The moment this writer has been waiting for is upon us. The premier of Season 7 of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. While the shadow of this being the series final season is ominous, there is still much to shed some light on. So let’s turn on that spotlight and see what reveals itself.
When we last left our heroes, they had activated a Chronicom/LMD version of their late fearless leader Phil Coulson. The plan? To use his vast knowledge of S.H.I.E.L.D. history to thwart the plans of the Chronicoms and their mission to turn Earth into Chronyca-3. Effectively replacing their homeworld that was destroyed by the Shrikes last season. To accomplish this, they must travel back in time in their newly enhanced Zephyr. Their goal is to prevent the chronicoms from stopping the creation of S.H.I.E.L.D. before it can start. That mission starts with “The New Deal.”
New York 1931
Prohibition is the law of the land. Three Policemen are in an abandoned Pharmacy awaiting someone. Suddenly Chronicoms enter the building. After the police confront them, two are killed and the third is forced to his knees while a device removes his face. Just another day with the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Meanwhile back on the Zephyr, Daisy had just activated the Coulson LMD. He was trying to reconcile his memories, which was made even harder when Daisy informed him he was an LMD. As he struggled to come to terms with all that he is and was, Mack shuts him back down. Daisy and Jemma object but he reminds them that anything LMD related is a Director level decision. He then asks Jemma for all the information she has since they last saw her. She explains that the Chronicoms are going back in time to prevent S.H.I.E.L.D. from being formed. The Zephyr is tracking them but they have no real knowledge where they are going time wise. Nor do they know what the Chronicoms plans are for whichever time they arrive at. It’s just follow them and prevent whatever they are planning.
Getting Boots on the Ground
After explaining this, Jemma then leads them into the new and improved command center of the Zephyr. It is filled with new high tech gadgetry. Enoch is wearing a headset and talking extremely loud as he welcomes them. At least until Jemma reminds him of his headset when he apologizes for his excess volume.
Jemma then reminds Mack that time is of the essence. The Chonicoms are already in this time and their team has no idea what they are up to. Mack agrees and tells them they will need to get “boots on the ground.” He asks Deke to procure them suitable clothes and tells Yo-Yo she will need to remain on the ship until Jemma clears her. This is because she is still recovering from the Shrike infection she suffered at the end of last season. Mack also tells Daisy she will need to lose her purple streaked hair…much to her disappointment.
I will Re-Evaluate
After everyone leaves the room, Daisy asks Jemma how long the team has been apart. She tells her too long but it is good to see them. Daisy then asks Jemma how May is doing. May was put in the Chryogenic chamber to preserve her until they could repair her life ending injuries. Jemma informs her that May is almost ready to be helped. Meanwhile, Mack has returned to the Coulson LMD and turns it back on. Mack asks him if he is steady now. “I shouldn’t be here,” he replies. He remembers that his former self didn’t want to be brought back. Mack told him that he respected his decision. Coulson nodded and told Mack that was because he didn’t like robots.
Still evaluating Coulson, Mack told him of the Chronicom situation. They gained knowledge of Shield through a mind scan of Fitz and Simmons and they also have Fury’s Black Box. The box is the reservoir of S.H.I.E.L.D. information that Fury had left in Coulson’s care. Because of this, the team needs Coulson’s S.H.I.E.L.D. Historical knowledge. But more importantly, Mack needs to know if he can depend on him. The Coulson LMD reminds Mack he would do anything for the team. But, if they survive all of this, he would need to re-evaluate. Mack assured him that he would also.
The Faceless Men
However, now they needed to get to the Chronicoms before they changed anything. Jemma and Enoch enter and inform them that they may have already. A police call has been made reporting three bodies have been found in a warehouse with their faces removed. Enoch called this an erasure. It was a severe Chronicom Hunter technique to assume a new identity.
With this information, it is time to hit the Big Apple. They dress in their period clothes and the S.H.I.E.L.D. team is ROCKING the 30’s look. As they walk toward the crime scene of the faceless men, Deke describes his theory on the multiverse of time. He sees it as a stream and the team like twigs thrown in the stream. As long as they just flow along and don’t cause a Dam, they should be okay. Their motto for this time excursion, “Ripples, not Waves.” With that in mind, Mack reminds Deke that he is by NO MEANS to try to register any patents while they are there. Just because Deke started a company last season based on “borrowed” Shield tech, suddenly he has a reputation.
