Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is not holding back for their final season.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 7 Episode 9, Elizabeth Henstridge's directorial debut, contained all the elements of an Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode at its best.
There was weird science, hilarious moments (every single try to stop Enoch was priceless), and heartbreak, all intertwined together to produce an outstanding hour that won't soon be forgotten. At its core, though, it was all about family.
It took nine episodes, but we have finally witnessed the first major death of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 7.
The stakes have been high this season, and it was only a matter of time before a member of the team lost their life. Unfortunately, that person, or Chronicom, was Enoch.
Daisy: Enoch, the team will carry on the mission. We will survive because of you. Thank you.
Enoch: You are most welcome. But Agent Johnson, while your friends will indeed survive, the team will not.
Daisy: Wha-what do you mean?
Enoch: I have seen the future. Carry on this mission, cherish it for it will be your last mission together.
Daisy: That's, that's not possible. I, Enoch this is my family.
Enoch: Of course, yet this is the nature of family. I have seen it countless times, on countless worlds. People arrive, so we celebrate, and people leave us, so we grieve. We do what we can with the time in between, but the cycle is always there. No one escapes it. Not even me.
Coulson: Which means you're not alone. You're a part of that cycle.
Daisy: Like every other living thing.
Enoch: Fitz, he was my best friend.
Daisy: And you were a good friend to Fitz. You were a good friend to all of us.
Enoch: As I have always...
Enoch, while a late addition, truly became a part of the family, and his death is sure to have an impact on multiple characters.
He was always willing to sacrifice his life in service of saving the team, and while he has not always been treated as kindly as he should have been, it was a fitting end for the Chronicom with a heart.
What makes his death sting even more, though, is that he did not get to say goodbye to his best friend, Leopold Fitz.
Fitz and Enoch's friendship has always been a complex one, especially with Fitz's short temper. But it was always apparent how much Enoch cared for Fitz.
After the necessity of Fitz being away with his location unknown, we have seen Enoch become closer to the rest of the team as a result.
He was a part of their found family, and his loss, particularly since it was, in the end, a sacrifice to save the rest of them, is sure to be devastating.
Coulson: The time drive is stuck. It keeps looping back on itself over and over again.
Daisy: Like feedback.
Coulson: I've been thinking about it like a record skipping. Every time I say that you give me the same look. Vinyl's back. You're supposed to know records again.
I know I personally cried big buckets of tears during his send-off scene with Daisy and Coulson. They were a surprising pair to be with him in his final moments, but it somehow made sense.
Both Daisy and Coulson have struggled with the concept of death and coming to terms with it, which also made them the perfect duo to remember they were in the time loop.
Coulson's death, his real death, does seem inevitable at this point, doesn't it?
If this episode didn't convince you, I don't know what will.
They have been alluding to it slightly on the past few episodes, but hearing Coulson talk about his immortal nature as an LMD all but sealed the nail in his coffin, to put it frankly.
When he died on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 5 Episode 22, Coulson was at peace and ready to die. He never wanted to be brought back, and yet, he was. And it was for a good cause.
But once they're done with this mission, with stopping the Chronicoms, it'll be time for him to shut down. As he said, the time loop was a metaphor for what he will have to endure if he continues living on in his LMD body.
Coulson will have to watch as all his friends and family die, as he did in the time loop. That's not any way to live, and it is not what Coulson deserves after all he has been through.
It is infinitely harder to be the one still living than it is to be the one who dies. They have to endure the pain for much longer while the other one's pain is gone in the blink of an eye.
As the old saying goes, dying is easy, living is harder.
It's an interesting concept to think about and to discuss, as Enoch did with Daisy and Coulson as he himself was on his death bed.
And it's the perfect explanation as to why Daisy can never seem to let Coulson go.
We can all agree that Coulson is a father figure for Daisy. He came into her life and brought her into a team that became like a family when she had no one in the world she could trust.
Losing Coulson is one of the hardest things she will ever have to go through, and, unfortunately, something she has had to endure multiple times.
Coulson: I don't like watching you die. I don't like watching any of you die, over and over.
Daisy: We'll figure this out. You know we will.
Coulson: Sure, but in the meantime, it is soul-crushing, if I even have a soul.
Daisy: Don't talk like that again. Of course, you have a soul.
Coulson: Don't say that. Don't say "of course." I'm not who I was. And this thing, I was Max Headroom for a year. And you know what? Being trapped in a time loop, watching my friends die, helpless to stop it, it's not some time-space anomaly. It's a damn metaphor. This is my life now.
Daisy: Does it not occur to you that I might know something about watching my friend die over and over again?
Coulson: This is different.
