A couple of weeks ago, SHIELD had to decide whether to let a young man live, even though he’ll have a very evil son. It’s a decision they still debate over.
This week, in a world of black and white, they have to decide if a good man has to die so that SHIELD never knows HYDRA has invaded them until 60 years too late
Then again, the tag line has been “change the past, to rescue the future”. Is this where it starts?
Well, this is noir, and it’s supposed to mean tragedy.


Let’s get it over with…
DANNY SOUSA LIVES!…but in the timey-wimey world.
So, how?

Fate. I don’t believe in it, but I know history, and I know how the story goes, and when it’s playing out in front of you it feels like you can’t escape it.

Sounds like a typical hard-boiled detective movie, doesn’t it? It’s supposed to be the story of how Danny Sousa (Enver Gjokai) died trying to deliver advanced tech and expose HYDRA’s efforts to infect SHIELD. It looks like, as history records, he failed on July 22nd, 1955.

The events leading up to that moment are recounted at a steady pace, with shades of black, white and grey. Deke also sees the results of letting Freddie Malick live a couple of weeks ago to preserve the timeline. As he tells Elena, they are the Agents of Status Quo. He still doesn’t like the sexism and racism that’s around, but she says at least people will try to fix these problems eventually

LMD Coulson pretends to be a scientist, similar to the guy Sousa was supposed to meet to drop off the “gadget” to Howard Stark. However, the Chromicons killed the guy. It’s not clear if they want to get the item or kill Souza. It just wants SHIELD out of the way.
Coulson seems to be convincing. He’s a great narrator in noir movies. Sousa is still a little skeptical, but he is committed to his job. He says he’s lost a lot of people to HYDRA, and will do anything to stop them. There’s no hint this is due to not winning Peggy Carter;s heart, but it may be part of it.

Meanwhile, Enoch (Joel Stoffer) re-emerges as the bartender of the Krazy Kanoe, listening to sob stories while missing Fitz (along with us). It’s a little sad, but fans have to remember he’s been studying us foolish humans for thousands of years. Imagine what other jobs he had.
Still, he should have Fitz back.
Enoch has a special phone where he can connect with the Zephyr. That comes in handy a few times. Hopefully, he can get back with the team full-time soon.

It becomes apparent that HYDRA wants the gadget, but isn’t quite aware of the Chroms. HYDRA grabs Deke at the house where Souza’s contact was waiting. He’s found without a face, just before Deke gets knocked out by a HYDRA thug.
The bad guys (and a mandatory femme fatale) are also busy, almost grabbing Sousa at the train, but Daisy and SHIELD manage to find him by literally flying above the train. They’re careful not to tell Sousa they’re SHIELD because they aren’t quite sure if Sousa should meet his tragic destiny.

Meanwhile, Deke meets Freddy, now Wilfred Malick (Neal Bledsoe). He’s aged gracefully, and is clearly more evil. Deke sees that maybe Wilfred should have been stopped, but he’s able to talk Wilfred out of killing him. It shows he isn’t Red Skull-evil….yet. His kids will do that. It also convinces Deke that maybe warping the timeline is necessary.

Actually, so does Mack. He decides they’ll deliver the gadget, which Simmons says is the “Rosetta Stone” of SHIELD’s gadgets, to a guy who’ll give it to Stark (Sorry, he’s not in this episode).

Meanwhile, it’s revealed what Melinda May was feeling when she was dead after killing Izel last summer. She says she was in a world that felt nothing. Once she was repaired (which might be considered a variation of how Coulson was resurrected through TAHITI), she could feel other emotions, but not LMD Coulson for obvious reasons. It might be a while before she can claim her own emotions.
She also reveals she could sense Sousa was determined to finish his mission, just as he steals a motorcycle from the Zephyr

So, it looks like history is fulfilled. Sousa makes the delivery, is found by someone, and is shot. Rest in peace, Daniel Sousa. That’s in the history books.
Then Coulson says, in narration, not all of the history is in the books. They don’t reveal how SHIELD faked Sousa’s death by merely knocking him out, while Coulson was the “dead body”. Daniel Sousa, alive and kicking!
Sousa’s still the legend that inspires future agents, but the books leave out he’s pulling a Bucky Barnes while getting a bigger peak at the future than Ernest Koenig.
Still, where, or when, will Sousa wind up? If he survives to the end does he work in the 2020’s or the old days? We’ll see, but welcome back, Danny.
So, next stop? The sounds of “No More Mister Nice Guy” hints they may be headed to 1973.

Still, noir movies don’t have happy endings. They have results we have to accept. That’s why we see Wilfred Malick meet with a Chromicon, and discuss how they can both defeat SHIELD.
Thing is, does Malick know the Chromicons probably won’t give HYDRA a share of the Earth? That should also be interesting, but this alliance and no Souza (for now) will make infiltrating SHIELD easier. That part of history is still intact.
The episode was a good genre-bending episode, and has a somewhat positive result. The time chase, though, continues.
Next week, the Zephyr makes two stops, including one that will affect Mack.

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