Coulson and the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. are thrust backward in time and stranded in 1931 New York City. With the all-new Zephyr set to time-jump at any moment, the team must hurry to find out exactly what happened. If they fail, it would mean disaster for the past, present and future of the world.
This section needs a rewrite
In New York City, 1931, Captain William Dole and two other New York City Police Department officers await the arrival of Jimmy Bottles at Cut Rate Drugs. However, the Chronicom Hunters Luke, Cain, and Abel walk in. Luke announces his race and home planet. They fight, and the Hunters win. Luke takes Dole's face, and takes his uniform too. Bottles arrives, and Luke turns around. Cain and Abel take him out.
Meanwhile, on the Zephyr One, S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Jemma Simmons introduces the Chronicom-enhanced LMD of Phil Coulson to Agent Daisy Johnson and Director Alphonso Mackenzie. Johnson activates him, but after a few minutes, Mackenzie shuts it down. They then proceed down to the vehicle area of the Zephyr. They then converse about what is to be done. Simmons explains that there are launch windows for time travel and the Chronicoms took one and they followed them to 1931. Yo-Yo Rodriguez just sits there as Phil Coulson's LMD is then reactivated. Director Mackenzie and Coulson have a brief conversation after which he orders everyone to suit up. They then step into 1931 New York and look upon the Prohibition era in awe.
Coulson, Mackenzie, Johnson, and Deke Shaw walk down the streets of NYC and Shaw explains time travel to the group. They then investigate the faceless bodies and Coulson and co. masquerade as Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Coulson finds a bottle of O'Harren's Scotch Whisky with a swordfish emblem on it. Coulson remembers that before the Strategic Scientific Reserve became S.H.I.E.L.D., there was a safe house near there. He says that the password was swordfish. Mackenzie and Coulson leave to investigate while Shaw and Johnson stay to further analyze the bodies. Shaw then took out the Facial Reconstruction Scanner and stabbed it into one of the bodies.
Enoch is controlling the Healing Pod while Simmons and Rodriguez look on. Simmons tells Rodriguez that the Shrike tissue is dissolving and her body is breaking it down, and she is cleared to go outside. Simmons then opens a case and reveals a pair of mechanical arms. They are for Rodriguez. She doesn't want to accept them, but Simmons tells her to take her time to process it.
Coulson and Mackenzie go to the safe house. They knock. A man opens a slot in the door and asks for a password. Coulson says it. He lets them in. Mackenzie and Coulson go to the bar and ask to speak to the man in charge, "Gemini". The bartender pulled out a shotgun, then everyone in the bar pulled out assorted weapons as well.
Johnson asks Shaw how much faster the scanner can go. He says that it's going as fast as it can. Johnson then peers out the window and sees more cops coming. Luke tells Cain and Abel that it was bad that the bodies were found so fast. Johnson walks out to try to stall the officers from coming in. The Chronicoms realize that Quake is in 1931 as well. Johnson, posing as Inspector Johnson, is asked by Cain to help him investigate a suspicious truck out behind the drugstore. She goes with him and Cain pulls out his pistol. Abel tells the other officer standing guard to not come in, there might be screaming. He then smiles as the officer looks ahead, terrified.
Abel comes inside the store, and Shaw is just finishing up when he turns around, and Abel grabs him by the neck, and asks how many others there are. Outside, Johnson is looking at the truck when in the side mirror she sees Cain holding a gun. She fights him, and Shaw escapes by jabbing the scanner into Abel's face. Johnson is about to be shot when Shaw yells for Johnson saying "Chronicoms!". Johnson punches him into the truck and Deke hot-wires it, allowing them to escape just as Abel does.
