Marvel’s Agents Of SHIELD 5.05 “Rewind” REVIEW
Airing Sundays on E4 in the UK at 9pm
Writer: Craig Titley
Director: Jesse Bochco
Essential Plot Points:
- Flashback to Coulson, Mack, May (Ming-Na Wen), Yo-Yo, Daisy, Jemma and Fitz in the diner at the end of season four waiting to be arrested.
- A confused Fitz suddenly finds himself alone, and the next moment is arrested by United States Armed Forces soldiers.
- He’s taken to a secure facility called Blue Raven Ridge, where he’s held and interrogated, primarily by Lieutenants Evans and Lucas, under the command of General Hale.
- When Evans and Lucas are finally convinced he doesn’t know where his colleagues vanished to, they allow him access to books so he do research into their disappearance, and a TV so he can watch soccer.
- They also let him write letters to a football fanzine, Ballbuster Hooligans (which, from the evidence of the one we see on screen, are so oddly written, they’re clearly a code of some sort, but Evans and Lucas don’t seem to notice).
- After six months his best guesses are that he’s either going bonkers or they’ve been abducted by aliens.
- At which point a pissed General Hale is just about to rescind his TV privileges when his lawyer turns up…
- …But his lawyer is really Lance Hunter, who’s finally got the coded messages in Ballbuster Hooligans (it wasn’t his fault it took him so long… they don’t sell it in Bangladesh).
- Once alone with his “client”, Hunter effects an escape by blowing a hole in the wall.
- A mate of Hunter’s, Rusty, dies in a helicopter crash while trying to create a distraction to aid their escape.
- They still use Rusty’s RV, though, as a getaway vehicle…
- …Which the army tracks at a distance to see if Hunter and Fitz lead them to the rest of SHIELD.
- Handily, Rusty was a paranoid conspiracy nut, so his RV is full of surveillance tech (hidden behind the ferret cages).
- Fitz uses this tech to determine that the Bendeery beer van parked outside the diner when the SHIELD team was abducted could continually change its logo, so they can now track its movement that night via CCTV camera. This leads Hunter and Fitz to the house where the bald guy who abducted SHEILD lives.
- He doesn’t seem to surprised to see them.
- He reveals his Earth name is Enoch, and that he’s really a sentient Chronicom from a planet which revolves around a star in the constellation we know as Cygnus. He was sent here 30,000 years ago to observe and record the evolution of humanity.
- He sent the other members of SHIELD to 2091 to fulfil a prophecy by “the seer”. He didn’t send Fitz because he wasn’t part of the prophecy.
- Fitz starts waving a gun about to convince Enoch to take them to the Seer, but Enoch says there’s no need to get all heavy with him – he intends to help.
- He takes them to a children’s playground to meet the seer, who turns out to be Robin, the daughter of Charles Hinton, the Inhuman SHIELD encountered in season three’s brilliant “Spacetime”, who could give people visions of how other people were going to die.
- Robin is now with her mother, Polly, and rarely speaks, but draws the future.
- Enoch says that he is not supposed to interfere with human affairs unless there’s the threat of an extinction-level event. One of Robin’s drawings predicted just such an event which is why he swung into action.
- Evans and Lucas break into Enoch’s house and find Robin’s drawings, one of which shows them breaking into the house.
- In one of those amazing leaps of deduction that only ever happen on TV, they realise they’ve discovered a child who can predict the future.
- Evans and Lucas track Hunter and Fitz to the park, but Enoch uses time freezing tech the enable him, Robin, Polly, Hunter and Fitz to escape.
- In the RV, they make their way to where – but not when – Enoch says he sent the other members of SHIELD.
- It’s a lighthouse, that looks exactly like the one on the postcard that Coulson found a few episodes back, beside Lake Ontario. Deep, deep beneath the lighthouse is a base of some sort accessed by a lift. Enoch doesn’t seem to know much about its origins.
- Get the child, Hale commands Lucas and Evans, stating that they need every weapon available to them “in this fight”.
- Under the lighthouse, Fitz – following some self-pitying pap about how the universe doesn’t want him and Jemma getting together – asks Robin why he wasn’t sent to the future with his friends.
- She says it’s because he needs to save them and produces a drawing to prove it.
- That’s enough for Enoch – now Fitz is part of the prophecy, he’s happy to send him to the future. He can’t do this using the Monolith, though, as that was a one-time only event.
- However, Fitz could use the capsule which Enoch used when he arrived on Earth – a capsule which was found by the US Army and is now stored in Blue Raven Ridge.
- Hunter and Fitz break back into Blue Raven Ridge pretending to be workmen coming to repair the hole Hunter created during their escape (nice bit of plotting there!).