A Gal like Me
As they approach their destination, Deke hands them a set of toy like badges. While remedial in appearance, they fool the policeman when Coulson tells him they are members of the Canadian Royal Mounted Police. The policeman is curious why Canada would send them here. Mack asks him quietly if they had found faceless men. When he confirmed, Mack informed him that it happened all the time in Canada.
When they start to enter, the policeman finds it necessary to ask Daisy “What’s a gal like you trying to be a Mountie? Can’t you find a husband?” She gives a sardonic laugh and she tells him he is right. As much as she would LOVE to hold down a husband, she can’t because they would all end up with broken ribs every time they give her lip. She then asks him to stand aside before “a gal like me, knocks out a guy like you, in front of people like them.” 1931, meet Daisy Johnson. He apologizes and stands aside.
After they enter, the team finds the three men without faces as well as one other man. He is untouched, except for the minor issue of being dead. They find the body near a crate of broken whiskey. Daisy surmises he might have been a bootlegger. Coulson picks up one of the bottles and notes the swordfish emblem on the label. It reminds him of something. An academy history lesson about an old speakeasy that became a safe house for the Strategic Reserve (the predecessor of S.H.I.E.L.D.) In order to enter, you had to use the password “Swordfish.” So Mack and Coulson go to track down this lead and leave Daisy and Deke to investigate the faceless men.
Jemma gives Yo-Yo a hand (or Arms)
Meanwhile, back on the Zephyr, May has stabilized enough for Enoch to perform surgery. Yo-Yo watches and asks Jemma if they should trust Enoch to do this. After all, he is of the same race as the people they are attempting to stop. Jemma assures her that Enoch is fine and that she would not be alive without his help. She also informs Yo-Yo that the remains of the Shrike is being filtered out of her body and she will be fine to join the others…except.
She opens a case and shows her a humanoid pair of robotic arms to replace her metal ones. (Yo-Yo lost her arms back in Season 5). While she is grateful for this, she initially refuses. Yo-Yo believes that by going with the more humanoid appearance, she is trying to forget what happened to her. She does not want to forget as she is proud of who she is. Jemma tells her she understands but a woman with metal robot arms would not be understood in 1931. Besides, how long had it been since she could feel from her fingertips. Jemma tells her to take her time and let her know.
Meeting the Twins
On the streets of New York, Mack and Coulson are trying to find the hidden speakeasy. Coulson locates the place and the password gains them admittance. Once in, Coulson tells Mack that the leader back then was a man named Gemini. What his actual name was he was not certain. They went to the bartender and asked about Gemini. The answer was a visit with the bartenders twins, his double barreled shotgun. This along with drawn weapons from most at the bar.
Back at the crime scene, Deke is using a device to ID the faceless men. But there are two problems with it. Number one, it required aggressive insertion into the blank face of the corpse, and two, it was taking a while. At least as far as Daisy was concerned. As Deke worked, Daisy heard another squad car approaching, not realizing its occupants were Chronicoms. She decided she would go out and try to use her newly invented Canadian Police gambit to try to stall them.
However, the problem was they recognized Quake. Their leader dispatches his men to take care of the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. One of the men tell Daisy they found a suspicious truck in the back and ask her to investigate it with him. He follows her, slowly drawing his weapon. Inside the pharmacy, the other Chronicom cop attacks Deke. Struggling mightily against his attacker, Deke is able to incapacitate him using the device he had used to scan the faceless men.
Outside, Daisy is also fighting the Chronicom who went to look at the truck. And just as Deke comes running out of the building, she decks the fake policeman with an uppercut powered with her Quake ability. He lands in the back of the truck, so she covers him up and Deke hotwires the truck and they take it back to the Zephyr.
Back at the Speakeasy, Coulson and Mack try to convince those with their guns drawn that they are not there to cause trouble. This doesn’t apparently change anything as the bartender tells Coulson that both he and Mack are dead. Dead? “I’m already dead,” muses Coulson. Mack rebuts, “Hell, I’m NOT!” So Coulson decides to test a theory, much to the consternation of Mack. He disarms the bartender but gets winged in the shoulder doing so. Mack cleans up the rest of the men when the head man reveals himself as a Koenig.
