The Agents are trying to prevent the alien Chronicoms from changing the past and destroying SHIELD so they can take over Earth. After preventing their plans in 1931, the Agents next found themselves in 1955. They managed to stop the Chronicoms again while also having a run in with Agent Daniel Sousa. Their time in this era isn’t over just yet as a momentous event in SHIELD history is about to occur.
Warning: There will definitely be spoilers for Season 7, Episode 4 of Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD below.
(All images courtesy of ABC Studios).
It Don’t Matter If You’re Black Or White
Coulson starts to reboot. He’s narrating, everything is in black and white, and he’s handcuffed. It’s July 27, 1955–the day Agent Daniel Sousa became a legend on his final mission. Coulson narrates Sousa delivered a groundbreaking SHIELD device to Howard Stark and prevented if from falling into enemy hands. Then he was killed. He became the first fallen agent of SHIELD.
Sousa tells Coulson he wants answers. Coulson replies his name isn’t important, and he’s actually his contact for the mission. Sousa obviously doesn’t believe him. First he was with the Department of Defense, and now he’s supposed to be a scientist? Because Coulson knows the details of the mission, Sousa starts to believe him and hands him a phone to call his back up.
Coulson can’t call the Zephyr directly so calls the SHIELD safehouse bar and Enoch answers. Enoch is hoping this means they’ll be picking him up. Coulson says he has to contact the others first. Enoch connects them with a piece of tech. Updating the team, Yo-Yo and Deke will head to a scientist’s house to pick up the device and meet Coulson and Sousa on a train. It appears someone has broken into the house. Yo-Yo manages to find a briefcase with the item upstairs while Deke finds a body with its face removed (by a Chronicom).
Deke is then kidnapped, taken to Wilfred Malick, and manages to talk his way free by reminding him he once held a gun on him and didn’t shoot two decades ago.
Planes, Trains, And Mobile Airborne Time Traveling Command Centers
It turns out some Chronicoms are on the train. One has a conversation with Coulson and wants to make a deal. He came to Coulson because as an LMD, he’s not technically a “man” either. He says if they get what they want, Earth and humans will have their charity. Coulson doesn’t buy it, especially since they’ve seen people left without faces.
In another car on the train, Sousa is attacked. Coulson arrives to help along with Daisy and Mack. They take Sousa away in a cloaked quinjet waiting above the train. He’s then brought on board the Zephyr. They explain they and their vehicles are from an off-the-books government organization.
Upon seeing the SHIELD device for Stark, Sousa doesn’t think the Russians are the ones after it. He’s hesitant to divulge more but decides to since they saved his life. He thinks SHIELD is being infiltrated by Hydra. Daisy replies, to his astonishment, “Yup.” Coulson narrates to himself that it wasn’t likely Russians who killed Sousa. He asks Sousa who else knew about the exchange for the device. Sousa says only his superior. Coulson asks if his name is Malick and apologizes, basically informing Sousa that Malick is part of Hydra.
Mack and Coulson talk alone later. Sousa still needs to make the delivery. Mack is hesitant. Coulson says he doesn’t want it to happen either, but they let Malick live and run his course. Mack says, “It’s easier to let a bad man live than a good man die.” His death was the inspiration for many SHIELD members. Mack mentions it’s similar to Coulson’s death with the Avengers.
Simmons and Yo-Yo also make a discovery about May. When Simmons first showed everyone the plain-looking tech device, May was standing next to her and got really excited. When she shook Sousa’s hand, she felt confused and felt like fleeing. As Simmons checks her out, Yo-Yo asks how she feels. May says comfort and concern. She pulls Simmons back and asks again. Now May does’t feel anything. This is why she freaked out in the science lab on the base when everyone was running passed her.
You Can’t Can’t Always Get What You Want–RIP Agent Sousa
Sousa grabs the tech device, and zips out of the Zephyr on a motorcycle. He waits for a signal from the clerk in a hotel lobby. After he moves to make a drop, another guy calls Malick, who tells him to “Get it done.” Sousa realizes he’s being followed, ducks, and makes the exchange. As he turns a corner, he gets shot. He staggers and falls into a pool.
It turns out it was Coulson who shot him with an Icer gun. Coulson then put on his hat and coat and walked with his cane. Coulson gets shot in the back and is the one who falls into the pool. Simmons and Daisy pose as paramedics and take the body out of the pool and away.
Simmons later checks on Coulson. He’s drying out, and his systems are restoring. Color has returned his vision, and his internal monologue has stopped. May touches arm and tells Simmons she didn’t feel anything from him.
The time window closes, and the Zephyr is sent to a new time period. Sousa wakes on the Zephyr, and Coulson talks to him. He explains he shot him with an Icer, which hasn’t been invented yet. Sousa also sees a different SHIELD logo on the wall. Coulson tells him it’s future SHIELD. They’re fighting time traveling body snatching robots who want to take over the world. They weren’t sure how to handle his situation. He’s dead. He was a hero. He congratulates him and offers his condolences. They didn’t change history, they took him out of it. “Welcome to life after death. I’ll tell you all about it.”
Coulson shows Sousa the rest of Zephyr. They’re not in 1955 anymore. The others are trying to figure out when they are. On the radio, “No More Mr Nice Guy” by Alice Cooper comes on. So they’re possibly in 1973.
There was a little bit of tension with this week’s episode. When watching the Agent Carter show, Sousa was a likable character because he was so nice. It was hard to root for him and Peggy to get together since she was supposed to be with Steve Rogers. Watching these last couple episodes, I came around to really liking and caring about Sousa. This was also an agent who figured out Hydra had infiltrated SHIELD 59 years before they were actually exposed. No one would want to see him get killed.
With this season dealing with time travel, the idea that they might save his life did cross my mind at the beginning of the episode. It seemed like too drastic of a move and would cause havoc on the timestream. I thought maybe they’d somehow be able to make a LMD that looked like Sousa to take his place. We still haven’t seen all the latest advances on the improved Zephyr (like how do they always managed to come up with clothing and hairstyles so quickly–is Deke really that good at scrounging what they need?). They had a different plan using Coulson, but how will they explain Sousa’s missing body?
By saving Sousa, we can now have him operate with the team for the rest of the season. It’d be weird to just up and leave your timeline, but knowing he was meant to die could make it a tiny bit easier. He’d still be fighting the good fight. He also wouldn’t have to worry about hiding in the shadows because it seems like the Avengers still don’t know Coulson is alive or that they’ve been fighting Hydra and other evil forces all these past few years. This also explains why Enver Gjokaj’s name was on gifts to the cast in an Instagram post after they wrapped the season last year. (The post was later deleted).
May’s situation is interesting. She mentioned she hasn’t felt anything since she went into the dark dimension last season. Now she only feels the emotions of others when she comes into contact with them. This will clearly be a liability when fighting in the field.
The end scene showed Chronicoms approaching Malick about joining forces against a common enemy. We have to assume Freddy won’t be leaving his time period, unless he’s already had a kid who would later have Gideon. If the Chronicoms help Hydra, is this something that technically has already happened, or would they be changing the Marvel Cinematic Universe timeline in some way? It’s still debatable whether or not Cap going into the past changed the past or created an alternate timeline.
What the Chronicoms have planned with Malick definitely gives us something to think until next week. It’s just too bad they’re skipping out on the 60s and jumping to the 70s. Although seeing the agents in bellbottoms or butterfly collar shirts will still be fun. They also didn’t pick up poor Enoch. Will we ever see Fitz again?