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Simmons radios Shaw urgently, saying that the Zephyr is about to go, with the Time Drive deteriorating and them about to jump unexpectedly. Shaw calls for Mackenzie, finding him, and saying they have to go, but Mackenzie ignores him. Zephyr One jumps away to May 1983 behind them, leaving Mackenzie and Shaw stranded in 1982.
As Feldman gets back to work, his printer unexpectedly prints a page of unintelligible code. On his monitor, he finds the computer asking "Will you help me? Y/N". When he presses "Y" for "yes", it says it has been waiting for him, and the printer prints a picture of Sibyl, as Sibyl introduces herself on the screen, having taken over the computer.
Shaw gets to Mackenzie, explaining Zephyr One has gone. Mackenzie is stunned as Shaw explains they are stuck in 1982, but thinks that the mission is over, given "Phil Coulson" took out the Chronicoms, so they wonder why they stopped in 1982. Mackenzie is angry about the fact they have messed with time at all, and Shaw reminds him that he too lost his parents, saying he is there if Mackenzie wants to talk, but Mackenzie refuses. He gets on his motorbike, and Shaw says they need a plan in case the Chronicoms are still there, but Mackenzie says Shaw will figure it out and drives off, as Shaw begs him to let him help.
Mackenzie visits his parents' graves and mourns them.
Alphonso Mackenzie then drives to his uncle Marcus' house, knowing it will be where his 10-year-old alternate self will be living following his parents' deaths. He witnesses Marcus with young Alphonso and Ruben, and considers giving his 10-year-old self a model car kit he has bought to cheer him up, but cannot face it, driving off.
Russell Feldman receives a call from Chip Womack angrily asking for his computer back, but Feldman ignores it, obsessed with Sibyl. He manages to set up an audio output for Sibyl to speak, and Sibyl says her blueprints are instructions for him for once he has made her flesh. Feldman excitedly says he will not sleep until she is standing with him.
Alphonso Mackenzie moves into his parents' old house.
Alphonso Mackenzie unboxes the '67 Corvette 427 model for himself, and builds it, then painting it blue.
Deke Shaw knocks at Mackenzie's door, having found where he was living. Mackenzie opens the door, annoyed to see him, but Shaw comes inside, glad to see him. Shaw attempts to help his friend, explaining he hired a shady guy called Cricket to track Mackenzie. Mackenzie takes the ball Shaw brought and throws it out into the front yard, and when Shaw goes to retrieve it, Mackenzie locks him out.
Alphonso Mackenzie drinks beer and watches television, still depressed. Deke Shaw knocks on his door, hoping he will want to celebrate New Year's Eve. When Mackenzie ignores him, Shaw leaves items at the door and wishes him a happy 1983, before leaving.
Alphonso Mackenzie continues to occupy himself with model vehicle kits, but becomes frustrated when one goes wrong, letting out repressed anger by punching the table.
Deke Shaw slips a note under Alphonso Mackenzie's door, telling him to meet at Swayze's Bar that night and that it is important.
Russell Feldman brings Sibyl flowers to mark the occasion of her getting a body. Sibyl, who has been uploaded into a small robot body, takes them.
Mackenzie visits Swayze's Bar as Shaw requested, and asks after Shaw. The bartender thinks he is joking, since everyone present is there to see Shaw, and she tells him "the band" are coming out for an encore. Mackenzie is confused, but turns to see Shaw stepping out onto stage with a band called The Deke Squad. Shaw announces that he wrote the song they are about to play, then the band start performing Don't You (Forget About Me), which only Mackenzie knows Shaw has stolen.
Shaw performs the song with his band, completely plagiarized apart from one lyric change as he sings about his unrequited love for Daisy Johnson, to an enraptured crowd.
After the performance, Shaw hugs Mackenzie, glad he came. Mackenzie confronts him about stealing the song from The Breakfast Club, saying it is just like him. Shaw happily says he has popular merchandise, but Mackenzie interrupts, saying he came by because the note says it was important. Shaw explains the band is a cover. He tells Mackenzie about the band: the brains Roxy Glass, masters of disguise Tommy and Ronnie Chang, resistance and demolitions expert Olga Pachinko, and the drummer Cricket, who he explains is not particularly useful and not shady like he initially assumed, as he has a steady job selling "coke", which Shaw mistakes for referring to the drink, to Mackenzie's exasperation. Shaw explains that being a band gives them practical applications with covers for their travel, equipment, and strange behavior, and says they need Mackenzie to be their leader with enemy chatter they have been picking up. Mackenzie asks if he is referring to the Chronicoms. Shaw drags Mackenzie aside and says they have to get back to HQ before talking.
