The Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. made some major waves last week when they saved Agent Daniel Sousa (Enver Gjokaj) from his historic death without changing history. In “A Trout in the Milk,” the Chronicoms are changing the game. The main Chronicom called Luke (Tobias Jelinek) stayed behind in 1955 to help Wilfred Malick (Neal Bledsoe) get ahead of the game. And the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents have no idea! We’re headed to 1973! This is going to be fun.
On a side note, still no sign of Fitz (Iain De Caestecker). It’s like the writers forgot about him or something.
The opening credits for this season are awesome! This time we get a classic 70’s opening sequence introducing the cast and title of the episode. So cheesy, but so fun!
The team arrives in New York City 1973 and immediately makes an effort to blend in. Agent May (Ming-Na Wen) adapts to the NYC streets, but the hostility might be getting to her a little bit. Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) still doesn’t understand how May still can’t feel anything from him. Quake, aka Agent Daisy Johnson (Chloe Bennet) fits right in with the 1970’s in her bell bottom pants and platform shoes. And Agent Sousa, well, he’s got a classic look that fits in any time period.
Speaking of Sousa, he has a lot of questions about time travel. Coulson suggests he talk to Simmons on the Zephyr, but Sousa is more comfortable in the field. They head to the S.H.I.E.L.D. safehouse to find Enoch (Joel Stoffer), but they find a party instead.
At the Zephyr, newly appointed Agent Deke Shaw (Jeff Ward) finishes a workout and checks on his Nana, Agent Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge). Director Mackenzie (Henry Simmons) assigned him to do combat training since he was kidnapped in the last episode. Simmons says he doesn’t have to worry about Malick because he’s been dead for three years.
Deke asks if Simmons heard from his Bobo, and Simmons is confused by the question. When she remembers who Bobo is, she says she hasn’t heard anything but knows they will be reunited soon. Deke is a little afraid of his own existence if they aren’t reunited. Or maybe he will, no one is really sure. Simmons ever so politely hints that she needs to work and Deke leaves. She starts rubbing the back of her neck and we see something glowing under her skin.
Mack and Agent Rodriguez (Natalia Cordova-Buckley) head to the Lighthouse to see if it’s empty. It’s not. They find a man in a jumpsuit walking in and out of an office. According to Coulson’s history files, the place was abandoned in 1972. Something about history has changed.
At the safehouse, May grabs a drink and bumps into someone. When she sits down next to Daisy, May is actually drunk. She pulls it together enough to tell Daisy that Enoch hasn’t been seen for over a year. Coulson and Sousa spot Rick Stoner (Patrick Warburton). Sousa knew him when he was an enlistee. Coulson remembers him as a General.
Stoner addresses the room, introducing Wilfred Malick. S.H.I.E.L.D. is there to celebrate their advances in technology. Malick is using a targeting satellite with pinpoint laser technology to take out hostiles before they are even a threat. Sound familiar? It’s the plot in Captain America: Winter Soldier. Malick calls his satellite, Project INSIGHT.
Sousa thinks S.H.I.E.L.D. made a turn for the worst, but Coulson explains that only a few higher ups are HYDRA. That doesn’t explain why everyone is so excited by INSIGHT. Coulson says everyone thinks INSIGHT will keep the world safe. They don’t know it’s a HYDRA plot. He knows it is because it happened in his time. And this time Chronicoms are behind all of it.
Coulson says the Chronicoms offered him a deal and threatened to break the timeline. They did so by preventing Malick’s death in 1970. Sousa thinks they should have left him in 1955 so he could have stopped HYDRA, but they don’t know how Sousa would have affected the future, especially with the Chronicoms involved. Coulson tells Sousa to keep a low profile. He’s famous among S.H.I.E.L.D. agents.
May flirts with Stoner, but he’s strictly professional. She admires his professionality, but still flirts enough to get some information out of him. She finds out that INSIGHT won’t launch for another three years.
Daisy is watching an awkward young man when another young man approaches her. He says his brother Nathaniel (Thomas E. Sullivan) hates going to these parties. Daisy recognizes Nathaniel as Malick’s son, who is supposed to be dead. And the other young man is Gideon Malick (Cameron Palatas). While they are talking Daisy finds out that Malick has a windowless office. And that’s about all Gideon knows about S.H.I.E.L.D. Daisy excuses herself, but Gideon tries to stop her. Sousa shows up to rescue Daisy and pretends to be her fiancé. Sousa and Daisy make a cute couple.
