Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Rewind

"The odds, my friend, are not in your favor."
"Are they ever?"

There was a lot of hype building up to this episode. A Fitz-centric outing after four almost completely Fitz-less episodes. An hour that promised to answer some of the questions that have been piling up since the beginning of the season. An episode written by Craig Titley and directed by Jesse Bochco, the same folks behind the brilliant, Simmons-centric "4,722 Hours." Did it live up to the expectations? The answer to that question is a resounding "yes."

First of all, this was no "4,772 Hours," it wasn't trying to be and it was all the better for it. While "4,772 Hours" was an atypical, quiet episode about Jemma and Will's lonely quest to return to Earth, "Rewind" had a lot more synergy, more players and was a more traditional Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode, and a great one at that. In fact, that it was regular business was a nice change of pace in a season that has been so different. But not only did "Rewind" provide a break from time travel and end of Earth shenanigans, it also gave them more context as it traveled back to the present to start assembling the pieces of the puzzle.

So, right after the team was kidnapped, Fitz was taken prisoner and sent to a military black site, where he grew the obligatory beard and wrote tons of random mathematical equations on the walls of his cell. General Hale (that's how IMDb calls her) and her two subordinates wanted Fitz to find the others, so of course he stalled them for six months while sending hidden messages to Hunter through rant letters to a soccer magazine. I love it.

I was completely absorbed into Fitz' left-behind story during the first ten minutes, but the episode really hit the ground running for me when Hunter arrived. God, I had no idea how much I missed Hunter, and Hunter and Fitz' dynamic as well. They were just awesome together with their brit humor, bickering about soccer, and their hugs that went on for too long for either one of them. And using that freaking RV as a reliable runaway vehicle. It had cloaking (I laughed out loud at that line).

Hunter brought a necessary levity to the heaviness of Fitz' arc. In fact, I must commend the writers again for how they are dealing with the post-Framework traumas of the characters. Fitz is taking full responsibility for his actions, afraid of the dark side he now know he possesses. He even believes his friends left him behind because of that side of his, something Hunter promptly rules out. Hunter tells Fitz not to repress his dark side, but find a balance. "Every light needs a shadow. You just have to learn how to control it, use it when you need it." That is the best advice anyone could have given to Fitz, and one that he embraces by the end of the hour. When Enoch asks Fitz if he has what it takes to face some truly terrible people and creatures, a resolute Fitz replies "I have it in me." Terrific character work here.

The mythology stuff was also great. Robin, the daughter of Charlie (the Inhuman that Daisy tried to save in "Spacetime"), and her mother Poppy returned, as Robin had gone through Terrigenesis, gained a similar power to her father's and is the one responsible for sending the team sans Fitz to the future. Robin and Poppy's return was such a bringing-the-story-full-circle type of thing, because "Spacetime" was the first episode of the series that dealt with time as a dimension you can travel through.

I'm not crazy about self-fulfilling prophecies, but I think Robin's made sense. Well, to be honest, I decided to interpret some of her prophecies as "this is what needs to happen" rather than "this is what will happen no matter what," which aligns with Enoch's vision that, once it becomes a "prophecy," he needs to make sure it will be fulfilled. So, Robin is a seer not merely in the sense that she sees the future but also as a higher mind that shapes it. Quite powerful for a kid, huh? She left Fitz out of the trip because the team would need his arrival to happen at a later moment. And so it happens.

Poppy is a great woman. She lost her husband to Terrigenesis and now has somewhat lost her daughter too. She could hate anything Inhuman related, but she has embraced Robin's new condition, which is essentially that of a child with autism. I loved that Hunter vowed to protect them with Bobbi. It's a protection they will need, especially now that General Hale wants to use Robin as a weapon. And this is the point where I salute the writers again, this time for effortlessly inserting into this episode the seeds of whatever arc comes next. I also hope that means Hunter will be back, and Bobbi too. Hey, Hunter has the Zephyr One now, he better be back. Bring them back, writers, do you hear me?

The final moments of "Rewind" were quite powerful, as Fitz dropped the bomb that he wouldn't time travel, instead, he would sleep for 74 years in a Cryo-Freeze Chamber. Dude, THAT IS LOVE RIGHT THERE. Fitzsimmons forever. He basically sacrificed an entire lifetime to reunite with the love of his life and his friends. Yes, it's likely that when the agents return to the present Fitz will return too  then there will be two existing Fitzes at the same time  but, still, Fitz took a big leap of faith. Hunter's reaction was my reaction. This was the most insane idea in their history of insane ideas, but this is also Leopold Fitz we are talking about, a man driven by love and loyalty. He would take any road to help his friends, even if it's the longest one.

Intel and Assets

- Iain De Caestecker is Emmy material. I doubt Agents will ever land a nomination in a big category, but I hope he gets the recognition he deserves one day.

- Fitz told General Hale that he was responsible for Mace's death, which is something I can only partially agree with, since he was brainwashed when he caused it. Also, not the best thing to tell the people who are keeping you in illegal prison, Leopold.

- One of Fitz' theories during his time in prison: he suffered from Prodromal Schizophrenia and had done something to his friends himself.

- The headlines on the news Fitz read: "Inhuman S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Daisy Johnson  Assassin! Brigadier General Talbot in Critical Condition"; "S.H.I.E.L.D. Top Brass at Large  Manhunt Continues" and "S.H.I.E.L.D. To Be Defunded and Dissolved" (again!).

