Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. opened its final season with the team getting accustomed to a new time period, new clothes, new insides and new appendages, before brushing up against an all-too-familiar threat.
Following a prologue in which the Chronicom hunters “erased” and stole the faces of three cops in 1931 New York City, Daisy and Mack aboard the suped-up Zephyr got from Simmons the 411 on the new Coulson, who was built using Chronicom hardware and thus is the most advanced LMD ever. Before Mack can express his hesitation, Daisy slams her hand down on the “ON” button and powers up Coulson. Since he was built using the last available brain scan from the Framework, two years’ worth of updates start flooding his noggin, all while he also tries to understand his new state/rebirth. It’s all too much for Mack, as well, who powers down Coulson and makes clear that to use him or not is a director-level decision.
Asked to catch everyone up, Simmons explains that the Zephyr followed a time “tide” left by the Chronicoms — who are out to eliminate SHIELD from history — leading to when and where they are now. Simmons unveils the new command center, re-introduces Enoch to everyone, reports that the nearly killed May is recuperating in some sort of chamber, and then asserts that it is too dangerous for anyone to know where Fitz is. Using radios for comms and after sending Deke out for appropriate threads (and after taking the purple out of someone’s hair), Mack, Coulson, Daisy and Deke head into the city, where Deke explains his take on “time streams” — saying that if they don’t make too much of a ripple, they shouldn’t affect history.
Investigating the “erasures” of the three cops, the team flash lame badges printed by Deke and pose as members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Stepping into the crime scene, Daisy meets some resistance by a flatfoot who wonders aloud why she isn’t home with a husband… and needless to say, she puts him in his place. Surveying the booze left behind by a killed bootlegger, Coulson spies a swordfish symbol, which reminds him of a NYC speakeasy he heard of from the SSR era. Sure enough, said watering hole is still there, and Mack and Coulson get in using the “swordfish” password. But it isn’t too long before these strangers say the wrong thing and end up on the wrong end of the barkeep’s shotgun.
Back at the crime scene, Deke is slowly but surely running diagnostics to find out what the killed cops looked like when the “Chronicops” show up. Two trick Daisy into going out back, where a big brawl ensues. Deke meanwhile holds his own inside, by jabbing his opponent with the DNA gizmo. After Daisy deals her final foe a crushing blow, Deke hotwires a jalopy and drives them off to the Zephyr, with one KO’d cop in the truck bed. Meanwhile aboard the Zephyr, Jemma is happy to inform Yo-Yo that 1) any remnant shrike material is breaking down inside her body and 2) she whipped up a New pair of state-of-the-art, arm-like arms (in part because the 1930s won’t take kindly to robotics!). Yo-Yo is hesitant to put them on, for fear it’d look like she is ignoring her past/what she has been through (“It’s who I am, and I’m not ashamed”), but she later gives them a spin and likes what she feels.
Back at the speakeasy, Coulson bravely and adroitly disarms the barkeep and explains that they have an interest in who whacked their delivery man, Jimmy Bottles. Coulson asks to see the man in charge, and out comes Ernest Koenig, who is a bit vexed to see his fellas laid out by the two strangers. Coulson explains that there is “a new gang in town,” of ruthless killers, and they want to take them out. When Koenig shares that he’s supplying the booze for a shindig that night — honoring visiting New York Governor Franklin Delano Roosevelt — Coulson surmises that the Chronicoms are out to kill the man who will one day appoint the SSR.
While Simmons works to pump the Chronicop that Daisy delivered for intel (by flooding his limited bandwith with nonsense data), Coulson, Mack, Daisy and Deke work the party for FDR, wondering when the Chronicoms will make their move. When they see FDR get up to leave via a service entrance, they assume the time is now… only to realize FDR is not in any danger as they frantically race to his side. The Chronicop aboard the Zephyr meanwhile blurts out the name “Freddy” — as in the orphaned speakeasy staffer that Koenig years ago gave a job to, and who is in the midst of being lured into a back area by a mysterious brunette. This woman says that she and Freddy’s “powerful” father once worked together, and if he pulls off a job for her — by delivering a set of vials containing “the future” —- his “family glory will be restored.”
Just then, the Chronicops show up and put a bullet into the woman. Before they can pop Freddy/”pull the thread,” Daisy shows up and drags the Chroncoms into the kitchen for a Quake-tastic fight, with superpowered LMD Coulson joining in. After besting the baddies and clearing out, Coulson lugs the injured woman into Koenig’s bar, asking why the new gang is after Freddy. Koenig has no idea, but references the lad’s father, “Old Man Malick,” at which point Coulson and Daisy realize that Freddy will be HYDRA co-founder Gideon Malick’s father. Meaning, the Chronicoms aim to end SHIELD by eliminating the need for it. Meaning, in order to save S.H.I.E.L.D., they will need to save HYDRA.
“Great,” huffs Daisy.
In the “bonus” scene, we see Enoch going to check on May… except the healing chamber is unexpectedly empty! As Enoch walks away, lamenting his screw-up, we see that May is lurking in the rafters above, looking a bit… mad.