Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. pulls triple duty this week. “Code Yellow” catches audiences up with the rest of the team after last episode’s Vegas-esque escapades, reintroduces Deke (Jeff Ward) to the narrative, and provides a whole lot of laughs in the process.
While Daisy (Chloe Bennet) herself doesn’t appear in this episode, her virtual simulation shows up and fawns over Deke’s heroics. This is all thanks to the Framework technology that he is marketing as the next step in VR gaming, which will eventually lead to the mushroom pellets he will use to “disrupt food.”
That’s right, Deke is a tech guru now, complete with a team of geeks and a social media influencer/girlfriend played by the delightful Maurissa Tancharoen, who happens to write and run the show in her spare time. She’s hankering for the boba Deke promised her they’d get together, but he’s derailed by a surprise visitor in his office. Unfortunately, it’s not an investor: it’s a bloodthirsty Sarge (Clark Gregg), who’s singled Deke out as a being that doesn’t belong in this dimension.
This is where “Code Yellow” goes from poking fun at Deke’s shortsightedness in a clever way to showcasing just how clever he can be when it counts. He can tell something is off with ‘Coulson,’ but he manages to keep calm and ask leading questions until he can confirm his theory. Sarge eventually drops the niceties and pulls out a knife, but Deke is ready for him with a sharp trophy to the very organic arm. Even his “productivity is connectivity” catchphrase helps buy him time, as he fools Sarge into following his voice instead of his body. The official rescue comes from Trevor, his beleaguered assistant who turned out to be babysitting him for the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. all along.
Trevor called in for the big guns, which means Mack (Henry Simmons) and May (Ming Na Wen) waste no time coming to collect their wayward friend. Turns out Deke was the “Code Yellow,” but he doesn’t have time to be offended because the mission turns into a full-on assault once they realize Sarge is inside. They do an admirable job of taking out his team, and even Deke does his part by saving his boba-loving bae and swearing Mack to secrecy re: the Daisy Sim romance, but May still ends up in Sarge’s clutches by the end of the episode. Why doesn’t he want to kill her, and where’s he taking her now? We’ll just have to see!
“Code Yellow” wasn’t all fun and games back at S.H.I.E.L.D. Headquarters, though it was humorous to watch Mack pretend he couldn’t tell Yo-Yo (Natalia Cordova Buckley) and Keller were now an item. The new lovebirds help Doctor Benson (Barry Shabaka Henley) as he performs an autopsy on the corpse Sarge left behind at the start of the episode – a task which quickly leads to chaos and heartbreak.
As it turned out, the dead man was still harboring a fugitive in the form of a parasitic bat(?). Under the potentially mistaken impression that Sarge put the creature inside the man, the trio pull out the knife that killed him and thus unleash the beast. Naturally, it burrows itself inside the only guest star in the room and turns Keller into a living nightmare. The horrifying transformation cannot be prevented, and eventually Yo-Yo is forced to use the knife to kill her boyfriend and end his suffering.
This part failed to hit home, though Cordova-Buckley gave it her all in a gut-wrenching performance, mostly because we weren’t give time to know Keller or appreciate their relationship. Mostly he seemed like an obstacle for Mackelena and now a cross for her to bare, but at least the we learned that there’s another threat outside of Sarge himself.
“Code Yellow” is a perfect chaser to last week’s episode, and together they prove that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is not afraid to shake things up even 6 years in.