S.H.I.E.L.D. Recap: Gaining Insight — Plus, What's Wrong With [Spoiler]?!

This week on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the team in the 1970s discovered a familiar face’s bogue plan for world domination.

Upon arriving in 1973 and dressing the part (or not quite, if you’re averse to “elephant pants”), Coulson, May, Daisy and Sousa made a beeline for the “Swordfish” hideout, while Simmons and Deke stayed aboard the Zephyr and Mack and Yo-Yo took a side trip to the Lighthouse base.

At the bar, Coulson & Co. found agents awaiting an announcement from General Rick Stoner, who hailed/introduced his boss Wilfred “Don’t Call Me Freddy” Malick. The thing is (as Jemma had just told Deke), Wilfred is supposed to have died three years prior. Meaning, the Chronicoms did some timeline tampering. In fact, the Chronicoms also helped Malick fast-track the Project Insight concept from Captain America: Winter Soldier. Except in the absence of next-gen helicarriers, the kills would be executed by a satellite that is on track to launch in 1976 — and some future heavy hitters such as Nick Fury and Bruce Banner are on the target list!

After briefly feigning obliviousness, Malick told Coulson that he full well remembers him from this same location 42 years earlier. At that point, Chronicoms appeared and held Coulson and May at gunpoint. Luckily, Daisy — who had earlier been hit on by a young Gideon Malick, until “fiance” Daniel butted in — spotted the future HYDRA honcho’s brother, Nathaniel, so she held him at gunpoint, compelling Wilfred’s men to lower their guns. Daisy and the others then slipped out to the street, where she demo’d her Quake powers in front a wowed Sousa. Enoch, sporting a mod mock turtleneck, unexpectedly pulled up in a sweet ride, to whisk his friends away.

Alas, soon after the team reunited/debriefed each other aboard the Zephyr, the dashboard went haywire and they quite unexpectedly jumped in time, to 1976. Meaning, Project Insight: Retro Edition is soon to launch, from the Lighthouse — which jibes with the suspicious activity Mack and Yo-Yo had observed there in 1973. Coulson and May don “throwback” jumpsuits to infiltrate the base and plant explosives that will flood it. At one point, stalled in their tracks because Nathaniel Malick had spotted and KO’d Daisy and Sousa near a computer port, Coulson and May bumped into Rick Stoner. Though Coulson did his best to snow the general, May “felt” that Stoner was not in fact falling for it, so she decked him.

Deke and Yo-Yo meanwhile confront Wilfred Malick at his nearby estate, at gunpoint. When he refuses to stand down — insisting they have no idea what they are up against, the the Chronicoms are and have been 10 steps ahead —  Deke puts a fatal bullet into the out-of-time baddie, to maintain, he quips, the “status quo.” We then realize who was in the photo that the lead Chronicom had slipped to Malick, representing their “leverage” against SHIELD: Mack’s parents, who are being held inside the Lighthouse. Mack thus chooses to spare his folks and orders Coulson and May to abort the bomb detonation, after which they get captured. The Zephyr then takes off and shoots down the launched rocket — unfortunately disclosing their position in the process.

Elsewhere this week:

* Jemma repeatedly rubbed the back of her neck, seemingly during moments of frustration/fatigue —  but as we come to realize, a pulsing something is embedded in the back of her neck. When she at one point rubs it and worries to Enoch that she is becoming forgetful (e.g. about Deke’s “Bobo” nickname for Fitz), he pulls her aside to tend to the matter. But because an increasingly curious/irate/resentful Sousa stormed in to confront her about the time jumping, we never saw what Enoch had in mind.

* In the bonus scene, Nathaniel Malick, having abducted Daisy and Sousa, pulled over his van to phone a prison and ask to speak to Daniel Whitehall — specifically, about a theory the “old man” has about surgically transferring enhanced abilities, such as those he witnessed Daisy use in ’73….

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