Daisy and Sousa go looking for the windowless office while Coulson calls into the Zephyr. He reports everything they know so far. Simmons is concerned about finding Enoch, but Coulson tells her to focus on INSIGHT. Deke overhears the conversation and is kicking himself for not taking care of Malick when he had the chance. Malick got three extra years of life. Who knows what else he has his hands in.
S.H.I.E.L.D. NOT S.H.I.E.L.D.
Mack and Yo-Yo look around and find the Lighthouse power is being directed to something bigger. Yo-Yo suggests they leave, but Mack says the Lighthouse is still S.H.I.E.L.D. so there’s nothing to worry about. Yo-Yo compares the situation to a James Bond movie. An underground base full of men in jumpsuits is a bad sign. One of those men in a jumpsuit walks out in front of them and opens a door. Inside the door is a very tall structure. Like Yo-Yo said, a bad sign.
Daisy and Sousa find the secret room in the office. There is a computer and recording devices. Sousa finds a gun and takes it. Daisy hacks into the computer, because there are no firewalls. She finds a list of S.H.I.E.L.D. targets that include Bruce Banner. Yes, that Bruce Banner, who’s just a kid in 1973. Sousa thinks Daisy’s team made the timeline worse than it was before. There’s only one way HYDRA could have gotten names from the future.
Daisy and Sousa leave the office, signaling that it’s time to leave. May and Coulson head for the door, but Malick stops Coulson to thank him for attending the party. Malick asks who he is and Coulson gives him a fake name. Malick makes small talk to stall Coulson until the Chronicoms arrive. And Malick actually remembers Coulson from 1931.
THE GAME CHANGES
Daisy and Sousa see the Chronicoms surround Coulson and May. Daisy also sees Nathaniel sitting nearby. Chronicom Luke says Coulson should have taken his offer when he had the chance. Malick tells them to surrender, but Daisy plays her card, holding a gun to Nathaniel’s side. Coulson asks for a counter offer. Let them go or Nathaniel doesn’t walk out. Malick says Nathaniel has nothing to do with any of this, but May says he’s a ripple and he doesn’t belong in the timeline. Chronicom Luke says this ends now and his Chronicom hunters point their guns at Daisy and Sousa. Malick steps forward, pushing the Chronicom guns down, and telling them to stand down. Coulson, May, Sousa and Daisy leave with Nathaniel.
Everyone makes it out, leaving Nathaniel at the door. Chronicom Luke isn’t happy with Malick and sends his hunters after them. Sousa doesn’t really like that Daisy resorted to taking a hostage and wonders what else Daisy hasn’t told him. Daisy quakes the Chronicom hunters and says she will explain later. Nathaniel also saw her use her powers
Coulson, May, Daisy and Sousa don’t have any way of escaping until Enoch shows up, driving erratically. He stops and tells them to get in if they want to continue to exist. After some very brief hellos and compliments on the car, Enoch speeds away. Chronicom Luke walks outside and doesn’t like what he sees. He says it’s time to change the rules.
Everyone returns to the Zephyr. Mack and Coulson fill everyone in on what they found out. The team knows INSIGHT is designed to pick off prominent S.H.I.E.L.D. agents and Avengers of the future. Peggy Carter and Nick Fury are also on that list. Mack wants to stop INSIGHT before the satellite is complete.
Sousa points out the computer screen as it’s speeding up time. The Zephyr is going to jump. Mack gets upset because they didn’t get a chance to stop INSIGHT. Yo-Yo tries to run for the door to stay behind, but she still isn’t fast enough.
The team jumped three years to 1976 on the day Project INSIGHT is set to launch. Sousa is upset, but Daisy explains that they don’t control when they jump. Who does?
In the midst of the chaos, Simmons finds Enoch. She is acting funny saying she’s been forgetting things and feels confused sometimes. Enoch asks if she told anyone and Simmons says she’s afraid to tell them. She rubs the back of her neck again and Enoch stops her. He wants to take a look at her.
They meet Sousa along the way and he starts yelling at Simmons for the time jump. I’m pretty sure he’s upset about not stopping INSIGHT, but he’s really harsh with Simmons. Deke jumps in to defend his Nana, but Sousa wants answers. He says he was pulled out of his life and Deke says they all were. That shuts Sousa up.
