The last ep ended with the S.H.I.E.L.D. Zephyr, again following the Chronicom ship forward in time. Once again, poor Enoch, their Chronicom ally, was left behind to wait out the years for them to show up again. Along for the ride is Agent Sousa, plucked from his historic demise, believed to be dead to the entire world, except those aboard the Zephyr.
This time, the Zephyr jumps two decades into the future, to 1973. The showrunners and directors continue to have a fun time recreating period fashions, renting lots of cool vintage autos, and mimicking the verbal, musical, and visual stylistic trends of movie and tv productions of each era, this week using freezeframes, jumpcuts, and screen wipes to make us feel we are right in the middle of a 1970s Quinn Martin Production. The colorful title sequence is especially well-done, complete with funky guitar soundtrack and a voiceover announcing each actor, along with a cheesy ‘70s pose.
The very 1930s title of this episode, “A Trout in the Milk” is the only vintage lingo in the hour…thankfully, the writer doesn’t overdo the period language as did the writer of the 1930s episode. If anything, there isn’t enough slang used to evoke 1973…only the mention of bellbottoms and the Bicentennial give verbal clues to the era. There are plenty of visual clues though, like lava lamps, 8-track tapes, boomboxes, and heavy beer cans.
As usual, the team checks out the S.H.I.E.L.D. speakeasy/safe house first, where they find a celebration taking place, and Patrick Warburton, wearing a glorious 1970s mustache, as a top S.H.I.E.L.D. general …last seen in the present day as a hologram in the S.H.I.E.L.D. Lighthouse base. The celebration is the announcement of a sudden advance in S.H.I.E.L.D. tech, PROJECT: INSIGHT, that will change the paradigm of law enforcement, “eliminating hostiles before they pose a threat.” Sound familiar, Marvel fan?
It’s suddenly obvious that the Chronicoms are using Hydra to destroy S.H.I.E.L.D. from within, with the agency’s own satellite-detection-and-laser tech (developed by the Chronicoms) to take out key players, one by one. Coulson refers to the events of Captain America: Winter Soldier happening 40 years ahead of schedule.
A confrontation with an old foe and the Chronicoms forces a retreat, and an unexpected getaway driver appears, hilariously paraphrasing a famous movie antihero.
So now it shifts into James Bond mode, as May tells Coulson, with cheesy blue jumpsuits and all. Mission: stop the satellite from launching. May’s touch empathy ability continues to evolve and be more in her control; it’s used both for comedic effect and strategic value.
Will the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. prevent the Chronicom plan? Will saving Sousa change the timeline? Will Enoch again fail to make it aboard before the Zephyr jumps forward in time? In what decade will the Agents appear next week?
To find out, tune in to ABC on Wednesdays at 10pm EST, on your DVR, On Demand, or at abc.go.com/shows/marvels-agents-of-shield to watch the exciting final season!