As the episode title denoted, this week’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. offered a “Rewind” to the fateful day when the team — save for Fitz — was abducted from the diner and transported to a post-apocalyptic future.
But if you watched closely (and compared this week’s “flashback” to the end of the Season 4 finale), there was a hint of added context.
Coulson still notes how this is the first team hang in a while, and the waitress still reads off the pie options. The lights then go out, an “ominous” bit of theater that Coulson teases the arriving agents about. But right after he says that, in this week’s rewind we see Fitz — who seconds earlier was quietly (/anxiously?) fidgeting with his food — almost confess to Simmons, “This is all my fault. I want to take full responsibili—”.
And then the lights flick back on and Fitz discovers that everyone has vanished.
Yes, Fitz coming out of the Framework crisis was shouldering a lot of guilt for “his” behavior in the alternate reality. But why add this bit of dialogue to a Season 5 episode only to underscore that mindset? (Could he have thought his Framework antics were coming back to bite them? Maybe Mace’s death?) It makes a bit more sense that he was speaking to something new, something he almost anticipated. But if, for argument’s sake, he set this abduction in motion, in the name of some greater good, would he so convincingly have played dumb when grilled for six months by the government suits who grabbed him after?
And even if he meant to hide something from them, why show us Fitz privately hunched over books upon books, allegedly researching a possible cause for his friends’ disappearance? (And lastly, given all that was going on in Season 4C, when would Fitz have even gotten wind of a situation that would require sending his team to the future?)
Maybe I’m making too much of “This is my fault”…?
Whatever the nature of that tweaked scene, the fact remained that Fitz now needed to get freed, and to that end he played the long game by embedding a coded message in letters to the editor of a football magazine — to which one Lance “Your Lawyer Is Here!” Hunter eventually responded. Having been working merc ops since exiting S.H.I.E.L.D., Lance called in some favors from semi-reliable blokes to whisk Fitz away once a hole was blown in the wall of the detainment facility.
Immediately afterward, as they sped away in an RV, Fitz caught up on headlines (e.g. “S.H.I.E.L.D. Top Brass at Large,” “S.H.I.E.L.D. Defunded and Dissolved”). Hunter meanwhile attempted (but failed) to get the skinny on Fitz putting his “floppy” into his “sexy robot’s” “love drive,” before sharing that he and Bobbi remain “100-percent compatible, 50 percent of the time” (and recently had a second wedding waylaid by ninjas).”
Studying street cam footage of the diner from the afternoon in question, Fitz made note of the truck that carted everyone away and proceeded to change its signage every couple of blocks. He and Hunter track the vehicle to the skin suit-wearing alien that led the kidnapping, but Enoch proves not to be adversarial but helpful. After sharing video of Coulson & Co. getting gulped by the Kree monolith, Enoch explains that is a “sentient chronicon” sent to Earth 30,000 years ago to observe but never interfere — though the case of the S.H.I.E.L.D. team allowed for a loophole, to “prevent an extinction-level event.” As for why Fitz was left behind, he explains that the Scot was not part of the seer’s prophecy.
The seer we discover is Robin, the daughter of Charles Hinton aka the Inhuman who had the ability to give people glimpses of a death. Found and then whisked away Fitz and friends when the government agents started closing in, Robin eventually scribbles a drawing of why Fitz was left behind — “because you have to save them,” she says, handing forth a drawing of five stick figures. Two appear to be May and Daisy, while the one dead on the ground is… Jemma?
Enoch offers Fitz a way to meet up with his friends, if he and Hunter can reclaim from the detainment facility they just escaped a pod of his. The boys pull it off, and manage to pinch an impounded
Quinjet Zephyr for good measure! The pod is used to cryo-freeze Fitz, so that he can wait out the 74 or so years until he’s in the same time as Coulson & Co. When he eventually is triggered to thaw out aboard Enoch’s spaceship, he is handed the outfit we last week saw him wear when butting in on the bidding for Quake aka Daisy.
What did you think of the episode “Rewind”? And what if anything do you make of the dialogue added to the diner scene?