The seventh and final season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D continues this week with its fourth episode entitled “Out Of The Past,” and we’re here to break it down for you! When we left our agents last week, the team had just stopped the Chronicoms from activating project Helius, although Coulson was taken into interrogation by Enver Gjokaj’s Agent Sousa.
Firstly, maybe this is just me, but my first impression is that this is one of the best overall episodes of the entire series so far! Almost the entirety of season 7 has been filled with plenty of intrigue, new character developments for the entire main cast, and enough plot twists to make fans’ minds explode; this trend continued with a bang through the entire runtime of “Out Of The Past.”
The newest episode took things to a whole new level as Phil Coulson and crew navigate their way through 1955. The production team made the absolute perfect decision to turn this newest chapter into a classic black-and-white noir 50’s adventure. Fans were taken on such a fun journey through the history of film and tv with Clark Gregg’s narrations and the old-time cinematography that heightened the drama and perfectly captured the feel of one of the most notable eras of cinema.
The main plot of this episode centered around the Chronicoms trying to save face (yup, face puns) after failing to blow up the S.H.I.E.L.D. base in Area 51 by killing Daniel Sousa and stopping him from delivering a very important package to Howard Stark. Coulson once again used his knowledge of S.H.I.E.L.D. history to absolute perfection as he talked his way onto the train to Los Angeles with Sousa and making sure he stayed safe until the very moment he supposedly met his end. The action sequences were as exciting as ever when the team saved him and ended up taking him onto the Zephyr.
My only big question remaining after this week is this: what exactly is the tech that Sousa ended up delivering to Stark? With Simmons’ comments that it could tease the earliest tech that SH.I.E.L.D. puts to use, I’m incredibly curious to see what exactly it turns into whether it be armor or cloaking tech or something entirely different.
Once again this week, we see Yo-Yo and Deke realizing just how exponentially the social status has changed over the last 65 years as they discuss the racism and sexism of both the 1930’s and 1950’s. They also seem to be struggling just as much as the rest of the team with not being able to change anything from the past even as they see the horrors and death happening all around them that they can’t stop.
We also finally find out what’s going on with May, and it turns out to be one of the most interesting reveals that we’ve had in a while. After being taken to the alternate fear dimension by Izel at the end of season 6 and being brought back to life, she now feels the emotions of anyone she touches. This is such an intriguing character development seeing one of the most stoic and even-keel characters of the entire series have to deal with so many raw emotions flowing through her all at the same time. It also completely makes sense now that she feels nothing when she talks to or touches Coulson since he’s now a Chronicom/LMD, so hopefully they’ll be able to mend their relationship as May’s internal situation improves.
The most monumental point of this week’s episode is learning that Daniel Sousa was the first S.H.I.E.L.D. agent to realize that the organization had been infiltrated by Hydra. Even though fans first found out about the coup in 2014’s Captain America: Winter Soldier, the movie explained that the former Nazi science division had slowly been operating amongst S.H.I.E.L.D. operatives almost since the very beginning. As one of the earliest major players in the secret organization, Sousa is hell-bent on rooting out the Hydra moles and stopping their reign of terror before it really gets off the ground.
Catching up with Deke again, he gets one of the biggest moments of pure horror this season as he once again comes face to face with Wilfred Malick (Neal Bledsoe), now operating as a full blown agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the undercover head of Hydra. Deke revealing that he saved Malick in 1931 led Malick to explain how that was the most important year of his life as he dedicated himself to Hydra and started his reign of undercover terrorism. One of the biggest moves of his career was also imminent as we learn that he ordered the upcoming hit on Daniel Sousa.
This episode was the first time that the team really questioned if they should stand firm on not changing the past, but they also found a brilliant way to do that and still change their future for the better. By having Coulson pose as Sousa at the Roosevelt Hotel, showing how resilient his new LMD form is by taking two shots to the back and being able to breathe underwater, the team was able to simply ICE Sousa and bring him along as the Zephyr time jumped. They made one of the biggest moves in the show’s history by both successfully faking Sousa’s death and letting him experience the future with his new colleagues as they try to save the world once again.
5 Internal Monologues out of 5
I cannot say with enough emphasis how amazing this episode was. The noir storytelling, the connections to the larger MCU, and the major character developments all around had me smiling ear to ear all night. Now with Sousa joining the core S.H.I.E.L.D. team as they travel to the 70’s, I’m beyond excited to see what next week brings. Nine episodes until the end!
- If Iain De Castecker’s Leopold Fitz doesn’t come back soon, there will be hell to pay.
- Coulson and crew did an incredible job hiding from Sousa who they really were until the very end, and Sousa’s reaction to seeing Simmons was perfectly hysterical.
- Once again, this season is doing an incredible job connecting to the larger MCU with the delivery to Howard Stark (“A pompous ass” as described by Sousa) and Hydra strengthening fast.
- Major props to the production team behind this episode; this is one of my favorite bits of tv/cinema I’ve ever seen.
- Agent Carter was completely robbed, particularly Enver Gjokaj. He has shined so brilliantly this season and his continuing run with the core team is beyond overdue.