Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. have been playing with time this season. And as we’ve always known, if you play with time, time usually strikes back. A time storm sends the Agents into a time loop, but only Daisy (Chloe Bennet) and Coulson (Clark Gregg) are aware.
Last week we found out the Zephyr was skipping through time in intervals that continuously got shorter and shorter. Yo-Yo (Natalia Cordova-Buckley) was able to stop the jumps, but when Deke (Jeff Ward) and Enoch (Joel Stoffer) tried to turn the time drive back on, it went right back into the cycle. Daisy is still healing and Coulson is still charging.
A lot of things happen in this episode. Get ready to jump out of your seat! Our very own Jemma Simmons, a.k.a. Elizabeth Henstridge makes her Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. directorial debut with “As I Have Always Been’
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. TIME STORM
Daisy wakes up with Sousa (Enver Gjokaj) sitting near the healing pod. He asks why she’s up. She asks how long he’s been sitting with her. He’s been there since she went to sleep. Sousa wants to make sure Daisy is resting. She asks if they jumped again and rushes to Command. It’s chaotic. Mack (Henry Simmons) and May (Ming-Na Wen) are trying to figure out what happened. The time drive is overloaded and they don’t know when or where they are. Daisy looks out the front window and sees something strange.
Daisy asks for Coulson, but he’s still charging. Something hits the Zephyr and fries the quinjet’s flight system. Yo-Yo is in the quinjet trying to fix it. Simmons radios from her lab saying the radiation levels are off the chart and they need to get out of there quickly. Deke runs in with news that the Zephyr is caught in a time storm. They’ve jumped within a jump and torn a hole in space-time. The Zephyr is being pulled into a vortex. If they reach the vortex, they cease to exist. They are 94 kilometers away.
A radiation flare from the cockpit hits Mack in the face, burning his eyes. The radiation also shorts out the doors to the quinjet, and Yo-Yo is trapped inside. Deke runs to help Yo-Yo, May takes over Command and Daisy and Sousa take Mack to Simmons. Simmons opens a drawer of medical supplies and finds Deke’s Rubik’s Cube and a bottle of cologne. Apparently Deke’s been leaving his “tools” in random places since he got back from the ’80s. Enoch enters, offering to help with the time drive. Another flare happens, this time causing a fire on the starboard side. Daisy leaves to take care of it. She puts it out and hears the time drive powering up.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. TIME LOOP
Everything that just happened after Daisy woke up the first time happens again. Except this time, Daisy tells everyone that something is happening to her. She finishes Deke’s sentence about the time storm. She continues with the fact they are being pulled into a vortex. They are 91 kilometers away. Daisy quickly moves toward the cockpit and closes the doors. Daisy explains that the radiation flare shorted the quinjet doors and Yo-Yo is trapped. Deke leaves to help Yo-Yo. Mack asks what’s wrong with Daisy. She doesn’t know but she does know that Simmons is working on the time drive schematics and it’s connected. Mack tells her to go talk to Simmons, and Sousa follows.
Daisy tells Simmons that she’s time-looping. Simmons thinks that’s fun. She opens a drawer of medical supplies. Daisy asks if Deke’s gross ’80s cologne is in there, and Simmons pulls out the bottle. Cue Enoch. Enoch offers to help with the time drive. Simmons says yes, but she’s interrupted by Mack saying the flares keep coming. Daisy says there’s a fire on the starboard side. She leaves to take care of it. After Daisy puts out the fire, she gets on the radio and says she needs her head checked. She stops when she gets to the LMD lab. Coulson is charging, so Daisy decides to wake him up and hears the time drive powering up at the same time.
SAME DAY, SAME SITUATION
Daisy wakes up and quietly gets out of the healing pod. She rushes to Command and tells Mack and May to shut the cockpit door and watch the control panel. She runs to Coulson’s charging pod and wakes him up. Daisy tells him he won’t believe her but she’s been… he interrupts her and finishes her sentence. She keeps repeating the same events over and over. He knows and asks how long it took her to figure it out this time.
Coulson informs Daisy that they’ve gone through the loop at least 87 times that he knows of. And Daisy has died at least 14 times that he knows of. Everytime she dies, she forgets everything she learned in the last loop. Coulson is frustrated because every time it happens, he has to teach her everything all over again. And he doesn’t know how many times she’s gone through the loop because she doesn’t always wake him up.
