Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Alien Commies from the Future!

"We're the good guys, I swear."

This was so much fun.

If every episode is going to be like this one, I might not even care if the season arc doesn't make sense in the end. Okay, I'm lying, I'll complain endlessly if it doesn't make sense, but as of now the ride is fun and I dig it.

Has this show ever done an episode so spy-ish? I just loved how everyone went undercover and the story kept evolving in interesting ways. Simmons pretended to be Peggy Carter, was caught by Peggy's former partner, Daniel Sousa, Coulson was also busted, Daisy went in undercover as a CIA operative to help them, May and Yo-Yo pretended to be pilots to infiltrate the base and stop the Chronis, all the while Mack and Deke inadvertently posed as communists when interrogating a general in the Zephyr. What's not to love?


I never watched Agent Carter, but, God, was it good to see Enver Gjokaj again. I'd forgotten how good an actor he is. Why doesn't he get more roles? He had immediate great chemistry with Elizabeth Henstridge, so much so that for a small moment there I kind of shipped their characters. Forgive me, Fitz. Simmons slowly putting together that she had been busted was a very good moment. It doesn't hurt that Daniel Sousa looked competent either. He is straightforward and in control of his operation, as much as he can be with Chronis invading it. Can he stay? Or can we stay in this time period? Should I go watch Agent Carter?

Maybe a reason why this episode was more successful than the previous one was the Chronis presence being kept to a minimum. Truthfully, they haven't proved themselves to be interesting villains so far. Showing up mostly for the fight scenes worked for me. The confrontation with May and Yo-Yo, in particular, was very good. Both ladies froze in action, May going into panic in the middle of the confusion, and Yo-Yo still unable to use her super speed. But they combined forces to defeat the Chroni and helped save the day.

I'm really enjoying the more light-hearted tone this season has had so far. I'm sure we will eventually get some heavier stuff, but as of now this feels a lot like what Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. used to be in its first season, but with the more confident writing it developed over the years. It has color, humor, it's adventurous and doesn't mind telling more contained stories, that may or may not be part of a larger arc. Notice also that this is the second episode in a row without Daisy or Yo-Yo using their superpowers, which must be a deliberate choice to make this more agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. who spy than agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. who are superheroes, something that also echoes the first season. This being their final one, I like all of these new (old?) elements. Instead of constant doom and gloom, we get to enjoy these characters. It suddenly makes me miss them and wish they could stay for a little longer.

Intel and Assets

- We got another title card.


- Terrific episode title.

- Chronicoms can be Anthropologists, Hunters and – now we learned there is another kind – Predictors.

- I liked that Mack made it clear that he is the one who gives out orders.

- Also good to have Daisy and Deke address Daisy's orders to kill Wilfred Malick. Though I still don't buy that Daisy, who traveled to the future and knows what a difference a detail can make, would risk killing Malick, at least the writers devoted some time to explain her perspective.

- It was lovely of Mack to say that Yo-Yo is a good agent, even without her powers.

- Mack and Deke continue to be a hoot together.

- Lots of interrogations in this episode, my favorite ones being those carried by Simmons and Coulson.

- Laugh out loud moment: Simmons saying the scientists acted just like Chronicoms, followed by a shot of the scientists looking socially inept.

- What's with the word "moist"? Do native English speakers have a problem with it? It's the second time I see it being referenced as an unpleasant word (the first time, in How I Met Your Mother).

- Daniel mentioned sending a document to the CIA, and asked Daisy if she was there because of it. That can't be a random drop of information, surely there is more to it.

- Oh, come on, he spent one year in 2018 (2019?) and Deke doesn't know what the Pentagon is?

- The writers are finding clever ways to address racism. Mack, Yo-Yo and May were all offended by the white general guy, and I liked the scene where they convinced Deke to go question him. Cue Mack: "Don't make us say it [why he might listen to you]."


- Who else thought they were going to go Captain Marvel and have the Old Lady in the bus be evil? I think they were teasing us there.

- For the simplicity of it, I have decided to call ChroniCoulson just Coulson. And what happened to him in the end? Did he short-circuit?

- I hate to admit this, but I haven't missed Fitz so far. Too bad he is missing all this fun, though.

Quotes

Coulson: "We know Area 51 is a S.H.I.E.L.D."
Daisy: "We do?"
Coulson: "All the Areas are."
Daisy: "Wow. Conspiracy me was so right."

