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Recap / Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S6 E01 "Missing Pieces"

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Scattered across the galaxy, the team works to find their footing in the wake of losing Coulson.

Tropes in this episode:

  • The Alcoholic: Marcus Benson became one in response to the death of his husband.
  • Always Save the Girl: Though played sympathetically and not completely unjustified given the circumstances, Jemma is so obsessed with finding and rescuing Fitz that she completely disregards all logic and the safety of the rest of the team, even when it's explained to her that retreating back to Earth would actually be the safest and smartest way of ensuring that they find him. When Daisy points out that Jemma isn't the only one with people they care about (Davis even has a child he hasn't seen in months thanks to the space mission), she doesn't acknowledge this or even seem to care, lashing out at the others instead, and ultimately forcing the ship into deep space against the team's will on a hunch that Fitz will be there and risking their lives even further... all so that she can get her husband back. Who, technically, isn't her husband, from his perspective.
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  • Beard of Evil: Pax, of Sarge's group.
  • Big Entrance: Sarge, the mysterious man who looks like Coulson, makes his first appearance driving a Big Badass Rig through a portal.
  • The Brute: Of Sarge's group, Jaco has this role, though he is surprisingly gentle for one.
  • Butterfly of Doom: In the previous timeline where Graviton destroyed the Earth, Fitz's 74-year cryostasis was completely uninterrupted. Somehow, as a result of this timeline change, the ship where Fitz is sleeping is attacked only a year into the cryostasis.
  • Call-Back:
    • When discussing the energy spikes that foretell the portals, the S.H.I.E.L.D. team notes that they can't call them "anomalies" since they already used that term last year for the Fear Dimension hallucinations.
    • Coulson's recorded messages for Mack include Fury's "one man" speech that was mentioned several times in Season 1.
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  • The Chains of Commanding: Mack hasn't been doing well. His falling out with and subsequent break up from Elena, the burden of leading S.H.I.E.L.D. since Coulson's passing, and that the space mission team still hasn't come back are not easy for him to handle. He's seen drinking alone at one point.
  • Continuity Nod: Benson worked at Culver University, just like Bruce Banner and Betty Ross.
  • Continuity Snarl: The episode opens a year after the previous season's finale, which ran concurrently to the events of Avengers: Infinity War. Showrunners have also declared this season to be "Pre-Snap," the Snap of course being the climax of the aforementioned Infinity War. Fans who have held out the increasingly tenuous hope that the TV side of the MCU could still be integrated into the films' chronology may have been dealt a fatal blow.
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  • The Cuckoolander Was Right: Keller and Fox's idea that the strange occurences are happening on the Ley lines is initially blown off as a stupid idea, but they're proven right.
  • Dark Action Girl: Snowflake, from Sarge's group.
  • Downer Beginning: The episode opens with some sort of spinning energy blades tearing Enoch's ship in half.
  • The Dreaded: As the crew of the Zephyr One travel through space, Daisy has actively been cultivating a reputation as someone to fear.
  • Dwindling Party: Since we last saw them, the Zephyr One's crew has been reduced to Daisy, Simmons, Piper and Davis.
  • Elephant in the Living Room: The show was delayed in coming back by several months in order to avoid spoiling events in Avengers: Endgame. This episode is set one year after the previous season finale, which took place at roughly the same time as Avengers: Infinity War when Ebony Maw attacked Manhattan, yet no mention is made of the fact that half the people in the universe were turned to dust a year beforehand. In an interview, the showrunners explained that this season takes place "Pre-Snap", though this creates problems in terms of the timeline that was established in the previous episode.
  • Famed in Story: Over the past year, the crew of the Zephyr One and Quake in particular have garnered such a fearsome reputation across the galaxy that the D'Rillian mooks flee in terror once they realize who they have on their hands. This is invoked by Daisy, who deliberately cultivated that reputation so people would be less likely to mess with them. Unfortunately, since Taryan still wants to get his hands on Daisy, it also backfires on them when the Confederacy sends a destroyer after them.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Daisy and Jemma subject the D'Rillian commander to this in order to get information on Fitz's whereabouts.
  • Killed Offscreen: Coulson passed away before the start of the season.
  • Ley Line: Fox and Keller deduce that the portals are opening up at convergence points of ley lines.
