Monday, June 22, 2020

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - Out of the Past

With the team now in the 1950s, "Out of the Past" takes advantage of damage to Coulson's (Clark Gregg) LMD systems to offer a film noir episode. Damage to his optics renders nearly the entire episode in black and white while damage to other systems meas his thoughts will continue to echo around his skull providing narration for the events which follow. As with the other episodes of the season, the mission remains the same: keep history on the right path. This week that means helping Agent Daniel Sousa (Enver Gjokaj) deliver vital technology to S.H.I.E.L.D. before it falls in to the hands of either Hydra or the Chronicoms. As to the fate of Sousa, who history says dies at the end of his successful mission, whether or not to meddle with his fate offers a much harder choice.

Sousa is the obvious choice for a character to bring back from Agent Carter. Much of the episode focuses around Coulson spending time with Sousa, offering various white lies and half-truths to try and rectify problems the Chronicoms have already made to the timeline. The episode is more notable for its style than substance, although it misses several opportunities to make use of shadow to further the ambiance they way the films it's honoring once did. Along with Coulson's issues, the episode also offers a running gag for poor Enoch (Joel Stoffer) trapped in a role as bartender passing messages from one member of the team to the next while otherwise being ignored. The outcome of the mission adds a new member to the ship's crew while two others agree that making some changes to history may be worth causing changes to the timestream.

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