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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - Window of Opportunity - Review

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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. “Window of Opportunity” was written by the team of James and Sharla Oliver and was directed by Kevin Tancharoen. We finally get the real story of what’s been happening to Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) and the happy news that Enoch (Joel Stoffer) is very much also still with us! The center piece of the episode just might be that epic May (Ming-Na Wen) fight scene. I’ve missed how amazing the fight sequences are on this show!

I really loved the opening sequence as we see Sarge (Clark Gregg) picking out a pair of sunglasses. We see him reflected in the pair we expect him to choose – very Coulson – and then he picks a completely different pair. It’s a nice nod to Gregg building a new character as well – but then he does hesitate at that first pair…

Sarge, Pax (Matt O’Leary), Snowflake (Brooke Williams), and Jaco (Winston James Francis) are doing their version of shopping. We get some hints as Sarge wants to know about the currency because you can tell a lot about a world from it. So clearly, they’ve been on several worlds. Sarge is disdainful when he hears its paper currency with the faces of people on it. They like the slurpees though!

Sarge tells the clerk not to be a hero before checking out his shotgun. Sarge is happy to discover that they’re still using combustion weapons here – might be child’s play after all. Clearly, they have superior weapons. He then declares they should vanish – and he means that quite literally as their truck has cloaking capabilities!

Back at S.H.I.E.L.D., Mack (Henry Simmons) pays a quick tribute to Fox before getting the team back on track. He assigns Keller (Lucas Bryant) to comb through the security footage from the museum and assigns Yo-Yo (Natalia Cordova-Buckley) to help him. And I knew right then that Mack knew what was going on. He assigns May to supervise the search for the truck.

As soon as the others disperse, May questions Mack’s not mentioning the man driving the truck – who she thinks is Coulson. Mack isn’t wrong to keep it under wraps until they have more information. How would the team react?

Back on the truck, Pax complains about Jaco using a breathing machine – at first I thought he was smoking! Sarge mentions that Jaco hasn’t breathed the atmosphere on his home planet for nine years! Interesting! It seems this group is not all the same even though they all look human. Snowflake looks to simply be flipping through fashion magazines, but she’s actually doing research and reports that it might be difficult for them to blend in.

There is definitely some dissention in the ranks. Pax doesn’t want to take responsibility for keeping the battery running to keep the truck cloaked because that was Tinker’s job. He gets mad at Snowflake for going through Tinker’s things – but she finds that they are out of PEGs – whatever they are! And it’s also clear that Pax blames Sarge for Tinker’s death. Pax declares that they should have all been in the truck and that Jaco the Giant – who can survive anything – should have been the only trailblazer.

It looks like things are about to take a turn for the worse for Pax, but apparently, Jaco has already found an easy source of PEGs. It’s clear that Jaco has Sarge’s back. Pax tells Sarge that he’s good – he’ll follow orders – and that he’s just sorting through what happened. Tinker was a friend and he died. Sarge, chillingly, pats him on the should and tells him “that’s what friends are for.” This is not our Coulson!

May and Mack go to Benson (Barry Shabaka Henley) for answers, and he’s delightfully crusty! He tells them that he has several “viable hypotheses” which is scientist talk for no idea! He does tell them that his theories about the doppleganger are all tied to previous S.H.I.E.L.D. mistakes. Fear manifestations, nano-masks, inhumans… but he’s leaning toward LMDs because there’s already been one of Phil Coulson. I liked how this storyline also plays into the Fitz storyline later in the episode. Benson wants to speak to the “idiot” who designed the LMDs. But of course, one is dead and the other is in deep space – and May believes in cryogenetic sleep.

And then we go directly to Fitz, who has those crazy eyes and is speaking some alien language! He appears to be working on some kind of ship with similarly dressed human-like aliens. It’s a typical work detail. Fitz works while the others watch. Fitz gives himself away by being disgusted by the giant Viscous Xandarian snails – because EW! And then clearly not knowing anything about Sivos where he’s supposed to be from.

It appears that once again Fitz has found himself in the midst of an oppressed group. They don’t want to be blamed by Viro (Paul Telfer) and also reveal Enoch – who is hiding in the wall of the ship. Viro is immediately ready to simply jettison both Fitz and Enoch. Fitz, however, fast talks his way into saving them. He tells Viro that the heat shields are misaligned and that the crew hasn’t spotted it – only he has. They won’t survive the next re-entry if they lose their best engineer! They make a case for Enoch being a great snail farmer! Viro insists that the two are running from someone, so they’ll be doing that person a favor. Fitz offers to work for free – and that’s a persuasive argument for Viro. He sets Fitz a pretty impossible to do list to accomplish before they reach their destination – or Fitz is going out the air lock…

We get another terrific transition as Sarge is remarking on how nice it is to have breathable air again! Pax is trying to convince Sarge to take a break before charging ahead with their plans. Sarge’s “past life” comes up – and he is not happy. He does NOT want to discuss it and the others don’t know about it – or at least Pax clearly doesn’t.

