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SYFY WIRE Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Saving HYDRA, a time jump, plus big MCU connections in the latest Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

By Trent Moore
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

The team wraps up its stint in the 1930s with some big twists, wild action, and existential arguments about time travel itself. Or, you know, just another day in S.H.I.E.L.D.

**SPOILER ALERT: Spoilers ahead for "Know Your Onions," the latest episode of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which aired Wednesday, June 3, 2020.**

After putting the pieces together last week that their new pal Freddie is actually the grandfather of HYDRA, the team faces a bit of a dilemma over how to proceed. The team had chased the Chronicoms back to the 1930s, where the baddies planned to "pull the thread" of killing Freddie Malick before he can grow up and found HYDRA — the historical domino that leads the U.S. to eventually found S.H.I.E.L.D., which is the only thing standing in the way of the Chronicoms mission to take over the Earth.

As for how to deal with it? There are some differing opinions. Coulson makes the case that the most important thing is to maintain the timeline and facilitate the founding of HYDRA, while Daisy sees an opportunity to snuff out the evil organization before it can take root in the world, likely saving thousands upon thousands of lives. But, there's no way to know the consequences of how that would change the world — as Simmons points out they'd be returning to a future they almost certainly would not recognize, to fight a war they might have already lost. Yeah, time travel is complicated. Regardless, Daisy tries to compel Deke to "take the shot" when he has a gun on Freddie, though a Chronicom attack interrupts the exchange before Deke can make a decision.

Mack and Deke succeed in protecting Freddie long enough for him to get far enough along in his path to keep the timeline intact, so HYDRA's birth is preserved. Freddie's mission also includes some major tethers to the MCU, specifically Captain America: The First Avenger. It turns out the mystery liquid Freddie is transporting will go on to create the Red Skull, and be a key ingredient in the super-soldier serum that eventually creates Captain America. It raises those really fun questions about time travel. Sure, you could stop the creation of the Red Skull, but it'd also alter Captain America's origin, could alter the course of the world, and even eventually lead to the Avengers not being assembled — and who would've taken up arms against Thanos if that would've happened?

Though the team manages to preserve the timeline, that also means the next window is closing and the team only has minutes to make it back to the Zephyr to hop off to the next "thread" in the time stream. Everyone makes it back except for Enoch, who is running just a few yards away before the ship makes the jump. Thankfully, Enoch is a Chronicom and doesn't age, so it stands to reason he'll just take the long way through the time stream and meet them at the next jump point. The last peek we get at Enoch finds him chilling and mixing drinks at Koenig's bar, cracking a joke about "knowing his onions." If you're unfamiliar, that saying translates basically into meaning "knowing a lot about a subject," so perhaps Enoch will spend his time stuck in the past to better prepare the situation for S.H.I.E.L.D.'s arrival at the next time period.

Assorted musings


May is back this week, though she seems pretty emotionally damaged from battling her way through the spirit world and almost dying at the end of last season. She goes rogue and almost beats the robo-brains out of Enoch, and only stops when the team returns to try and explain to her what's going on. She isn't even phased when the LMD of Coulson walks out of the car, as she coldly notes nothing has changed — he's still dead. It's a hard moment, but speaks to the confusion of resurrecting Coulson in this way. It'll be interesting to see how their relationship grapples with this situation.

Does anyone else really want a Koenig/Enoch spinoff set at the gin joint? Just me? Okay.

The Chronicoms seem to be held to the same time-hopping rules as S.H.I.E.L.D., as we see them also scramble off not to miss the next window to pop into a new time period to pull at another "thread" down the line to achieve their goals.

Also, Yo-Yo is having some lingering problems with her speed abilities — though it's hard to say whether it's just fear to use them, or if her run-in with the Shriek last season has caused some lasting impact on her super-speed. Curious to see how that plays out.

Here's to the future — Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s final season continues Wednesday's on ABC.