‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ Recap: The Agents Are Pushed to Their Limits in Season 7, Episode 6 “Adapt or Die”

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Chloe Bennet and Thomas E. Sullivan in 'Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' Image courtesy of ABC.

Last week’s episode ended on multiple cliffhangers, with Nathaniel Malick kidnapping Daisy and Sousa, the reveal that Mack’s parents were being held in the Lighthouse, and the Zephyr blowing up Project Insight. This week, Nathaniel reveals his plans for his hostages, Deke finds out what Jemma and Enoch have been hiding, and Coulson and May find out more about the Chronicoms. One agent also makes a surprising sacrifice.

Find out what happens in the newest episode of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., “Adapt or Die.”

At the Lighthouse, S.H.I.E.L.D. is trying to figure out what hit Insight, and radar is picking up a debris field. General Stoner tells everyone they know the rocket is dead and demands they find him the ship that killed it. A guard brings over Coulson and May, showing Stoner the duffel bag of charges. Coulson tells him he didn’t want that thing to reach orbit; he would have found that out the hard way.

“Because time-traveling robots would have turned their deadly lasers upon the earth?”

They get a faint signal, but May tells Coulson they shouldn’t be able to track the Zephyr. Stoner says they have an Advanced Integrated Tracking System, a little gift from their friend Malick. Coulson realizes they’ll be blown out of the sky.

On the Zephyr, Jemma says S.H.I.E.L.D. had to see them; they launched a missile in broad daylight. Enoch tells her that all signals are quiet, even with the Quinjet docking. She tells him to keep scanning and re-engage cloaking. Yo-Yo and Deke get back to the Zephyr, and Jemma asks them where Malick is. Yo-Yo tells her it’s complicated. They went there, he was waiting for them, and Deke says he’s dead and that he shot him. Mack tells him that wasn’t the order, and Deke says that Malick kept making waves; he thought it was best. Mack doesn’t have time to deal with him right now; they need to get moving. He asks Jemma if she has a 20 on Daisy and Sousa and Jemma tells him she checked every camera feed in the Lighthouse, but there’s no sign of them. Mack says he can’t be out his strongest fighter and tells Deke to stay put; he wants every scanner on the ship searching. He tells Jemma to scan for Daisy and Sousa and, while she’s at it, scan for the enemy ship. They gave up their position, and that may cause them to give up theirs. Mack says, “Let’s bring the pain to them for once.”

Lockdown Protocol is enacted at the Lighthouse, and Stoner wants to know who initiated it; it wasn’t his order. Coulson says they’re using the lockdown to divide and conquer the base. “I didn’t bring you here to speak.” Missiles begin their arming sequence, and the system is running on its own. Coulson says anything computerized has been hijacked. Stoner tells agents to go downstairs and rip out the mainframe if they have to. May tells him they’re too late; the missiles are away. The Zephyr’s alarms are going off, and Jemma says there are three missiles inbound, and Enoch has the Zephyr just barely miss them.

Daisy slowly comes to, and Sousa tells her it’s good to see her. Her head is killing her, and it feels like there’s cement running through her veins. Sousa tells her it’s drugs; he hasn’t been this messed up since the field hospital. Daisy sees that her ankles and hands are handcuffed and tries to quake but can’t. Nathaniel comes in, formerly introducing himself.

“The two of you took me hostage — changed my life.”

Daisy suggests he unchain them so they can hug it out and Hydra and S.H.I.E.L.D. can be together at last. Nathaniel says religion isn’t really his thing, but Sousa doesn’t want to know what his thing is. Nathaniel tells Sousa it’s him; he’s his thing. Sousa tries to fight him but is too weak. He knows Daisy can move things without touching them, and Sousa either fought the Krauts in diapers, or he’s aging much slower than the other 60-somethings he knows. Daisy tries to tell Nathaniel that Sousa isn’t an Inhuman, and Nathaniel says he’d better hope he is. Nathaniel dabbled in the family business, but nothing really spoke to him until he met Daisy. He saw what she could do.

“You haven’t even seen the half of it.”

Everything Nathaniel wants is right there, flowing through their veins. Daisy tells him that it’s not the super serum; it’s genetics. Nathaniel is rich, cuts down some barriers. Plus, he says Hydra families keep in touch. Dr. Reinhardt has some very helpful tips. “Discovery requires experimentation.” Didn’t they catch Reinhardt in the war? Nathaniel says yes, but Daisy realizes he means Daniel Whitehall. She threatens to crush Nathaniel, and he tells her just one bone shaker, and it’s over. “Show me what makes you so special.” Daisy tries to quake again, but she can’t. “We start with her.”

Stoner interrogates Coulson and May, and Coulson tells him the base just shot down a plane full of good agents. Stoner, however, tells him they blew up the country’s most important defense system; of course, they fired on them. Coulson says he didn’t fire; someone took over the Lighthouse, as they warned. Imagine Stoner believes them, and they’ve been infiltrated; what is he looking for? Coulson tells him they’re partially synthetic humanoids and steal their faces in order to blend in. Another agent comes in, and she tells Coulson and May that Insight was her first post out of the Academy and to enjoy their time in prison. She tells Stoner that Ford requested him down in the basement in person; they’ve got something. Stoner begins to leave, and Coulson tells him to let them help. He asks if they paid Fred Malick a visit, and Coulson says yes, he’s Hydra. Not anymore; he’s dead, so they just stay there. Once alone, May tells Coulson there’s something wrong with that Agent, the woman. She felt nothing, like Coulson.

