Agents Of SHIELD Season 7, Episode 9 “As I Have Always Been” Recap And Review

It’s been a bumpy final mission for the agents. After several jumps in different time periods, the danger is about to escalate as they get stuck in a deadly time storm. As they approach imminent destruction, the agents find themselves stuck in a time loop. It’ll require ingenuity and possible sacrifice to get out of this one.

Warning: There will definitely be spoilers for Season 7, Episode 9 of Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD below.

(All images courtesy of ABC Studios).

Here We Go Again And Again And Again

Daisy wakes up in the healing tube. Sousa has been sitting outside and asks why she’s up. She asks if they’ve jumped again as an alarm goes off. It turns out the time drive has overloaded. Circuits on the Zephyr are shorting. Deke mentions they are trapped in a time storm. All their recent jumps tore a hole in space time, and they’re getting pulled in. Mack gets hit in the face and is blinded by a radiation blast as Yo-Yo gets locked in the quinjet. Daisy puts out a fire nearby and notices the time drive is flashing faster and faster.

Daisy suddenly wakes up in the healing tube. She gets out and Sousa is sitting there…again. She’s a little confused and tells the others something is happening to her. Deke comes in to tell them about the time storm. Daisy closes a door and prevents Mack from getting hit by the radiation flare. She decides to go to Simmons to tell her she thinks she’s time looping. She’s already done all this. She knows a fire is coming and notices Coulson is still charging. She jumps again.

When Daisy comes out of the tube this time, she zips through the events and awakens Coulson from his charging port. She begins to tell him what’s going on, but he cuts her off and asks how long did it take her this time? He was hoping they wouldn’t have this conversation again, but if she’s forgotten, that means she died again. He says she’s died fourteen times and they’ve been through this 87 times that he knows of (since she doesn’t turn him on every time). She wonders why they’re the only ones who remember the loop, and Coulson says their latest theory is because they both wake up in a futuristic sleeping pod.

As Daisy and Coulson work together, she discovers they’re getting closer to the hole in time and space. Each jump brings them closer to the vertex. After some more jumps, Deke says Simmons can access the time drive with the knowledge she has locked away. They follow him and discover that Simmons secretly has an implant. They convince her to remove it, but she starts coughing. The door has been locked, and Simmons dies. When Daisy goes into the room with Simmons on the next jump, she notices there is gas leaking but still dies with Simmons. It turns out the leak wasn’t natural. The cut on a tube was neat and caused by a knife. Looks like it was murder.

Daisy and Coulson realize someone is trying to prevent them from unblocking Simmons’ memory. The likely suspects are Simmons, Deke, and Enoch. At one point, Coulson gets upset because someone is trying to kill their people. He asks why it’s not pissing her off but apologizes. He doesn’t like watching them all die; it’s soul-crushing, if he even has one. Daisy says of course he does, but he dismisses that. He knows he’s not who he was. He says he was Max Headroom for a year. Daisy says she knows what it’s like to watch someone die over and over as well, but he says it’s not the same. He’s a machine with programming… Coulson suddenly realizes who the killer is–it’s Enoch.

Enoch’s reply to the suggestion is, “I beg your pardon?” Enoch and Simmons have to protect the Fitz’s secret location. He could have the power of suggestion programmed into him without realizing it. Simmons could have been in on it but doesn’t remember. Simmons and Fitz were protecting something big, possibly even dealing with the fate of humanity. Daisy moves to Simmons, but Enoch grabs her by the throat. It turns out he was programed to protect the implant, even if it meant killing Simmons.

Daisy and Coulson need to figure out how the remove Simmons’ implant without Enoch knowing. Unfortunately he’s always in the room when Daisy goes to see Simmons. After several attempts to stall and distract him, he ends up brutally defeating them, even when bringing in the rest of the crew.

