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Evil Coulson is running the show (?!) in the latest Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 

By Trent Moore
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Clark Gregg

Despite the untimely death of the actual Phil Coulson after the end of last season, star Clark Gregg has remained in the cast as the mysterious new antagonist Sarge. Now it turns out Sarge might be a bit more like Coulson than anyone realized.

Spoilers ahead for "Toldja," the latest episode of ABC's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which aired Friday, June 28, 2019.

After spending most of the season chasing after Sarge and his team, Agent May got the drop on Evil Coulson and knocked him out cold, and subsequently brought him back to S.H.I.E.L.D. HQ for questioning. As he told May while trying to recruit her, it turns out Sarge is apparently not the enemy — the real threat is these Shrike creatures that turn people into black crystal time bombs, and their creator, who is apparently on his way to Earth to destroy the entire planet. Sarge claims his team has traveled world to world trying to stop these threats, though Mack understandably tosses him in a holding cell until things get sorted out.

But S.H.I.E.L.D. has to lean on Sarge's knowledge to save May and Yo-Yo's team, who get more than they bargained for after tracking down two Shrike and putting them together in a holding cell. (But, for real, why on Earth would they put them in the same holding cell in the first place? Bonehead move.) With the Shrike on the verge of taking down the plane and killing everyone, Mack cuts a deal with Sarge for some intel on how to stop the Shrike explosion, but only in exchange for Sarge and his team's freedom. With no options, Mack takes the deal.

Which brings us to the episode's odd title: "Toldja." While in custody, Sarge told Mack that he'd be calling the shots by the end of the day. With the team in over their heads against the Shrike threat, the entire command center — Mack included — turns to Sarge for guidance on what to do next as the episode fades to black. He might not be Coulson, but it looks like Clark Gregg is back in action working with S.H.I.E.L.D. At least for the time being.

Giving Sarge and S.H.I.E.L.D. a common threat could make for an interesting dynamic for the back half run of the season, and that's assuming Sarge is fully telling the truth in the first place.

Looking beyond the A-story, though, we also get an absolutely confusing and fascinating bit of intel: Sarge and Coulson are a 100 percent DNA match. So that would presumably rule out the possibility of Sarge being a shapeshifter or a Skrull. Are we actually getting a multiverse in this season of S.H.I.E.L.D.? Is this really Coulson from another reality? So many questions.

Assorted musings

Agents of SHIELD Deke Yo-Yo

As for Fitz and Simmons, their jailbreak almost takes a head-chopping turn, though they're rescued by a mystery mercenary named Izel who is looking to hitch a ride to Earth. She says she's looking for something lost on Earth, but could it have anything to do with the Shrike threat? With Sarge and his team? It looks like both these stories will be coming to a head soon.

Enoch's part of the story looks to be coming to an end. The chronicom is heading off to try and find a place for his own people, though he left an intergalactic pager with Fitz in case they need his help down the line.

Deke is back on the team! And he is still hilariously in love with Daisy, and still so terrible at impressing her. That is a sweet pair of Jordan's, though. You know, Jordan? The guy who invented shoes!