoms were competing to see who could get to Sousa first.

Or that there was a ragtag team of dogooders from the future trying to keep him alive.

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Agents of SHIELD Season 7 Episode 3: Alien Commies from the Future! Recap

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There are 4 lights.

Agents of SHIELD visits 1950s era Area 51 in episode 3 and this time, they are the alien invaders. In addition to the Chronicoms, the other alien invaders who want to use a failed SHIELD science project to take over the world. Obviously.

To infiltrate the base, Jemma impersonates Peggy Carter while Coulson impersonates a second agent who’s been abducted by alien invaders the SHIELD agents. It all goes great until Peggy’s old partner, Daniel Sousa (Enver Gjokaj), shows up to supervise the latest experiment.

Recap

It’s time to go back to the future from the past! But we’re not ready to go back to the present yet. First, the Chronicoms make a stop in Groom Lake Nevada, 1955, home of alien conspiracy theory ground zero, Area 51. Zephyr 1 is hot on the Chronicoms trail, so they pop into the Nevada sky soon after, startling a couple of teens who are out stargazing in the desert.

The agents quickly take stock, remembering that Enoch didn’t make it onto the ship and figuring out that they’re still 65 years from home. Coulson reasons that it’s better to be in flight and cloaked when they jump.

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Agents of SHIELD Season 7 Episode 2: Know Your Onions Recap

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In episode 2 of season 7, the Agents of SHIELD have to protect Freddy and get him to his rendezvous point before the Chronicoms can kill him. Knowing who he will become makes the job more difficult for some. Ernest Koenig comes along for a ride in the Zephyr.

Recap

Mack drives the getaway car as he and Deke help Freddy escape the Chronicoms with the vial of serum and some cases of bootleg liquor. Freddy convinces them the liquor is what he’s transporting to his contact and hides the vial of serum in one of the bottles.

Deke tries to contact the rest of the agents using his radio. Mack explains to Freddy that it’s like a phone. Freddy tells him it’s not working because he needs to plug it in to something.

Koenig figures out that Daisy and Coulson aren’t who they say they are and gives them a hard time. Jemma and Elena arrive, dressed in period clothes, so that Jemma can remove the bullet from Freddy’s Hydra contact. Koenig goes through more fussing over his lack of control in the situation and their dislike of his ward, Freddy.

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Agents of SHIELD Season 7 Episode 1: The New Deal Recap

KARL KWIATKOWSKI, CHLOE BENNET, CLARK GREGG, JEFF WARD, HENRY SIMMONS

Ok kids, it’s time to head back to the 1930s for the final season of Agents of SHIELD, a show which has traveled the world, moved through space and time, explored how far the human mind and body can be pushed and invented or transformed almost every sort of scifi tech imaginable. This season, they play in what’s probably the only sandbox they’ve left unexplored, the past, specifically SHIELD’s past, which also happens to be the MCU and Avengers’ past as well.

This season begins a few seconds before last season ended, in order to remind viewers of the shocking changes that Jemma Simmons introduced Mack and Daisy to in the final moments of season 6. The Chronicom subplot which played second fiddle to the Sarge/Izel/Shrike war in season 6 now moves to the forefront, having turned into a full blown time war. The Chronicoms hope to wipe out SHIELD so that they can then conquer Earth and turn it into their new homeworld, Chronyca 3.

SHIELD is a formidable adversary in the 21st century, so the Chronicoms decide it would be easier to beat them earlier in SHIELD’s history. The aliens have (probably) used the mindscans they made of Jemma and Fitz in season 6 to develop time travel, which they now use to go to significant points in the 20th century in order to change SHIELD’s history. If episode 1 is any indication, the Chronicoms have dug deep in their examination of history so their targets aren’t necessarily obvious ones, but the connections to old friends sure are fun.

