REVIEW: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S7E7 – The Totally Excellent Adventures of Mack and the D

I was hoping for a more lighthearted episode after last week, and this week certainly delivered.

All of the actors on the Deke Squad were excellent. Also, I almost teared up at her name. A sweet tribute to the late, great Ron Glass.

First off, along less lighthearted lines, I’m glad the show gave Mack space to grieve. It wouldn’t be believable or in-character for Mack to be able to even sort of get over that loss quickly. I was also pleasantly surprised at how good of a friend Deke was (while still maintaining his Deke-ness of course). He’s grown a lot as a character, and part of that is due to Mack’s influence! I think Deke is fully aware of that fact. Looking after young “Alfie” without even saying anything to Mack! My heart. (Also: return of the Shotgun Axe! Yessss.)

Speaking of Deke, though: loved the band, loved the Squad, loved yet more evidence of how fantastically adaptable and clever (and ridiculous) Deke is. Wonder what’s going to happen with all those folks who listened to Deke’s band when the actual writers of those songs release that music… I’m also curious to see if any of his Squad will end up joining the team on a more permanent basis, or if they’ll all stay in the ’80s and somehow carry on their work from there.

I’m sure I didn’t get every single one of the ’80s references, but I know there were a heck of a lot of them. As usual, the music, hair & makeup, clothing, and sets were spot-on. Poor Russell should’ve known better than to trust a woman in a computer – even one as gorgeous as Tamara Taylor’s Sybil. And by the way, if her robot body was built according to her specifications, does that mean she’s an ’80s fan? ‘Cuz that was definitely a Short Circuit-like shape, just like Mack pointed out later. Also, I for sure caught a snippet of the Doctor Who theme when Sibyl’s robot body was first revealed. Then again, Deke is maybe not the most reliable of narrators, so perhaps he was just sneaking in all those references and those awesome one-liners for fun. Not that they impressed May much, we can assume. The era-appropriate slasher violence was nice and gross and over the top.

I had to look up Max Headroom before I watched the episode, having seen people reference Coulson’s current form in relation to that show/movie. (Sorry, lots of this stuff was a bit before my time.) Glad he seems to have stayed essentially Coulson. Also glad to hear May hint he wouldn’t be stuck on a hard drive for too much longer. We need Coulson to be around, physically.

These things were the perfect balance of cheesy and chilling.

It’s disappointing but not surprising that Nathaniel Malick isn’t dead. I guess it would’ve been too easy for him to be crushed to death last week. We can only hope he either A) doesn’t have powers still, or B) can’t use them without risking breaking his bones or whatever. Either way, Daisy will finish the job and take him out next time they meet, right?

Speaking of Daisy, I imagine she’ll be showing up in a big way in the next ep – seeing as how the team is apparently going to go visit Jiaying. Very well done, showrunners, for leading up to her return the way you did, with Daisy’s torture. Hopefully Jiaying will want to help a fellow Inhuman get her powers back … without causing disaster for any of the rest of the team.

What was your favorite ’80s aspect of this episode?