Tonight's episode of Agents of SHIELD had it all, and left us utterly devastated (in a good way). Following Daisy (Chloe Bennet) and Coulson (Clark Gregg) as they attempt to solve their way out of a time loop, "As I Have Always Been" was hilarious, tense, romantic, and heartbreaking. After realizing the only way to solve their time loop problem is by removing Jemma's (Elizabeth Henstridge) memory inhibitor, the team must face off against Enoch (Joel Stoffer), who Jemma programmed to protect the device at all costs. After finally solving that problem, the team is faced with a new one: in order to save the Zephyr, one of them would have to die. Recently, we spoke to Henstridge, who also directed the episode, and asked how they prepared for the emotional send-off. Warning: Spoilers Ahead!
Once the memory inhibitor is removed from Jemma, she realizes the only way to save the team is by using a piece of Enoch's chronicom hardware, which would be the equivalent of removing his heart. Without hesitation, Enoch removes the necessary piece from his own body and saves the crew. He's left with Daisy and Coulson, and delivers up a beautiful monologue as he dies. The moment was wonderfully executed by Stoffer, who Henstridge praised.
"Gosh, I mean, that was really all Joel. It's an intimidating thing sometimes as an actor and director to just see a huge monologue, that was a long scene and there was a lot of talking," Henstridge shared. "I really wanted those moments to be still. I wanted that scene to be simple and beautiful, but to have that moment at the end, we have to have been able to earn it. So it means that we have to be going faster throughout the rest of the episode to kind of earn that moment of stillness at the end and I really think that we managed to earn that moment, and Joel just knocked it out of the park."
Henstridge added, "I mean, it was complete silence on set when we were shooting that. I was goosebumps everywhere and all the crew kind of wiping tears from their eyes. And it was a really significant moment for Coulson, for Coulson and Daisy's relationship. Drew [Greenberg] just wrote that scene so beautifully and it allowed us to be talking about a lot of different things while talking about this kind of send-off for Enoch. And Joel was just incredible. We spoke about the scene and maybe moments to hit, but he just did it. I mean, he's an incredible actor."
Agents of SHIELD airs Wednesday nights on ABC at 10 PM EST.