*SPOILERS FOR EPISODES 1-4 OF AGENTS OF SHIELD SEASON 7 AND THE REST OF THE SHOW BELOW*
Holy crap. What a kick-off to SHIELD’s seventh and sadly final season. Despite this being the last go around after 7 years of fantastic sci-fi/fantasy adventures Team SHIELD is going out with a bang!
After finding themselves flung into the year 1931 by the all-new time travelling Zephyr in their quest to stop the Chronicoms from changing the history of the world and destroying SHIELD, Coulson (now a highly-advanced Chronicom LMD), Daisy, Jemma, Mack, Yo-Yo, Deke, Enoch and a resurrected but unstable Melinda May find themselves chasing their enemies through the decades. Episodes 3 and 4 have found the team in 1955, crossing paths with fan-favourite Agent Daniel Sousa from the amazing and so underrated Agent Carter, in episodes inspired by Area 51 and 1950s Film-Noir. This week’s twist of bringing Sousa with the team to the future had me jumping up and down with excitement. This is what SHIELD does, the most exciting option.
Every week they’ve been knocking it out the park with fantastic and exciting instalments.
I’ve been thinking about which previous season this new one has the most similar tone to, and funnily enough it’s actually probably Season 1. Maybe that was a purposeful mirror, but really what I’m trying to say is Season 7 is like Season 1’s serial comic booky adventures but made by a now more experienced team that gave us the show’s incredible later seasons.
SHIELD has become known for shaking things up every season to keep things fresh. From its darker tone post-Winter Soldier, to tackling classic X-Men themes with the Inhuman outbreak, to Ghost Rider and robots and a digital Hydra-infested alternate reality, to a Battlestar Galactica style dystopian future, to just saying “fuck it let’s go wild” in Season 6. But the decision to have the agents travel through the decades for the final season might be their best twist yet. As the showrunners said themselves “it was the only thing we hadn’t done yet!”, and as usual they are handling expertly. From the costumes, to the effects, writing and direction it’s all been top-notch.
By turning the show into basically Marvel’s Quantum Leap, we get to explore some of the silver-age style unseen history of SHIELD we only got glimpses of with the its precursor the SSR on Agent Carter. The series also gets to let its hair down and have some more fun than usual after some heavily dramatic prior seasons (not that I’m complaining I love some good drama), playing off era tropes like the upcoming 5th episode “A Trout in the Milk” which looks like a blast, riffing off cheesy 70s cop shows. They’ve also been able to tackle uncannily timely issues like racism in a way that most others shows that deal with the past tend to gloss over, and it’s refreshing to see them handle this stuff head-on especially in these times.
All in all this is turning out to be maybe SHIELD’s best season yet, maybe even unseating Season 4 as the reigning champion.
We’ve been to the 30s, 50s and now we’re going to the 70s.
I can’t wait to see where this ride goes next.