So why are they the only two who remember that they are in a loop? Coulson isn’t sure, but Daisy’s latest theory is that they are the only two who start each loop in a futuristic sleeping pod. The time drive powers up, but Daisy says she’s not ready. Coulson laughs, saying she’ll get used to it. He asks Daisy to wake him up quicker next time.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. VORTEX
Daisy continues to experience the time loop while finding out new information about what they already should know. The time drive keeps looping back on itself over and over again. They’ve tried flying out, but there’s no navigation and the radiation’s fried the controls. And technically space is irrelevant in the time storm. They narrow down the solutions to fixing the drive. They can’t get far enough before everything resets. Coulson says they are running out of time. Daisy’d thought they’d keep looping until they get everything right. Coulson realizes that she hasn’t noticed the numbers.
New Loop: Daisy tells the crew what’s going on and asks how far they are from the vortex. This time they are 79 kilometers away. Daisy runs to Coulson to chat. Each loop sends the Zephyr closer to the vortex with each reset. At this rate, they are going to run out of loops. There’s only one option: solve everything faster.
New Loop: Daisy tells Mack and May that they are repeating time. Sparks. Yo-Yo. Simmons. Deke. Everything happens as it has before. She says she knows the future and they need to talk. They are 65 kilometers away from the vortex. They don’t have many loops left. Mack asks Deke if there is other information on the drive that maybe Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) left behind. Deke leaves to check.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. IMPLANTS
Deke actually runs to Simmons and tells her about the loop. He thinks Simmons may know something that she forgot that will fix the time drive. And the implant is blocking her memories. Coulson and Daisy overheard pretty much the whole conversation and they are shocked to find out about the implant. Simmons explains that the implant keeps anyone… in particular the Chronicoms… from finding out where Fitz is. Normally they would take the risk, but the stakes are really high right now and they need to know what Simmons knows. Daisy says once they get the answer, the loop will reset and her implant will be back in place.
Simmons wants proof that the loop is actually happening. Daisy tells her to think of a fake word and say it out loud. They both say the word at the same time: phlebotnum. This isn’t the first time they’ve done that. Simmons agrees to remove the implant. She grabs the scanner to remove the implant and puts in the authorization code. She is in an examination room alone. Deke, Daisy, Enoch and Coulson are on the other side of the window watching. Simmons starts the procedure and starts coughing uncontrollably. She can’t breathe, and the door is locked. The others can’t get in, and Simmons dies.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. MURDER
New Loop: Daisy wakes up Coulson and they explain everything to Simmons. She agrees again to remove the implant. This time Daisy wants to go into the examination room with her. Simmons enters in the authorization code and hands the scanner to Daisy. They both start coughing and Daisy realizes there’s a gas leak in the room. She is able to open the door and the gas is so bad that Deke can’t go in the room. Enoch and Coulson step into the room and realize that Daisy and Simmons are dead. Someone cut a gas line in the room. This was no accident, it was murder. Coulson is annoyed because they have to start all over again.
New Loop and starting over with the same scenario. This time they are 48 kilometers away. Another new loop, but Daisy wakes up Coulson this time and they have the conversation where Daisy realizes she died 14… now 15 times. Coulson is annoyed to have to go through this again and really wants to get to the part where they are solving how to stop the time loop. They are now 41 kilometers from the vortex, and someone is willing to kill them to stop them from removing that implant. The three obvious suspects are Simmons, Deke and Enoch.
Coulson and Daisy confront the suspects and Simmons. None of it makes sense to any of them, but Simmons realizes they have to remove the implant to fix the time drive. She agrees to remove the implant. Coulson and Daisy tell Mack and May what’s going on. Mack says Yo-Yo may be the solution. She might be quick enough to get the implant out of Simmons before someone can kill them. They can try that on the next loop. Coulson drills Yo-Yo out of the quinjet, but it takes him the entire loop to get her out.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. PHLEBOTNUM!
Simmons agrees to remove the implant, and Daisy goes to get the scanner. She looks at a table with Deke’s cologne and some medical supplies on top. Sousa finds her and tries to tell her to rest. Daisy fills in Sousa on all the fun as they look in the medical supply drawer. The cologne should be in the drawer, but it isn’t. The scanner is still in the drawer, though.