Mack is focused on finding the aliens – they clearly want something, and they’ll be ready when they go for it. May suggests that Mack might want to reach out to Keller about Fox because Keller recommended Fox. Mack simply says he thinks that Keller will be going to someone else for comfort… oh yeah. He knows. And Simmons delivery would seem to indicate it hurts a bit that that someone is Yo-Yo.

Yo-Yo finds Keller torturing himself with footage of Fox’s death. She tells him that she’s there if he needs her – he doesn’t have to go it alone. He reminds her that yesterday she wanted to cool it, but she insists that that was yesterday. It’s nice to see this softer side of Yo-Yo – it feels like real character growth. The two are interrupted when there is a sighting.

Mack tells Yo-Yo and May that he’s sending them in to canvass the area around the shipping yard – and he’s going to instruct all agents that they have a new target that looks exactly like Phil Coulson. Benson pops his head out of the lab to bark at Mack that he only took the job because he was promised full transparency.

Benson is angry that they didn’t tell him about Coulson dying and coming back to life before, and the LMD theory isn’t panning out. LMDs don’t have DNA. He accuses May of lying about Coulson’s death, and May insists that she was there until the very end. She becomes furious with him and tells him to find her a way to kill “this” or find his way back to the bar! Mack breaks them up. Benson has analyzed the DNA from the convenience store. It was full of all kinds of “junk” but once it was stripped away, it’s a 100% match to Phil Coulson! May, Yo-Yo, and Mack are stunned.

Back at the truck, Sarge tells Jaco to keep an eye on Pax – he’s starting to sound like Tinker. Jaco remarks that they all crack eventually, and Sarge suggests that they start looking for replacements. So, are they some kind of alien parasite that takes over other bodies?

I’m really liking the new alien tech they’ve introduced, like Sarge’s paint gun that creates a door through space! But what is the machine that Snowflake has that needs PEGs to sing its beautiful song – what is that? Given Snowflake’s love of re-incarnation, I’m suspecting nothing good. Sarge announces “first the lock-in, then we rampage.” And that does NOT sound good…

Fitz isn’t happy with Enoch who said the ship was safe. Enoch says it was until Fitz’s aversion to snails! It’s a moot point. Fitz is not optimistic about their chances even if they did manage to evade whoever cut their ship in half. Enoch is optimistic that they will return Fitz to cryo-stasis. Fitz just wants to find Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge)…

Fitz’s efficiency backfires in a spectacular way when Viro decides that it’s more efficient and cost-effective to have two slaves do the work than pay the rest of the crew. He’s going to put them out of the air lock. Fitz offers to train them to be more efficient, but Viro isn’t interested.

Benson goes to Mack and confesses that he’s not known for his tact. He knows it’s maybe not his business, but he wants to know who Coulson was. Mack starts to tell him Coulson’s history, but that’s not what Benson wants to know – he wants to know who he was to May. Mack brings it right back to what Benson can understand – he knows what it’s like to have a memory that’s too painful to revisit. I loved how Mack handled this without coming right out and saying it, but in a way that Benson would completely understand – proving that he was a great choice for Director. Benson is completely on board to help stop May’s pain that is running around killing people.

I loved the scene in the jewelry store as Sarge gets ready to rob it. There’s a great shot of Snowflake in a mirror as the other get into place. The patter between Sarge and Dana (Sola Bamis) is terrific. Sarge repeats the line from the convenience store “At times like these, people fantasize about doing something heroic…” He tells her to worry about her own skin. Pax and Snowflake kill all the others – and Dana sets off the alarm. Sarge assures her that she won’t even have to pay for it as she’s the only one who can get them into the vault.

May and Yo-Yo check out the shipping yard. As they try to find a clue, May asks after Keller. Yo-Yo tells her he’s not doing great but he’s still in the game. May asks if the two of them are already a thing – because Mack thinks so. I loved that he clued in before May. May cautions Yo-Yo about getting involved with another Agent – that’s how things get messy. I loved the look on Yo-Yo’s face! May was the one who told her to go for it! But that was before they were hunting someone with Coulson’s face…

Mack calls and they all head to the jewelry store. Snowflake is telling Dana she’s about to embark on a magnificent journey, and Sarge tells her that she doesn’t have to kill everything. Meanwhile, he uses his paint-door tool to open a portal from the vault into the truck – where Jaco is waiting! It’s yet another cool special effect from the show.

