The 11th episode of the seventh and final season of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. aired tonight on ABC and it brought on the beginning of the end for S.H.I.E.L.D. The episode, titled “Brand New Day,” sees the team scrambling to save one of their own while Malick goes digging for answers.
The episode opens with a shocked Daisy watching radar as the team tracks the Zephyr from the Lighthouse before it completely disappears from their view. Sousa questions how that’s possible if the satellites that surround the planet are what they were using to track them and May explains that they moved above them. In other words, they’re in space.
Yo-Yo calls in over the radio as “616” requesting permission to land. This is a nice nod to Marvel’s Earth-616, the main universe in Marvel Comics. Eager to get answers from Kora, Daisy and the team head to meet her. May warns that the death of Jiaying might set Kora off, as she is essentially a walking bomb. Daisy seems to understand.
Still, as she comes face to face with her sister, Daisy wastes no time before quaking her up against a wall and getting her hand around her throat. She demands to know where Simmons is (after she was taken by Malick last week). Kora, clearly being choked by Daisy, doesn’t respond and Mack orders Daisy to release her. When she does, Kora explains that she’s there to help and she wants to be an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.
On the Zephyr, Malick orders one of his men to stop calling him “sir” and orders a woman to “send the signal.” Elsewhere on the ship, Deke emerges from the room in which he was hiding and barely has enough time to make a Die Hard reference before being caught.
Back in the Lighthouse, Yo-Yo and Mack lock up two of Malick’s soldier in a cell, with Yo-Yo staying to keep an eye on them. Mack questions why they were able to capture Kora so easily and determines that Sibyl is predicting their moves.
Coulson, Daisy and May question Kora on why she wants to join them. She explains that Malick’s goal is to reduce suffering. Unimpressed, Daisy again demands to know where Simmons is but Kora continues to refuse to answer. She instead promises to use Sibyl’s abilities to make the world a better place and explains that they’ve already used it to save lives. Mack enters and explains that some lives were taken, referencing what happened to his parents earlier in the season. Kora apologizes, but explains that this is just one piece of proof that they’re now in a different timeline and that they can take the opportunity to make this one better. She refers to the timeline as a “brand new day” and explains that their plan for making it better involves killing some bad people before they can do some bad things. The team is quite obviously not on board, but thanks to Sibyl’s prediction, Kora knows that Daisy will want to speak to her alone.
Daisy and Kora meet in a cell, alone. Daisy tries to get the truth out of Kora and explains that she and the team don’t believe her. Kora explains that, while S.H.I.E.L.D. is Malick’s enemy, she believes there’s a chance they can work together because they’re siblings. The two share a bit of a heartfelt moment discussing their pasts before Kora explains that Sibyl told her there is no future in which Daisy lets her sister fight alone. Daisy tells her she was right and tosses her a key before leaving.
Back on the Zephyr, Malick digs inside Simmons’ mind, searching for Fitz. Instead, all he finds are other, much earlier, memories Simmons has of Fitz. Malick gets frustrated that he can’t see whatever memories he wants and demands to know how Simmons is blocking him. She defiantly tells him she’s not doing anything and he has Garrett bring in Deke as added motivation.
Daisy tries to sneak out of the Lighthouse before Sousa catches her. She explains that she needs to go on her own and he refuses. He tags along and the two hop aboard a quinjet. Daisy explains that they’ve been a step behind because Sibyl is predicting all of their move. So, now she’s trying to be unpredictable and explains that she already has a sister to save – Simmons.
Sousa and Daisy prepare to take off but Daisy seems a bit puzzled. Her confused look prompts Sousa to question whether or not she has ever flown a quinjet before, which she has not. As they prepare to take off, Mack come on board and asks how they plan to leave without director authorization. Daisy explains that if they’re going to beat Sibyl, they have to be unpredictable. Mack agrees and grant them authorization before tagging along himself.
May and Coulson watch the quinjet make its way to space on radar. May says she doesn’t like the idea but Coulson disagrees. He becomes the third person to jump on board with this unpredictable plan. The two talk about Kora and Coulson suggests May ask her some questions.
On the Zephyr, Garrett beats on Deke in attempt to get Simmons to talk. When it doesn’t work, he threats to hurt Simmons instead. He still doesn’t give up any information but Malick sees the red lights on Simmons’ neck and realizes he has to remove an implant from her head.
Daisy, Mack and Sousa make it to outer space and lock on to the Zephyr. Meanwhile, at the Lighthouse May tries to speak with Kora. Kora brings up May’s dark past, with which May has since made peace. The two trade barbs before Kora becomes visibly angry. May tries to calm her down but Kora uses her power to knock out the Lighthouse’s power and firewalls. That allows Sibyl to hack into their computers and begin communicating with them.
Sibyl threatens the team via messages on their computer. May asks Coulson if he can decipher the code Sibyl is using since he is, you know, essentially a computer himself now. He says he doesn’t think he can but, it’s Coulson. We know better.
On the Quinjet, Mack and Daisy share a heart-to-heart about how Enoch told her this would be the team’s last mission. Mack seems ready to move on but Daisy explains that this is her family. When he assures her they would keep in touch, she glances at Sousa and the conversation changes. Daisy explains the kiss they shared during the time loops and Mack tells her she won a $20 bet with Yo-Yo.
