Chronicoms Change the Timeline in ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ Season 7, Episode 5: “A Trout in the Milk”

Clark Gregg in Marvel's 'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' Image courtesy of ABC.

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It’s the 1970s and Hydra, or S.H.I.E.L.D., has gotten their hands on Project Insight — aka the project that was destroyed in Captain America: The Winter Soldier and made S.H.I.E.L.D. collapse — decades before they were supposed to. With Sousa officially tagging along on the ride, Daisy, Coulson and everyone tries to stop it but it could be harder than they imagined. Chronicoms have evidently gotten information from the future, like Insight and a list of targets that includes a young Bruce Banner. Find out what happens in the newest episode in the final season of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., “A Trout in the Milk.”

Coulson and May are walking the streets and catch up to Daisy, who had just finished changing into 70s wear. She tells May and Coulson that the fact Sousa isn’t projectile vomiting from shock is a miracle. Sousa comes out of the store, still dressed in his usual attire. Sousa wonders how they know he was supposed to die in 1955 and Coulson says it’s in the history books. He then asks if he ends up in their time, will they even be in the same timeline? “I’d stop thinking about it. You brain will spill out.” Coulson tells Sousa that Jemma will explain it but maybe he’d be more comfortable staying back on the Zephyr. Sousa’s there, no going back. He says he might as well dive in and embrace the 1970s. The four get down to the speakeasy, which is now a bar.

Coulson and Sousa are sitting at a bar and Sousa says it’s good to know S.H.I.E.L.D is still going strong, he just wishes he knew what they were celebrating. They spot General Stoner, who gathers everyone around, thanking them all for being there. He knows they’re all excited to kick off S.H.I.E.L.D.’s next phase in global security. General Stoner welcomes his boss and friend, the one and only Wilfred Malick. Malick says to look how far they’ve come. “From hiding underground, keeping vigilant watch, to having eyes in the sky, ensuring the Earth’s safety.” Using targeting satellites and pinpoint laser telemetry, S.H.I.E.L.D. will now be able to neutralize hostiles anywhere in the world before they pose a threat. Coulson says it sounds like Hydra’s 40 years ahead of schedule and to prove that even more, Malick presents Project Insight.

After Daisy has a run-in with Gideon Malick, she tells Sousa that apparently Nathaniel Malick is still alive and he was also supposed to die in 1970. She has a clue on where they can get some intel. Coulson, meanwhile, is on the phone with Jemma, telling her about what’s going on. Jemma tells him that if he knows Enoch’s last location, she can take point on the search. Coulson appreciates it but Project Insight is their priority. Deke overhears that Malick is still alive and he says that Daisy was right, he should’ve taken him out. Jemma says he made the right call to preserve the timeline, there’s still time. Insight hasn’t even launched yet but Deke says there’s still three extra years for Malick, who knows what he could’ve done.

Daisy and Sousa get to a room in the bar since Gideon mentioned that his dad had been working in a windowless office. He must be using that space. Daisy moves a lamp and a bookcase moves, remembering just how it was a few days ago in 1931. The office is filled with briefcases and technology and Daisy guesses it must be Malick’s new base of operations. She sits down at a computer and after typing for a few moments, finds a list of targets for Insight and it’s mostly S.H.I.E.L.D. assets. One target jumps out at her: Bruce Banner. Daisy tells Sousa that Bruce is just a kid now but in a few decades, he becomes an Avenger. Sousa’s starting to think they made the timeline worse than it was before. There’s only one way Hydra could have gotten names from the future.

They get back out to the bar, May spotting them. She tells Coulson it’s time to go, but not before Malick stops them. He thanks Coulson for coming in and he tells Malick it’s an honor to serve S.H.I.E.L.D. Malick starts to make small talk with Coulson, subtly revealing that he knows who they are, and Chronicoms come up behind them. Malick tells Coulson to surrender and they’ll go easy on the rest of them. Daisy comes up behind, showing that she has Nathaniel, and Coulson tells Malick he let them go and the kid walks. Malick says Nathaniel has nothing to do with it but May says he’s a ripple, he doesn’t belong there. Luke says this ends now and the Chronicoms raise their blasters but Malick tells them to stand down. Daisy, Coulson, May, and Sousa get away with Nathaniel, leaving him by the door as they escape. Chroncioms catch up to them and Daisy uses her powers to Quake them. Coulson says they need some wheels to get away and as if on cue, Enoch drives up. “Come with me if you want to continue to exist!” The four get in and drive away. Luke finally makes it to the street, seeing the dead Chronicoms. “It’s time we finally change the rules.”

On the Zephyr, Mack clarifies that Hydra’s attempting Insight in 1973 and Yo-Yo adds on that there’s no Helicarriers. He says it explains the launch pad he and Yo-Yo saw at the Lighthouse; it must be where they’re planning to set up the satellite. Daisy says they found a dossier of mostly S.H.I.E.L.D. assets — Bruce Banner, Nick Fury, Peggy Carter — picking them off, one by one. Mack says if they move now, they can disable Insight before it’s launch capable. Mack says Hydra knows they’re coming, so they have to assume the Lighthouse is fortified with a battalion. Sousa interrupts, asking if the timer is supposed to do that. The countdown is going nuts but when it’s back to normal, the timer reads 20 seconds, they’re about to jump. Jemma is trying to override it but something’s messed with the algorithm. She realizes the Chronicoms have changed plans, they’re jumping early. Mack says this is their only chance to stop Insight, they can’t be on the ship. Yo-Yo tries to run to the ship’s doors but it’s too late. The jump happens and Coulson catches up to her, telling her she tried. “There’s nothing else you could’ve done.” Yo-Yo wonders how far they’ve jumped.

