Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Out of the Past
June 18, 2020 3:47 PM - Season 7, Episode 4 - Subscribe

In a black-and-white episode that calls back to specific (Sunset Boulevard) and general (film noir detective genre) nods to Hollywood's past, the team members find themselves in 1955. While there, Deke gets to catch up with an old friend, Enoch has the opportunity to make a new one, and Coulson starts building a new friendship with a new (but much admired) ally. May comes to terms with her feelings, Yo-Yo tries to come to terms with a mission failure, and Mack struggles while coming to terms with making a hard call. Daisy offers counsel and demonstrates her fighting moves.
posted by sardonyx (8 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This one was fun.

I liked the EMP-triggered glitch as the reason why we got a B&W episode with a voice over. I liked that we got more of Daniel Sousa, especially since I griped last episode that his character was being short-changed. I liked Deke getting an opportunity to reconnect with Freddy and develop some person experience with Hydra baddies.

I'm glad we got a reason (or at least a partial explanation) for why May was acting off. Turning her into an empath was a totally unexpected and yet really clever move. Honestly, when she got excited about the device, part of me started to wonder if Fitz wasn't somehow inhabiting her body.

I really loved the ending with Coulson promising to teach Sousa about life after death. We definitely need more of this. Lots more.

Last time I complained about Jemma's terrible Agent Carter cosplay. This time, I think Yo-Yo got stuck with the strange wardrobe choice. That combination of hairdo, skinny pants and plaid jacket just felt really wrong.

I kept trying to figure out if the sad sack at the bar was supposed to be somebody we know or somebody who will become important in SHIELD/Marvel history, but I don't think he is. Poor Enoch, having to play operator, being ignored by the team and then being abandoned in history. He deserves so much better. Fritz better fall all over him (when he finally pops back into the picture.)

I've been impressed enough with what's going on this season that I told a relative who hasn't watched this show since season one or two to hop back on the bandwagon and stick with it until the finale. I think they'd feel well rewarded (unless the quality takes a nosedive in coming episodes.)
posted by sardonyx at 4:01 PM on June 18, 2020 [4 favorites]

sardonyx, I agree with pretty much everything you said, except I thought Yo-Yo looked great. Loved the saddle shoes!

I’m very much hoping Sousa sticks around until the end. Early on I predicted they would save him and fake his death (not bragging that I’m smart, just that it seemed obvious), but when he woke up on that gurney it suddenly struck me that they yanked him into the future without his consent. Maybe he’d rather die in the line of duty than be separated from everyone and everything he’s ever known? He was even robbed of fighting to roust Hydra from S.H.I.E.L.D. And he’ll never get to see Peggy again (I’m sure she and Steve had him over for July 4th barbecues).

One of the comments on the A.V. Club review mentions the “Avenger cop theory”—I’m not going to dive into that but Enver Gjokaj was credited as “Young cop” in Avengers. If the theory is that famed agent Sousa fixed his leg with modern technology so he could become a NYPD beat cop in 2012, well, that’s why I hate fan theories.

This has been a fun season so far! Saving the world is a lot more fun when you’re not doing it from its shattered ruins.
posted by ejs at 4:27 PM on June 18, 2020 [2 favorites]

Oh, I think Yo-Yo looked great. It's just that if you took a picture of her with no background and asked, "what era is this character from?" I don't know that I'd have come up with 1955.
posted by sardonyx at 4:58 PM on June 18, 2020 [2 favorites]

This is what I want time travel shows to do every time they team up with a cool history person on their last mission. Even if they don’t go through with it they should at least talk about the possibility of a fake-death-recruitment.
posted by polytope subirb enby-of-piano-dice at 7:58 AM on June 19, 2020 [3 favorites]

I really like that they're increasingly exploring the murky middle ground between the two well-worn time travel tropes of "go back in the past to prevent [terrible event]" and "go back in the past to preserve the timeline at all costs!" Also really excited to have a time travel team just pick up the famous historical figure and take him with them; that's another long-overdue trope subversion right that I'd be very happy to see even if it wasn't Enver Gjokaj.

when he woke up on that gurney it suddenly struck me that they yanked him into the future without his consent. Maybe he’d rather die in the line of duty than be separated from everyone and everything he’s ever known?

Well the thing is, if he wants to die in the line of duty, battling HYDRA no less, that option is still on the table for him! But this way he gets to make an informed choice. It's not like his original death was something he had consented to, either. And they barely had time to save him so it's not like they had time to sit him down and lay out his options in advance.

I did love how he didn't even bat an eye at the "we're time-traveling SHIELD agents from the future" explanation from Coulson. Honestly, I always feel like shows/movies set in the MCU should show more of "regular people getting desensitized to totally bonkers occurrences" but that's especially true for a SHIELD agent of his caliber.
posted by mstokes650 at 2:33 PM on June 19, 2020 [5 favorites]

I couldn't get enough of sad, passive-agressive Enoch, that was golden.

Interesting to see the casting for Freddie. I think the casting brief must have been "Get us someone with a face between James Franco and Powers Boothe."

This was fun. I can't wait to see what they do in the 70s. Disco Enoch?
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 2:55 AM on June 21, 2020 [2 favorites]

So... the gadget was a bar of vibranium, right?
posted by Karmakaze at 9:18 AM on June 24, 2020

Best guess I've heard so far.
posted by sardonyx at 5:57 AM on June 26, 2020

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