Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: A Trout in the Milk

"Abort."

The first four episodes were setup, now the season is cooking. This episode flew by and then it just got better and better as it approached the end.

It's 1973 and the Chronicoms have already created a few waves. Wilfred Malick is still alive, three years past his original expiration date, and his son Nathaniel is still on Earth. I'll admit, I had to look up what happened to Nathaniel in the original timeline (Gideon betrayed him and had him sent to Maveth). That whole Malick family drama back in season three was just so boring, I didn't remember it at all. Now the Malicks are interesting, or at least Nathaniel is. I like how the writers are using the Malick family as the unifying thread through the season, too. Plus, Nathaniel had like, what, two scenes and he showed more potential as a villain than the Chronicoms. That he wants to do to Daisy what Whitehall did to her mother is terrifying and it immediately makes a more interesting story than whatever the Chronicoms are up too.

To be fair, though, the Chronis were competent villains this time around. Yes, they continue to have no screen charisma, but by staying in the past, Luke pulled the right strings to advance the plot of Captain America: Winter Soldier by almost forty years, and then he doubled down and took away from S.H.I.E.L.D. a fighting chance by basically sending the main team to 1976 and making sure they wouldn't interrupt the launch of the satellite. What was his endgame, to launch the satellite or to force the team to expose themselves? Either way, the time jump midway through the episode kicked it into higher gear, and then it kept getting worse for our heroes and better for good TV, most of all when Mack saw that his parents were locked in the base. That got personal fast. Mack is usually so righteous that for a second there I wondered if he would sacrifice his parents for the greater good, but of course he wouldn't, and who could blame him? He'd probably go down there and drown with his parents if that had been his only choice. Thankfully, it wasn't.

Another family who was a highlight in this episode was the Fitzsimmons one. No, Fitz isn't back, but we learned that Simmons has a device in her neck and has been having trouble holding the mission together. Is she very, very old? Is that device something that is making her look younger? What is going on? I find myself caring so much more about Simmons, and about Fitzsimmons for the record, now that Simmons' suffering is quieter and understated, rather than when it was loud and obnoxious (hey, season six, I'm looking at you). And I don't think I ever liked Deke more than I did when he stood up for his nana. Sousa's displeasure was understandable, but I'm sure Simmons, Enoch and Fitz did the best they could to prepare this very volatile mission.

With Simmons' feeling overloaded, Daisy and Sousa getting captured, May and Coulson in a Hydra-led Lighthouse, along with Mack's parents, and Zephyr One exposed, things are a mess and I love it. Season seven is finally on.

Intel and Assets

- This time we didn't get a title card, but a whole opening sequence! I loved it, but Iain DeCaestecker's absence was a big reminder that there has been no Fitz thus far in the season. :(


- Enoch is back with the team! Yay! I liked his nonchalant ways to indicate he was upset with being left behind for forty years.

- I love that Mack and Yo-Yo still reference movies to assess how bad a situation is.

- Deke's lemons analogy for sex was terrible and so very Deke. Of course Simmons would be annoyed by her adult grandson from another timeline wanting her to have sex with his grandfather. Why does Deke believe he will be born in this timeline anyway? There have been too many changes, it is very unlikely that, if Fitz and Simmons have a daughter, their daughter will actually meet the man supposed to be Deke's dad.

- Coulson's alias: Patrick Kutik, from Processing. LOL.

- The corridors of the Lighthouse are still boring.

Quotes

Sousa: "I just don't understand the functional appeal of those elephant pants."

Sousa: "Nobody seems to look you in the eye now."
May: "Wait 'til they all get cellphones."

Simmons: "Wouldn't it be easier to prevent the mistakes through, say, preparation?"

Mack: "You're damn fine at what you do, with or without your powers, they don't define you."
Yo-Yo: "Then why do you call me Yo-Yo?"
Mack: "Because you always bounce back."

Gideon Malick: "To be clear, it's not nepotism. Definitely earned my spot."
Daisy: "Definitely, yeah. Self-made."

Sousa: "I was taken out of my life for this."
Deke: "We all were."

Very good. Three out of four Malicks.
--
Lamounier

1 comment:

televisionandotherrantings said...

While you're a bit behind I think it's still safe to say that bringing Sousa into this was one of the best things this show has done in years. His whole situation is interesting and his dynamic with Daisy even more so. Him pretending to be her fianceƩ and her showing him a cellphone were super-charming. And him not easily putting up with all this craziness is good too.

I thought the Malick stuff in S3 was fine enough. It did nicely inform Gideon's character (and it was nice that they brought back the actor from S3 to play young Gideon again).

In general, this was a solid episode that moved at a good pace and had some near twists (tho it kind of makes you wonder why the Chronicoms didn't decide to stay in the past to muck with things earlier since it seems pretty effective). Also, got to wonder how they can repair all these changes to the timeline since Insight being around early not only messes with AOS continuity but the films as well.