- Hunter mentioned he and Bobbi were going to get married again, then ninjas showed up. Was that a reference to the Hand? I want to see that fight.

- How convenient that Rusty's computer had a program that analyzed the 3-D structure of things.

- We finally learned the year the agents were sent to: 2091.

- Enoch is a sentient Chronicom, from a constellation known as Cygnus. He was sent 30,000 years ago to observe humans' evolution. He is also awesome with his robotic, honest demeanor.

- Could Virgil be a descendant of Robin? Her grandson, maybe? He had the postcard Fitz left her. What about Deke?

- That scene where the Lieutenant and that other agent realized Robin's drawing depicted them at that very moment was pretty cool. The "freezing" scene, when they lost 30 minutes, was also cool. That's a handy device, actually.

- The station that houses the remainder of humanity is called Lighthouse because it was constructed under one. Who built it? Unknown. Maybe before the agents return to their time, they pay a visit to Peggy Carter and ask her to build it?

- Fitz was imprisoned at "Blue Raven Ridge."

- Long live the ferrets, the bravest of the agents.

- So, if Fitz slept his way to 2091, that kills the theory that the agents are in an alternate timeline, right? "The Destroyer of Worlds" could still be a Daisy from a different timeline, though.

- I loved that Fitz packed several weapons to help them in the future. "Team SHIELD will be fully armed," complete with useful hands for Coulson and the shotgun-axe! Fitz is indeed the best.

- Like "4,772 Hours," this was episode number 5 of its season and the other main cast members only appeared in cameos.

Agent: "Where is Phil Coulson?"
Fitz: "I don't know."
Agent: "Where is Daisy Johnson?"
Fitz: "I don't know."
Agent: "Where is Jemma Simmons?"
Fitz: "I wish I knew."

Lieutenant: "It's a letter to a soccer fanzine. The least offensive part is when he calls the goalkeeper a Cro-Magnon Twit."

Fitz: "They printed my letters in the last six issues of Ballbuster Hooligans."
Hunter: "And how many copies do you think are available in Bangladesh? None. As in zero."

Hunter: "Where do you get off on calling Liverpool a bunch of wankers?"
Fitz: "Well, if you never win anything, then how do –"
Hunter: "Well, at least we're not trying to buy our way back to glory."
Fitz: "Hey, do not talk crap about Man U."
Hunter: "Me talking crap? Your letters were nothing but crap. All that stuff about the... How many European Cups have you won?"
Fitz: "Well, got your attention, didn't it? Finally. AFTER SIX MONTHS!"
Hunter: "Well, maybe I should've just thrown them out and left you here."
Fitz: "I missed you."
Hunter: "You, too, mate."

Hunter: "That's the strangest thing I've ever heard. Except for the sexy robot that you made that became human and wanted you to stick the old floppy into her love drive."
Jesus, Hunter.

Fitz: "How are things with Bobbi?"
Hunter: "Good, yeah. We're 100% compatible... 50% of the time."

Hunter: "Chasing a beer truck. I like this plan. Do we get to plunder it when we find it?"

Hunter: "The universe doesn't want or care about anything."

Hunter: "We had some good times back in the day, in between all the bad times of being shot at and chased and attacked by monsters."

Amazing reference to Empire Strikes Back, and a showcase of De Caestecker's
subtle acting: Hunter plays it for laughs, Fitz catches the reference, smiles, but
delivers his comeback line with sincerity. It's a lovely little moment.
Excellent episode, the best one of the season so far and one of my favorites of the series. Four out of four ferrets.


meko00 said...


I think Iain De Caestecker is one of the best actors I've ever seen, but I cannot ascertain how much of my opinion is coloured by the fact that he looks like kin to me, i.e. it's extremely easy for me to read his expressions because I look like a northern Germanic baby animal, just like he does. Though I have seen loads of raves online, from people who presumably look nothing like him. (And, I voted for him on the 2017 20 best actors finalists thingy on tvline. *hints*)

I loved this ep, but I'm trying hard not to think too much about the time travelling/two Fitzes/predestination aspect. And, I mean, so Enoch promised Hunter to make sure Fitz got back safely, but... when is the extinction level event supposed to take place? After the destruction of Earth? Presumably, but... How is General Hale mixed up in the Earth-detonating plot? Were Enoch just going to sit idly by, recording while the Earth went Humpty Dumpty? Robin being able to shape the future sounds intriguing, but, well...

Incidentally, how many Zephyrs were built?

I do believe the beard was a leftover from IDC's summer filming (Overlord).

Billie Doux said...

Lamounier, your review got some love on Twitter!

Lamounier said...

This is so cool. ^^ Thanks for letting me know, Billie. :)

meko00, great comment. I guess the extinction level event Enoch mentioned is Kasius' attempt to erase what is left of the human race. I want to know if Enoch watched the Earth go boom. If he did, he knows who/what really destroyed it. And I have no idea how many Zephyrs were built.

Patryk said...

Too bad they didn't tell us if Tablot survived. Maybe in the next arc. Sepaking of next arc, the Orville is not a full season show so maybe they could bring back Bobbi at least for an episode later in the year.

So basically Fitz got to be Han and then Leia (posing as a guest of a wealthy crime lord in a mask speaking some alien langueage) in the span of a couple of days. Awesome. :)

Lamounier said...

Patryk, I hope they bring Bobbi back, especially if this is the final season. They set up Bobbi and Hunter's return perfectly with this episode, I will be disappointed if they don't show up.