After being unexpectedly stranded in 1982, Mack retreats to his childhood home to process the death of his parents, while Deke gets to work scouting a chart-topping group of new agents. With no idea if or when the team is coming back for them, time seems to finally be on their side… at least until the killer robots show up.
Elsewhere, a man in an office is trying to get a small robot to work. He is a computer repairman named Russell Feldman when he deals with a customer, Chip Womack, at a store. When he returns to his office, his printer prints a sheet full of strange markings and he gets a mysterious message on his computer asking for help. When he agrees, his printer prints an image of Sibyl before his computer tells him her name.
Shaw and Alphonso Mackenzie then find themselves stranded in time after the Zephyr jumped without them. Mackenzie appears to be quite distraught over the death of his parents and he argues with Shaw over the thought of messing with the timeline. Shaw tries to reach out to help Mackenzie, but he is not having it. Frustrated, he tells Shaw to figure it out and leaves him in the field by himself.
Mackenzie visits his parents graves before heading to his uncle’s house to get a look at his younger self and his brother. He pulls a model car from his bag, seemingly wanting to give it to his younger self. He’s unable to do so however and he drives off on his motorcycle once again.
Back in Feldman’s office, he has created a device that allows him to actually speak with Sibyl. He mentions blueprints she gave him, saying they are lightyears ahead of anything he has ever seen. She explains that she needs him to build her “flesh” and that she is confident they will be a perfect pair.
Meanwhile Mackenzie enters a small house and for an undetermined amount of time, works on model cars until he is interrupted by a knock at the door. Shaw comes in holding a bag and attempts to cheer Mackenzie up. He mentions how without the internet, it was not that easy to find Mackenzie. Thus, he had to resort to hiring the shadiest dude he has ever met to find his teammate. Mackenzie pulls a ball from Shaw’s bag, who tries to explain he thought maybe they could play. Mackenzie throws the ball out the door and when Shaw goes to retrieve it, he locks him out. Some time passes, and Shaw mentions on the other side of the door how it is now New Years Eve. Mackenzie does not move from where he is sitting. Instead, he proceeds to drink, watch TV and work on his model cars while his beard continues growing over time. Shaw returns several times to bring groceries and eventually to leave Mackenzie an invite to a bar with a note saying that it is urgent.
At Feldman Electronics, Feldman brings roses to Sibyl in her current robotic form.
Mackenzie arrives at Swayze's Bar and asks the bartender for Shaw. She explains that everyone is there to see him and directs his attention to the stage where Shaw walks out with his band, the Deke Squad. Deke tells the audience he wrote the next song and the band begins to play Simple Minds’ “Don’t You”.
May is listening to Shaw recount this series of events, but begins doubting Shaw’s story. He tells her he warned her that she would not believe him and jumps back into the story. Back in the bar, Shaw eventually meets back up with Mackenzie after he performs the aforementioned song.
Shaw tells him the song is not from The Breakfast Club until 1985. Luckily for him, they are only in 1983. Mackenzie then insults Shaw’s cover band and Shaw explains that the band is actually a cover. Shaw begins to introduce the members of his band, who he is actually proposing could be new agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. Shaw explains that they need Mackenzie to come back in to lead them, especially with the chatter they’ve been picking up. Mackenzie asks if he means the Chronicoms and Shaw explains that they need to fall back to HQ, much to Mackenzie’s dismay.
Mackenzie officially meets the whole team in the Lighthouse, but gets angry by the fact that this ragtag group is even in the Lighthouse and Shaw explains that Phil Coulson was fine with it, surprising Mackenzie in the process. Shaw introduces Mackenzie to the new digital Coulson, who is now using a TV and VCR to talk.
Coulson explains that Sibyl slipped away after the explosion and has been living digitally in the local power supply. Shaw hands Mackenzie a document as Coulson explains that these have been appearing everytime there’s a power surge. Mackenzie opens it to find more sheets with some mysterious markings. Coulson thus theorizes that Sibyl is building a new army.
Back at Russell’s office, Feldman walks in on his Sibyl robot as it is building yet another robot of the same design. He tries to tell her she can not leave him and she agrees, but only because he knows too much already. A third robot appears and impales Russell with a drill.
Mackenzie and Coulson discuss where they have been for the past year. Coulson tries to convince Mackenzie that he should not be dealing with this on his own and he should move back in with them. They’re interrupted by Shaw who wants to show Mackenzie what the team can do by running them through his “gauntlet.”