Daisy reaches for the scanner, but Sousa stops her, saying it’s a trap. Someone obviously went through the drawer and could have tampered with the scanner. He says he will pick it up and if he dies, no problem. He will reset. If Daisy dies, she has to start all over and they don’t have time for that. Sousa picks up the scanner and nothing happens. There’s a noise from the scanner, like a small surge. Sousa leans against the table and starts bleeding from the mouth. He falls to the floor verifying that someone tampered with the scanner.
New loop, and Daisy goes directly to Coulson. He’s frustrated because someone is trying to kill the team. Coulson doesn’t like watching Daisy or any of the others die. He’s a machine now, and he has to watch his friends die over and over in a time loop. Daisy knows something about watching her friend die over and over again. But this is different. Coulson will watch them all die one by one, because someone decided he should. He’s a machine now and he has programming that won’t let him… Coulson stops. He realizes who the killer is. It’s Enoch.
AGAINST HIS PROGRAMMING
Coulson confronts Enoch and Simmons. He believes Enoch was programmed to protect the implant without his knowledge. And because Simmons’ memory is blocked, she wouldn’t remember programming him. No one wants to believe it; Coulson agrees that Enoch wouldn’t willingly harm anyone. It’s possible he was programmed to not let anything, including friendships get in the way of protecting something big.
Simmons wants to know for sure, so Daisy says they will test it. She gets the scanner before it can be tampered with. If Coulson is wrong, Enoch won’t have any problem with Daisy removing the implant. Daisy walks towards Simmons. Enoch pushes Simmons out of the way, elbows Coulson and grabs Daisy by the throat to stop her. Deke freaks out.
Simmons tells Enoch to stop. He says she programmed him to protect the implant at all costs, even if he had to kill. Even if he had to kill Simmons. He lets up on Daisy just enough for her to quake him. Enoch goes flying through the air. He sits up and looks at the others. They were right. Oh Dear.
Daisy wakes up and Sousa wakes up with her. He asks why she’s up and she asks why he cares. He says because she doesn’t care. Daisy says she has to do something and she doesn’t know how. She goes to talk to Coulson and they decide to approach Simmons without Enoch knowing about it. It’s the safest way to get the implant out. They tell Simmons the situation and she agrees to remove the implant. While they are preparing the scanner, Enoch bursts into the examination room and throws Daisy across the room.
Next loop: Coulson says they forgot that Enoch starts each loop going into the lab to talk to Simmons. So he probably overheard them talking to her. Coulson thinks it’s an easy adjustment. They send Sousa to distract Enoch, but the Chronicom is no fool. He wants to know what Sousa is distracting him from. Daisy prepares the scanner, when Enoch comes in with a tied-up Sousa and grabs her.
Next loop: Coulson and Daisy decide to confront Enoch immediately, and they get beat up for it. The next loop they bring Simmons with them to ask him to do something for her, but he will have to change an order she gave him. Daisy and Coulson end up beat up again. The next loop the entire crew approaches Enoch, and they all end up beat up on the floor. Except for Deke. He’s actually dead, and the team is not sad about that.
In the next loop, Daisy wakes up in her healing pod. Sousa wakes up wondering why she’s up. She tells him that she’s stuck in a time loop and is running out of ways to save them. He asks how he can help, but she says there’s no time. She sits down and asks Sousa why he’s not phased by anything that’s going on. He says he is, but he just doesn’t show it.
Daisy asks why he’s always willing to help her even when she doesn’t ask for help. Sousa says he knows her type. People like her are focused on the greater good at their own expense. They want people to think they like being alone, but always end up back with friends. They hate losing, and will keep running at a problem in full tilt until they solve it or slam into a brick wall. When people like Daisy run into those walls, they should have someone there to pick them up.
Sousa likes to be that someone, but he doesn’t do it for just anyone. It helps if they are fun to be around, say what they mean and have a superpower that rocks things around. Daisy says that’s awfully specific. He’s ready to hear about the problem.