- Once inside they release Rusty’s ferrets to cause a distraction, find the capsule, then load it onto Zephyr One, which the army has handily impounded in the same facility. Off they fly, presumably making another hole as they leave through the roof.
- Hale, fed up with Lucas and Evans being so crap at their jobs, fires them. With bullets to the head. We’re pretty sure that’s not standard military procedure, even under Donald Trump.
- Arriving back at the lighthouse, Fitz prepares an armoury to help SHIELD in the future and packs it into a hidden time capsule.
- The capsule, it turns out, is a cryogenic chamber; Fitz will sleep for 74 years then wake up to help his friends.
- 74 years later, the alarm clock goes, and Enoch is waiting for Fitz. They’re in a small spaceship 365 million miles from the remains of Earth and Enoch says he’s already put a plan into action.
Oh, it’s good to have Fitz back. It’s just as good to have Hunter back as well, but it seems he’s a one-episode-only deal, sadly. Fitz and Hunter make such a brilliant double-act we could watch an entire series of them taking the piss out of each other; we’d love to see a scene where a mutual loathing of Man City let them get over their soccer rivalry for a while.
But at least Fitz is now firmly back in the mix, and that’s a great thing, because this episode reminds us just what a brilliant actor Iain De Caestecker is – possibly the best amongst the show’s regulars. He moves effortlessly from the intense opening scenes to the light comedy banter of the escape. Fitz is both the brains and heart of this show, and we’ve been missing him.
We also said in the previous review that the show needed a bit of change of direction after four rather samey future-set episodes and we certainly got that here. It was so refreshing to see some daylight, plus some good old espionage-action.
The fact that the episode was exquisitely plotted, very funny and full of revelations only made things better. It was great to see how ingeniously the pieces of the jigsaw are falling into place, and the introduction of Robin was an excellent use of fan-pleasing continuity, that wouldn’t have mystified casual viewers who didn’t recall season three’s “Spacetime”. Enoch’s great too. Glad he’s sticking around. Wonder whether we’ll ever get to see under the skin suit, though?
As for Hale, and her mysterious reference to “this fight” – is there yet another layer to this twisty-turny plot to be revealed? Fun and intriguing stuff.
- “Release the ferrets!”
- The return of Hunter, and his adorably quiptastic relationship with a world-weary Fitz:
• “Who’s flying it?”
“Rusty. The best getaway pilot money can buy.”
“Well, the best getaway pilot my money can buy…”
• “The last thing they’ll be thinking is that two ex-SHIELD agents would be stupid enough to try and escape in this whale.”
“Apparently, we are.”
• “Rusty kitted this thing out with all sorts of bells and whistles.”
“Is one of those bells an engine?”
• “See, it’s even got cloaking.”
- But it was a relationship with its tender moments as well:
• “Distance is our saviour. How about you and Simmons? Did you find a way to work it out?”
“Distance is our curse.”
- Best of all, though, was their Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back-inspired farewell to each other:
• “I love you.”
- Iain De Caestecker is also brilliant in his more intense earlier, incarceration scenes. His first theory, that he’s suffering from Prodromal Schizophrenia, and his insistence that he friends would never willingly leave him behind are almost heartbreaking.
- The way the jigsaw is all fitting together (The reason why Enoch’s van had interchangeable logos, the postcard of the lighthouse, the “seer’s” drawings) shows some ingenious, pre-planned arc-plotting.
- Hale callously shooting Evans and Lucas.
- Secret communication via crappy soccer fanzine.
- While Fitz and Hunter’s comedy bickering is fun, it saps any sense of urgency from their escape scene. You want to yell at the screen, “GET ON WITH IT!”
- Some of Hunter’s “advice” to Fitz when Fitz gets all self-pitying about the universe not wanting him and Jemma to be together because of his “dark side” is so cheesy, it’s like someone who’s learnt all his “supportive mate” skills from US telly.
- Are we just supposed to believe that Rusty is a really bad pilot, or was his crash caused by some advanced security at Blue Raven Ridge? It’s never made clear.
And The Random:
- In “The Asset” (season one, episode three), Fitz suggested, “If we had a monkey we could get in. If we had a small monkey he could slip through the censors and disable the fence’s power source with his adorable little hands.” Subsequently, “Will Fitz ever get his monkey?” has become a bit of a running gag with Agents of SHIELD fans. Hence Fitz using monkey faces to count off his days in the cell.
- Interestingly the ferrets in this episode fulfil a similar role. Were they originally written as monkeys?
- Blue Raven Ridge is an interesting name, considering X-Men character Raven, aka Mystique, is blue.
- “We need every weapon on this fight,” says General Hale. Which particular fight would that be?
- Blimey, Enoch likes his coconut juice!
- Dif you spot that as well as packing Mack’s shotgun-axe for the future, Fitz also packed Coulson’s pimped-up cybernetic arm?