What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. “The Totally Excellent Adventures of Mack and The D”! Oh dear, “The Totally Excellent Adventures of Mack and The D”…. I think we all know what this is in reference to. Though whose to argue with taking that kind of inspiration to an episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.? Things might be tense between Mack and Deke right now, but this is the kind of adventure dynamic that we have always needed. Personally I would have loved for them to do something like this with Fitz and Deke, but this is the next best thing. Now of course, let’s not forget that this isn’t something to cheer for completely. Last week’s episode was devastating, with pieces to pick up from in this week’s.
Now what shocks me is that there could ever be viewers out there who overlook the kind of story told through Mack. Since this mission began, it has been all about the worst case scenario that any of these agents could go through at the hands of the Chronicoms. That worst case was losing someone close to them. This is the kind of episode that he has deserved as a leader. When Coulson was in charge, he went through just as much loss. However, he never experienced what Mack has gone through here. To lose your parents to the mission? That’s not something you so easily bounce back from. So the first part of this episode I found captivating for the emotion and lack thereof that we got from someone who was working through these feelings by himself. That is what made this just as big of an episode for Deke. He has also needed an episode like this where it was not only just him doing his thing, it was Deke really going out of his way for someone else he considers a friend. Honestly, that is the only way that someone like him could ever continue growing.
It hit just as hard to follow his attempts at trying to break through to Mack. I mean, what does someone like Deke say to a guy like Mack to help him get over this? He didn’t have a lot of things going for him, but he never let go of the one thing he did better than most, and that was being persistent. Now how he spent his time in the 80’s was humorous for the fact that you knew he couldn’t help himself riding off of the fame that was supposed to be someone else’s. To see that full musical performance was worth the wait, and I’m still pretty shocked that he isn’t too bad of a singer. Not convinced that he was singing that stuff himself in the moment, but funny nonetheless.
With that said, it was heartwarming to also see how far Deke has come as a person. I still remember the guy who wouldn’t have given another person a second thought if it was going out of the way of his own needs or safety. Again, it would have been cool if this was a Deke/Fitz adventure so that they could fix the tension between them, but a dynamic with Mack did not hurt either. This was the time where he needed to actually make a genuine friend. He accomplished that and then some with this new team. Speaking of Deke’s team? They were an interesting bunch. When you looked at the promotional images, the last thing to come to mind was that they weren’t what they appeared to be on the surface. In a typical Deke way, he could not help himself being surrounded by people who were just as unseasoned as him.
That aside, the plot for this episode was fun. For as endearing and heartbreaking things were, they did not fail to take full advantage of what the 80’s had to offer in entertainment. There was a cool opener reflecting the time period, there was a number of references they played to, and of course they couldn’t miss the opportunity to have Deke messing around with time for his own benefit.
When you got past the fun, all that was left was the danger of the Chronicoms. I can’t say that I was too shocked they somehow survived the explosion, but the how was definitely clever. You would not have expected them to have adapted as well as they did to the 80’s. Once again they took “Adapt or Die” to heart, and the effort showed through what they would call a comeback. When it came to these killer robot bodies they were able to construct, I know there’s some reference I’m missing to the design, but personally I did enjoy looking at them like Daleks. Mostly for the range of motion they were limited to. Though this did not stop them from living up to the killer part of being killer robots. This is not to say that I would have entirely called them formidable either. If they were going up against actual experienced agents? This would not have been too much of a fight, but they weren’t.
Call it what you will, but at the end of the day, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. “The Totally Excellent Adventures of Mack and The D” was an excellent adventure. It was exciting, it was action-packed, it was even heart-breaking. This episode was a lot of things, but I would not call it a waste of an episode either. The mission continued and a job got done.