Things get a bit weird, even for them, on “Spacetime,” the latest episode of Agents of SHIELD. The opening scene at first seems to be a slice of urban life, with a homeless guy in an alley. A restaurant worker tells him he needs to move along but is actually kind about it. It’s all going ok until the man gives the homeless guy some money which gets weird. The restaurant worker is apparently having visions, and says, “Save me Daisy, help. This is where I die.”
SHIELD has computers searching the world’s emergency response networks, and when Daisy’s name comes up, they send out a few agents to see what’s going on. When they arrive, Edwin, the man from the restaurant, recognizes Daisy and is eager to talk to her. The confusing explanation is interrupted when Hydra shows up and grabs the homeless man, whose name is Charles. Daisy doesn’t quite manage to save him, but touches him, which is enough to trigger a vision. She sees the near future of the team, and it’s not good.
Malik is enjoying a nice dinner when Ward emerges from his self-imposed isolation. He’s apparently taking his fashion cues from the Matrix, wearing a long black coat that flows behind him dramatically. They talk about true power, what it’s really like to have it, and if Malik does or not. Bad guy bonding, I guess.
The SHIELD team debates the nature, and possibility, of seeing the future. They’ve all seen a lot, but this is a new level of oddness to add to things. Fitz is absolutely convinced he knows how it works, and lectures them all about it not being possible to change what Daisy saw. They do their best to take precautions anyway, trying to avoid what Daisy tells them is coming. They push Daisy to tell them everything she saw, and map out everything they can do to improve things.
Another approach they take is digging in to the life of Charles Hinton, the man who is causing these visions. They find his wife, who tells them about him getting his powers and how they started driving him crazy. He can’t control them and he can’t change what he sees, which really is a horrible situation to be in.
Malik pays a visit to Transia, a company that apparently had something to do with the finer machinery in Coulson’s hand. Ward and Malik have the one Coulson left behind after killing Ward 1.0 back on Maveth. Malik doesn’t really negotiate, he bullies and threatens. Between Malik and Ward, they gain control of what they wanted. Malik gets a new toy, a powerful exo-suit that really ups his strength.
May and Daisy have mapped out a fight that Daisy saw as part of her vision of the team’s upcoming crisis. There is a lot of extensive rehearsal and ways to try and makes things go better and faster for SHIELD. The stand-ins they use for the bad guys get pretty entertaining as they run this scenario over and over.
Then, just to make matters more complicated, they get an unexpected guest. Andrew turns himself in, worried about becoming Lash for the rest of his life. Coulson realizes how important this could be to May, and makes her stay behind when the team scrambles to go fight Hydra. They have a good talk before something changes that’s going to effect them both.
The team gets some video in place as they check out the building, and that leads to an ugly surprise. This is the first time they find out Ward is back, although Fitz figures out it’s not the original Ward really quickly. Obviously, this is cause for concern for the team.
The assault team walks through roughly what Daisy saw, although a few particulars are not quite what they seemed. At the end, Daisy ends up on the roof and learns firsthand about Malik’s new toy. He really enjoys beating on her with it. Eventually, the heroes barely manage to pull off a win, and there seems to be a rift forming among the bad guys, which is a nice change. Daisy got another vision as things ended that looked like it was part of the flash forward we saw right after the mid-season break.
What I liked: Precognition is always a tricky power to deal with. They managed to do a good job of handling it here. The rehearsing for the fight was really nicely done. They also showed the cost Charles’ power came with. Malik’s glee at the exo-suit letting him feel powerful was disturbing, but well written and acted.
What I didn’t: Fitz’s utter certainty about the way the visions worked seemed a bit odd to me. Did he get the manual for how reality works? Lash turning up at just this exact moment seemed a bit of a stretch to me.
It was a decent episode, and I liked parts of it. I’ll give it a 3 out of 5.