Ok, I’ll admit that I needed to stop and look up what “a trout in the milk” meant. I’d never heard the phrase before and thought maybe it was some Marvel reference I was missing. If you didn’t know, it turns out to be a term for strong circumstantial evidence. The episode is full of sly and not so quiet call-backs to the larger Marvel Universe or Agents of SHIELD. Something that the show hasn’t been using as much as in past seasons. Since I’m not the most prominent follower of the print and movie part of the universe, some of the references might have gone over my head.
The team initially landed in 1973. They seek out a missing Enoch (Joel Stoffer) and deduce that Freddie Malick (Neal Bledsoe) has been kept alive by the Chronicoms for reasons unknown. The most significant shift to time so far is the reason, and with it, a startling amount of Marvel universe references. Daisy discovers that targets include people like a young Bruce Banner, Nick Fury, and Peggy Carter. How would the Hydra infiltrated SHIELD take out these targets? Say hello to Project INSIGHT.
Thankfully, it’s pointed out in-episode that Project INSIGHT is launching 40 years too soon. The significance had no meaning to me. Project INSIGHT is Hydra’s way of tracking and eliminating targets. Of course, with Freddy still alive, our team is a bit more recognizable, and they get held up at the safehouse. Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, Daisy (Chloe Bennet) manages to use Freddy’s son Gideon (Cameron Palatas) against Freddy, who allows the team to escape. The Chronicoms also take notice of this weakness.
We then take an unexpected time-jump to 1977. The Chronicoms want to push events forward because they can create a better tool against our SHIELD team. At this point, the INSIGHT missile is ready to be launched. SHIELD tries to stop it, but the Chronicoms know their every move. They manage to kidnap Sousa (Enver Gjokaj) and Daisy before Daisy can override the Lighthouse security protocols. Coulson (Clark Gregg) and May (Ming-Na Wen) manage to find another way into the base, but can’t destroy it because the Chronicoms have imprisoned Mack (Henry Simmons)’s parents there. Even Freddy is ready when Yo-Yo (Natalia Cordova-Buckley) and Deke (Jeff Ward) show up.
He begins to present them with some evidence that would stop them in their tracks. Indeed, Yo-Yo seems quite concerned when she sees it. But Deke has taken her status quo conversation from last week to heart and is more determined to change the future for the better. He finally does what he thinks he should have done a few episodes back and kills Freddy.
The team has a couple of new problems going forward. Gideon is taking Daisy to Daniel Whitehall. Not exactly good news. And since Mack had to about the mission to save his parents, INSIGHT does launch 40 years too early. Having an invisible jet means the team aborts INSIGHT after launch but, in doing so, reveals their position to the Chronicoms. Time-travel. What a mess, huh? It seems like the team has more than enough challenges for next week.