The sixth episode of the seventh and final season of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. aired tonight on ABC and it was probably the most impactful episode we’ve seen so far. The episode, titled “Adapt or Die,” is loaded with twist, turns and huge moments that will absolutely dictate where this season goes before it’s all over.
The episode opens with the head Chronicom once again meeting with their predictor, Sibyl. After some bizarre and painfully cringe-worthy dialogue from Sibyl, the chronicom begins to doubt her plan. She assures him that they are still on the right path and that they must continue to adapt, dropping some serious foreshadowing. We then see him begin to wake up a small army of Chronicom hunters.
In the Lighthouse, the 1970s S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, led by Rick Stoner, deal with the fallout from the end of last week’s episode. Stoner is reunited with Coulson and May, who are now in S.H.I.E.L.D. custody. They try to explain to him Project Insight would not have worked out. Coulson and May learn that, thanks to a tracking system given to them by Wilfred Malick, 70s S.H.I.E.L.D. is actually able to track the Zephyr and potentially blow them out of the sky.
On board the Zephyr, Yo-Yo and Deke rejoin the team and a frustrated Mack learns that Deke killed Malick. The director explains that he is going into the Lighthouse to save his parents and Yo-Yo says she is coming along. As they get ready for their mission, Mack tells Simmons to scan for Daisy and Sousa as well as the Chronicom ship. He’s planning to go on the offensive.
In the quinjet, Yo-Yo and Mack discuss the details of their mission. Mack recalls that on this day, he and his family should be enjoying a barbecue in celebration of the bicentennial. He jokes that this was not how he planned to have Yo-Yo meet his parents.
Back in the Lighthouse, lockdown protocol has been initiated, much to the dismay of Stoner, who never gave the order. Coulson tries to explain to him that the Chronicoms have taken over and are attempting to divide and conquer the base. The hijacked system fires three missiles at the Zephyr without Stoner’s order. Simmons, Deke and Enoch prepare for impact on the Zephyr. They stop the first two missiles with flares but the third makes contact.
In a new mystery location, Daisy begins to wake up and is greeted by Sousa. Daisy tries to quake herself out of her handcuffs but can’t use her powers. Nathaniel Malick enters and, in true bad guy fashion begins to explain his plan. We learn that he is not HYDRA, but is still planning to use the research of Daniel Whitehall to transfer her power into him. He also believes Sousa is an Inhuman based on the fact that he hasn’t aged since the 50s. He tells his goons to get Daisy so he can begin his experiments.
In an interrogation room in the Lighthouse, Stoner begins to question Coulson and May. Stoner seemingly begins to believe them and asks exactly what he should be looking for before another agent interrupts them. She talks down to Coulson and May and conveniently places her hands on both of their shoulders. Stoner and the other agent make their way out but not before he asks them about Wilfred Malick. Coulson explains that he’s HYDRA and Stoner tells them that he’s dead. After they leave, May explains that there’s something wrong with the other agent because she didn’t feel any emotion from her. She’s a Chronicom.
On the Zephyr, Simmons, Enoch and Deke try to deal with the damage done from the missile. They learn that the ship’s connection to the jump drive has been damaged. If they don’t fix it before the next jump, the Zephyr would be destroyed. Simmons gives Deke a job while she works with Enoch. Once alone, she asks Enoch why she can’t remember how to fix the ship. He assures her that she is alright as long as they act now.
In a cell in the Lighthouse, we see Mack’s parents. Yo-Yo and Mack cut their way through a wall into the cell to rescue them and, after a brief and awkward moment where Mack hugs his mother who at this point is really a complete stranger, they make their way out of the cell.
The Chronicom disguised as an agent leads Stoner downstairs. As they pass a projection of Stoner, he orders her to turn it off and she replies that they’ll remove his face ASAP, a joke that hits home for the audience but not so much for Stoner.
May and Coulson discuss the agent and Coulson refuses to accept that she’s a Chronicom because she showed emotion. The two argue over their personal relationship and issues that have been building throughout the season. May explains that Coulson never dies, he always comes back. She tell him she’s not planning to mourn him again. In their argument, Coulson realizes the Chronicoms are watching him and adapting (oh my gosh, that’s why they call it that). They’re now not only taking people’s faces but also their personalities. We see an agent getting his face stolen and a moment later, Stoner is lead to that now-replaced agent.
Mack leads Yo-Yo and his parents to a closed door. His parents begin to panic about not being able to get out of the base but Mack assure them that their jet is on the other side of the door. Mack goes to work on the door by opening a panel and working on the locks. He asks his father for help.
We see the Chronicom agents, now with Stone attached to a machine as they begin to steal his personality (or lack thereof, am I right?). Coulson and May interrupt and give us our first fight scene of the episode. After the short tussle, they rescue Stoner who tells them they need to save the remaining agents in the base. Coulson makes his way to a ladder that seems to head lower into the base. He explains that he’s going head down to see where the Chronicoms are coming from.
