Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (707) “The Totally Excellent Adventures of Mack and the D”


Love it or hate it, this episode has been polarising the Agents of SHIELD fan community since it aired last Wednesday. Following on as it did from a heart-wrenching episode that crammed in a lot of surprises, it came out of the gate flat and, to be honest, by most, un-loved. Featuring, as it did, one of Agents of SHIELD’s most beloved characters, Mack, with one of Agents of SHIELD’s most reviled. Dare I say that, reviled? Certainly poor Deke gets little or no love. And, some would ask, if not, argue, why is he even there?

I do, at times, have to agree. But of course, he’s in the team for both comic relief, and also, because he is used as a pivotal point within episodes. He’s the one who makes mistakes, important, because the rest of the team has to be seen as perfect. He’s also there to cause strife, provide info dumps, and, of course, generally get in the way.

But back to Wednesday’s episode … a huge, and I mean, HUGE homage episode to the rocking 80s. This one was Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, a trope-filled, tongue-in-cheek love fest to 80s slasher movies—all the off-screen hacking up of throw-away characters by Sybil’s Five Alive robots—with streams of blood flowing into shot. Right on through to Deke, up on stage with a band, playing songs Deke claims he’s written, and actually stolen from movies yet to be written.

From the music, to the clothes, to the throw away asides. There were so many nods to movies and TV shows it got hard to keep up, and my notes became an undecipherable mess by the end.

They show wasn’t without its merits, though overshadowed by what some see as Deke’s antics. He stood by Mack the whole way through, visiting him, bringing groceries, supporting him in the only way he knew how. Even to the point of creating his our team to try to get Mack back to his Director old self, leading a team, however ragged a team it turned out to be. All the while Mack was wallowing in his own pity party, Deke was trying, and you have to give him that.

This wasn’t may favourite episode, not by a long shot. And I have to admit, I’m not sure why it was in there to begin with given season 7 is only a dozen or so episodes long. But the entire cast, it would seem, is getting a “going away” episode. So it seems natural that this was possibly, Deke’s.

Who knows. The point, I think, is to just enjoy it for what it was, and try not read too much into it. And let’s hope this week’s episode, airing Wednesday, turns out to be more substantial.

Highlights of this episode, seeing Coulson as Max Headroom trapped in an old cathode ray tubed TV set. A talking head, yes, but nonetheless, not dead … again!

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