May arrives to find the locked vault. She maintains that no version of Coulson would go in without an exit strategy. When they check inside, they see Jaco’s extra heat signature. They also notice the hole and May figures out it goes to somewhere they’ve already been. She goes back to the shipping yard and finds the invisible truck.

Inside the vault, Sarge and company have no luck finding what they want – it isn’t diamonds! Jaco finally explains that PEGs are piezoelectric gems – crystals that are naturally polarized that can generate an electric charge under applied mechanical pressure. Dana points them towards the quartz and topaz.

Sarge steps outside the truck to power up one of their super-cool looking weapons. Pax inspects the crystals and tells Jaco to take everything out of the vault because it’s valuable in “this” world. Pax then lets May in by mistake, thinking it’s Coulson. We get a signature May fight sequence, especially when Jaco enters the fray. Snowflake, the little psycho, tells Jaco not to kill May without her!

May rescues Dana, pulling her through into the truck – and then out the door, telling her to run! I loved her pulling the opening to the floor so that Snowflake ran into the metal floor! It was so much like an old Road Runner cartoon acme hole! Jaco fixes the hole though – and now May has a bigger fight on her hands. Sarge is about to fire his weapon when Dana goes running by and he goes in to investigate.

May is distracted by the appearance of Sarge, allowing Snowflake to use the acme hole/door against her, dropping her back into the vault. Yo-Yo and company arrive right after Sarge shuts the portal. Meanwhile, Jaco accuses Sarge of freezing when he heard the word Coulson. Sarge denies it, but admits that Coulson rings a bell.

Benson pours Mack a drink and then shows him what he found on Tinker’s biological hard drive. Coulson is carrying the mysterious weapon. The world they are on seems to be disintegrating. It’s another great special effect. Benson tells Mack he thinks that whoever they are, they destroyed that planet.

Back in space, Fitz and Enoch watch the other engineers being herded toward the airlock. Fitz can’t let them pay for his mistake. Enoch points out it puts the end goal of saving Simmons in the future in jeopardy, but while Enoch is cool with letting them die, Fitz maintains he’d never be able to look Simmons in the face again if he did. Enoch tells Fitz that they don’t have a chance in a fight. If he’s going up against Viro’s men, Fitz might as well step into the airlock himself…

Fitz tries to stop Viro by offering him a way to make way more money. Fitz declares that they might be replaceable, but he isn’t and he steps inside the airlock with them. Viro tells Fitz that he taught him that everyone is replaceable. I loved the look on Enoch’s face as he thinks that Fitz has just managed to get himself killed. Fitz even tries to save Viro and his men but Viro hits the button, sending Viro and his men into space. Enoch knows it’s coming and is able to secure the door again and release Fitz and the others.

Enoch assures Fitz that he did the right thing. Viro could not be reasoned with. And here again, we get a throwback to LMD World. Fitz tells Enoch that there’s a part of him that knows how uncompromising hateful men can be. I really like how this alternate timeline is giving Fitz another chance to work out the issues from that timeline – without turning into what he did to stop the time loop.

In the final scene, the ship approaches Naro-Atzia. Enoch mentions they might get a chilly reception after having killed Viro and his crew and the rest of the crew will be labelled as mutineers and put to death. Enoch suggests hiding in the snail tanks – which you knew right away was a non-starter for Fitz! More importantly, however, Fitz won’t abandon the people he just saved. Enoch suggests that they could get employment on Kitzen. Fitz determines to take them to safety, putting the plan to save Simmons on hold as he “has time.” Of course, they leave just as the Zephyr arrives. Simmons assures Daisy (Chloe Bennet) that Fitz is there – she can feel him. And we see that she’s still wearing her ring around her neck. It’s interesting that in this timeline, Fitz is avoiding becoming ruthless while Simmons is becoming ruthless…

Lots going on in this episode – we get some answers, like what Fitz is up to and what PEGs are. We also get lots more questions. Are Sarge and company the bad guys? Are they destroying planets? And is Sarge Coulson?? Another great May fight scene and some terrific special effects rounded out the episode nicely. I liked the way the title also played out in the episode. The “window of opportunity” could be Fitz and Simmons missing each other. It could refer to the acme hole that makes jewel heists possible. Or could it have a deeper significance? Is there a window of opportunity to stop the destruction of yet another planet? What did you think of the episode? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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