Earnest Hazard Koenig…grandfather of the multiple Koenig line in the present. Just like the future Koenig men, Earnest too is played by Patton Oswald. Coulson introduces himself and Mack and asks Koenig to tell his men that they came in peace. Koenig looks down at his fallen men and shouts sarcastically at them, “Did you hear that? You bunch of Candy Canes! They came in peace! Doesn’t THAT take a load off?”
A Chronicom Delivery
Meanwhile, back at the Zephyr, Yo-Yo has decided to try the humanoid arms. She is experiencing the sense of touch for the first time since she lost them. As she gets used to the sensation, Jemma is trying to find a message that Fitz had told her he would leave for her. Yo-Yo asks her if she will try to make contact with Fitz. She sadly replies never. The Chronicoms may be monitoring them. They need to keep a low profile. Which is when Deke and Daisy pull up in their stolen truck. Jemma scolds Deke about not attracting attention. He quickly reminds her that he was not alone in this caper. Daisy was part of the crime too. And they brought a present. Jemma quickly realizes it is a Chronicom and she tells them to secure him. It’s time to get some answers.
Back at the bar, Koenig is asking Mack and Coulson why they came in, busting up his guys. Coulson told him that his men “drew” first. After they told Koenig that he was not the only one to lose a man at the warehouse. They just want to stop the new “gang” in town and return things to normal.
Koenig explains that he bribes the police with whiskey and money to keep the peace and allow him to stay in business. They are supplying liquor to a political Soirée that night. The Governor of New York will be attending. That Governor is Franklin Delano Roosevelt. In a years time he will become President and start the Strategic Reserve, that then becomes S.H.I.E.L.D. They theorize that if Roosevelt is killed BEFORE he becomes President, S.H.I.E.L.D. may not exist. If that is the plan, they have to stop the Chronicoms.
Who is Freddy?
Now secured at the Zephyr, Enoch tells Jemma that Chronicom Hunters are pretty much impervious to most forms of interrogation. While she believes Enoch’s evaluation, she decides to overload his data and see if he reveals anything. She inserts the data probe with the same care Deke used with his instrument ( not much). As the Chronicom struggles, Enoch warns her that if she continues in this path, he will be useless to them. As it gets progressively worse, Jemma disconnects him but he continues to deteriorate. Before he melts down, he keeps repeating the name of Freddy. This is the name of the young man who works for Koenig. But what do the Chronicoms want with Freddy?
A Glimpse of the future
Mack and Coulson have established a presence at the Roosevelt gathering, working with Koenig’s staff. They recruit Deke and Daisy to help. Mack stations Daisy and Coulson at the entrance to watch for Roosevelt. While they wait, Daisy apologizes to him for springing on him the whole LMD thing. Coulson, for his part, seems to be adapting well. He is with the team. He looks good. Daisy looks great. But as they talked, Roosevelt appeared. He had apparently came in through the service entrance. This allowed him to walk to the podium. Coulson could barely contain the fanboy in him. However, the Chronicoms made no move on Roosevelt. Something else was going on here.
Pulling the Thread
Jemma gets in contact with the ground team and tells them the Chronicoms are after someone named Freddy. While they ponder this, unbeknownst to the team, Freddy is meeting a contact that was supposed to give him something to deliver. If he accomplished this task, his family’s reputation would be restored. Whatever THAT meant. After his contact (a young woman in a red dress) made the exchange, the Chronicoms appeared with guns drawn. Their intention is to “pull the thread.” They shot the woman in red and we’re going to kill Freddy when Mack and the team intervened.
Daisy knocked both Chronicoms into the kitchen with her powers while Deke and Mack grabbed Freddy and took him away. Mack told Coulson they would reconvene at Koenigs. In the Kitchen, the Chronicom leader acknowledged Quake and said he had been looking forward to this confrontation. Daisy, for her part, shrugged it off saying it was just another battle for her. Both of the Chronicoms attacked her until, after making sure the woman in red was still alive, Coulson joined the fray.
