Although Season 5 still feels like the actual final season, Season 7 of Agents of SHIELD is at least a marked improvement over 6 and does a good job of basically taking a bunch of characters that have been developed to their natural end and just having a bit of a laugh with them. That’s not to say the series didn’t have its moments of more seriousness, but this did feel like the writers, cast and crew were all just having fun because they found themselves with a seventh season they weren’t really expecting… With that all said, let’s take a look!
The S.H.I.E.L.D. agents and allies find themselves stranded in time while trying to prevent an alien occupation from the Chronicons…
*spoilers appear from here on out!*
If nothing else, at least the cast got to play dress up!
The main premise of the first half of the season or so is the SHIELD team being stranded in the past and their ship jumping forwards into a new decade every two or so episodes. They’re trying to stop the Chronicons from altering time so that SHIELD never existed in order for them to … take over Earth? I think? Destroy it maybe? Well, either way, it was a fun enough concept. Early episodes in the 30s and 50s feature a young Wilfred Malick (played by Darren Barnet and Neal Bledsoe at various ages) and how he came to set up Hydra and while I’ve complained about bringing Hydra into SHIELD over and over in the past it’s the last season so … why not? During these 50s episodes Daniel Sousa (still played by Enver Gjokaj) from Agent Carter is written into the story, eventually joining the team proper, which was good because I always liked the character. I’ll admit that I’d have liked them to solve the cliffhanger from Agent Carter S2, but as it turns out by the end of the season that wouldn’t have counted anyway, so… *shrugs*
I also have to mention that Phil Coulson is back, though now as an extremely advanced LMD with all of Coulson’s memories. It is getting silly now, but they at least reference how many times he’s died, and again, it’s the final season so why not? It would seem odd without him. Melinda May is also revived from near death but gains the ability to feel the emotions of anyone she’s near… somehow. It seemed like a last ditch effort to have some meaningful character development, but really she’s been developed all she needed. The rest of the cast are the same as before, so I won’t list them all and their quirks, though by the end of the series Daisy is in a relationship with Sousa, which to be frank wasn’t a likely pairing, but credit to them it worked!
A pair of episodes in the 70s saw the SHIELD/Hydra Project Insight from Captain America: Winter Soldier come into effect several decades earlier than it should and has Coulson and May in old-school blue and white jumpsuit SHIELD outfits from the comics, which made me laugh. It’s thwarted and before you know it they start jumping forward and forward and things start getting messy, leading to a classic Time Loop episode! I really wanted to complain about this cliché of clichés but it was actually a better example of it, with Daisy remembering everything each time unless she dies, in which case LMD Coulson has to inform her as he retains it every time. It’s a good laugh and builds up the mystery of a chip in Simmons’ head that prevents her from remembering Fitz and his location well. It also saw the death of Enoch, which was a shame as he was a constant highlight. It’s around here we’re introduced to Nathaniel Malick (Thomas E. Sullivan) who was killed early in the original timeline but lived here and used science mumbo-jumbo to gain Daisy’s quake powers. He’s a good central villain, and desperately needed as the Chronicon leader Sibyl (Tamara Taylor) is rather dull.
The last moments of Enoch… The only good new character to come out of these last few seasons!
The last few episodes then sees Nathaniel form an alliance with the Chronicons and use his knowledge of transferring Inhuman powers to humans in combination with Sibyl’s ability to peer into the future to amass an army of disillusioned soldiers and agents who are shown their pointless deaths to convince them to change their fate. This includes a young John Garrett (played by James Paxton) who gets Gordon’s teleporting powers (Remember him? With the no eyes and stuff?) and an Inhuman called Kora (Dianne Doan), the daughter of Jiaying and therefore the sister of Daisy. In the original timeline she killed herself because she thought her mother hated her due to the unstable nature of her abilities, but in this one Nathaniel stops her and recruits her instead. The two sides fight back and forth for a few episodes until everyone manages to find Fitz, who as it turns out had been hiding in the Quantum Realm this whole time and that everything that’s happened in this season has been in an alternate timeline. He can get them back to the original one though, which he does with the help of Zeke (who stays behind in this new alternate timeline), but he also takes all the Chronicon ships with him.
The finale sees Daisy / Quake defeat Nathaniel, Kora see reason and join the good guys, and the Chronicons destroyed. We find out that while hanging out in the Quantum Realm Fitz and Simmons had a child, and they get a happy ending of retiring to raise it. Daisy, Kora and Sousa begin travelling in space in some sort of official capacity, Mack and Yo-Yo (who for the record now has complete control over her powers and no longer Yo-Yos back to where she set off from, so I guess she’ll need a new name…) are working for the new SHIELD, and likewise May is now an instructor at the “Phil Coulson SHILED Training Academy”. As for Coulson himself? He’s accepted who / what he is and has decided to travel around Earth in his Season 1-era flying car, because… happy full-circle ending, I guess!
The long-awaited return of …. Erm… I’ve already forgotten. “Captain No-Eyes Teleporter Dude”. That’s the one.
Episode 7 “The Totally Excellent Adventures of Mack and The D”, wasn’t that great. It’s set in the 80s with Zeke forming a band by ripping off future songs and claiming he wrote them while recruiting his band members as SHIELD agents. Mack meanwhile is depressed because his parents were killed while he was a child in this timeline (which at this point he still thinks is his timeline) and eventually they get on the same page. It’s… alright, but a lot of humour reached “later seasons of Legends of Tomorrow” levels of silly humour that just didn’t land with me (though at least they don’t go full on dude-bro humour or completely shatter the fourth wall like that show ended up doing…)
Also I’m not quite sure why a few episodes saw the return of the Inhumans from undoubtedly the worst season of the show, but there you go. Also I have no idea whether the show is still in the MCU or not, Season 6 still apparently happened in the original timeline and that was the contradiction, not this season. Well, I guess it doesn’t actually matter, and I’d still welcome a Daisy or Fitz/Simmons appearance in an MCU show or film and happy to just skirt around the fact that in Season 6 nobody mentioned half the population of the Earth vanished into dust in the previous season…
With the addition of Sousa this felt like a goodbye to the ABC-wing of MCU spin-off shows in general…
Agents of SHIELD Season 7 takes the alternate timeline concept and uses it to great effect, giving themselves the ability to move everything around and not have to worry about messing with the continuity. It also gives us a far more definitive “and everyone lives happily ever after” ending, which sometimes is nice to see… A perfectly fine end to an overall very fun series.