Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. takes its time adjust to the new plot of Season 6 just as its new and familiar characters alike adjust to their unfamiliar surroundings. For that reason, “Window of Opportunity” remains a slow set=up episode on some fronts, although there are spurts of action that shake up the new status quo.
“Window of Opportunity” opens on Sarge (Clark Gregg) and his team of dimension-hoppers – known as Snowflake, Jaco, and Pax – robbing a convenience store. Their wonder and amusement as the taste of a slushie, the weightlessness of paper money, and the primitive stylings of Earthy weapons is as entertaining as it is dangerous. Once their robbery is complete, they jump to the next location required of their supply run, for it seems their stay on Earth could be rather short.
Which they are busy running their errands, Mack (Henry Simmons) and May (Ming Na Wen) are hard at work trying to understand why the latter saw another Coulson running around. Wen is given the opportunity to process May’s grief over her loss without facing it head on, something that becomes clear to even newcomer Doctor Benson (Barry Shabaka Henley). Though May might be butting heads with him, Mack is decidedly avoiding butting heads with Yo-Yo (Natalia Cordova-Buckley) over her new relationship, which is probably the right choice for him as S.H.I.E.L.D. Director.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. turns into a bit of a heist film when Sarge’s crew robs a jewelry story in search of crystals (which they call PEGs) to power their portals while Melinda May is hot on their trail. “Window of Opportunity” culminates in a showdown between the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and her new enemies, though a portal gets the better of her in the end. At least she learns the name “Coulson” indeed has an effect on the so-called Sarge (“It rings a bell,” he tells his subordinate) and elsewhere Mack learns that these new enemies destroyed the planet they came from. Yikes!
On the other end of the universe, or wherever this is, Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) has been pretending to be a green-eyed speaker of alien tongues in order to fit in with his shipmates. Unfortunately, his disguise falls through courtesy of a snail dish he can’t stand and a wasteland he claims to hail from.
When the crew try to throw him and Enoch – we’ve missed you, Enoch – out into deep space, the two of them make the captain an offer he can’t refuse. They’ll prove their worth as employees for free, and in exchange not be killed by a lack of oxygen. The plan works, but their productivity has made the rest of the ship members expendable, so Fitz’s hero instincts awaken and poor Enoch much do everything in his power to keep his charge safe while Fitz keeps everyone else safe.
That means that “Window of Opportunity” takes Fitz further away from his path of returning to cryosleep and reuniting with Jemma (Elizabeth Henstridge), but he’s totally in luck because she and Daisy (Chloe Bennet) are a light jump away from reuniting with him. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. ends their episode this week, in fact, with the Zephyr reappearing and Jemma promising Daisy that Fitz is somewhere nearby. How long until the team is whole again?
“Window of Opportunity” gives the characters several chances to establish their short-term goals, although the overarching plan for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. this season remains somewhat murky. Nevertheless, it combines strong character work – such as May letting her feelings affect her fighting or Fitz proving that still a man who cares for the greater good of others – with what’s already shaping up to be a fun rise plotwise.