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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - Know Your Onions - Review

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     Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. “Know Your Onions” was written by Craig Titley and was directed by Eric Laneuville. We say goodbye to Enoch (Joel Stoffer) – again! – in this episode, but here’s hoping he’ll be making a time jump to catch up with the team. Honestly, he’s not going to die, so he should be waiting for them… I’m not at all a fan of May’s (Ming-Na Wen) storyline. Really? An emotion-less – and stupid – May? They’ve done emotion-less before, but not stupid. Here’s hoping when she’s truly finished in the healing pod it will really be May. But let’s dive in for a closer look….

      The episode pretty much picks up where we left off. Mack (Henry Simmons) and Deke (Jeff Ward) are helping Freddy (Darren Barnet) make his delivery – still unaware that he is a Malick, and out of range with their walkie-talkie. Freddy insists that it’s not working because it’s not plugged in when Mack covers that it’s a phone! Malick lies that the “delivery” is “giggle-juice” – more booze. We see him hide a vial of the green liquid – marked with the HYDRA symbol – in a bottle with the alcohol. He insist the future is going to be HIS – he’s clearly got no intention of sharing it.
Back on the Zephyr, we rewind to May waking up after dreaming about her death.

      Coulson (Clark Gregg) and Daisy (Chloe Bennet) work to save Nora (Nora Zehetner), mainly by calling Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) and YoYo (Natalia Cordova-Buckley). Koenig (Patton Oswalt) lets them in when Simmons delivers the password – swordfish. Simmons clarifies for Koenig that she’s a “doctor not a dame” as she goes to work. Coulson and Daisy tell them about Malick.

      Daisy wants to kill him to stop HYDRA before it begins, but Coulson is adamant. No HYDRA means no S.H.I.E.L.D., but Daisy points out that no HYDRA means no need for S.H.I.E.L.D. Coulson points out that something even worse could take HYDRA’s place. Daisy suggests that they can just deal with it when they get back, but Simmons points out that it will be a future that they don’t recognize – and isn’t there the possibility that they’d all simply cease to exist too? The Zephyr could just disappear! YoYo suggests that they could just stick around and turn Malick from becoming evil – but Simmons says that would be the same result as killing him.

     Coulson checks in with Enoch, telling him they need a way to contact Mack. Enoch thinks he may be able to boost the signal. He also tells them that May is awake and very active. Simmons insists that it’s too soon for her to be out of the healing pod. Simmons even suggests that there could be unexpected side-effects, so let’s hope that this is all that is. Enoch says he’ll attempt to get her back in, but he also tells them she doesn’t seem to be inclined to take orders…

      Enoch interrupts May working out. When he suggests she should get some rest, she replies that she’ll rest when she’s dead, and Enoch tells her that was what they were hoping – LOL! May recognizes him even though they haven’t met in this timeline. I loved that Enoch introduced himself as Fitz’s best friend! Enoch attempts to give May a sedative, and she drives it into his shoulder. She’s upset that everyone is away on a mission and she isn’t with them.

      Enoch asks her what she remembers and she tells him that she remembers killing Izel, but not her death. Enoch tells her that Simmons was able to save her using the technology it took her a “significant amount of time” to develop. May asks the question that I want the answer to – HOW LONG??? Is Simmons going to turn out to be an LMD too? Have both Fitz and Simmons lived an entire lifetime already perfecting all this technology???? Enoch tells May she is far from home. When he tells her that she’s in 1931, her only response is that she’s hungry.

      The meet up for Freddy is 500 miles away – he has them unload the car so that they can take it and leave, and he’s planning on taking a train. Deke warns him that the “cops” that are after him won’t give up – and want him dead. Mack tells him that they have a job to do. They are going to make sure that Freddy makes his delivery because the cops don’t want him to.

      Back at Koenig’s the cops show up. Naturally, it’s the Chronicoms. Koenig lies about the last time he saw Malick. He tells them that he saw the Mounties and got rid of them several days ago. As he’s talking he sees the bullet that Simmons removed from Nora sitting in a shot glass full of alcohol and quickly walks over to the bar – and takes the shot for the team! He offers them a drink, but they’re determined to check out his office. They are hiding in the hidden store room for the bootlegged alcohol. Naturally, Nora wakes up right then. Koenig distracts the Chronicoms with some amazing flaming drinks!

