Agents of SHIELD season 6, episode 1 review: Missing Pieces


What’s been happening with the Agents of SHIELD since viewers last saw them?

This time last year, both in real life and within the show’s continuity, the agents of SHIELD saved the world from Gravitron (Adrian Pasdar), who was at one point General Glenn Talbot, but at the cost of losing team leader Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) and Leo Fitz (Iain De Caesticker). But in doing so, they proved that time is not fixed, successfully erasing the future enslavement of humanity by the Kree. (Watch 5.22, “The End,” or read that episode’s review for more information).

During that time, all or parts of Avengers: Infinity War, Ant-Man and the Wasp and Avengers: Endgame took place.


Alphonso “Mack” McKenzie (Henry Simmons) is in charge of SHIELD operations as the new director, taking over from Daisy Johnson (Chloe Bennet). He has been successful in relegitimizing the organization in the eyes of the public and recruiting new agents, but at the cost of burying his job and ruining his relationship with Elena “Yo-Yo” Rodriguez (Natalia Cordova-Buckley).

Yo-Yo is having a secret affair with another agent named Keller, and he seems like he’s hiding a hidden agenda of some sort.

Mack has tasked Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen), back in her familiar second-in-command role, with finding new talent, especially smart talent. That means the recruiting of the alcoholic professor Dr. Marcus Benson (Barry Shabaka Henley), who will be tasked with founding a resurrected SHIELD Academy.

Spacing out

Daisy and Jemma Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge), along with longtime background agents Davis (Maximilian Osinski) and Piper (Briana Venskus), have been combing the spacelanes searching for the cryochamber of Fitz, with little success and only frustration and dead ends to show for it.

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While grieving the loss of her husband, Simmons discovers a clue that might lead them to the planet the cryochamber was manufactured on, though her plan of going there is shot down by everyone else, who vote to return to Earth and the Lighthouse for a bit to recuperate before picking up where they left off.

An armada of attacking Confederacy ships doesn’t help matters, either.

Strange doings afoot

Scoundrels from…. somewhere else, have been mysteriously appearing and causing destruction wherever they land, including a park in Indiana and a Museum of Natural History. At one of these sites, an explosion opens a portal that a heavily armored semi truck barrels through, which was seen in the sneak preview footage.

Out of this semi comes someone who looks very much like Coulson (perhaps called Sarge?), though he claims to have never heard of SHIELD.

Where things currently stand

Simmons acted rashly in a moment of panic and launched Zephyr One to the planet mentioned in the cryochamber. That probably won’t end well.

Yo-Yo’s affair with Keller could be seriously bad news if Mack found out.

We don’t really know who these scoundrels are or what they want, though from the season trailer it seems like they might be bounty hunters after Deke Shaw (Jeff Ward), FitzSimmons’ grandson from the future.

This episode ended with Fitz in an alien blacksmithy, sharpening some kind of blade before injecting himself with a mysterious substance. It raised far more questions than it answered, though that is the job of a season premiere, of course.

light. Related Story. Clark Gregg thinks season 7 will be SHIELD's last

SHIELD shrapnel

  • This episode, as all super important episodes are, was written by the husband-and-wife showrunning team of Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen. It was also directed by Gregg, the second episode he’s been behind the camera (5.06, “Fun & Games,” was the first).
  • Dr. Benson worked at Culver University, the same college that Drs. Bruce Banner and Betty Ross once worked at (which we see in The Incredible Hulk).
  • I’m pretty sure the NASCAR footage in the background at the bar was from an Xfinity Series (think Triple-A baseball) race between 2011-2013.
  • Of course, the portal of the Coulson lookalike would open at a history museum… that was a clever detail.
  • Hopefully, Piper and Davis get more backstory to their characters this season.
  • May might not give advice often but, when she does, it’s pretty solid. “Life wasn’t meant to be spent alone,” she tells Yo-Yo, though the line was longer than that, to which Yo-Yo replies, “That was a lot of talking for you, maybe the longest speech I’ve ever heard you give. Are you okay?”
  • This is the show’s fourth timeslot – season 1 was at 8 p.m. ET, seasons 2 and 3 at 9 p.m. ET, season 4 and 5 at 10 p.m. ET. All of those, excluding season 5, were on Tuesdays.

Episode 2, titled “Window of Opportunity,” will air Friday, May 17 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.