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Agents of Shield Season 6 Episode 3: Fear and Loathing on the Planet of Kitson Recap

Agents of SHIELD S6Ep3 Secret Agents Quake and Agent Dr Simmons

Agents of SHIELD Goes Cyberpunk

In a change of pace, this of episode Agents of SHIELD gives everyone a break from routine and goes full on space cyberpunk neo-noir, complete with robots, neon, hallucinations, breaking glass, existential desperation and the chief investigator’s voiceover narration. As befits a cyberpunk dystopia, irony and gallows humor abound. Because this is Agents of SHIELD and not Blade Runner or Altered Carbon, the result is both deadly serious and tongue in cheek.

Thematically, the episode revolves around friendships and Fitz and Simmons’ deep need to be reunited. The friendship pairings of Fitz and Enoch, and Jemma and Daisy, are closely examined in ways that are overdue. Piper and Davis also get a chance to shine both as individuals and to show their affection for each other as partners, despite their recent grumbles. There’s a glancing nod toward Jaco and Sarge, a fascinating pairing when you consider that Coulson was always drawn to talented outcasts, especially powered people.

Calling it now: Sarge/Fake Coulson is a Chronicom hunter. In episode 1, Benson said that Tinker was cybernetic. Sarge has traveled extensively through time and space and he and his team are clearly hunting for specific targets. This episode went from showing a Chromicon hunter capturing Fitz to Sarge setting off a targeting device in Earth’s sky. Otherwise, Earth wasn’t shown in this episode. That’s a pretty huge hint.

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Agents of SHIELD Season 6 Episode 1: Missing Pieces Recap

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Welcome back, fellow agents! After a year long absence and the loss of Director Coulson, SHIELD has reinvented itself again. This time, they are officially headquartered in the Lighthouse, the scene of much of the action in season 5. Mack has become Director Mackenzie, standing strong and steady as he watches over operations, with Coulson’s insights, projected from Fury’s cube, guiding him.

May and Yo-Yo are at the lighthouse with Mack, along with numerous new agents. It’s been a year in SHIELD’s timeline, as well, and in that time Melinda has buried Coulson and recruited talent, mainly of the muscle/field agent variety. Two in particular stand out: Keller, who has a chiseled jawline, a flirtation with Yo-Yo and a dumb idea about their current case that proves true; and Fox, who is his nerdy sidekick and possibly a single episode red shirt.

The current case is a series of anomalies reality warps distortions [name to be determined later] which have yet to be explained. When one of these events occurs, aliens arrive on Earth through a breach. By the end of the episode, their leader arrives, a character with a very familiar face.

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Agents of SHIELD Season 5 Episode 15: Rise and Shine Recap

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Hale HYDRA! Hail the squid-bellied Destroyer of Worlds! Hail the Calamari Mata Hari, and the return of that silver-tongued devil himself, (former) General Talbot!

This week, we get a HYDRA history lesson and a nostalgic visit with some old friends. (RIP, Jasper Sitwell. I will always believe that someone saved you after the Winter Soldier crossed you off in the most spectacular of his on-camera assassinations.) We also discover just how deeply the misogyny ran in HYDRA.

After the Hydra background reveal, Hale takes Coulson on a tour of HYDRA and its goals as it stands today. The two leaders have a surprising amount in common, until Coulson slips and tries to give Hale orders based on his experiences in the future. Hale thinks that he’s just another male authority figure deciding that his gender makes him smarter than her, and shuts down in anger. Did they just bring us one step closer to the end of the world?

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Agents of SHIELD Season 5 Episode 14: The Devil Complex Recap

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This week’s episode confronts levels and layers of fear and loathing, and the ongoing question of when the solution becomes worse than the problem. How far is too far? At what point would it be better to die with your integrity or identity intact, rather than make a deal with the devil that potentially wipes out everything you thought you were or the good you were trying to accomplish?

These questions have been a core part of the show from the beginning, both politically, with the revelation that HYDRA and SHIELD had been interwoven since the beginning, and scientifically, as the question of the appropriateness of the use of the TAHITI protocol to revive Coulson has been reflected on by many characters through all five seasons.