MUCH LIKE BRAIN SURGERY
Sousa talks to Simmons, and she knows their lives are at stake. He leaves to set up a procedure and Enoch follows him. He tells Sousa not to remove Simmons’ implant. Sousa says he won’t and leads Enoch into the LMD lab. Mack is waiting for them and closes the door behind Enoch. May and Yo-Yo walk in to stand up to Enoch. They know he will get by them, but it will take him a while. They fight while Deke helps Daisy, but the time drive powers up. Coulson says they took too long and tells her to do the same thing but faster next time.
Daisy wakes up. Sousa asks why she’s up. She asks him to do something for her. He stands up ready to help her and DAISY KISSES SOUSA! AND HE KISSES HER BACK! She says that was nice and tells him they need to drop a space robot. Sousa goes to talk to Simmons and leads Enoch away. Daisy comes into the lab with the scanner in hand. They are 11 kilometers away from the vortex, so they have to hurry.
Daisy is able to extract the implant successfully. Simmons’ memories return. The solution to the time loop problem is Enoch. He has an electro-chron displacement mechanism that regulates energy stability. It will do the same for the time drive, but it will kill Enoch. Simmons starts remembering something else and starts crying. She starts mumbling… what has she done… she’s sorry and screams “No!” when the loop resets.
ENOCH IS THE KEY
In the next loop, Daisy tells Mack and May what they need to do. She calls Simmons to meet her in the LMD lab and asks her to bring Enoch. Deke comes in, and they are less than one kilometer away from the vortex. Daisy takes Deke with her to the LMD lab to wake up Coulson.
Daisy tells them that the vortex will kill them. They need Enoch’s electro-chron displacement mechanism to fix the time drive. Simmons is confused about how they know that and Daisy says they helped her remember. Deke says he can figure out what the mechanism does for the time drive, but there’s a risk to Enoch.
Enoch understands and pulls the mechanism out of his chest. He hands it to Simmons and everyone is shocked. Simmons says he will die, but Enoch knows the rest of them will live. He’d like to think his friends would do the same for him. Simmons takes the mechanism and leaves with Deke.
AS I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN
Enoch gets weak and sits on the floor. Daisy and Coulson stay with him. Deke hooks up the mechanism to the time drive. Mack lets Coulson and Daisy know that they could jump at any time. Enoch and Coulson talk about the concept of being alone. Enoch had never felt lonely until he met the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. He wonders if when he goes he will feel lonely. Coulson agrees that dying is lonely, but the feeling is temporary for the person dying. For the people left behind, the feeling lasts. Enoch agrees that it’s different watching your friends go before you.
Daisy assures Enoch that the team will carry on the mission. She says they will survive because of him and thanks him. Enoch is happy to hear that. He says her friends will indeed survive, but the team won’t. He has seen the future and tells her to carry on the mission and cherish it. It will be the team’s last mission together. Daisy doesn’t want to accept it. She says the team is her family. He understands, yet it’s the nature of family for people to come and go. They do what they can with the time in between, but the cycle continues. They can’t escape it. Not even Enoch can escape it. Coulson says that means he’s not alone. He’s a part of the cycle.
Enoch thinks of Fitz saying he was his best friend. Daisy says he was a good friend to Fitz. He’s a good friend to them all. As he has always been. Enoch dies, and the ship jumps successfully. The Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. are safe. R.I.P. Enoch.
Elsewhere, Nathaniel Malick (Thomas E. Sullivan) teaches Cora (Dianne Doan) how to control her powers. She uses her power to shoot individual glasses of water. She says she spent years feeling dangerous and this is the first time she’s liked it. Nathaniel says her little sister is going to be so impressed by her. (BTW, Daisy is her little sister.)
Nine Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episodes down, four Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episodes to go. I knew we wouldn’t get through this season without losing someone. I just didn’t think it would be Enoch. And I don’t think we’re through losing people, especially after Enoch’s prediction. So obviously the team won’t continue after this mission is over, but I get a sense there’s more to that prediction that we should be worried about. He said Daisy’s friends will survive. Does Daisy not survive? Will there be another big death? Is Fitz dead?
So we’re heading into the final stretch of the final season. The Chronicoms have done their damage to the timeline by teaming up with Nathaniel Malick. The time drive issues have given the team a chance to work together as a team again and also remind them what’s at stake. It’s time for a showdown. These next couple of episodes will have some major developments. And when the end finally comes, we, the fans will have cried, laughed, squealed, screamed and jumped out of our seats one last time. I’m not ready… and yet, at the same time, I’m so excited!