It’s July 4, 1976 and Stoner walks through the halls of base, saluting agents. He gets word that Project Insight is ready for launch. Back on the Zephyr, Mack says it’s launch day for Project Insight. They move fast, they stop that satellite. Coulson says they infiltrate on the ground, he and May can sneak in, they’re going to flood the base. Mack tells them if they can position the charges right, they can rupture some leaks and fill the base with lake water. If they can’t tell S.H.I.E.L.D. from Hydra, their best bet is to clear everybody out. Mack says they need the base empty to preserve its state in the timeline but Daisy mentions that Hydra could be holding prisoners, they could get trapped in the flood. That’s where she comes in. Mack needs her to hack into the security system and get them a surveillance feed. Jemma says once they have eyes, they’ll scan the place and make sure no one is left behind. Sousa tells Mack he’s going with Daisy, he’d rather be out there working the problem. Everyone gets into positions.

After Daisy successfully hacks into the security feed, the footage is shown on the monitor on the Zephyr. Mack says the doors are unlocked and tells May and Coulson they’re clear for entry. The two enter the base, dressed in S.H.I.E.L.D. astronaut uniforms. “Covert and fashionable.” May says it should get them past the security perimeter. Through a walkie, May says they’re past the first checkpoint and they’re waiting on access. Soon, May says they’re approaching the hangar and Daisy says she’s working on unlocking the next checkpoint. However, Nathaniel Malick blasts her and Sousa and they’re knocked unconscious. “They told me if someone poked around in the system, it would be you.”

May and Coulson get to the second checkpoint but when he asks Daisy to get them in, there’s no sign of her. Jemma tells Mack that Daisy’s signal has dropped and he tells her to keep trying to reach Daisy, they’re running out of time. Meanwhile, Yo-Yo and Deke break into Malick’s office and Deke points a gun at him. Malick tells them he had a notion that they’d turn up. Yo-Yo says the launch isn’t happening, S.H.I.E.L.D. is shutting it down. Malick can’t escape the feeling that they have no idea what they’re up against and Yo-Yo tells him he can fill them in because he’s coming with them. Malick says he’s not going anywhere.

On the Zephyr, Mack’s looking at the security footage, saying that cell blocks one through six are clear. Jemma tells him there’s still nothing from Daisy and Sousa, she wonders if they’ve been compromised. “Let’s hope not.” They’re less than five minutes from launch, they have to get Coulson and May into position. Mack tells them they have a new plan and they soon catch up to General Stoner. Coulson tells him he can’t explain everything he’s about to say but he has to believe him. He cannot launch that satellite. Coulson tells him about Hydra and Chronicoms, it’s why they need him to suspend the launch protocol. May, however, punches him and knocks him out. She grabs his access card and they walk away.

Malick tells Yo-Yo and Deke if they keep fighting the Chronicoms, things are only going to get messier. He holds up an envelope that Luke gave him, saying he has something they desperately want. Yo-Yo tells Malick it’s time he answer for his crimes but he says the dominos are already falling. The Chronicoms knew exactly how this was going to unfold. Coulson and May get the device ready while Nathaniel drives away with Daisy and Sousa, who are still unconscious and now tied up. Malick says the Chronicoms were always 10 steps ahead. “And even if you figure out what’s going on, there’s nothing you can do because the Chronicoms see everything.” Deke shoots Malick, telling Yo-Yo he’s supposed to be dead. “Status quo.” Yo-Yo grabs the envelope and takes out the paper, not believing what she’s seeing.

As a countdown is going through the base, with less than a minute to launch, Coulson and May are still attaching the devices. May tells Mack the charge is in position, they’re ready to detonate on his signal. Jemma tells him she’s waiting on his signal but Mack is just staring at the screen. He’s looking at footage of two people held up and Jemma asks if they’re prisoners. “They’re my parents.” If Coulson and May flood the base, then they’ll drown. Jemma tells him they can’t let Insight launch but Mack makes the decision to abort, telling Coulson and May. They abort and Insight launches, Coulson and May are surrounded. Mack initiates countermeasures and arms the missiles. Mack, Enoch, and Jemma get the Zephyr in the air and launch a missile at Insight, blowing it up. Insight has been destroyed but they gave up their position.

At a phone booth, Nathaniel makes a call to someone — Daniel Whitehall. He doesn’t want to see him, he just wants his instructions. Detailed instructions written down. Whitehall has a theory about transferring enhanced abilities surgically, and he’s going to find out if it works.

The final season of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET/9 p.m. CT on ABC, streaming the next day on Hulu and On Demand.

Megan

Written by

Megan has been passionate about writing since she was little and has been passionate about all things pop culture and nerdy since almost as long. Just new to Nerds and Beyond in 2019, she is also studying Multimedia Journalism at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh and can most likely be seen at a concert or comic convention somewhere. Megan is constantly binge-watching shows and finding new things to obsess over. Supernatural and Marvel currently reign as the top obsessions. You can find her on Twitter @marvelstaylena.

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