Back at the safe house, Freddy closes the door, and Tillman asks what they were doing there. Coulson doesn't want to cause trouble, so he says that. Tillman doesn't believe him, because they came looking the same day Jimmy Bottles goes missing. Coulson walks up to Tillman, and grabs the gun. It misfires, grazing Coulson's shoulder. Mackenzie defeats everyone else in the bar. With a shotgun in his hand, Coulson asks again to speak to the man in charge. He comes out, and introduces himself. Ernest Koenig. Coulson says they come in peace. Koenig has no idea who he is, so he just mocks him.
Back on the Zephyr, Rodriguez finally tries out her new arms. They feel good to her, but strange. She goes to Simmons, who asks how she's doing with the arms. She asks if Simmons will try to send a message to Leo Fitz. She says that she can't, because the Chronicoms might be listening. Shaw and Johnson pull up with their stolen truck, and Simmons yells at them for being the opposite of low profile. Daisy uncovers Cain, and Simmons tells everyone to tie him up and get some answers.
At the bar, Koenig tells Coulson and Mackenzie that he was bribing the police officers to look the other way while he was supplying illegal alcohol to a party for the governor of New York, Franklin D. Roosevelt. Freddy then drops a bottle and Koenig gets up to yell at him. Coulson thinks that the Chronicoms are planning to hit FDR at the party. He created the SSR which is eventually formed into S.H.I.E.L.D.. Right then, Luke and Abel appear at the party, and take in their surroundings.
At the party, Mackenzie and Shaw appear as bartenders while Johnson and Coulson are guests. Johnson and Coulson go to the entrance, so when the governor arrives, they can secure it. Shaw is now in bartender ship-shape form. They go to attend their respective duties and await the arrival with haste and anticipation. Back on Zephyr One, Simmons pulls out some hardware to overload the Chronicom's system. She stabs it into the back of his head and starts typing code on the keyboard and waits for Cain to say something useful.
At the party, Johnson walks up to Coulson and apologizes for bringing him back. He is okay with it and then Johnson tells him his fanboy is showing when FDR steps up to the podium. While he's speaking, Mackenzie accidentally reveals some info about the future to Freddy. Mackenzie asks him how he got into the illegal alcohol business. He says that when his dad died, that he had to do what he had to do to survive. Shaw agrees, sensing a connection with Freddy.
Simmons is interrogating Cain who keeps repeating, "Location Unknown, Acquire Target." Simmons turns the device up even more and he vibrates harshly, and Enoch warns that he could die if Simmons pushes him too hard. FDR sits at a table while Johnson and Coulson look on. Daisy is concerned, FDR is too exposed. Phil says that maybe the Chronicoms don't want to be seen killing FDR.
Cain is vibrating, and FDR starts to get up from the table. Johnson and Coulson rush to the service entrance. Mackenzie sees them running and him and Shaw run towards them. As FDR is getting into his wheelchair, Coulson and Johnson come around the corner, yelling "Look out!" When he realizes there's no danger, Coulson helps FDR into the wheelchair and shakes his hand. As Mackenzie and Shaw come running, his bodyguard rolls him out of the building. A strange woman, Viola, knocks on the table. Freddy asks who she is, and she replies that she is his contact.
Cain is overloading, and when Simmons pulls out the device, she can't stop it because he's doing it to himself. He self-destructs, but before melting, he says one word, "Freddy." Viola says that they should go somewhere more secure to talk. Freddy follows her. Abel tightens the barrel on his gun, and Luke orders him to kill Freddy as soon as the handoff is completed. Simmons informs the crew that FDR isn't the target, it's Freddy. Viola tells him that if he delivers a package to the docks, his family's fame, wealth, and glory will be restored. He asks what the package is. She pulls out a small case and gives him a vial. He asks what it is. She says, "the future."
