Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D: 6.02 Window of Opportunity
Agent May comes to the fore in this second episode of the new season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as she struggles to deal with a new threat that has the face of the recently deceased Phil Coulson. That’s right, Agent Coulson is back again! Only this time he goes by the name of Sarge and he’s turned evil, killing anyone who gets in his way. Accompanied by his team of tough guys, and sporting some serious tech, Sarge is ruthless as he carries out his as yet undisclosed mission. Standing in his way are May, Mac, Yo-Yo and the newer members of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Intercut with the Earth-bound action is the story of Fitz and his guardian Enoch. The previous episode saw Fitz prematurely awakened from his cryo-sleep journey to meet the team in the future. Unknown assailants literally cut their ship in half. Barely escaping with their lives Fitz and Enoch have taken passage on a freighter, Enoch in hiding and Fitz disguised as an alien to avoid the attention of the xenophobic captain. Using his extreme intelligence to curry favour by fixing the ships malfunctioning systems things seem to be going well until Fitz’s ruse falls apart. Then the threat of taking a walk through the newly repaired airlock becomes all too real.
Plenty of action and lots of new plot details move Window of Opportunity along at a brisk pace. Intrigue is the name of the game as more of Sarge’s team and their mysterious mission are revealed. Looking like extras from Mad Max we are introduced to Pax, man-mountain Jaco and the slightly unhinged knife wielding Snowflake. The final team member Tinker doesn’t fare too well after fusing with a concrete wall during last episodes failed portal crossing. It’s during the examination of this wall-man hybrid by Dr Benson that he comes to the conclusion that Sarge is not a Life Model Decoy as seen in season four but does in fact have the DNA of Phil Coulson. It is during Agent May’s attempts to reconcile this information with her grief that Ming-Na Wen gets to shine. Not to mention the prolonged fight sequence she gets to engage in with Sarge’s team. Incredibly well choreographed and involving a portal the new bad guys are using to gain entry to a vault, this action set piece is the highlight of the episode. May gets to show off her fight skills as she and her opponents inventively use the portal to travel back and forth between the vault and the teams truck. It’s highly effective and very engaging, showing again how the show has really gone from strength to strength.
There’s a real sense of pulp adventure back in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. with the addition of the sci-fi elements but also with Sarge’s team travelling around in their mobile headquarters. A giant rig that turns invisible almost seems like something out of an old Saturday morning cartoon and the show is better for it. The opening episodes of the very first season hinted at this with Coulson’s flying car and the leftover tech from the New York attack featured in The Avengers. The show seemed to lose it’s way a bit but has definitely improved once it embraced it’s comic book origins. Ironically this comes at a time when the agents are now almost solely made up of ordinary humans. With Yo-Yo and her speedster powers assisting the Earth agents and Quake currently using her powers to help search the galaxy for Fitz, it’s down to the non-supered heroes to take on Sarge and his cronies. Luckily Agent May has the skills to lead the charge.
It did occur to me that there is a potential time travel paradox with Quake and Simmons searching for Fitz. He’s meant to meet up with them in seventy years time in order to help them out. If they find him and he doesn’t go back into cryo-sleep then he won’t be around in the future to save them. Of course with the time travel shenanigans during the climax of Avengers: Endgame it seems Marvel probably aren’t too bothered by such things.
Window of Opportunity is another cracking episode that gives us just enough tantalising tidbits of plot to leave us definitely wanting to know more about Coulson’s seeming resurrection.