Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD, Season 7 recap, “Out of the Past”

18 Jun

The story so far… Our heroes find themselves hunting the Chronicoms in 1955 New Mexico, at Area 51 itself. The Chronicoms plan to blow up a visiting party of SHIELD bigwigs fails thanks to setting off an electromagnetic pulse inside the base. Unfortunately, while the Chronicoms are destroyed, LMD Coulson gets shut down and is the prisoner of an recognizable face in SHIELD history: Agent Daniel Sousa. And as we learn, Sousa has yet to be finished with our time traveling agents…

“ I arrived back on the Zephyr, streaming through the night, quiet and unseen. She was a mistress to me, beckoning me back into her embrace. And other noir sayings.”

July 22, 1955. After a brief flashforward where we see someone resembling Sousa dead in a hotel swimming pool, we discover LMD Coulson is up and running, albeit with a glitch screwing up his eyesight of color (his narration tells us this is pretty much going to be a noir-inspired episode). LMD Coulson is being interrogated by Sousa, but is focused on the specific date on the newspaper in the room: July 22. He remembers that Sousa was supposed to deliver a critical price of technology to Howard Stark, and afterwards is killed, making him SHIELD’s first agent killed in the line of duty. So to get the timeline fixed up, LMD Coulson spins a yarn that convinces Sousa to join him in collecting the package in Los Angeles. But first, LMD Coulson has to make a call…to Enoch.

Yep, Enoch is still kicking, still bar tending in that SHIELD safehouse we last left him, and he’s able to link LMD Coulson with the rest of the team at the Zephyr and explains what they need to do to preserve the timeline. To ensure the package is delivered and any possible Chronicom inference is stopped, Yo-Yo and Deke find the agent delivering the package, and they do, with his face erased. Yo-Yo gets the package, but someone else kidnaps Deke. And that package is? A piece of metal? But it’s important, soooo…

Meantime, LMD Coulson hop a train to L.A., and to buy some time getting the real package, Coulson takes someone else’s briefcase to keep Sousa’s suspicions in check. While Sousa is grabbing a drink after a little chat with LMD Coulson, a few Chronicoms come by, offering to recruit him to join their cause, because you know, brother robots. The Chronicoms know of Coulson’s bluff, and that Sousa dying, say RIGHT NOW, would screw up the timeline. Luckily Daisy and Mack arrive to foil that plot, and scoop up LMD Coulson and Sousa to the Zephyr (Of course, not a problem showing Sousa their toys since he’s going to die later in the day, right?). Now we learn why the Chronicoms might want to prevent that meeting for Sousa, and it’s not involving the technology he’s delivering, but it’s information that SHIELD has been infiltrated by HYDRA! And the HYDRA head who ordered Sousa’s demise? An older person than one we met in 1931: Freddie Malick!

“Man, Freddie, did you do some weight lifting in the last two decades?”

It’s in fact HYDRA under Malick who has kidnapped Deke, and maybe good for Deke, that “Freddie” doesn’t recognize him at all. Because it’s Deke playing on that old friend thing which maybe saves Deke from getting killed by Freddie and able to leave not as a corpse. Deke is able to contact the Zephyr (man, Enoch is just getting extra work as a telephone operator), and Mack decides to call an audible in handling this Sousa matter. He decides to save Sousa from his fate, but Sousa already has made a decision to leave the Zephyr and head to his scheduled delivery.

At a hotel (the same we saw in the opening), Sousa makes his delivery to Howard Stark’s agent, and…seems to die, exactly as we saw earlier, killed by an HYDRA agent sent by Malick. BUT, he’s not. Our team caught up with Sousa, tranquilized him, and LMD Coulson subbed in to stage Sousa’s death. After collecting LMD Coulson, fixing up his whole seeing things in blacks and white problem, and the timeline in place that Sousa is dead and not on the Zephyr as it jumps to its next spot in time, we’re good, right? Well, there’s still Sousa now being a man out of time, the team seems to be arriving in the 1970’s, and still the Chronicoms to worry about. The latter part is important because in the end credits teaser, we see a sole Chronicom has been left behind in 1955 to help “Freddie” Malick build up HYDRA! This time travel war is about to get messy!

“I spent a while in that pool, and good for me I couldn’t breathe. Being a machine means not having to feel the horror of your lungs filling with water. Not feeling the cold embrace of the big sleep. Also, glug-glug-glug-glug-glug.”

–May seems to be taking on emotional traits of people she’s in close vicinity to, probably as a result of being in that weirdo dimension last season. Not sure where that will go, but I’m curious.

–Yo-Yo and Zeke seem to not be content to let the norms in a time frame stay that way. Everyone’s going to be screwing with the timeline now it seems!

–Enoch does want back on the Zephyr, but thanks to everything happening, is unable to. And he might be having an existential crisis. You tend to do that after hearing sob stories for 24 years like the one he hears throughout this episode.

–So we got Alice Cooper’s “No More Mr. Nice Guy” as the radio transmission the Zephyr catches after its time jump. We are definitely somewhere in the mid 70’s.

–Still no Fitz.

–The team reacting to Sousa’s claim of HYDRA infiltrating SHIELD: “Yep.”

–“Kept my looks. I go hard on the vegetables.”

–“You may proceed with your saga of struggle.”

–“We’re the Agents of Status Quo.”

–“We’re in a fight against body snatching robots from another planet who want to wipe us out and take over the Earth.” “Why didn’t you lead with that?”

–“It’s easier to let a bad man live than a good man die.”

That’s it for now, but come back next week for the recap of “A Trout In The Milk”…

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