Abel and Luke come out from their hiding places and Abel shoots Viola, and Luke stands over Freddy, who is asking why they're doing this. He replies with, "Because you are the thread." Just as Luke is about to shoot Freddy, Johnson appears and quakes Abel and Luke into the kitchen. The scared cooks immediately rush out. Quake looks at Luke and Abel as they start fighting. Shaw gives Freddy a hand, and Mackenzie tells Coulson to keep her safe, while he and Shaw get Freddy out of there. Coulson then tells a critically injured Viola that he'll be right with him, then goes into the ensuing fight to give Johnson a hand. As Johnson is about to be killed, Coulson punches Luke, sending him flying into the stove. Johnson uses a makeshift bat to send Abel flying into the party, where many officers surround him, seeing if he's okay.
They take Viola back to Koenig's where Coulson informs him that their doctor will be there shortly. They question him about why they're after Freddy who responds that they're not after his dad's money. Ernest then calls him by his full name, "Wilfred Malick." In the car, Mackenzie asks Freddy if there's any reason they're after him. He says he doesn't know why. Mackenzie asks him where he needs to go to make the delivery after Malick tells him about it. Johnson asks Coulson if Freddy is the father of Gideon Malick, to which he confirms it. He says that in order to save S.H.I.E.L.D., they have to save HYDRA.
- Clark Gregg as Phil Coulson
- Ming-Na Wen as Melinda May
- Chloe Bennet as Daisy Johnson/Quake
- Elizabeth Henstridge as Jemma Simmons
- Henry Simmons as Alphonso Mackenzie
- Natalia Cordova-Buckley as Yo-Yo Rodriguez
- Jeff Ward as Deke Shaw
- Joel Stoffer as Enoch
- Tobias Jelinek as Captain William Dole / Luke
- Joe Reegan as NYPD Officer / Cain
- Darren Barnet as Freddy Malick
- Nora Zehetner as Viola
- Greg Finley as Tillman
- Luke Baines as Luke
- Patton Oswalt as Ernest Koenig
- Joseph Culp as Franklin D. Roosevelt
- Karl Kwiatkowski as Patrolman Fischer
- Amos Glick as Waiter
- Ryan Gray as NYPD Officer / Abel (uncredited)
- Martin Blasick as Bandleader (uncredited)
- Kerry Crutchfield as Drummer (uncredited)
- Unknown Actor as Cain (uncredited)
- Unknown Actor as Abel (uncredited)
- Unknown Actor as Jimmy Bottles (uncredited)
- Chronyca-2 (mentioned)
- Multiverse (mentioned)
- War Against the Chronicoms
- Attack on Pearl Harbor (mentioned)
- Launch of Apollo 11 (mentioned)
- Chronicom Rifle
- Quake Gauntlets
- Cryo-Freeze Chamber
- Yo-Yo Rodriguez' Prosthetic Arms
- Healing Pod
- Facial Reconstruction Scanner
- O'Harren's Scotch Whisky
- Super Soldier Serum (key ingredient)
- Phil Coulson's Prosthetic Hand (indirectly mentioned)
- Framework (mentioned)
- Toolbox (mentioned)
- Project T.A.H.I.T.I. (mentioned)
- Chronicom Hunters
- New York City Police Department
- Strategic Scientific Reserve (mentioned)
- Royal Canadian Mounted Police (mentioned)
- Fair Employment Practice Committee (mentioned)
- Phil Coulson
- Glenn Talbot
- Ghost Rider
- Leo Fitz
- Nick Fury
- Freddy Malick's Father
- Owen Shaw
- Gideon Malick
- Marx Brothers
- This Is Your Life
- Horse Feathers
- Dracula (poster)
- The Phantom of the West (poster)
- Apollo 11
- Butterfly Effect
- Timestream Theory
|She's a Rainbow||Jesse O'Mahoney & Theo Golding|
|Smoky Sunday||Geoffrey Gascoyne|
- The title is a reference to Franklin D. Roosevelt's famous United States reformation also called The New Deal. Phil Coulson himself jokingly refers to it during the episode.
- The New Deal is the first and only season premiere of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. not to be written by showrunners Jed Whedon & Maurissa Tancharoen.