Shaw gives the team a pep talk before they then run through Shaw’s simulated mission and things go spectacularly wrong. Shaw tries to convince Mackenzie not to give up on the team just yet and he shows him a new version of his Shotgun-Axe that he designed himself. Mackenzie argues with Shaw over the merit of his team and leaves him behind, still clearly not ready to join.
Elsewhere, the Sibyl-Bots pull open a manhole cover before joining Cricket, Shaw’s shady drummer in his bedroom with his girlfriend, Tawni. The two hear a noise and decide to investigate and find a robot in the hall, which tries to play innocent by claiming to be lost. Once they let their guard down, the robot reveals a spinning blade and kills the drummer.
In another part of the base, Mackenzie is joined by Roxy Glass, another member of Shaw’s band/team. She brings up Mackenzie’s kid, which gets his attention. She explains that Shaw checks in on him once in a while and brings him things. Mackenzie says he did not know and she explains that he left the kid. Their conversation ends when another robot shows up and begins to shoot at them before they get away.
Shaw tries to cheer up his team while some of them try to tell him they do not need Mackenzie that they can just work on their music. Shaw confesses that he never wrote any of the songs. Their conversation is interrupted by the drummer’s girlfriend who yells that he has been murdered. While Shaw questions what happened, she is pulled away and more blood sprays and then floods the floor. The robot enters and tries to play off being lost again. Pachinko approaches the robot and appears to be ready to start a fight.
The other robot continues to patrol the halls looking for Mackenzie and Glass. They hide in a closet and Glass asks if they’ve encountered these things before. He explains that they killed his parents and says out loud how someone is gonna pay. After a moment of awkward silence, Glass questions if he means the robots and he confirms that is what he meant.
Mackenzie and Glass show up just in time to save Shaw and the others, destroying one of the two robots in the process. The two share a handshake that holds for entirely too long before Glass explains that there are more robots out there. Mackenzie then tells the team he has a plan, which then has Mackenzie preparing for their fight.
As the team regroups to go over their plan, Coulson explains that Sibyl is after the timestream, the device which she uses to predict the future. Elsewhere, a smaller robot goes undetected as it grabs a small blue device before Mackenzie and the team put their plan into action.
The team corners the second robot and alters Shaw’s gauntlet just a bit to surprise it with an explosive. Their celebration is short-lived though as a third robot, this one with Sibyl’s voice, enters and blasts one of them with her laser eyes.
Two members of the team, Tommy and Ronnie Chang, take off due to their fear of lasers. The rest of the team puts together a plan in which Shaw serves as a distraction and Mackenzie blows up Sibyl’s robot from behind. Shaw, who was blasted by a laser in the fight, but appears to be fine as he tries to give Mackenzie the nickname “Mack Daddy.” Unsurprisingly, Mack refuses. Glass and Olga Pachinko toast to their first successful S.H.I.E.L.D. mission, with Pachinko proclaiming her love for Glass.
In the chaos of the fight, the small robot gets away with the small blue device in its robot claw and the team never notices its presence. In their post-fight celebration, Shaw explains to the Changs that they are still completely welcome on the team. Mack, Coulson and Shaw discuss what is next and Mackenzie tells Shaw they have something to take care of.
The two of them head to the home of Mack’s uncle, where his younger self is still living. Shaw catches him up on everything that’s been going on over the past year. He tells him he is still not completely over the loss of his parents but his uncle is doing well and he and his brother are closer than ever. Mack pulls the model car from his bag and Shaw convinces him to give it to his younger self.
On board the Zephyr, Yo-Yo Rodriguez and May prepare for a mission. Jemma Simmons tells them they have 27 days to get back before the next jump. Now on the Quinjet, Rodriguez and May discuss how hard this must have been for Mackenzie.
They then arrive at the Lighthouse and Rodriguez immediately embraces Mackenzie. May is reunited with the now-digital Coulson and is unsurprisingly unaffected emotionally. She explains that Simmons told them they should recover his hard drive and that she may or may not be working on a new body for him. Mackenzie then introduces Rodriguez to the new team.
Elsewhere, the small robot arm carries the Time Stream device with it and travels a long way. Eventually, it makes it to Nathaniel Malick who picks it up and turns to speak to a digital Sibyl. She says to him that she’s confident that the two of them will make the perfect pair.
