Agents Of SHIELD Season 7, Episode 5 “A Trout In The Milk” Recap And Review

The agents survived their encounter with the Chronicoms and Wilfred Malick in 1955. A last minute decision resulted in the agents not necessarily changing history but taking someone out of it instead. They’ll need all the help they can get as they now find themselves in 1973 with the Chronicoms helping Hydra take over the world.

Warning: There will definitely be spoilers for Season 7, Episode 5 of Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD below.

(All images courtesy of ABC Studios).

Elephant Pants And The Fashionable Square

The agents get situated in new outfits appropriate for 1973. Agent Sousa simply buys a regular suit because he doesn’t see the appeal of the “elephant pants.” He seems to be taking time traveling pretty well. He asks how they knew he was going to die in which they reply it was in the history books. He starts wondering if they were always meant to pluck him out of time, but Daisy says not to think about it or his brain could melt.

Daisy and Sousa meet up with Coulson and May. They head over to the SHIELD speakeasy. There is an electronic lock now in place of the door viewer. The password is still the same. Inside, things are rocking with music and agents drinking. May tries finding out where Enoch is. After getting momentarily slightly drunk, similar to getting a “contact high” because of her new empath-type abilities, May tells Daisy the staff hasn’t seen Enoch in over a year.

On the other side of the bar, Sousa is surprised to see Little Ricky (General Rick Stoner – last seen in the SHIELD Lighthouse videos) all grown up. Unfortunately seeing him is not as surprising as the man who begins to address everyone in the room–Wilfred Malick. He was supposed to have died three years ago (in 1970). Malick talks about SHIELD’s next phase in global security, Project Insight–a targeting satellite that can pinpoint and prevent threats before they happen. (Sounds familiar, right?). Coulson tells Sousa Hydra is about forty years ahead of schedule.

May finds out Project Insight is still three years from completion. Meanwhile, Mack and Yo-Yo are investigating the SHIELD Lighthouse. It was supposed to have been abandoned back in 1972, but they find someone is still there. There is also some major construction happening in a big hangar.

Wilfred Malick isn’t the only one still alive. His son Nathaniel was supposed to have been sacrificed in a Hydra/Hive ritual (shown in a flashback back in Season 3). He tries hitting on Daisy, but Sousa comes and poses as her fiancé. Daisy takes Sousa into the secret room off the office, and Sousa is impressed by the “high tech” machinery back there. Daisy easily hacks into a computer (because there are no firewalls in 1973) and finds a list of Project Insight targets–SHIELD assets including Nick Fury, Victoria Hand, and Robert Gonzales as well as Bruce Banner.

Time To Leave The Party

Wilfred Malick starts talking to Coulson. It turns out he remembers who he is and has a couple Chronicoms with him. Daisy and Sousa see Coulson is cornered and they grab and threaten Nathaniel. The Chronicoms are ready to put an end to the encounter, but Malick tells them to stand down. They exit the place and leave Nathaniel as two Chronicoms push past him. Much to Sousa’s surprise, Daisy uses her Quake powers to slam the two Chronicoms against the wall, knocking them out. Nathaniel also sees this.

They need to find a set of wheels to get out of there when a car comes screeching around the corner. Enoch is behind the wheels and tells says, “Come with me if you want to continue to exist.” A third Chronicoms vows it’s time they change the rules.

On the Zephyr, they unexpectedly time jump again. This time three years forward. Sousa is frustrated that they don’t know why and the fact that they aren’t controlling it. He then yells at Simmons that they’re all just messing with time. Deke jumps in and tells him to back off. He reminds him he isn’t the only one whose life was affected. They were all pulled out of their time for this mission.

They have to figure out a way to get into the Lighthouse again as it’s now likely fortified with security. Coulson and May will go inside as Daisy hacks into the security from a nearby computer terminal. Sousa goes with Daisy because he doesn’t want to stay inside where they can just “disappear out of time.” Deke and Yo-Yo will go after Malick since Deke is the Freddy expert now.

Falling To Pieces

The agents’ plans don’t quite go as they hope.

Daisy and Sousa get shot by Nathaniel. He later tries calling Daniel Whitehall in prison. He wants detailed instructions from him because he had a theory on transferring enhanced abilities surgically. He wants to know if it worked.

With Daisy unable to unlock the security codes, Coulson and May have to come up with a new plan. They come across General Stoner, and Coulson decides to be straight with him and say why they can’t launch the satellite. May knocks him out because she could sense he wasn’t quite believing what Coulson was saying.

Yo-Yo and Deke bust into Malick’s office. Malick tells them if they keep fighting the Chronicoms, things are only going to get messier and messier. The Chronicoms have something they desperately want. They’re always ten steps ahead. Even though Malick has an envelope with information, Deke simply shoots him in the chest while he’s talking. Yo-Yo is shocked, but Deke says he’s supposed to be dead. He’s just putting things back to the status quo. Yo-Yo opens the envelope at the same time Mack discovers who is locked inside the Lighthouse–his parents. If May and Coulson flood the Lighthouse, his parents will drown.

Simmons tries telling Mack they can’t let Insight launch, but he painstakingly orders them to stand down. After Insight launches, they target the rocket carrying it and fire upon it. They managed to destroy Insight but have also given up their position to the Chronicoms.

Thoughts

I was a little bummed last week that the show was skipping the 60s, but the 70s offers a great backdrop for a spy/action TV show. You can feel how the writers are really taking advantage of this being the final season. They’re pushing the boundaries in big ways. We’re seeing lots of changes to the timeline, and you have to wonder if they will leave them or try to repair the differences.

Ever since we first saw a hologram recording of Rick Stoner at the Lighthouse, I’ve wanted to see more of SHIELD’s days long before the Cinematic Universe introduced us to Sam Jackson’s Nick Fury. It’s great to see hints of it in this episode along with the names in Project Insight’s list of targets. (There were some other names there with connections to the comics such as Secret Warriors).

I have to admit, I am a bit tired of the Chronicoms but have to admit if it wasn’t for their crazy shenanigans, we wouldn’t have all the fun we’ve been getting this season. The slight development with Simmons was intriguing in this episode. She showed discomfort at the base of her skull on her spine, and we saw a glowing red light under her skin. She also told Enoch she was forgetting things without him being around. Has she been Chronicom-ized in some way? She has been a little…robotic since they picked everyone up in the new and improved Zephyr at the end of last season. But she must still have some humanity since May gets vibes off her and doesn’t get anything off Coulson.

There was a nice touch having Coulson and May wear blue jumpsuits with white belts when infiltrating the Lighthouse. It was a nice reference to the old SHIELD costume in the comics.

Could we be seeing a blossoming romance between Daisy and Sousa? They keep ending up together, and he was quick to come to her “rescue” when Nathaniel sat next to her and gave her a beer. Was this out of concern or slight jealousy? She also took the time in the middle of a mission to show him her phone when he said she needed a bigger computer to hack into the Lighthouse security. She did so by taking a picture of him and showing it to him saying, “You look pretty good for a guy who just aged 20 years.” I’m not one for characters suddenly falling in love with each other just because fans might “ship” them. The show doesn’t really need any more romance scenarios since we’re seeing Coulson and May, Mack and Yo-Yo, and Simmons and Fitz all struggling to keep their relationships going.

Speaking of Fitz, where the heck is he? No one is supposed to know. How come? We’re close to half way through the final season and we haven’t even had a glimpse of him.

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