He battled one of them, eventually incapacitating him. Coulson then threw a metal bar to Daisy and, striking her best baseball stance, she flattened the remaining Chronicom with a home run swing. He flew into the dining area where the cops there raced into the kitchen to find nothing.
On the road, Mack is driving along with Deke and Freddy. They ask Freddy what he was supposed to be doing. He just says that he was supposed to take delivery of whatever they had for him and bring it to a designated location. Deke believes they need to complete that delivery. So Mack asks Freddy where they need to go.
No Broads Allowed
Back at Koenig’s, Coulson came in carrying the girl in red telling Koenig his medical person is coming. Daisy is closely following. Koenig complained about possible blood on his floor and even more when he saw Daisy. “No Broads allowed when we’re talking business.” Daisy commented to Coulson that he was right, this version of Koenig “really sucks.” Coulson asked Koenig why anyone would go after Freddy. Koenig had no idea. Not for his father’s money. Malick lost all his money before he killed himself. Malick? Coulson asked for his full name. Wilfred Malick. The pieces came together.
Wilfred Malick was the father of Gideon Malick (Season 3). He is the future head of Hydra. If Malick is killed, Hydra never forms and the need for S.H.I.E.L.D. is removed. So Coulson tells Daisy, to save S.H.I.E.L.D. they need to save Hydra. “Great” is her reply.
Finally, back at the Zephyr, Enoch goes to check on May after her surgery. But her capsule is empty. He calls out to her, telling her he is a friend. When he doesn’t see her he laments that he had one job. To keep track of May and he failed. The camera pans up to find May, suspended in the corner of the ceiling with a serious look as the episode ends.
This was a great opening act, right from the 1930’s style Title. After last season’s Sarge entrance, it is nice to see Clark Gregg in his familiar, charming Phil Coulson persona. At least when he is not self internalizing why he is there and how much the “original” Coulson did not want to be brought back. It was especially funny when he cracked the “New Deal” pun. Seeing their reaction, he assumed that kind of humor must be a glitch. It was not, it was just classic Coulson. It’s not his fault his audience weren’t historical buffs like him.
Mack learned that prejudice and racism was alive and well in the 30’s. To the point that despite his want to make “ripples, not waves,” he threatened to deck the next 1930’s individual to hit him with a veiled racist remark. Although the appearance of the huge muscled black man tended to set people straight relatively quick. On a side note, Mack looks GREAT in those kind of clothes.
The whole save HYDRA angle was muted a bit due to the previously released clips. Nonetheless, it shows that the team will need to be very aware of the many different ways that the Chronicoms could achieve their goals. Perhaps a splashy act like killing Governor Roosevelt (as they first theorized) might not be the route they would take. A small, almost un-noticed act, like killing a seemingly unimportant young man could accomplish their task. This is where the experience of the Coulson LMD will come in handy. They need to be prepared for any possibility.
Questions left to be solved
So where does that leave us? We have the woman in red, bleeding at Koenig’s place. Who is she? A young Peggy Carter perhaps? Or some other historical S.H.I.E.L.D. Figure. What was the vial that she gave Freddy and who was it for? Why is Agent May in hiding? Apparently she is confused. Why is she there? Who can she trust? Most importantly, what will her reaction be when confronted with LMD Coulson, who seems so like her Phil? What do the Chronicoms have in store next? And perhaps the most pressing question of all…Where is Fitz?!! The answer to some of these questions will come into focus in the next episode of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. As for this first episode, I give it a 9 out of 10. Great start, Marvel. Let’s keep it going. The last season needs to be the best.
Did you watch the opening act of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 7? If so, what did YOU think? If not, check it out. It was as most AOS episodes are…fun. Share your thoughts with us at GeekVibesNation.
Senior Writer at GeekVibesNation – I am a 50 something child of the 70’s who admits to being a Star Trek/Star Wars/Comic Book junkie who once dove head first over a cliff (Ok, it was a small hill) to try to rescue his Fantastic Four comic from a watery grave. I am married to a lovely woman who is as crazy as I am and the proud parent of a 17 year old boy with autism. My wife and son are my real heroes.