      The Chronicoms have almost left when Nora knocks a bottle off a box and it breaks. YoYo, for some reason, just watches it fall! Koenig tells them it’s rats, but they are only drawn away by a report that the getaway car has been found.

      The team question Nora, who tells them that she was a friend of Freddy’s father and was trying to give him a leg up. Simmons meanwhile goes through her passport – she’d been to Germany 6 times in the last year. She spots a drop of green liquid on Nora’s shoe and scrapes it off with a knife. When Koenig calls her a bird, she once again goes to the alliteration well and tells him that she’s “a biochemist, not a bird!” She then sets up an elaborate system to test the green substance.

      Daisy checks in with Enoch – he’s finding the primitive communication devices, very primitive! Daisy is worried that Freddy will do something to Deke and Mack. Enoch assures her that there’s no puzzle he can’t solve!

      Meanwhile, on the train, Freddy is actually pretty impressed that Deke has invented something that allows you to talk to someone without it being plugged in. Freddy tells them that he was never too good in school – but he did make some friends. He tells them that his father died by committing suicide after losing all their money in the stock market crash. He tells them that his mother went kinda crazy – and hasn’t spoken in almost 2 years. Mack says that he’s sorry. Malick is philosophical about it. He tells them that he doesn’t always want to be a bootlegger – he’s got dreams. He tells them that after this job, he’ll be sitting pretty. Mack is skeptical that a few bottles of booze will make his fortune. Ironically, Malick tells them that whatever it is, it isn’t going to change the world. I thought this was quite a good scene.

      Meanwhile back at the speakeasy, Simmons experiment is impressive enough for Koenig to remark that she “really knows her onions!” The set up is pretty impressive! Daisy checks in with YoYo and asks her why she didn’t catch the bottle. YoYo lies and tells her that she didn’t see it. Daisy tells her that she’s surprised as YoYo was staring right at it. YoYo admits she froze and wonders if the Shrike inside her messed her up. Simmons interrupts them to tell the group that she’s isolated the compound – it’s the key ingredient from the super-soldier serum!

       Mack and Deke take the opportunity of Freddy taking a nap to check the bottles. Mack is sure that there’s more to it. Freddy wakes up when Enoch tries to contact them. Freddy isn’t happy they’ve been looking through his stash.

      May interrupts Enoch. She’s dressed and ready to go help in the field. It’s her job to protect them. Enoch asks how she’s feeling, and May tells him that she’s not feeling anything. He suggests there has been complications – and she doesn’t care. She wants to know where they are – and Enoch refuses to tell her.

   Daisy is still adamant that they have to stop Freddy. Koenig is amused that the whole thing – especially the Red Skull – sounds like something out of the funny papers – I love the irony on this show! Coulson won’t agree to it, and Daisy points out that it’s not Coulson’s decision to make. Mack is the Director and he doesn’t have all the information. May calls them on the walkie talkie, asking them where they are. Simmons tells her they’re coming back, and May is determined to go after Deke and Mack. Coulson insists that they have to complete the mission and then look after May.

      Daisy questions Nora about where Freddy is heading. Nora tells them Freddy is heading to the right side of history – and then tells them to go to Hell. Koenig immediately pipes up and says he’s been there! Hell’s Harbor – where the double crossers double cross the others. Koenig insists that they take him with them or he won’t tell them where to go.

      The Chronicoms focus on finding Freddy. They are going to check the train schedules to find out where they went. They aren’t worried about S.H.I.E.L.D. Once they kill Freddy, S.H.I.E.L.D. will be “out of time!” More irony!!!

      Freddy won’t let Mack inspect the bottles – he can’t bring open bottles. Being curious will get you killed. Deke just wants to concentrate on getting him to where they’re going. Mack insists, and Freddy pulls a gun on them.