Daisy: Is it?
Coulson: I will watch all of you die, one by one. Everyone I love. Because someone decided I should. I'm a machine now. I have programming.
But, as Enoch said, death is imminent, and families are ever-changing as a result. People cycle in and out of our lives, whether we want them to or not. That's life, and that is what is surely going to happen when the series comes to a close.
The sooner Daisy can accept this, the sooner she will be able to let Coulson, and herself, move on.
Sure, it's going to be devastating, but it will be what is best for everyone. Plus, this time, Daisy will have someone to support her after Coulson is gone.
The hinting towards Sousa and Daisy having feelings for one another has finally come to a head, and it did not disappoint.
There was just something about these two that made almost everyone want them together, even people who loved Sousa with Peggy on Marvel's Agent Carter.
It didn't really make much sense, we just knew that they worked. Thankfully, Sousa was able to spell it out for us.
Daisy: Every time I ask you for help, you say yes. Even if I don't ask, you're waiting here to make sure I rest, or whatever. Why? Be honest.
Sousa: Honest? I know your type.
Daisy: My what now?
Sousa: I know people like you. Some of my favorite people are people like you. Focused on the greater good, even at your own expense. You want people to think you like being alone, even though you always end up back with friends. You hate losing.
Daisy: Everyone hates losing.
Sousa: Yeah, but you all keep running at the problem full tilt until you either solve it or slam headlong into a brick door.
Daisy: Some of those walls were literal.
Sousa: I know.
Daisy: But how does that-
Sousa: Because when people like you run into those walls, you should have someone there to pick you back up.
Daisy: And you, you like to be that someone?
Sousa: Not for everyone. It helps if they're fun to be around and if they say what they mean and if they have that superpower where they can rock things around, which is very impressive.
Daisy: That's, um, that is awfully specific.
Daisy is willing to do whatever it takes to save the world, and Sousa lives for being the rock that others can lean on.
And while Daisy never thinks of herself first, and Sousa has proven that he always does.
Sousa is willing to do anything for Daisy, and they've only known each other for a little while. It is happening quite fast, but it doesn't feel unnatural.
Throughout the episode, she did not understand why he listened to her no matter what. Finally, she came to the conclusion that it's because he's a good man.
Sousa: Hey, what are you doing up?
Daisy: Why do you care?
Sousa: Because you don't.
Daisy is not used to being able to trust someone so quickly, but she does trust Sousa. He is exactly what she needs, and she is exactly what he needs.
The two of them, more so than a lot of people, deserve to settle down and have a happy ending. It just makes sense now that they would find that in each other.
Let's just hope beyond all hope that they actually get that. It would be cruel to tease their happiness just to snatch it away so fast.
While Sousa sprung at the chance to help Daisy, so did the rest of the team.
It was amazing, and yet unsurprising, how quickly all of them believed Coulson and Daisy when they would tell them about the time loop and what they needed to do to get out of it.
The whole team would put all of their trust and faith into one of their own at the drop of a hat. It doesn't matter the circumstances, and that is why they are a family.
Coulson: That did not go well.
Sousa: Where did he get all those weapons?
May: Deke's dead?
Mack: Don't we need to be sad about that?
Daisy: We do not.
The found family trope is one of the best ones in the film and television industry, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. excels at portraying it.
It shows that people have agency and that you can find love in anyone. And this episode more than proved that with their willingness to comply with Daisy and Coulson's orders.
My heart sunk to the bottom of my chest the moment Simmons was remembering something awful.
The first thought that popped into my brain, and I am sure a lot of other people's as well, was that Fitz was dead. But, after more thought, that can't be the case. And not just because that kind of thinking would send me into some deep denial.
Daisy: What's happening?
May: Time drive overloaded.
Sousa: Any chance that's twenty-first century slang for worked normally?
It is highly unlikely that the show would kill Fitz offscreen when he is a fan-favorite character and has been with the series since Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1. Plus, he and Simmons have gone through way too much for an ending like this.
We will see Fitz again. But what was Simmons remembering then? It sounded like she was muttering something along the lines of "what have I done?" and "I'm sorry." I also thought I heard her say Yo-Yo and Mack's names, but I could be wrong.
Whatever Simmons remembered, we should all be worried, given her reaction. Enoch's death might not be the only one we witness this season.
What did you think, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Fanatics?
Did Enoch's death make you sob as much as I did? Is Coulson's death -- for real this time -- imminent?
And what do you think Simmons was remembering?
Let me know in the comments and do not forget that you can watch Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. online via TV Fanatic!
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs on Wednesdays at 10/9c on ABC.
Sarah Little is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.