Coulson and the agents are thrust backward in time and stranded in 1931 New York City; with the all-new Zephyr set to time-jump at any moment, the team must hurry to find out exactly what happened.
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is back for its final season as the series takes on a Quantum Leap quality about it. While the show has its usual popcorn-light flair about it, the series clearly has a mission as it wraps things up.
With its debut episode, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has planted a flag for where it’s going, and that’s a retrospective in a way. Through the season, the series will explore the formation of S.H.I.E.L.D. and pivotal moments throughout history. It also has a goal of tying into previous seasons and wrapping up questions and delivering answers. That’s evident from who guest stars in this season’s debut as well as what is eventually revealed. It’s a wink, nod, and a bit of a payoff for long-time viewers of the show.
While the show at times has put the emphasis on the “enemy” of the week with shoutouts to Marvel comic’s deep bench, this season’s tone shift a bit where the enemy is a generic bad guy who wants to change history and literally whose face can change. The season villain is a literal blank slate and generic emphasizing the focus elsewhere.
The episode’s not bad. It has the usual fun and flair of the show never going too deep and not taking itself too seriously. Some thought has gone into the impact of the team in 1931 and what the reaction would be to them. But, like with everything on the show it feels not deep enough. While Mack’s presence is acknowledged, as it should be, Quake’s is not. Whether the fact that actress Chloe Bennet’s father is Chinese while her mother is Caucasian, and we can debate if 1930s individuals would know she was, there’s no comments as one might expect. So, while one aspect of the racism of the time is acknowledged for another character it isn’t. It’s something that stood out to me as a viewer as it’s a plot point for one character but not another. Still, the show does bring up how a woman would be treated in these situations. So, it both nails the details and doesn’t which is interesting.
The draw of the series at this point is the enthusiasm of the actors and it continues here. You can tell so many of them are having fun and while that enthusiasm doesn’t quite become infectious it does make the show more entertaining.
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is doing its victory lap as a show that has gone on much longer than expected. It continues to do its thing and this season feels like it’s made for those who have stuck along this entire time. While it continues to not be groundbreaking, it is still a fun hour and for those into the details of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, this season might just be a must by the time it’s over.
Overall Rating: 7.0