“As I Have Always Been” Fascinated With Time Travel

As I have Always Been

Ah, time travel. It’s a staple of Sci-Fi. This season of “Agents of SHIELD” relies on it, but particularly in “As I Have Always Been”. The time loop that sees our characters repeating the same mistakes until they can figure out the solution. It worked well for “Yesterday’s Enterprise” in “Star Trek: The Next Generation”. It’s certainly worked with varying results for “Doctor Who” over the years. So how does it work here?

Daisy And The Time Travel Loop

Daisy (Chloe Bennet) is our lucky looper in “As I Have Always Been”. The Zephyr has made its way into a time storm and can’t get out. Each loop brings it closer and closer to demise. The only people who can fix the situation are Enoch (Joel Stoffer) and Jemma (Elizabeth Henstridge). They have it hard-wired not to help so as not to give away Fitz’s location though. Meanwhile, Coulson (Clark Gregg) can retain his memory and coaches Daisy on how to get closer to solving the problem.

The Mechanics Of Time Travel

“As I Have Always Been” mostly doesn’t worry about the mechanics of time travel and looping through time. That’s always been one of the more prominent strengths of “SHIELD. If the show doesn’t want to pay attention to something, it doesn’t. There are a couple of holes in “As I Have Always Been” though.

The most nagging problem is Daisy’s loops. Her memory retention has varying degrees. Sometimes she can recall what happened on the last loop right up until the new loop begins. Other times the loop starts as if it were the first time. Maybe this is a little nitpicky, but it just stood out to me. Perhaps because Coulson can accurately remember what happened in each loop. Maybe the fact he and Daisy weren’t awake at the start of the circuit affects their ability to remember. But surely Enoch would have some retention? Being a Chronicom and all he would seem most likely of the whole crew.

Alas, Poor Enoch, Agent Of SHIELD

Enoch is the one who can put an end to the loops using technology built into his Chronicom makeup. “As I Have Always Been”, he might say. Of course, using this solution means Enoch must die. The dialog between Coulson, Daisy, and Enoch touches on fears we might all have in the current world situation. Their assurances that Enoch won’t die alone are moving. They are also a gentle reminder of exactly how much a part of the team he’s become. And it’s still SHIELD, after all, I’m not 100 percent convinced we’ve seen the last of him.

Where The Hell Is Fitz?

And so we have four episodes left of the show. There is a budding romance between Daisy and Sousa (Enver Gjokaj.) It doesn’t feel like it has enough time for exploration. We still haven’t seen Fitz (Iain De Caestecker), which has got to be driving every fan nuts. And let’s not forget about Nathanial Malick (Thomas E. Sullivan) and Daisy’s surprise older sister Kora (Dianne Doan). Not to mention we still aren’t sure where Jiyiang (Dichen Lachman) and company zapped off to. That’s a lot to pack into four episodes.

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