The Agents of SHIELD had their new season start off with a bang. We learned about some new hopes, saw an ongoing mission arguably out of SHIELD’s jurisdiction, and saw a new threat with a familiar face. Now, those stories continue with their second episode, “Window of Opportunity.” There’s also a potential nod to the wider Marvel Cinematic Universe, but I’ll get to that later.
The show starts off with Sarge and his team raiding a convenience store. We learn a bit about the team dynamic, and get a few hints about their background. Sarge gives what sounds like a well-rehearsed speech to the store clerk, almost picks out the same shades Coulson used to wear, and then leaves with a cutting comment on Earth’s weapons technology. If they’d included a scene with some donuts, they could have given a nice salute to one of the Marvel One Shots they did, but I guess they figured the shades were enough. The group leaves, showing another fairly impressive trick their truck can do.
Back at the Lighthouse, Mac praises the fallen Agent Fox, and gets everyone working on finding the killers. May is worried about something he left out of the briefing, but he says they need to focus on one thing at a time. Sarge and company park their truck and bicker a bit about how they are doing things. Benson examines the partially entombed Tinker and goes over the long list of previous SHIELD mistakes. He seems particularly irate about the LMD program, and one of his comments serves to shift our focus.
Fitz is working away on a ship that appears to be on the grimy, industrial side. He’s surprisingly fluent in an alien language, and clearly hiding things from his fellow workers. Fitz and Enoch are still talking about getting Fitz to the future, utterly unaware of what’s changed back on Earth, which is a great detail. Fitz gets caught out in his lies and led off to the captain, while a concerned Enoch watches. Fitz does his best to make a bargain, and finally strikes some terms with Captain Viro, who is clearly not a particularly sympathetic character.
Sarge and Pax talk about things like breathable air and what fun is. They have an encounter with a guard that Pax tries to talk their way out of, but it doesn’t go well. May and Mac talk about Fox’s death and how it will effect Keller. Mac makes a comment about who will be comforting Keller that is proven dead-on in the next scene when Yo-Yo goes to visit him. They talk, and then Yo-Yo gets called to investigate another sighting of the killers. Benson talks to Mac and May about being kept in the dark. It’s a tense scene that ends on a surprising note as Benson reveals something that surprises the senior SHIELD agents.
Sarge and Jaco talk about plans for the future and some worries about one of their own. Fitz and Enoch talk about their own plans, and get dragged back to the captain to defend their work. He’s been thinking about Fitz’s claims, and come to a conclusion Fitz really isn’t comfortable with. Benson goes to Mac to get some background, and Mac turns a few really nice phrases. Sarge and company go into action again, this time at a jewelry store. Sarge is good at talking, and gives his speech again, while the rest of his team takes care of business. Snowflake continues with one of her weird trends, and Pax seems to be getting annoyed by it. Yo-Yo and May follow up on the earlier sighting, talk about workplace romance, and then get diverted to the jewelry store heist. Sarge forces the clerk to let them into the vault, and shows that his earlier graffiti in the truck was actually a lot more useful. They have some cool toys.
Fitz decides he can’t let Viro’s plan go ahead, and steps in. The Captain seems amused and shakes his head when Fitz makes a stand. Viro barely finishes taunting Fitz when he finds out that the SHIELD genius has been busier than the Captain knew, and Viro ends up caught up in his own web of violence. May, Yo-Yo, Keller, and the tactical team all meet up at the store, and start finding a lot of things that don’t quite make sense. May uses a SHIELD gadget to find even more confusion, but she’s used to thinking (and living) outside the box and races off to follow a hunch. Sarge and his crew find what they need, and it isn’t what the baffled clerk expected.
Enoch and Fitz wrap up some loose ends, and Enoch points out they were safe until Fitz’s aversion to the ship’s delicacy of Xandarian snails came up. Here are a few reasons that’s not just a throwaway line. The snails themselves came up last season during the team’s trip to the future. That to one side, Xandar showed up in both Guardians of the Galaxy movies. Since the planet was reported destroyed in Avengers: Infinity War, anything from there is probably a lot more valuable now. So, great callback to both last season and the wider MCU.
Sarge goes outside to test one of their gadgets, since they now have something they were missing. Pax gets a big surprise when May finds the truck and kicks his butt with ease. Jaco the Way Too Large comes back to help, and May gets a really impressive fight scene. The woman really is hell on wheels. May is doing her best, but since she took off without explanation or backup, she’s being kept really busy on her own. She does manage to save the clerk between fights. The clerk makes a high speed and very loud exit. Sarge has a fairly Coulson-like reaction to the new development. May is holding her own until Sarge comes back, and his resemblance to her lost friend and lover throws her off. Snowflake and Jaco get in some good teamwork and a clever use of one of their gadgets. May ends up back at the shop, confusing the others when they finally break into the vault. Jaco expresses some concerns to Sarge, who admits there was something familiar in their encounter.
Benson has made another discovery, and it doesn’t exactly make Mac any happier that Sarge and his group are on Earth and on the loose. Benson has come to a few conclusions about what he saw, and they are good ones. Fitz and Enoch debate what to do, and decide to avoid the planet they were heading for in hopes of finding a place they won’t be put to death as mutineers. They settle on Kitson, and head off, narrowly missing the just arriving Zephyr. Aboard that, Quake is very unhappy with Simmons about the decision she made for all of them. It’s not going to get any better when or if they find out Simmons was almost right.
What I liked: Despite what she’s gone through, May is still an amazing agent. I like how this episode showcased both her fighting skills and her intuition. Team Sarge showed they had some impressive skills. I loved the trick they pulled on May. That was really well done. Fitz is showing he’s trying so hard to overcome what he became back in the Framework. I liked the Xandar mention, as I detailed above. The shrieking clerk interrupting Sarge was great, as was his reaction. I get May being thrown off by him.
What I didn’t: Enoch has spent enough time on Earth and around humans that you’d think he would have an idea that snails wouldn’t be appealing to Fitz. I’d like some kind of explanation of how SHIELD went from reviled evil agents to running around in public in marked vehicles again. That seems like it was a big jump.
I thought this was a very enjoyable episode. I’ll give this a 3.5 out of 5. I hope Simmons doesn’t spend the whole season chasing Fitz in space.