It always comes back to HYDRA, doesn't it?
The promos for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 7 teased the terrorist organization, but their incorporation into the story was shocking.
But the real enemy seems to be the Chronicoms, who proved on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 7 Episode 1 that they will stop at nothing to erase S.H.I.E.L.D. from existence.
The fact that the Chronicoms have both brains and brawns means it's going to be a fierce battle between them and the team.
The sentential beings were able to throw the remaining agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. off their trail without even meaning too. However, that doesn't negate the ability of Coulson, Mack, Daisy, and everyone to take down the Chronicoms.
It makes perfect sense that they believed the Chronicoms were targeting FDR and not a seemingly average guy like Freddy to erase S.H.I.E.L.D. from existence.
Deke: Navigating the past happens to be my specialty.
Yo-Yo: Last time you got stupid drunk and ended up in jail.
Deke: That's not true. I was pleasantly drunk and it was hilarious.
Daisy: He'll be fine. It's prohibition, so alcohol is illegal anyway.
Deke: It's what? Who would think that's a good idea? Even the Kree let us make our own boot juice.
But the extremely advanced beings thought of a different route to take. Instead of taking out one of the guys who helped start S.H.I.E.L.D., they were going to take out the enemy that prompted the original agents to create the SSR.
It's a genius way to show off the Chronicoms' intelligence while also bringing back the show's number one nemesis for the final season.
HYDRA has always been the antithesis of S.H.I.E.L.D., kind of like what Lex Luthor is to Superman and what the Joker is to Batman.
And well thought out bad guys are just as important as developed protagonists.
Television shows aren't interesting unless you have someone to root for and root against, and HYDRA is the best enemy Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has ever created.
With the introduction of Freddy, the father of Gideon Malick, HYDRA is back in the game.
But this time, they need to save HYDRA instead of defeating it.
From the promos, we already knew that the team was going to have to save HYDRA in order to save S.H.I.E.L.D., and it was a bit of a letdown that that was spoiled before the episode aired.
But they left out Freddy's real identity, so some surprises remained.
Two years in ten seconds. It's like the worst episode of "This Is Your Life" ever.Coulson
Since they spent most of the hour trying their hardest to make ripples, not waves, in 1931 so as to not mess with the timeline, it might as well be set in stone that they want to keep Freddy bad.
However, he does not seem the least bit evil right now, as he's just a kid trying to survive in a big city after his father committed suicide.
As a lot of villain origin stories go, Freddy will probably be a victim of his circumstances. We already know that he is mixed up with a bad crowd, and it won't be long until he turns into the man that raised one of the leaders of HYDRA.
Villains aside, the show picked up right where they left off on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 6 Episode 13 with the "resurrection" of Coulson.
The question of the moralities of the situation and if this LMD is truly Coulson could be debated for days, but I'm glad that it wasn't a huge focus of the premiere.
Of course, he is angry that he was brought back when he explicitly told them he did not want to be when he died on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 5 Episode 22, but now is not the time nor place to argue. They have a job to do.
Mack: If they're Chronicoms, they're waiting for FDR.
Coulson: When he gets here, it'll be a whole new deal. Am I right?
All pretenses aside, including his new superhuman strength and being indestructible, this new Coulson is every bit the old Coulson.
He makes bad dad jokes, is fiercely loyal, and fangirls over people like FDR, and he has been severely missed. Coulson was one of the best parts of the show, and it doesn't really function well unless he's on it.
Coulson is also one half of some of Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s best dynamics.
We have yet to see him reunite with May, but we saw how happy and eager Daisy was to have him back if her hitting the button to power him up so fast that Simmons didn't have a chance to finish speaking was enough evidence.
Besides Fitz and Simmons, I would argue that the best relationship on the show is Coulson and Daisy's.
Ever since he recruited her to S.H.I.E.L.D., he has acted as a father figure to her, and there is no doubt that they both think the world of one another.
Getting to see them work together, and now kick butt together with their superhuman powers, will be a treat to the fans who have been around since the beginning. And isn't that what final seasons are all about?
While Daisy, Mack, Coulson, and Deke were on the ground tracking the Chronicoms and immersing themselves into 1930's culture, Simmons and Yo-Yo stayed back on the Zephyr.
Their dynamic is not one we have seen too much of, but they bonded over their individual pains -- Yo-Yo with her new arms and recovering from the Shrike and Simmons with her separation from Fitz.
Simmons: Fitz said he tried to send me a message, but I'm not entirely sure how to find it.
Yo-Yo: You must be worried about him.
Simmons: He's safe. But I do miss him.
Yo-Yo: Well, it's not exactly your first go at being separated by space and time.
Simmons: Practice makes perfect I suppose.
They have both come a long way from their introductions, and you can tell all they've have been through has taken a toll.
Thankfully, Yo-Yo has Mack to support her and to confide in, while Simmons is once again apart from Fitz.
Why does this show love tearing them apart? And we don't even know how long it has been since they last saw one another since Simmons refuses to tell anyone the amount of time they spent preparing for this mission.
Fitz's absence was greatly felt on the hour as he has always been one of the best, most well-developed characters.
We can only hope that he is able to reunite with Simmons and the rest of the team a lot faster than he has on previous seasons. It is the final season, after all, and we need our dose of Fitz.
Coulson: It's the Great Depression. A decade before Pearl Harbor. Almost four decades before Apollo 11. These people have never even seen a TV.
Mack: Or a black man in a fine suit apparently.
Daisy: Imagine if they saw my powers.
Coulson: Or my gears. Do I have gears, do you think?
May was also sorely missed, but we won't have to wait much longer for her to rejoin the team since she awoke from her pod and seems to be in great shape.
Unfortunately, it is not certain that she is the May we all know and love, given the fact it looked like she was getting ready to attack Enoch.
My bets are on her just being cautious after waking up to an advanced version of the Zephyr and a strange Chronicom walking around. May did almost die, after all, and surviving the stabbing through the chest is probably a shock to her.
Overall, it was a promising start to the farewell season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., with throwbacks to previous episodes, epic fight scenes, and the return of the character who started it all.
What did you think, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Fanatics?
Are you glad Coulson is back? Did you love seeing Patton Oswalt back playing another Koenig? And are you surprised that their concept of time travel is not similar to Avenger: Endgame's?
Let me know in the comments, and do not forget that you can watch Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. online right here via TV Fanatic!
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs on Wednesdays at 10/9c on ABC.
Sarah Little was a staff writer for TV Fanatic.She retired in September 2021.