Throughout all of this, Sousa is always quick to accept the situation. He’s s willing to do anything to help out, even sacrifice himself so Daisy doesn’t die and forget everything when she wakes up. Daisy decides to sit and talk to him after exiting the tube. She says nothing phases him. Every time she asks him to help, he immediately says yes. Why is he so willing to help? Sousa says he knows her type. Some of his favorite people are people like her–focused on the greater good. She hates losing and will keep going at the problem until she solves it or slams into a brick wall. He says people like that should have someone there to pick them back up. The next time she wakes ups, she asks him to do something for her. When he replies “Of course, whatever you need,” she kisses him.

They’re finally able to adjust their plan and move quick enough to remove the implant. They have two minutes. Simmons realizes Enoch is the key. Chronicoms can regulate the energy stability and can do the same with the time drive. She says it would be like removing a human being’s heart and kill him. She begins remember things and starts crying.

One more jump. Daisy wakes up, deals with things in the command room, and tells everyone it’ll be okay. She calls Simmons and tells her to meet her with Enoch. With Deke also in the room, Daisy tells them about the time vortex and loop. Enoch has the solution. Simmons starts to say there’s a risk, but Enoch simply pulls out the device from his chest. Simmons tells him he’ll die, but Enoch says, “And the rest of your will live. I’d like to think Fitz would do the same for me. That all of you would.”

Simmons and Deke leave with the device. Enoch crumples to the floor after saying he does’t feel good. Daisy and Coulson stay with Enoch. Daisy asks if it hurts. Enoch replies that in all his thousands of years, he never felt lonely. It wasn’t until he met this team, and now he feels some anxiety. Daisy says they’ll be with him until the end. He points out they can only stay with him until the end, but that’s it. He wonders if he’ll feel lonely after.

Coulson tells Enoch he’s not wrong. Dying is lonely, but the feeling is temporary. For the people left behind, it’s less so. That’s the advantage of going first. Daisy tells him the team will carry on the mission and survive because of him. Enoch says the friends will survive, but the team will not. He has seen the future. He tells them to carry on the mission and cherish it because it’ll be their last mission together. Daisy says that’s not possible because the team is her family. Enoch says that’s the nature of family. He’s seen it countless times on countless planets. It’s the cycle, and no one escapes it. He says Fitz was his best friend, and Daisy says he was a good friend to Fitz and all of them. Enoch is out. Mack calls and says their safe.

In the final scene, Nathaniel is helping Kora focus her energy power. She says it feels good to let it out instead of try to hold it in. Nathaniel says her little sister is going to be so impressed.

Thoughts

Oh boy. I never expected to get so emotional over seeing Enoch sacrifice himself. It was a little disturbing seeing him brutally attack the others. His talk of loneliness showed just how human he actually was. It’s unfortunate that Fitz couldn’t be there to see him in his final moments. Does this really have to be the end of Enoch? Are they not able to download him into a new body like Coulson? Perhaps him being an actual Chronicom makes that not possible. Joel Stoffer has brought this character a long way and easily made him so likable.

Apart from the gut-wrenching departure, this was a great episode. One would think the “Groundhog Day” plot device has been overplayed. The writers, cast, and crew all made it work. While it could have opened the door to some more Marvel comedy, the sense of urgency was always apparent. It’s just another stellar example how the show keeps trying new things and pushing the envelope since this is the final season.

I’m sure many have been waiting for the big kiss between Daisy and Sousa. With the way things went, he won’t remember that it actually happened. The big talk he gave her before the kiss was also wiped out from the jump before they kissed. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of time for romance with the high stakes of the show and the limited remaining episodes. Will Daisy act on her feelings or just let it slide in order to focus on whatever comes at them next?

As for Nathaniel and Kora teaming up…I can’t say I am at all excited or interested to see where that is going to go.

Elizabeth Henstridge directed this week’s episode. She mentioned on an Instagram live video how they would film all the scenes that took place on one set multiple times. They would film them each time from the different camera angle. You can only imagine what it must have been like to film this episode with multiple scenarios happening over and over in the same location.

Still no Fitz. Only four more episodes left.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s