  • Light Worlder: According to Jemma, the D'Rillian's planet has 68% the gravity of Earth. And since Earth's gravity is replicated aboard the Zephyr One, this makes it easy to torture the lead D'Rillian, as they just have to hang him upside down and let the gravity do its work on his biology.
  • Offscreen Break Up: Elena and Mack are no longer an item. Elena now dates her colleague Keller.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • The D'Rillian, when they realise whom they're dealing with.
    • The entire Zephyr One crew when they see the size of the warship the Confederacy sent to deal with them.
    • Daisy, when she realises that when Jemma says "coordinates locked in," she's not talking about the coordinates for Earth.
  • Old Friend: Benson is one of May's deceased husband, Andrew Garner.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted. Agent Keller shares his last name with the 1990's Director of S.H.I.E.L.D..
  • Pet the Dog: The biggest commando, Jaco, warns a child at the museum to get away from the place before all the trouble starts.
  • Reality Warper: Sarge and his crew materializing on Earth causes this.
  • Sacrificial Lamb: Fox, the new young S.H.I.E.L.D. recruit, gets shot by Sarge.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: When Daisy quakes apart the D'Rillian Mooks' weapons, they all run away.
  • The Sociopath: There's something not quite right with Snowflake, who acts totally nonchalant to cutting herself as part of a Wounded Gazelle Gambit and whose response to people's deaths is to just talk about how they'll become butterflies.
  • The Stinger: Fitz on an alien planet, apparently having started a life there.
  • Straight Gay: Benson mentioned that he started drinking in grief after his husband died.
  • Tele-Frag: The first portal opens in the middle of a concrete wall. The first guy, Jaco, manages to drag himself out in time, but his partner Tinker is too slow and the portal collapses, causing him to be embedded in the wall with his other half left wherever they came from. In order to keep this from happening to their leader at the museum, Jaco and his friends blow up the museum where Sarge is scheduled to arrive.
  • Time Skip: After the intro scene with Enoch's and Fitz's ship being blown up, the episode jumps ahead one year after the events of "The End". This would presumably put it within Endgame's own five-year Time Skip when half of all life in the universe was wiped out, but this is never alluded to.
  • Understatement: Enoch, as always, is great at this. When he sees a giant ship about to blown their (his and Fitz's) own vessel in half, he states that it's difficult to calculate their chances of survival.
  • Undying Loyalty: Even when the rest of the crew has given up the search, Daisy, Piper and Davis all stick by Simmons in her hunt for Fitz. Davis is a stand-out, as he has a child that he hasn't seen in months because of the search. That said, everyone's loyalty may be undying, but it's certainly not blind; when Simmons proposes a plan to go even further into space on evidence so shaky that it barely qualifies as evidence, Davis flat out refuses, and both Daisy and Piper try to reason with her.
  • Vagueness Is Coming: Tinker, the commando embedded in the concrete wall, lives just long enough to warn that something is coming that can't be stopped.
  • Video Wills: Coulson left one behind for Mack, motivating him in his new duties as the director.
  • Villainous Valor: Despite knowing who she is and his men fleeing in terror after she easily disarms them, the D'Rillian commander still tries his luck fighting Daisy, with predictable results.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds:
    • Keller, Elena's new Love Interest, and Fox, the young, nerdy recruit, share some playful banter.
    • Piper and Davis, as usual.
  • Wham Shot: Sarge, the leader of the mysterious commandos, is revealed to look just like Coulson.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Considering S.H.I.E.L.D. agents once again became fugitives and heroes with bad publicity in the previous season, there's notable lack of mention of it as S.H.I.E.L.D. operatives are able to show up openly in the public. This may be handwaved with the Time Skip, or that they somehow managed to clear things up to the authorities by revealing that Ivanov who framed them was working with remnants of HYDRA. There's also implication that they don't have time to fight for Inhumans rights anymore like in the previous seasons, nor upholding the Sokovia Accords which may not matter anymore after certain circumstances.
  • Working with the Ex: Mack and Elena are still not on speaking terms and their relationship is strictly professional. She's also been semi-secretly dating Agent Keller since the Time Skip.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: Jaco apparently, both sparing the children watching his arrival, and later when he tells the little girl at the museum to get away from the place before it blows.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Snowflake cuts her own head and then runs out pretending that her partners have her baby, distracting the S.H.I.E.L.D. team just long enough for the bombs to go off. She's worryingly casual about it, showing no signs of pain.


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