On the Zephyr, Malick tries to remove the implant from Simmons but she tells him she’s the only one who can use the device to do so. Clearly frustrated, Malick decides to jump into Simmons’ mind with her to find Fitz himself. He jumps into a memory in which Enoch seemingly explains the time travel plan to Fitz and Simmons.
Back in the Lighthouse, Coulson is making things work, as we knew he would. May tries to get Coulson to talk with Kora but he explains to her that that’s her job now. As they talk, Sibyl unlocks the cell doors in the base. The two soldiers escape and try to sneak up on Yo-Yo. She catches them though and uses her power to bring them both to command central.
Kora gets out of her cell and confronts Coulson, May and Yo-Yo, who are now holding the two prisoners. Coulson tries to explain that these soldiers are the kind of lives Malick is trying to save, the kind that tried to kill Yo-Yo seconds ago. Trying to get the team on her side, Kora uses her power to blow a hole in the chest of one of the soldiers.
Kora explains that she can keep moving the stream back to their timeline if they want and that the next person she would have to kill would be Sousa. She also presents the alternative of scratching names off of Malick’s kill list and reveals that the first name on it would be Grant Ward, a nice callback to earlier seasons. Coulson tries to explain that people can be changed instead of being killed. Kora disagrees and explains that she wants to show her mom that this is what she’s meant to be. May tells her Jiaying is her and they can show her now.
On the quinjet, Mack gives Sousa an awkward big brother talk on behalf of Daisy. The talk culminates in a cringe-worthy shared laugh at the name “Quake.”
In Simmons’ mind, Malick continues to jump around various memories. In one, Fitz and Simmons share a private talk about putting their time machine project on hold in order to live out their lives together for a while. Afterall, they are building a time machine, so it really doesn’t matter how long it takes them. Simmons questions if this idea is “about the bloodwork.” Fitz says both no and yes and Simmons tries to explain that they don’t know something about this “blood work” before Fitz cuts her off by saying they should take the time they have. Malick appears and says he’s going to need to see this home they’ve built together.
Back in the Lighthouse, May takes Kora to see Jiaying. Kora tries to revive her mother, explaining that her powers allow her to heal, but it doesn’t work. May tells Kora that her mother died protecting Daisy from Malick.
In Simmons’ mind, Fitz and Simmons are sharing another mysterious emotional moment and Malick is becoming increasingly frustrated. Simmons argues that the implant is only supposed to keep her from remembering his location and Fitz tells her she needs to forget more in order to be strong. They embrace as Simmons cries and repeats “I don’t want to forget.” As the camera pans away, Fitz is no longer with her and she continues to whisper the phrase.
Malick jumps out of her mind and is clearly angry as he announces a change in his plan. Simmons jumps off the table and rushes to Deke. He asks her what happened and guesses that Malick didn’t find Fitz. Confused, Simmons asks “who is Fitz?”
May and Kora continue their argument over Malick’s true intentions and Kora attacks May. The two trade a few punches and May gets the upper hand. At this point, these kinds of fights are just frustrating because we know what Kora is capable of and May is not on her level. Right on queue, Kora fires a blast of energy, narrowly missing May and blowing a hole in the wall behind her. Garrett suddenly teleports in, grabs Kora and teleports back out.
Coulson continues to work to find what Sibyl is doing. He sees the last thing she accessed, which is a map of all of the S.H.I.E.L.D. bases. As he begins to list them, he realizes what her intentions are and looks worried. On the quinjet, the team gets a visual of the Zephyr and begin to prepare to board. Suddenly, several Chronicom ships appear and the team puts together that they weren’t hiding in space – they were calling reinforcements.
On the Zephyr, the same soldier from earlier calls the visibly angry Malick “sir” again and Malick kills him without hesitation. After he snaps on his team, he explains that Sibyl had her people make modifications to their ships and the signal they sent earlier called them here. He contacts the ships and tells them to fire when they want. The ships begin to fire lasers toward Earth.
Coulson tries to contact the hub from the Lighthouse. He gets a response but it is cut short when the base is destroyed by the Chronicom ships. Coulson, May and Yo-Yo watch on as the S.H.I.E.L.D. bases disappear from their screen one by one. Coulson explains that they’re doing exactly what they said they would – they’re destroying S.H.I.E.L.D. Before the episode ends, we see the Triskelion once again getting destroyed.
In the tag, we see Malick reunited with Kora. She has a bit of a concerned look on her face but she asks if they gave people new life. Malick assures her that they did and the two share a surprisingly passionate kiss as the episode ends.
In what has been a very strong season to this point, this stands out as possibly the weakest episode. It lacks the wacky time-travel fun we’ve seen in most previous episode and, aside from the last couple of minutes, also lacks anything truly consequential. We did finally get to see a little bit of Fitz, and a new wrinkly in his story with Simmons, but unfortunately it wasn’t enough to save the episode as a whole. I am absolutely confident next week’s episode will bounce back though.
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs Wednesday nights on ABC.