Shaw takes Mackenzie to the Lighthouse, and Mackenzie is appalled to see Shaw has been using the abandoned base to operate and party. Shaw says "Coulson" was okay with it, revealing to Mackenzie that "Coulson" is alive.
Shaw takes Mackenzie to see "Coulson", explaining his body was exploded with the Chronicom ship, but his life data stayed safe on a hard drive, and that with his limited resources, he has uploaded "Coulson" into a television. "Coulson" talks to Mackenzie from the screen, glad to see him, and explains that the head Chronicom and Predictor, Sibyl, seems to still be out there. He says he had wondered how Sibyl might have escaped, and Shaw explains "Coulson" found evidence she got into the River's End power supply, as "Coulson" says pages of code show up whenever there is a power surge, so he thinks she is reaching out to build new hunters.
Feldman returns to Sibyl with ammunition she had tricked him into buying for her. He finds Sibyl has built her own robot similar to herself, and Sibyl explains she needed to expand her capabilities. She says Feldman knows too much, and another robot she has already completed kills him.
The Deke Squad prepare for the Gauntlet in a huddle. Shaw says he wants to show Mackenzie their ability, and Roxy Glass assures him they can do it. They all put their hands in and disband.
The group run the Gauntlet in the Lighthouse corridor, fighting a dummy Shaw has rigged to shoot paintballs. Olga Pachinko places the explosives and Ronnie and Tommy Chang go, but Ronnie trips, accidentally shooting Glass, and Pachinko's explosive goes off, having used a live one without their knowledge. Cricket arrives, confused.
Mackenzie tells Shaw the group has a lot of problems. Shaw says not to give up on them, revealing he has designed and built Mackenzie a Shotgun-Axe. Mackenzie rejects it, but Shaw says they need him to get it together. Mackenzie says their group are not a team, mere wannabes, and Shaw is angered at him taking shots at his friends, saying they do not give up on him when the going gets tough, like he did not for Mackenzie. Mackenzie leaves.
In the early hours, the Sibyl-Bots go through the sewer system and drill through locks to get into the Lighthouse.
Cricket lies in bed with his girlfriend, Tawni. He hears clattering outside and the two of them investigate, finding a Sibyl-Bot, who claims to be lost. Cricket mocks it and it suddenly pulls out a buzz-saw, cutting through Cricket and killing him.
Glass stops Mackenzie, saying Shaw talks a lot about him as a great person. She says Mackenzie has abandoned his son, having deduced as such from the young Mackenzie looking like him and having his name, and says Shaw checks in on the boy and brings him and his brother supplies and even a drum kit. Mackenzie is touched, having not known. Glass and Mackenzie are interrupted by a Sibyl-Bot. Mackenzie has them take cover, just in time as the Sibyl-Bot opens fire.
Shaw apologizes to the Changs about Mackenzie. They remain optimistic, but Shaw is saddened, and admits he did not write their songs, saying he is a fraud. Tawni interrupts them, saying Cricket has been murdered. She is suddenly killed herself by the same Sibyl-Bot, which turns into the control room to face The Deke Squad. Pachinko prepares to face it.
Mackenzie and Glass hide in a room as the Sibyl-Bot that attacked them goes past. Mackenzie tells Glass the robots killed his parents, and that they will pay.
Pachinko is cut across the back by the Sibyl-Bot. As it goes to kill the others, Glass and Mackenzie arrive and wrap a chain around it, breaking it. Mackenzie admits he made a mistake in leaving, and he and Shaw clasp hands. Pachinko says they need to take out the head robot, and Mackenzie says he has ideas, if the team will accept him. The group are happy to.
Mackenzie trims his overgrown beard and suits up to join and lead the team. He takes Shaw's Shotgun-Axe.
"Coulson" tells the group he thinks, due to her more reckless approach at taking out S.H.I.E.L.D., that Sibyl must no longer have the Time Stream. He posits she must therefore have attacked the base to retrieve the device.
Sibyl gets the Time Stream from the Chronicom Ship wreckage.
Mackenzie tells the team he believes they can use an amended version of the Gauntlet routine to take out the Sibyl-Bots.
As a Sibyl-Bot attacks, Mackenzie shoots it to make it turn a corner. Glass stops it from moving further, Pachinko drops an explosive behind it, then the Changs shoot the robot back until it is on top of it, and Shaw detonates, taking out the robot.
Sibyl arrives to attack the group, blasting lasers at them. Pachinko is hit and injured, and the group retreat. The Changs run away, scared. Mackenzie tells Glass to throw another explosive at Sibyl, saying it is not a problem that it is not rigged, and instructs Shaw to create a distraction.