“She’s a Chronicom.”

The Zephyr’s cloaking is worn down, wires are cut, and smoke is everywhere. As Jemma and Deke argue over the ship’s new electrical problems and the smoke, Enoch tells them they have more pressing issues. He shows them a tablet and says that when the Drive jumps, it takes the Zephyr with it due to a network of cables that encompasses the ship. Jemma continues, telling Deke that it carries the current from the drive to the shielding around the Zephyr. Enoch says only parts of the ship would jump away without the shielding intact, and what remains would be pulverized. Jemma says they could jump at any moment, so they need to fix this immediately. She tells Deke to take a look at the power regulator, and she and Enoch will rewire the control panel. Jemma is stressed and asks Enoch shouldn’t she know how to fix this? Why can’t she remember how to fix it? Enoch tells her not to worry, but they have to act now.

Coulson doesn’t believe May, but she’s telling him that the Agent is a Chronicom. She had the same void of emotions that May gets from him. Coulson says she showed emotion, had a personality and was the person Stoner knew. Chronicoms can’t mimic that, but May tells Coulson that he can. Coulson realizes that the Chronicoms are not mimicking him; they’re adapting. On the train, Luke said they adapt. They saw Coulson and realized they could steal personalities. What if they have a method of taking their methods and their identities and uploading them into Chronicom bodies? “Replace the Agents; use them to take over.” And General Stoner’s next.

Coulson and May break free, find the Chronicoms and the other Hunters, and start fighting them. Coulson pulls the plug on Stoner’s table, and he wakes up, finally believing him. He tells Stoner they’re in a Chronicom replacement room, and the table copies his mind to them. “Then they take your face.” Coulson’s sorry that they took his friends, but the device is out of commission now. They won’t take anyone else. Stoner still has his agents strapped down in the base; they need to get people out and regroup topside. Coulson sees a ladder, asking Stoner if they’re at the very bottom of the Lighthouse; they mentioned bringing more Chronicoms up. He’s going to see where they’re coming from. Coulson goes down the ladder to the Chronicom base and is transported to Sibyl.

Nathaniel is just finishing with Daisy, and his guys bring her back to where Sousa is. Nathaniel tells him he took as much blood and fluid as he thought she could handle, a couple of glands. Now he has to synthesize it all and transfuse it to himself. He knows it’s risky, but he wants to try new things. Nathaniel and his guys leave, and Daisy tells Sousa it all happened before, with Jiaying. Daisy can barely stay awake, and Sousa tries to keep her talking and awake by telling her a story from his time in the field hospital.

“We are going home, Agent Johnson.”

After Deke interrupts Enoch when he is working on Jemma, Jemma is furious at him. Deke demands he tells her what just happened, and Jemma tells him that Enoch was fixing her memory so she can fix the ship. She says he cannot imagine how impossible it was to track the Chronicoms through time, but she and Fitz found a place where all their moves could be observed. To guide them, Fitz stayed there. Jemma tells Deke that Fitz is completely exposed and they will kill him if they find him; no one can know his location. Jemma knew, and she designed a biological implant to suppress her memories. Deke points out that if they replace the capacitors, she won’t remember how to find Fitz again. Jemma’s worried she might. The implant is acting up, and she forgets the things she’s supposed to know, and more dangerously, she remembers the things she’s not. Deke tells her they’ll replace the implant.

A guy comes up to Sousa, telling him that Daisy doesn’t look so good, and starts unchaining him. Sousa punches him and starts fighting him once his legs are free, then frees Daisy. The barn starts shaking, and it turns out to be Nathaniel. He says his bones are cracking, and he’s soon knocked down by falling wood.

Coulson is back in the Chronicom ship and hears someone coming. He goes over the walkie to tell May he found it. He just hopes she’s right about this next part. Coulson throws the bag full of charges and activates them, blowing up the ship and sacrificing himself. Meanwhile, May finds Mack, his parents, and Yo-Yo with Stoner and tells them that Coulson lifted the lockdown. They need to head to the ship. May thanks Stoner for believing them, and Stoner thanks her for saving his skin, literally.

Deke apologizes to Enoch as he’s fixing Jemma’s implant, and she says no one can know where Fitz is, and no one can know about her. Even him knowing puts him at great risk. Later on, Deke gives Enoch the tablet with the timer that shows there’s just about a minute before the next jump. Daisy is recovering, Yo-Yo is trying to comfort Mack after what just happened with his parents being Chronicoms, and Deke tells Jemma and Sousa they’re about to jump. Jemma tells Sousa it’s his last chance, but he says he’s where he needs to be.

After the jump, Mack opens the ship’s doors, telling Deke he needs some air, and rides off on a motorcycle. Deke goes after him, and Jemma, over the walkie, wonders where he is. The signal is breaking up, but Jemma manages to tell him that the Zephyr is leaving; both of them have to get back now; they’re about to jump. Deke finds Mack and tells him they have to go; the Zephyr is in trouble. Behind them, the Zephyr makes the jump, stranding them.

The last 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. Check out the promo for next week’s episode below!

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By Megan
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. Joining Nerds and Beyond in 2019, she also graduated from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh in 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts in Multimedia Journalism. Megan is constantly binge-watching shows and finding new things to obsess over. 9-1-1 and Marvel currently reign as the top obsessions. You can find her on Twitter @marvels911s if you ever want to discuss some certain firefighters.
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