Synopsis: Scattered across the galaxy, the team works to find their missing footing in the wake of losing Coulson.
Review: The first episode of the shows final season opens up with a big dramatic space scene and continues to be a story that is split between outer space and Earth.
The episode opens up in deep space where Enoch is guarding Agent Fitz who in a cryo chamber after having been fatally injured. Their ship suddenly comes under attack and is sliced in half.
The action then switches to The Lighthouse on Earth where Mack is now the new director of S.H.I.E.L.D. and it is a role he is struggling to fill, but he has the full support of Agent May and other rest of S.H.I.E.L.D. When their scanners pick up an unusual reading the team jumps into action to try and figure it out. Mack asks May to find some brains for the team. A task she fulfills by bringing in a jaded University professor.
Back in deep space. Agents Johnson, Simmons, Davis and Piper are searching for Fitz. They are aware that his ship was attacked and have tracked him to a planet that sells traceable fuel. Johnson uses her powers as Quake in order to shake the leader of the planet down for whatever information he has. He reveals after some coaxing that he has half of the ship that went down. After searching the ship and finding the Cryo chamber is empty Daisy is on the brink of ceasing the search to return to Earth. Davis and Piper are in agreement with her, but Simmons has other ideas and takes them into deep, deep space because she believes that is where a desperate Fitz would go.
Back on Earth, the team has traced the area where the next Alien is about to invade. It is at the Natural History Museum. Agent May leads a team to intercept and is shocked when it is revealed that one of the Aliens that they are going to have to deal with has a striking resemblance to the late Agent Coulson.
Henry Simmons puts in a pretty solid performance as Mack who is struggling with the burden of commanding the team. He has a nice scene with Ming-Na Wen in which Agent May privately lends Mack some moral support and tells him that it is a good thing that he has a different command style to Coulson.
This was a fairly strong opening episode for the series and gave us some nice character beats as the team tries to rebuild itself after having lost a really valuable member.
There’s a bit of a romantic subplot involving Yo-Yo and a new team member, which hopefully doesn’t become too drawn out in terms of hew feelings for Mack and the fact that her relationship with him kind of ended after Coulson died. I’d hate for the final series get too much into soap opera territory with too much emphasis on the romance and not enough on the overall story.
The introduction of Clark Gregg as the alien character known as Sarge was very well handled with the shock of seeing him being written all over Agent May’s face.
The closing moment teases the whereabouts of Fitz and it looks like we are likely to be seeing the darker version of Fitz in this series. At least until Simmons can sort him out.
Overall. A really strong start. I’ve missed this show.
- Incidental Music9.4