The final season of Agents of SHIELD has the team hopping through time, and bouncing back and forth between the East and West Coasts of the United States. Their last stop has landed them in New York City in the 1970’s. They’re still trying to hunt down the Chronicoms, who are doing their best to edit history so that SHIELD won’t be a threat back in 2020. SHIELD is playing catch up, especially since last time, Luke the Chroni-cop stayed with Freddie Malik to start making more direct changes in the timeline. Times begin to change in “Trout in the Milk.”
After a cheesy, 70’s cop-show style opening, the team tries to acclimate themselves to their new time, sorting out some wardrobe issues among other things. Added to the mix now is Daniel Sousa, saved from his fated execution by some substitution shenanigans from Coulson and company. The team returns to the speakeasy they first visited, which is now an updated bar with a much better entry system. They are trying to figure out what to do now, and answer some questions from Sousa. I have to say, Sousa is adapting to time travel better and faster than I would have given him credit for. They are also trying to find Enoch, who they left behind two jumps ago.
Back on the Zephyr, Simmons is wrestling with some kind of analysis when Deke comes in, bruised from the extra combat training Mack is making him do. They talk about the still-missing Fitz, and try and sort out some naming issues. Just after he leaves, Simmons shows she has another problem that looks ominous. Taking advantage of their knowledge of things to come, Mack and Yo-Yo sneak into the Lighthouse, their most recent base of operations before their jaunt to Deke’s future. They joke about date night and Yo-Yo has some concerns about her power issues. What they expected to be a simple recon of an abandoned facility takes a turn when they get a surprise. May has some problems with her new abilities at the SHIELD bar as they search for Enoch. What they find out is that Agent Rick Stoner, who did the recordings the team later used at the Lighthouse, is celebrating a new program. The team is shocked to discover that what’s about to happen is something from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, about forty years ahead of schedule.
Elsewhere in the bar, Coulson and Sousa talk about their mission, and the difficulties between Hydra and SHIELD. Sousa is struggling to understand some of the time alterations, and the title of the show gets explained. May tries her luck at going undercover, which is maybe not the best idea for someone in her current condition. She talks with Stoner, and uses the name Chastity McBryde, a character from Frank Miller’s Elektra series. It’s an interesting exchange to watch, and she does manage to get some useful information. Daisy’s chat in the bar ends up being with one of the Malik brothers. She gets rescued from some awkwardness by a quick-thinking Sousa. They find that there have already been some changes in the timeline, and try and figure out what happened. At the Lighthouse, Mack and Yo-Yo make some James Bond jokes and we see the classic SHIELD jumpsuits from the comics.
Daisy and Sousa do a little breaking and entering, their conversation complicated by multiple different time periods being referenced. They find some disturbing information, including a plan to eliminate at least one future Avenger. Coulson gets himself in some trouble with an old familiar face. Things spin rapidly out of control, and the Agents do some very un-SHIELD-like things to get out, which doesn’t sit well with Sousa. A choice made under duress also angers one of the Chronicoms. During the escape, Sousa learns another secret and there’s a reunion with a very conveniently arriving Enoch. Finally.
An angered Chronicom decides to make some changes, and the SHIELD team gets another unpleasant surprise. Yo-Yo tries to mitigate some of the fallout, but isn’t quite fast enough. Now in a new and even less ideal situation, Coulson and company have to try and pick up the pieces and work out what to do next. Simmons is thrilled to see Enoch again, then pulls him aside for a hastily whispered consultation. There’s clearly something these two aren’t telling the others (or us). After some bickering, they arrive at a decision for what to try now. Deke and Yo-Yo, following up on their earlier conversation, aren’t content to be the Agents of Status Quo anymore.
Awaiting their newest evil scheme, Malik and Luke-icom talk about things Luke has learned from Malik. Even Malik seems a bit concerned with Luke’s newest idea. Daisy and Sousa go try to prevent a tragedy, and Daisy is annoyed to find some security protocols are ahead of their time. Sousa makes an understandable mistaken assumption, and Daisy tries to explain how much more complicated her time is than his. Sousa, understandably enough, begins to question the mission. Coulson and May go undercover, getting to model some vintage SHIELD-wear. While the pair wonder about their future, Daisy and Sousa get an unwelcome surprise. Coulson and May are forced to take drastic steps, and Coulson has to once again go up against one of his heroes. Sometimes, being a time-traveling history buff can have its downsides. Deke and Yo-Yo find Malik, who seems remarkably unconcerned by their arrival. He reveals Luke’s leverage, and it makes even the stalwart Mack back down, which I get. The plan doesn’t go right, the team is separated, and everyone’s in varying degrees of trouble. They didn’t quite do the “To Be Continued” at the end of the episode, but they might as well have.
What I liked: I like the addition of Sousa to the team, and I understand his doubt. I’m enjoying the ties to the movies, and the way they are doing it makes a lot of sense. It was fun seeing Stoner again, in person this time and not a hologram. I’d love to know what Enoch and Simmons are keeping secret. I’m happy Enoch is back.
What I didn’t: I still want to know what happened to Fitz. I don’t like him missing so much of the last season. I’d really like, but don’t expect, an explanation as to why time travel here is so different from time travel in Endgame. I’m not loving Yo-Yo’s power issues.
It was a good episode, and I’m overall enjoying the final season. I’ll give this one a high 3 out of 5.