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.