Once again, the agents faced the dilemma of whether or not to change the past, and this time, it was all about saving Daniel Sousa's life.
After not knowing what Sousa's fate exactly was since Marvel's Agent Carter was canceled only two seasons in, we learned on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 7 Episode 4 that he made S.H.I.E.L.D. history.
Unfortunately, his legacy is as the first fallen agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.
It was sad news for Sousa fans everywhere, but, thankfully, the team, led by Mack, decided to take their chances with the timeline by saving Sousa and faking his death.
It's a win-win situation. The timeline remains unchanged, many people will still be inspired by Sousa's sacrifice, and he gets to live. After everything he's been through, he deserves a happy life.
Sousa: Stark's not going to be at the drop, you know. It'll be his man in LA.
Coulson: That's too bad. I was hoping to meet him.
Sousa: You worked on this for Howard, and you've never met him?
Coulson: Sent a few encouraging messages to the lab.
Sousa: Sounds like him.
Coulson: What's he like?
Sousa: A pompous ass.
Coulson: Big thinkers can come off that way, makes for a divide between those in the lab and those in the field.
Sousa: Yeah, I'm feeling it now.
Just because Sousa survived this episode, doesn't mean that he achieves that life though. Anything is possible until the series finale, or maybe even until Marvel stops creating works within the MCU.
The question of Sousa's fate is up in the air, and we should all be worried. Will he join the team full time to help them take down the Chronicoms? Will he return to his time and go into hiding? Or will he die for real?
And most important of all -- what about Peggy?
It was strongly implied on Marvel's Agent Carter that Sousa was the man that Peggy ended up with after she lost the love of her life -- Steve Rogers.
But now, according to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., that was not the case.
One could infer from his conversation with Coulson that Sousa messed up his chances with Peggy, and then went on to die a hero's death.
Fate, I don't believe in it. But I know history, I know how the story goes. And when it's playing out right in front of you, it feels like you can't escape it. That fate's gonna catch up to you. Tap you on the shoulder. Whisper in your ear that your time's up. And then your story ends. Sometimes the hero has to die and there's nothing you can do about it.Coulson
There are a lot of missing holes that need to be filled in Sousa's story, but he has all the time in the world to explain them to the team since he is tagging along with their next mission.
Given the song choice near the end of the hour, it's highly probable that they have jumped another twenty years into the future. For those of you wondering, "No More Mr. Nice Guy" by Alice Cooper was released in 1973.
After this episode, it's easy to see the similarities between Daniel Sousa and Phil Coulson.
They both would do just about anything for S.H.I.E.L.D. and the world. And they both "died" and became martyrs as a result.
Mack: Well it's easier to let a bad man live than to let a good man die.
Coulson: That's catchy, and I wish I'd said it. But Agent Sousa's sacrifice was an inspiration to others in S.H.I.E.L.D.
Mack: Like yours was for the Avengers.
Coulson: Well, let's not oversell it.
Mack: It's a fact. It's also a fact you got a chance to fight another day.
Coulson: I did, but if Sousa lives, we don't know what impact that'll have on history.
For Coulson, he was first an inspiration for the Avengers to defeat Loki after the mischievous god killed Coulson. Later on, he inspired the current S.H.I.E.L.D. team after his death on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 5 Episode 22.
And for Sousa, he was the first fallen agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. He died during a crucial mission that went on to define the organization and was an inspiration to all S.H.I.E.L.D. agents who followed in his footsteps.
In a world full of superheroes with advanced powers, it's refreshing to see two seemingly normal people, and yet they are still regarded as heroes.
However, it is evident that the world still has a ways to go.
As they were on their way to retrieve the device Sousa needed to deliver, Yo-Yo and Deke had a conversation about the cruelties and prejudices that exist in every time period they visit.
This subtle storyline has been building since Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 7 Episode 1, and it is quite relevant as we look at the real world around us.
Deke: In the '50s, were women allowed to drive?
Yo-Yo: Yes, of course. Why would you-
Deke: I'm sorry! I don't know. I mean, we were just in the '30s and they were really stylish, but it was so sexist and racist. But the '50s though...are still pretty sexist and racist.
Yo-Yo: It always gets better, just never fast enough.
Deke: And some things never change.
Yo-Yo: Can't hurt to try though.
Deke: Well, it could. If we lose control of the timeline and it goes skidding off the road. So that's not the mission now, right?
Yo-Yo: Yep, we're the agents of status quo.
Deke: Sounds like you don't agree with it.
Yo-Yo: Sounds like you do.
Deke: I don't know.
It is more important than ever for the show to be discussing topics such as racism and sexism, especially if they want to portray the different time periods they are traveling to accuratelyo.
Deke has been struggling with the notion of changing the timeline, and after all the hate he has witnessed, he is ready to mess with it. We will have to wait and see if this will be a good or bad thing, but we know that he has Yo-Yo and Daisy on his side.
We finally know why May has been acting so strangely since she came out of the healing chamber, and boy is it a doozy.
Not that May needs any powers since she can take care of herself with her own two hands, but giving her the powers of an empath is an interesting direction to take for her character.
An empath is not the first thing that would ever come to mind for someone who's nickname is "The Cavalry," but that's what makes it genius.
May has never been one to reveal what she is feeling to others readily, and would seldom want to know what others are feeling.
However, May has grown so much since she was the stone-cold agent we met on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1, and this truly is the best thing to represent just that.
Sousa: There's a bucket of reasons I shouldn't trust you all, but you did save my life. I think S.H.I.E.L.D. has been infiltrated by HYDRA.
Mack: You got it.
Sousa: Wait, what? How do you know that?
Mack: It's classified, but we're familiar with HYDRA.
The only thing that is worrying is that she does not feel anything for herself, only what others are feeling.
To take away her agency would be a massive disservice to her character, and hopefully, her lack of individual emotions is only temporary.
Of course, there is still so much we do not know about her new powers, so I will hold any further judgments until we have all the information.
Enoch might not be human, but he still has emotions and is capable of hurt.
Enoch was stranded for twenty years while the team time-traveled to 1955, and after their arrival, no one bothered to pick him up from the S.H.I.E.L.D. safe house in New York City.
Yes, they were quite busy with the Chronicoms and with Sousa, but Enoch has sacrificed his life more than once for the team and deserves to feel like he is a part of it.
You were shot after delivering that gadget. I can show you the files, you're a hero. So, congrats and condolences.Coulson
As the hour went on and it was clear that everyone who called Enoch only wanted him to transfer them to the Zephyr, Enoch grew sadder and sadder.
And after another time jump, they left Enoch behind yet again. Forty years waiting for people who are supposed to be on your side would be exhausting for anyone, and Enoch deserves better.
What did you think of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Fanatics?
Are you happy they saved Sousa's life? What, or who will the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents encounter in the '70s?
And where in the world is Leopold Fitz?
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.