Mack comes up with a plan to stop INSIGHT. He’s going to flood the Lighthouse. That will cause everyone to evacuate, thus stopping the launch. Coulson and May volunteer to go in and set the explosives. Daisy is going to hack into the Lighthouse communications to bypass all access for Coulson and May. She is also going to send the security feed to the Zephyr. Sousa wants to go with her so he doesn’t have to stay on the ship. Mack sends Yo-Yo and Deke to find Freddy Malick and bring him in.
Chronicom Luke visits Malick first. He says Malick taught him a lesson about humanity on the day at the S.H.I.E.L.D. safehouse. He was handed victory on a platter and almost ruined it because of one person. His son. The Chronicoms are going to exploit that part of humanity to bring S.H.I.E.L.D. out in the open. Chronicom Luke hands Malick an envelope, calling it leverage.
Sousa asks about Daisy’s powers, but she doesn’t answer…as he expected. Daisy is having trouble getting past the firewall, so Sousa suggests she get a bigger computer. Daisy smiles and shows him her cell phone. She takes a picture of him and shows it to him. Sousa is impressed but then realizes he missed out on a lot of technological advances. Daisy apologizes for how weird and messed up everything is. They have to jump with the Chronicoms or things will be way worse in the future. Sousa understands, he’s just sad he didn’t get to say some goodbyes.
Daisy connects and sends the security feed to Mack and Simmons. They give May and Coulson the green light to go into the Lighthouse. Daisy opens checkpoints for them as they walk through the halls.
Daisy needs to connect to another panel and asks Sousa for help. Nathaniel comes around the corner and stuns the two agents with a Chronicom gun.The Chronicoms told him that someone would be snooping around and it would be Quake and Sousa. He’s very happy to have them back in his life. Coulson and May get to the second checkpoint, but Daisy is gone.
A TROUT IN THE MILK
Yo-Yo and Deke confront Malick. They say he’s going with them, but Malick refuses. He tells them that the Chronicoms knew they would be there. They know every move that S.H.I.E.L.D. makes. And they are steps ahead of everyone.
No one can track down Daisy, so Mack comes up with a different plan. May and Coulson find Stoner wandering the corridors. Coulson tries to tell him that HYDRA infiltrated S.H.I.E.L.D. He even tells them about the Chronicoms, but all Stoner asks is if they are synthetic or organic. May interrupts by punching Stoner, knocking him out. Stoner didn’t believe Coulson’s story. She takes his keycard and they head for their target location.
The satellite emerges from the ocean. Malick says the Chronicoms have something that S.H.I.E.L.D. wants and shows them the envelope. Yo-Yo and Deke heard enough. It’s time for Malick to answer for his crimes, but Malick says the dominoes are already falling. May and Coulson set the explosives. Nathaniel tied up Daisy and Sousa and is transporting them in a van. Malick says even if they figure out what’s going on, there’s nothing they can do. The Chronicoms see everything. Deke is tired of hearing him talk and shoots him. Yo-Yo takes a look at the paper in the envelope. She looks at Deke and says ‘No.’
All of the bombs are in place. Coulson and May are waiting on Mack’s signal to detonate. Mack sees something of interest and takes a closer look at a security camera inside the Lighthouse. He sees his parents in a cell. He tells Simmons that if Coulson and May flood the base, his parents will drown. Simmons reminds him that they cannot let INSIGHT launch. Mack tells them to abort the mission.
INSIGHT launches. Coulson and May are surrounded by men with guns. Mack, Enoch and Simmons take off to intercept the satellite. Enoch flies while Mack launches a missile at INSIGHT. It’s a direct hit, but S.H.I.E.L.D. has just given away their position.
Nathaniel is on the phone with someone in prison. He’s looking for Daniel Whitehall. He wants detailed instructions on how to transfer enhanced abilities surgically.
This was such an exciting and frustrating episode. I knew things would get sticky, but this may be the worst situation the team has ever been in. The Chronicoms are playing dirty. And it seems they may win this battle. But they won’t win the war.
I know the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. can’t win them all. But it’s so frustrating to watch. In a good way. I can’t wait to find out how they correct the changes in the timeline.
Ugh! Daniel Whitehall! Seriously? Whitehall did unspeakable things to Daisy’s mother, among other Inhumans. He’s a higher up within HYDRA that once served under the Red Skull. Coulson killed him once, let’s hope he can do it again.
I knew we’d run into some familiar names, but they’ve all been HYDRA. Yeah, they’ve dropped some great S.H.I.E.L.D. names and Agent Sousa is a great addition to the team. But I want to see some of our heroes jump into the fight to save the world.