Spoilers ahead for the fifth episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 7, called "A Trout in the Milk."
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. arrived in the 1970s in "A Trout in the Milk," only to find a very different decade than they expected based on what they knew of history. While the music and fads seemingly stayed the same, Hydra's timeline moved up by about 40 years thanks to the Chronicoms' interference, and the agents were tasked with more or less the plot of Captain America: The Winter Soldier on top of all their other complications. The episode did finally drop a clue about Simmons, but one that raised more questions than it answered, and hers isn't the only plot currently shrouded in mystery.
So, as we await the next episode of S.H.I.E.L.D., read on for some questions that need to be answered after Episode 5!
What Is Simmons Hiding?
Just after it seemed S.H.I.E.L.D. had debunked the theories that any tech is involved with Simmons' secrets, "A Trout In The Milk" revealed she has what appears to be a glowing chip in the back of her neck. She didn't realize who Deke was talking about when he mentioned "Bobo," and she told Enoch that she's been "slipping," "forgetting," and "getting confused" without him. Enoch simply told her to come with him and everything would be fine, although they were stopped before he could do anything for her.
So what exactly is Simmons hiding? Is the chip some kind of memory inhibitor that she and Fitz implanted to make sure she couldn't give away any dangerous details? Why didn't it fry in the EMP? Is it somehow keeping her young because she spent decades away with Fitz? Is she a clone, and the chip is feeding her Simmons' memories? Does she even know about the chip, and was it supposed to be glowing? If so, why would she wear a ponytail? I'm on the memory inhibitor train myself, partly because that seems like the least tragic option for poor FitzSimmons.
What Happened In Enoch's Year Away?
A running joke during the noir episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was that Enoch was stuck, working in the same S.H.I.E.L.D. bar for decades while he waited for the agents to come get him. The joke is a little less funny in hindsight, since "A Trout in the Milk" revealed that Enoch didn't actually stay at the bar the whole time. He had been gone for more than a year by the time the agents arrived in 1973, only to conveniently turn up to serve as getaway driver.
What happened in Enoch's year away? There was an enemy Chronicom in the era, since he stuck around with Freddy Malick in 1955, so we shouldn't rule out that something was done to Enoch. Or was Enoch's absence simply so S.H.I.E.L.D. could go for the Terminator nod with Enoch's "Come with me if you want to continue to exist!" line when he pulled up to save the day? If Enoch has been turned, what does that mean for the slipping Simmons?
What's Next For Sousa?
Daniel Sousa was struggling to adjust to 1973 (and then 1976) throughout "A Trout in the Milk," having been "killed" in his own time before being pulled into the heroes' time travel adventures while he was still unconscious. He never got to say any goodbyes, and he told Daisy that this would probably be his last mission. Daisy didn't seem to think he was going to actually quit, but I'm not sure I see S.H.I.E.L.D. keeping him as part of the team for the rest of the final season.
What's next for Sousa? Will he stick it out, and continue helping the team until they return to their own time? If so, will he fall in love with Sharon Carter, since he lost Peggy to Steve Rogers? Or will he stay behind in 1976? Considering Enver Gjokaj appeared in The Avengers, S.H.I.E.L.D. could always leave Sousa in the '70s and reveal that Gjokaj's character in Avengers was Sousa's son. Or is all of this too optimistic, and Sousa is going to die sooner rather than later?
Is Deke The Key To Everything?
For a guy who spent most of the episode hanging out on the Zephyr in a track suit, Deke was surprisingly key to "A Trout in the Milk." His mention of "Bobo" was a giveaway that something was wrong with Simmons, who should have known that was what Deke called Fitz, and his statement that his grandparents need to "bump lemons" to make his mom could be a clue that something is going to happen due to his very existence in this timeline. Killing Malick was also a surprise, and perhaps he's a wild card due to the fact that he shouldn't exist.
Could he be the key to everything? He could very well at least be key to some questions being answered about what FitzSimmons were up to during their time away. I for one took the mention of Fitz and Simmons needing to make a baby as more evidence pointing toward my secret FitzSimmons baby theory. Could he be a variable that the Chronicoms weren't prepared for? Shooting Malick is definitely a game-changer.
What Was On The Picture From Malick?
Freddy Malick was alive and well for most of "A Trout in the Milk," which took place several years after he died in the original timeline. The Chronicom leader came to visit Malick at his home before the launch of Insight, and he left him with a mysterious picture. Malick still had the picture when Yo-Yo and Deke arrived to bring him back to the Zephyr, and he teased that Hydra had something that they'd "desperately want," but they only got a look at it after Deke shot and killed Malick. Yo-Yo was clearly unnerved by whatever it showed.
What was on the picture? Admittedly, Yo-Yo seeing it was followed shortly thereafter by Mack discovering that his parents were below the Lighthouse and would have been drowned if S.H.I.E.L.D. went through with the plan to flood Project Insight, causing him to abort the mission. The photo could have simply been of Mack's parents under Hydra control. Still, did Yo-Yo really know what Mack's parents looked like in 1976 enough to recognize them in a photo? And if not Mack's parents, what was in the photo?
What Will Nathaniel Malick Do To Daisy?
All three Malick men were still alive in 1976, and it's looking like Nathaniel might be the Malick son to cause more trouble for S.H.I.E.L.D. in this version of the timeline. After being used as an impromptu hostage by Daisy in 1973, he saw her use her powers. By the time they showed up again in 1976, Nathaniel was ready to make a move. He captured both Daisy and Sousa, and was last seen reaching out to Daniel Whitehall for instructions on how to transfer superpowers surgically.
Will Nathaniel pull it off? Daisy lost the ability to use her powers back in Season 5, and it actually took surgery (and a brutal betrayal) for her to regain her abilities. Could surgery remove her powers for good this time? How would the team look without a Quake, especially when Yo-Yo has lost her speed? And how dangerous would Nathaniel -- who has already lived longer than he was supposed to -- be if he had her powers? Or will Daisy escape with her powers intact?