We gave it a B+
I don’t know about you all, but this is an episode I’ve been waiting all season for. It’s not just the return of Lance Hunter (although that is very much appreciated), it’s that this episode finally shows us what Fitz has been up to after he was let out of the initial time travel — and how he might be able to reconnect with his friends very soon.
The episode is called “Rewind,” and that’s exactly how it begins: By rewinding to the day of the season 4 finale, when Fitz’s friends were all abducted and sent into the future without them. When the bald alien and his henchmen first stormed the diner where the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents sat, Fitz was among those who thought they were U.S. military agents coming to bring them to justice for the death of Jeffrey Mace and the shooting of General Talbot. He offered to accept full responsibility for the crimes, but could barely get the sentence out of his mouth before all his friends mysteriously vanished. As it turns out, the military did show up slightly afterward. Finding only Fitz, they arrested him.
The military detectives assume Fitz used his super-science skills to whisk his friends away to safety somehow, but they couldn’t have been more wrong if they tried. Not only does Fitz have no idea where his friends are, he actually wants to find them even more badly than the military does. Eventually he’s able to convince them of this, and offers to help them track down Coulson and the others. He only asks for three things: paper, pens, and a TV to watch soccer.
After six months of this, Fitz only has one theory as to where his friends might be. He assumes they must have been abducted by aliens — which is, of course, correct, but is laughed out of the room by the military brass. He’s also been sending a lot of angry letters to soccer fanzines, which eventually pays off with a much-needed visit from Fitz’s “lawyer.” Lo and behold, Lance Hunter has returned! It’d be nice to have Adrienne Palicki’s Bobbi Morse back as well, but Nick Blood’s sarcastic humor (deployed throughout the episode to denigrate his less-than-competent criminal accomplices) is still a welcome return to this show all on his own.
Hunter is able to break Fitz out of the prison momentarily, and they immediately set about trying to find their missing friends. Their only lead is a beer truck that parked outside the diner right before everyone disappeared and vanished immediately afterward, but it turns out that’s all they need. Following that clue leads Fitz and Hunter to the home of the bald alien from the beginning of this season (the one who swam in his pool to the tune of “This Must Be the Place”). The bald alien, who gives his name as Enoch, is actually surprisingly helpful. He informs Fitz and Hunter that Coulson and the others are currently in the year 2091, and he even shows Fitz video of the white monolith taking them there. Unfortunately, he can’t send Fitz the same way, because the monolith can only be opened from the other side. He knew that the portal would be open then, and so he sent S.H.I.E.L.D. through. How did he know the portal would be open then? The answer involves a callback all the way to season 3. (Recap continues on page 2)