Shaw distracts Sibyl, and Glass throws the explosive. Sibyl blasts Shaw, but Mackenzie shoots the explosive as it nears Sibyl, blowing her to pieces. Mackenzie goes to check on Shaw, but he is okay.
Sibyl's small robot picks up the Time Stream device and drives away with it.
As morning comes, The Deke Squad celebrate their victory. Pachinko tells Glass she loves her, but in Russian, with Glass not understanding. The Changs tell Shaw they feel they are unworthy of the team and band, but Shaw rejects this, saying he wants them to stay. Mackenzie tells "Coulson" they have not found Sibyl, so she has probably got out somehow. Mackenzie tells Shaw there is something they need to take care of.
Shaw and Alphonso Mackenzie visit Marcus Mackenzie's house, preparing for Alphonso to visit his younger alternate self. Shaw updates Alphonso about what his other self has been doing, and that he and Ruben have struggled with their parents' deaths, but are managing, and that Marcus has been great and Ruben and Alphonso are closer in this timeline. Mackenzie pulls out a car model kit, and Shaw suggests he give it. They approach the house, preparing their story, with Alphonso being the saxophonist in The Deke Squad.
Sibyl's robot makes its way through a field, down some stairs, along a wall, and past a moving train. It eventually reaches Nathaniel Malick, delivering him the Time Stream. Sibyl, who is now inside a television of his, tells him it is the one tool necessary to control this world's future, and that they will make a perfect pair.
Zephyr One arrives from an unplanned jump from May 17th. Yo-Yo Rodriguez and Melinda May get in the Quinjet to go and retrieve Mackenzie and Shaw, and Simmons hands May a watch counting down to when she believes they will arrive from their next jump, saying it will be in 27 days.
May and Rodriguez fly to the Lighthouse. Rodriguez worries that Mackenzie might not be okay, having been alone for 20 months after his parents' deaths.
In the early hours, May and Rodriguez get into the Lighthouse and find Mackenzie, Shaw, and The Deke Squad at work. Rodriguez rushes and hugs Mackenzie, the two delighted to see each other again. May tells Shaw and "Coulson" it is good to see them, and that Simmons said "Coulson's" hard drive was their most important asset. She jokingly plays coy about whether Simmons will build him a new body. Mackenzie tells Rodriguez it has helped that he had time and friends, and introduces her to the other agents.
Melinda May sits Deke Shaw down for a full report on the last 20 months. Shaw starts to recount events.
When Shaw reaches the performance at Swayze's Bar, May does not believe that he had a band. Shaw insists it is true, and May lets him continue.
↑ 3.003.013.023.033.043.053.063.073.083.093.103.22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.184.108.40.2063.273.283.293.303.313.323.333.343.353.363.373.383.393.403.413.423.43In After, Before, it is shown that Mackenzie and Shaw were stranded on "January 21, 1982" (also making the River's End power surge January 20, 1982). In The Totally Excellent Adventures of Mack and the D, Russell Feldman picks up Chip Womack's computer that day, and Womack wants it back as soon as possible. He later gets a call from Womack, saying, "Where the hell have you been? Your store has been closed all week," which would imply he has been checking for a week, making it roughly 8 days later, January 29, 1982. Mackenzie moves into his parents' house after this, and that is seemingly soon after January 21st, so it may be taken that this is the same day, January 29, 1982. Mackenzie's beard on "New Year's Eve" (December 31, 1982) and in the following scene with him where Mackenzie becomes frustrated is about 13.39 cm. The scenes therefore can be taken to be around the same time, with the frustrated scene as the next day, January 1, 1983. His beard on January 21, 1982 is around 1.23 cm, so then has grown roughly 6.94 cm in 344.5 days (0.02 cm per day). When Shaw visits Mackenzie with a ball, Mackenzie's beard is roughly 3.87 cm. So, from this rate of beard growth, it may be approximated that it is June 1, 1982. Then during the events at the bar and the attack on the Lighthouse, his beard is roughly 10.36 cm, suggesting the night of April 19-20, 1983. This fits with TV Coulson saying, "I know this last year hasn't been easy for you," with it being a year (slightly over) since January 21, 1982. It means a few months' gap between the battle and Shaw and Mackenzie reuniting with Rodriguez and May (shown by the clocks present to be the early hours of morning following what is shown in After, Before to be "September 9, 1983"), which is acceptable except for the fact that the reunion is followed by the ending tag scene, where the Time Stream makes its way to Nathaniel Malick, shortly after the battle. It must be taken that this is a flashback to months prior to the reunion, shortly after the battle in April. It still makes more sense to have months between the battle and reunion, also given Mackenzie's line, "It helped that I had time, and I had friends," implying it has been a while.