We rejoin Sousa, who is looking through cracks in the wall to see what Malick is doing to Daisy. The goons bring her back into the room and Malick explains that he took blood and spinal fluid from her and plans to transfuse it to himself. Daisy, who is in really bad shape, begins to pass out in Sousa’s lap. Before she does, she lifts her hand to reveal that she managed to snag a piece of broken glass.
Back on the Zephyr, Enoch is operating on an unconscious Simmons. Deke enters and sees what’s happening. Unsettled, he sneaks up on Enoch and zaps him with a defibrillator, knocking him out. He wakes up Simmons and tries to tell her Enoch is a traitor. Her only response is “what have you done?”
We rejoin Coulson as he makes his way down the mysterious ladder. He comes to some sort of console and reaches in, transporting himself, at least virtually, to a realm where he meets Sibyl.
As Yo-Yo, Mack and his parents continue to work on the door, they hear a noise from behind them. Mack goes to confront two approaching Chronicoms and we have our second fight of the episode. The fight is cut together with clips of Coulson speaking with Sibyl. He asks her multiple questions about their plan, which she surprisingly is very willing to answer.
Back on the Zephyr, Deke tries to justify his actions. Simmons explains that Enoch is a friend and when she realizes Deke isn’t going to give up, she finally gives some real answers. She explains that she and Fitz found a place where they could observe the Chronicoms’ moves so they could track them through time. Fitz remained there to guide them and is exposed so it’s not safe for anyone to know their location. Simmons knows however, so she had Enoch put an implant in her brain to block her memory and now that implant is acting up. She’s beginning to forget things she’s supposed to know and remember things she is not.
In the mystery location, one of the goons comes in for Sousa and he attacks him with the piece of glass Daisy gave him. He unshackles himself and Daisy and lifts her to try to get to safety. Then he notices things begin to shake and turns to see Malick who explains that his bones are cracking. The roof caves in and falls, seemingly only on Malick.
Coulson asks Sibyl where Daisy is and she explains that she’s been abducted by Malick who plans to steal her powers. The two of them get into a philosophical discussion over the difference between Chronicoms and humans while we see Mack win the fight against two Chronicom hunters (not entirely sure how), Deke and Simmons fix the Zephyr and Sousa make his way past a knocked out Malick with Daisy in his arms. The talk ends with Coulson explaining that dying is kind of his superpower. He then pulls himself out of the system and back to the Chronicom base. He tells May he found the ship and then detonates the explosives he had from their previous mission, destroying the remaining Chronicoms and seemingly himself.
Mack comes face to face with the leader of the Chronicoms as the lockdown protocol is disengaged. The two come to blows before Stoner saves Mck by blasting the Chronicom. May and Stoner share a nice moment before May rejoins the team to escape the Lighthouse.
On the Quinjet, May explains to Mack an Yo-Yo what happened to Coulson but also says he’ll come back. On the Zpehyr, Simmons pressures Deke to apologize to Enoch before telling him he cannot tell the others of the implant in her brain.
Mack’s father thanks May for saving them and places his hand on her shoulder. She immediately realizes something is wrong and pulls Mack aside. She explains that she got no emotion from him and they should check an injury he sustained earlier. After some hesitance, Mack urges his father ot show them and learns that his parents are actually Chronicoms. They attack the team and his not-father explains to Mack that his real parents are dead. The team disposes of the two Chronicoms in what is clearly an incredibly emotional moment for Mack.
Back on the Zephyr, the team prepares for the next jump. Yo-Yo comforts Mack and Sousa watches over Daisy as she recovers. Simmons tells Sousa this is his last chance and he cuts her off, telling her he is where he needs to be. The Zephyr jumps again and Mack immediately heads for his motorcycle and leaves, telling Deke he needs some air.
In the tag, we see Mack staring into the distance with the Zephyr in the background. Deke heads out to check on him but a panicked Simmons calls to him on the radio and urges him to come back. She explains that they’re about to jump again and Deke calls out to Mack, who doesn’t react. Behind Deke, we see the Zephyr jump again, leaving Deke and Mack behind.
This was an incredibly emotional episode of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which may have seen the final death of Coulson (almost definitely not) and saw Mack have to learn of his parents’ death. We also now have the team separated once again, with Deke and a shattered Mack left behind. Who knows where or when the rest of the team is off to. Will they be joined by an aged Deke and Mack? I’m very interested to see what happens moving forward.
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs Wednesday nights on ABC.
Mike is a writer that has covered comic cons, theme park events, video game showcases and other fun events. He is a fan of theme parks, sports, movies, Marvel Comics and is a self-proclaimed “nerd.”