The question of Fitz’ and Simmons’ genius, and when they need to rein it in for the good of the world, rather than following the science to its logical extreme, has also been with the show since the beginning, and explored in a new way each season. Season 4 seemed like it should be the peak of that issue, with Fitz helping Radcliffe create murderous LMDs and perpetrating genocide and mass torture on inhumans inside the Framework as his alter ego The Doctor.

Instead, we come back around to it again this week, in an even more chilling scenario, as Fitz needs to follow the science in order to save the world, but comes close to losing his own humanity while doing so. Cooperation with HYDRA is also on the table again, this time with SHIELD as a willing participant, with the goal of saving the world from a ruthless invading enemy. And, with the appearance of a Kree in the tag, the ethics and science of saving Coulson’s life using TAHITI or another advanced method, with or without his consent, are an issue once again.

This time, Coulson’s made his feelings on the subject very clear to everyone close to him, but he and everyone around him seem to be operating based on fear as much as on logic and reason. Daisy’s powers are also an important piece of the puzzle, with the science vs fear conflict driving her story as well. Fear anomalies continue to arise, and Hale continues to send surprises the team’s way. The situation is building in emotion and suspense and the team has 1/3 of the season left, about the length of the final pod in season 4, to prevent multiple catastrophes.

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Agents of SHIELD Season 5 Episode 13: Principia Recap

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This week, SHIELD goes back to its roots as a spy organization, and does some legwork that the Black Widow would be proud of. It’s a quieter, more light-hearted episode after last week’s emotional roller coaster ride, but family and loss are still themes. Deke figures out who his grandparents are and remembers his beloved mom, while Mack reaffirms that he’s not going to think of Elena as a robot just because she has robot arms. In the run up to Infinity War and Thanos, the show also brings up familial abuse, both as physical abuse and as the abuse of power. Hale becomes a stand-in for Thanos, and her team, especially Ruby, become alternates for Thanos’ children.

And Werner von Strucker is back! He’s still institutionalized, but out of his Ward-induced vegetative state and being threatened with heavy doping via Thorazine. He’s also using his favored alias of Alex Braun, but his therapist seems to know his full history and identity anyway.

His therapist wants Werner to show motivation toward making progress in therapy by revealing as much information about his past as possible, so that Werner can avoid the thorazine. Werner, however, has developed powers after being trapped in a particular memory in the memory recall machine while in a persistent vegetative state, then being shocked out of the memory loop by Lincoln Campbell zapping Werner with inhuman electrokinetic powers.

Now Werner remembers everything that’s ever happened to him, and every detail of his surroundings, no matter how small. He also seems to have enhanced senses, though I’m not sure Werner realizes that yet (or the writers 😉). He read the small type on an envelope in the trash from across the room, and heard the other side of a phone conversation through a wall. That’s not normal hearing or vision, and may be part of why he’s so out of control. Both hypersensitivity and psychic powers have a long tradition of driving people mad until they get a handle on their powers.

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Agents of SHIELD Season 5 Episode 12: The Real Deal Recap

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The 100th episode is here, and the showrunners went for an emotional episode that tugs on the heartstrings of longtime viewers, rather than loading this installment up with cameos from every past cast member they could get to show up. Mike Peterson, who played such a big part in the pilot and in season one, returns for the episode, and Hive gets a cameo, remembering longtime cast member Grant Ward/Brett Dalton. But most importantly, the focus is on SHIELD as a family, facing their fears together, and on upcoming major life transitions for the Agents of SHIELD, including birth, death, and marriage, making this a satisfying episode no matter what the show’s fate is at the end of the season.

The cold open begins with one of Fitz’s dwarfs scanning the technology storeroom after the explosion has died down. It looks like the bomb site that it is. The dwarf spots bloody three-toed footprints (from Vrellnexians), the remains of the beacon and a black robed figure. Also, this, which has been blown into the Marvel Universe from the Dr Who Dimension:

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