Agents of SHIELD’s Trip to the 1980s Resulted in One of the Series’ Best Episodes

Agents of SHIELD has done it again! The series is currently in its seventh and final season but [...]

Agents of SHIELD has done it again! The series is currently in its seventh and final season but has somehow managed to keep things fresh up until the very end. This week's episode, hilariously titled "The Totally Excellent Adventures of Mack and the D," follows Mack (Henry Simmons) and Deke (Jeff Ward) after being stranded in 1982. After the Zephyr disappears, Mack leaves to be alone with his grief over the death of his parents, which turns into about a year of being held up alone. Deke frequently tries to visit, but Mack's depression takes over, leaving Deke to go off and find his place in the '80s. While the first 10-15 minutes are heartbreaking and feature a beautiful performance by Simmons, the remainder of the episode turns into a perfect homage to the 1980s. In fact, the stylized direction from Jesse Bochco and sharp writing from Brent Fletcher might make it the funniest episode of the entire series, or at least tied with last season's "Fear and Loathing on the Planet Kitson."

There were so many iconic '80s throwbacks in the episode, including Coulson (Clark Gregg) living inside a TV a la Max Headroom, Deke copying the exact look from Loverboy's "Turn Me Loose" video, and robots that looked almost identical to the ones from Chopping Mall, which you may recall was referenced a couple of times back in season four. This campy, romp of an episode also featured Deke singing Simple Mind's "Don't You (Forget About Me)," which was made famous by The Breakfast Club back in 1985. In classic Deke fashion, he pretended to write the jam himself. It can not be overstated how much fun it was getting to watch Jeff Ward perform a musical number.

Once Deke finally convinces Mack to get out of the house, Mack shows up to one of Deke's gigs and meets The Deke Squad, who are not only members of the band but (mostly) agents-in-training. Matt and John Yuan, Tipper Newton, and Jolene Andersen play the newest agents and although we've only known them for a single episode (and probably won't see them again), we already love them. Deke takes Mack back to their base, which is The Lighthouse decked out in '80s decor, and Deke tries to convince Mack to become the Director again. At first, Mack declines but is forced back into his leadership role when the Chronicom, Sybil, finds a way to return in classic robot form.

After defeating the robots (who got in a couple of hilarious Chopping Mall-style kills), Mack goes to visit his younger self, which he'd been putting off since arriving in the '80s. Turns out, Deke had been checking up on young Mack and his brother, and providing for them, further proving that Deke has come a long way since his days of only looking out for himself. Kudos, Agents of SHIELD, for continuing to find ways to be creative after seven years.

Agents of SHIELD airs Wednesday nights on ABC at 10 PM EST.