- Clark Gregg as Phil Coulson
- Ming-Na Wen as Melinda May
- Chloe Bennet as Daisy Johnson/Quake (credit only)
- Elizabeth Henstridge as Jemma Simmons
- Henry Simmons as Alphonso Mackenzie
- Natalia Cordova-Buckley as Yo-Yo Rodriguez
- Jeff Ward as Deke Shaw
- Jolene Andersen as Agent Olga Pachinko
- Austin Basis as Russell Feldman
- Ryan Donowho as Cricket
- Tipper Newton as Agent Roxy Glass
- Tamara Taylor as Sibyl
- Karl Girolamo as Chip Womack
- John Yuan as Agent Tommy Chang
- Matt Yuan as Agent Ronnie Chang
- Lynden Orr as Tawni
- Azalea Davila as Bartender
- Lauren de Miranda as Genesis
- Marcus Jordan as Marcus Mackenzie
- Thomas E. Sullivan as Nathaniel Malick (uncredited)
- Chancellor Agard as Bar Extra (uncredited)
- Unknown Actor as Young Alphonso Mackenzie (uncredited)
- Unknown Actor as Young Ruben Mackenzie (uncredited)
- Lake Ontario, New York
- River's End, New York
- Swayze's Bar
- Big Ern's Ammo Emporium (mentioned)
- Balkans (mentioned)
- War Against the Chronicoms
- Cold War (mentioned)
- Yo-Yo Rodriguez' Prosthetic Arms
- Bendeery English Ale
- Time Stream
- Cocaine (mentioned)
To be added
- Business & Finance
- Chronicom Hunters (mentioned)
- River's End Daily (mentioned)
- Atlantic Records (mentioned)
- John Mackenzie / John Mackenzie
- John Mackenzie / Lilla Mackenzie
- Marcus Mackenzie
- Wilfred Malick
- Owen Shaw
- Alya Shaw
- Daisy Johnson
- Olga Pachinko's Father
- Fat Sack
- The Breakfast Club
- Here I Go Again
- Walk Like an Egyptian
- Short Circuit
- Peter Pan
- Ms. Pac-Man
- Speak & Spell
|Don't You (Forget About Me)||Simple Minds|
|Twisted Avenues||Motion Pictures|
- The title of the episode is a reference to the 1989 film Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure.
- This was the first episode in which Chloe Bennet did not appear.
- As of this episode Clark Gregg is the only cast member to be in every episode of the show.
- The episode features many references to 80s media:
- Sibyl-Bots resemble Protector 1 and Johnny 5 from the 1986 films Chopping Mall and Short Circuit, respectively. Additionally they utter "Exterminate!" which was the catchphrase of the villainous Daleks from the long running sci-fi series Doctor Who.
- When Sibyl first communicates with Russell Feldman, she inquires "Shall we play a game?", a reference to the movie WarGames. The subplot in which he attempts to create a body for her in the belief that she will reciprocate his affections is a reference to Weird Science.
- The introduction for the members of the Deke Squad is an homage to the intro sequence of The A-Team complete with the theme playing in the background.
- Phil Coulson's new form, a face on a computer with a rotating background, resembles 80's icon Max Headroom.
- The songs that the Deke Squad have ripped off include "Don't You (Forget About Me)" by Simple Minds, "Here I Go Again" by Whitesnake and "Walk Like an Egyptian" by The Bangles. The character Tawni may be a reference to Tawny Kitaen, who famously appeared in several of Whitesnake's music videos including "Here I Go Again" and was briefly married to their lead singer David Coverdale. The costume that Deke Shaw wears during their performance is based on the one worn by Mike Reno in the music video for "Working for the Weekend" by Loverboy. Other songs were considered including "Money for Nothing" by Dire Straits, but were scrapped because Jeff Ward was unfamiliar with them.
- Alphonso Mackenzie enters a bar called "Swayze's Bar" which is a nod to Patrick Swayze and his film Roadhouse in which he played a bouncer.
- When Alphonso Mackenzie shaves, puts on a headband and 'gears up' pays homage to Sylvester Stallone's character, John Rambo, in First Blood.
- The score for the episode heavily uses synthesizers for major dramatic and horrific moments; a staple of 80's horror films at the time.
- Elizabeth Henstridge shadowed director Jesse Bochco for this episode.
Behind the Scenes
- Jeff Ward used David Bowie, Prince, Elvis Presley, and Bruce Springsteen as inspiration for Deke Shaw's onstage performance.
- Jim Wynorski, the director of Chopping Mall, was reportedly unhappy that the episode made an homage to his movie without asking his permission.
- The Totally Excellent Adventures of Mack and the D on Wikipedia
- The Totally Excellent Adventures of Mack and the D on Marvel Database