Agents of SHIELD opens a year after the events of the previous season, not quite bypassing the effects of Thanos’ snap but not touching on them either. This time jump allows audiences a peek at what the world looks like post-Coulson, as well as what space looks like pre-finding Fitz.
A lot of “Missing Pieces” is about setting up the season to come, but the opening sequence alone is game-changing enough. It appears that a burst of lightning or otherworldly phenomena struck the the ship carrying the Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) from the past and his guardian Enoch, leaving only an empty cryo chamber behind.
When Jemma (Elizabeth Henstridge) and Daisy (Chloe Bennet) happen upon the scene with the bare-bones team they have left after most of the agents went back home, the scene is heartbreaking for everyone involved. After spending a year in space, knocking down every door and torturing every alien, it’s painful to think there may be no hope left for Fitz
But while Daisy is primarily worried for her best friend’s well-being and the life support left on the Zephyr, Jemma remains singularly focused on recovering her husband and is not going to let anything stop her. This leads to a stand-off between the crew (including the adorably work-married Piper and Davis) and Simmons, which is only interrupted by an Confederacy attack. Daisy tries to take charge and tells Jemma to jump them to Earth, but instead the scientist sends them to the deep space coordinates she found in Fitz’s chamber. Will they find him out there, can they make it back to Earth, and will Daisy be able to trust her friend again? Stay tuned!
At the very least, “Missing Pieces” ends with confirmation that Fitz is alive and working in some kind of alien lab with glowing green eyes. Yay?
Back on Earth, Mack (Henry Simmons) has been moulding himself into the director that S.H.I.E.L.D. deserves – but it hasn’t all been smooth sailing. First of all, Elena (Natalia Cordova Buckley) and he have broken up and now she’s keeping a new relationship secret from him. That means all three of the show’s main ships are dead or dying, and I’m personally devastated. But that’s not all.
Random people (but are they people?) have been warping into various locations on the planet, which the Agents of SHIELD have to then try to defend. This group of newcomers, for their part, are more than willing to do things like blow up museums to ensure safe passage for their fellow travelers. After all, that’s where the last member of their posse – Sarge – is set to pop through.
After a heart-wrenching conversation about the loss of Coulson, and a bittersweet reminder that May (Ming Na Wen) got more time with him than expected, she and Mack set about recruiting a professor named Marcus Benson to help them decipher the situation, as well as start up a S.H.I.E.L.D. Academy down the line to train a new generation of recruits. That last part sounds like a really nice endgame for the series, but “Missing Pieces” is more focused on the present. A warper stuck in concrete briefly whispers the name of an Inca king before he dies, along with the warning that something is coming, and that’s the only clue they have to go on for now.
Well, that and the beeper the man was carrying, which leads the team to the very museum that is meant to welcome the so-called “Sarge” with a bomb. Though our agents do their best, they manage to be hoodwinked by one of the travelers and thus fail to stop the explosion. And when the smoke clears, they are greeted by the strangest sight of all: a healthy and alive Coulson with no knowledge or consideration of S.H.I.E.L.D.
“Missing Pieces” may have started off a little slow because it had to put the, pardon the pun, pieces of the season together – but by the end of the episode it’s clear that we’re in for another wild ride. What became of Coulson? What has Fitz become? Hopefully these questions will be answered soon.