Yo-Yo: "I feel a little vulnerable being..."
Mack: "Slow like me?"

Yo-Yo: "Just going to take a while to bounce back, I guess."

Coulson: "May isn't herself. She was completely emotionless. She went full ninja-assassin on Enoch."
Daisy: "That sounds like classic May to me."
Hee. While writing the review of the previous episode, I actually had a hard time describing how May was acting without making it read like who May typically is.

Coulson: "It's a golden age of innovation."
Daisy: "Is it?"
Bathroom signs: "whites only" vs. "colored only."
This is actually very good, understated criticism. History is told from the white man's point of view, so a white man (or a robot with the mind of a white man), when trying to define a certain time in history, would look right past problems that didn't affect them. Hence statues of slave traders and colonialists being revered all over the world.

Simmons: "Give me an hour. I'll save them decades."
This has been a great season for Simmons so far.

Scientist guy: "You two know something I don't?"
Coulson: "Infinitely more."

May: "He called me an oriental."
Yo-Yo: "I had to pull her away."

Deke: "Stupid white privilege."
Clever line, for it has two meanings/intents: the first and obvious one, critiquing white privilege; the second, Deke is genuinely upset that white privilege has put him in a position he doesn't want to be in.

Deke (re: May): "Isn't she still an unfeeling killing bot?"
Yo-Yo: "It's exactly what we're facing. Might be exactly what we need."


A good, solid Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode. Three out of four interrogation scenes. And I'm genuinely excited for next week's installment.
--
Lamounier

9 comments:

televisionandotherrantings said...

I do appreciate that we have follow-up with the Malick thing and hopefully this will lead to some more interesting character stuff.

I feel like I'd be more on board with this line of Deke character development if he hadn't been such a douche for so much of S5-6.

The Blade Runner reference was a highlight! And Daisy's outfits this episode were on point!

The Chronicoms having a predictor or a seer is interesting in that you would think they would have been able to foresee the destruction of their planet if it was around at the time. Like hopefully SOME aspects of the Chronicoms will start to make more sense before the season is over. The list of questions keeps piling up.

televisionandotherrantings said...

Oh one other thing I forgot to note is that the lack of power-usage is possibly more of a budget thing or them knowing that the powers probably would have gotten them out of lot of situations a lot easier. Tho at least with Daisy it makes a bit more sense why she wouldn't be using them as much to try and be more subtle. I would say it's a more clever work-around for her than literally putting an inhibitor in her to take the powers off the board (which is then removed in a really horrible way that creates a lot of trauma and drama that's just gonna be swept under the rug....yeah I'm still not over that).

Lamounier said...

Oh one other thing I forgot to note is that the lack of power-usage is possibly more of a budget thing or them knowing that the powers probably would have gotten them out of lot of situations a lot easier.

Yeah, being a budget issue makes sense too. They seem to be using a lot of their budget with location and exterior shots, which I'm all for. :)

Anonymous said...

Maybe Yoyo is pregnant.

Nick said...

"- What's with the word "moist"? "

I mean, the showrunners were involved with a certain singing villain who had a ... shall we, say ... wet ... sidekick.

Billie Doux said...

Dr. Horrible?

Katie Hart - Pinterest Manager said...

It doesn't bother me, but I've definitely known other native-English speakers who dislike the word moist. Using it immediately brought to mind that HIMYM episode and Dr. Horrible. HIMYM has plenty of Whedonverse connections (Willow, Agent Maria Hill, Dr. Horrible, some guest appearances by Wesley) so it could be deliberately referencing that.

It was fun seeing Tamara Taylor as our new Chronicom Predictor (also a once-removed Whedonverse connection via Bones).

Yes, you should definitely watch Agent Carter! Though (slight spoilers) this episode doesn't really clear anything up with how the end of Agent Carter connects with the end of Endgame (which has been bothering me for ages) - and perhaps adds more questions. Besides, why are we working so hard to preserve the timeline if Agents of Shield isn't connected to the rest of the Marvel Universe anymore? (I know they don't know that, but still.) I'm sure this is just a pipe dream, but I really wish that the end of all this time travel leads to the show being part of the main timeline again.

PIlar A said...

you should definitely watch Agent Carter, It s wonderfull

Nick said...

"Dr. Horrible?"

Yeah, that's what came to my mind.:)