Following the cliffhanger ending of the debut episode of season 7, Agents of SHIELD even raises more questions than answers while establishing more connections to the wider Marvel Cinematic Universe, as well as their own lore from previous seasons. “Know Your Onions” was a jam-packed episode that blends the occasional action and mystery that SHIELD fans have been accustomed off.
Given that time travel is the fulcrum that ties this season together, it is a given that Agent Coulson and the rest of the team will have a debate about the lasting effects of disrupting the timeline. Fans already saw a glimpse of the timeline-centered conversation during the first episode and this episode dissected it further. After learning that Freddy is actually Wilfred Malick who has deep ties with Hydra, the team had doubts when it comes to saving him but they later realized that it is a must in order to secure the future. However, upon saving the lady that was shot from the first episode, Simmons realized that the green substance from the vial that Freddy is set to deliver was indeed a key ingredient of the MCU’s super-soldier serum.
The moral dilemma about disrupting the timeline to save lives was a key element of the episode, with the team questioning the integrity of the mission. While Coulson did remind the team of the consequences of preventing Hydra’s uprising, Daisy was adamant about it, given that there are thousands of lives at stake. Then, during the latter part of the episode, Daisy ordered Deke to shoot Freddy on the spot while Mack vehemently orders him not to. It’s a good thing that they were disrupted by the Chromicons since no one knows what the timeline will look like if Deke pulled the trigger. This suggests that there will be more intense confrontations along the way about the topic, which could disrupt the dynamic of the team and even the entire mission itself.
While there has been a lot of doubts about the connections of the ABC show to the MCU, the occasional name drops of Red Skull, Abraham Erskine, and the super-soldier serum itself could be a sign that the show will gradually connect to the larger universe as the season progresses. However, it remains to be seen if the connections will be continued namedrops of MCU easter eggs or if a full-blown appearance from an MCU character will be shown. Regardless, this should serve as a piece of good news for hardcore SHIELD fans everywhere.
Another mystery that the episode tackles revolves around the “resurrection” of Agent Melinda May. Ever since the conception of Agents of SHIELD, May has always been a mysterious character but “Know Your Onions” takes it up a notch. Waking up in the past should be nerve-wracking for anybody but May handles it with ease, even trying to put herself on the field to help on the mission. The short fight between Enoch and May should erase any doubts that she is still a skilled fighter, but the fans should worry more about her mindset.
After their great chemistry from previous seasons, one of the most anticipated reunions this season is between LMD Coulson and Agent May. Upon seeing Coulson again for the first time, May had no reaction to him whatsoever, which left the team and the fans confused by her actions. While it’s too early to tell, whatever is happening on May will no doubt be addressed in future episodes, but fans should know that there are a plethora of possibilities that lie ahead for the character.
On top of the MCU connections, the episode also addressed another key aspect of the show’s seven-year lore: Patton Oswalt‘s Koenig lineage. It has been theorized in the past that the Agent Koenigs that the fans saw during the early seasons was the MCU’s version of an LMD. Now, this episode provides evidence that it seems to be the case. After the team accidentally left Enoch in 1931, the beloved Chronicom decided to stay put in Ernest Koenig’s speakeasy. With vast knowledge about the future and a Chronicom physiology on hand, Koenig is interested to learn more about SHIELD and “robots.” This effectively planted the seeds of Koenig’s involvement in the spy organization as well as the establishment that Koenig’s future grandsons are indeed LMDs. When fans decide to rewatch the earlier seasons, it will give them a fresh perspective when seeing Agent Koenig on-screen. Who knows? There might be more LMDs in the MCU than the viewers realize after this reveal.
Lastly, it was revealed that there is a twist when it comes to the team’s way of time-travel using the Zephyr. Simmons revealed that there is a time limit for every timeline that they visit while also revealing that any major change that the team does could result in them returning to an alternate future. The episode, through Simmons, effectively establishes the time travel rules to both the team and the audience and this should result in an even more careful approach during missions in future episodes. It’s also worth pointing out that this will be explained even more during this time war between the agents and the aliens.
The preview of the next episode should be an exciting one as Daniel Sousa (Enver Gjokaj from ABC’s Agent Carter) is set to guest star and presumably, help the team in their ongoing mission!
4.8 MCU references out of 5
This episode was a rollercoaster ride of emotions for many fans (including me). The connections to the larger MCU and the show’s earlier seasons were handled perfectly while also moving the narrative forward. While it’s a shame that Enoch was left behind which puts them at a disadvantage, the team’s new way of time travel should provide more stakes for the characters moving forward, which makes for a compelling set of future episodes.
- With her brilliant demeanor as well as the clever reveal of the super-soldier serum connection, Simmons continues to be a bad-ass for this episode!
- Yo-Yo (Natalia Cordova) was still hesitant to use her powers due to her trauma from the infestation of the Shrike. I hope she gets more time to shine in future episodes!
- Even as an LMD, Coulson still cared for May during their brief encounter. I hope the two sort out their differences in future episodes. #PhilLinda fans are waiting!
- “You are far from home, Agent May.” – I saw what you did there, Enoch!
- Ernest Koenig was the first character from their time-travel adventures to enter and be fascinated with the Zephyr. I’m pretty sure he will not be the last (I’m looking at you, Sousa!).