      In a nice echo, Enoch pulls a gun on May. She insists that he doesn’t have the guts to pull the trigger – and we get an amazing fight sequence! I love Enoch! He could clearly take May down – but doesn’t. He tells her that because they are at war, he’s upgraded to the Hunter-level combat skill package. May insists that a machine is still just a machine! May doesn’t pull any punches and looks like she’s about to cave in Enoch’s skull with a fire extinguisher when they’re interrupted by the others returning.

      Coulson tells her to stop, and she is completely emotionless as she remarks that he’s not Sarge. Coulson confirms he’s not. She also says he’s not Coulson. He says yes… and no. He wonders that she’s not at all surprised. He reminds her that he was dead. She says “you still are” as she drops the fire extinguisher and walks away.

      They’re all surprised at how easily they’re able to get May back in the pod. Simmons points out that May was completely calm as she let her sedate her. Enoch is clearly put out as he says that May is clearly malfunctioning! Enoch tells them that he doesn’t know what set her off other than her insisting she wanted to be on the mission. He also tells them that he should be able to contact Mack once they are in the air and a little closer to their destination.

      Koenig is blindfolded and insists that he’s not going to be impressed by Coulson’s “joint.” Oswalt is hilarious as Koenig is gob-smacked. Enoch is offended when Koenig calls him a robot. Koenig is convinced that they’re all Martians. Coulson tells Koenig that they are from Earth – just not the same time. He also tells him that they are part of a secret organization that protects the world from evil threats. Koenig is still convinced that they are Canadian. Daisy tells Koenig that Freddy and his family will be responsible for thousands of deaths. Koenig insists that you can’t blame someone for something they haven’t done yet.

       Freddy has also figured out that Deke and Mack aren’t from around there and aren’t bootleggers. Mack tells them that it’s their job to protect Freddy, who tells them that Nora knew his father and is prepared to make him somebody – something his own father never did.

      The team is almost to Hell, when the ship signals that their time window is closing in 17 minutes (with about the same amount of time left on the episode! Simmons tells them that there’s no predicting when a time window will open. Daisy is finally able to contact Deke. She tells them they have to be ready to leave as soon as they get there. Daisy tells Deke that Freddy isn’t who they think he is. When she learns that Deke has a gun, she tells him to kill Freddy. Deke is struck by the fact that Freddy is just a kid.

      Mack is looking through the bottles and finds the vial of serum. Deke tells Mack who Freddy is – and Mack knows who Freddy is (of course). Mack, however, won’t let Deke shoot Freddy, who begs for his life. It looks like Deke won’t be able to do it – and then the Chronicoms show up and a fire fight ensues. Enoch insists on coming too – a Chronicom is the best weapon against other Chronicoms after all…

      Koenig comes upon Freddy alone. He tries to convince him not to give the vial over. Freddy shoots him – in the arm. Freddy insists that Koenig doesn’t know him. He walks away and gets in the getaway car. The Chronicoms watch him go too, declaring their mission a failure. Enoch comes upon Koenig who assures him he’ll be fine – and tells Enoch to hurry before he’s left behind.

      Enoch just misses getting to the ship before it jumps. I love how subtle Stoffer’s portrayal is. There’s just the barest hint of his shoulders drooping and a tilt of his head to show how disappointed he is.

    The final scene has Enoch making a barra-colada for Koenig, proving he knows his onions and getting a job as a bartender at the speakeasy. Koenig has a couple of conditions. He wants to know more about the S.H.I.E.L.D.-outfit because he feels like he could be a help there. He also wants to know all there is to know about robots – Enoch corrects him – Chronicoms. Enoch also tells him that his grandchildren will benefit from the knowledge too… Koenig decrees that “this looks like the start of a marvellous friendship” – in the best Casablanca tradition!

      No doubt Enoch will somehow “catch up” with the team. In the meantime, I really hope that they course correct on May. Great performances from Oswalt and Stoffer in particular in this episode. The May/Enoch fight was epic! Lots of great moments and lines in this episode, but I didn’t think it was quite as strong as the season opener. What did you think of the episode? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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