In a sense, Nathaniel may have been upstaged by his new recruit, a young John Garrett, who took on Gordon’s powers perhaps a bit too easily considering how much difficulty the young Inhuman had when he first underwent Terrigenesis. James Paxton, the son of the late Bill Paxton who originated the role of Garrett, did a spot-on impression of his old man, and his digs at the various SHIELD team members provided a great trip down memory lane going all the way back to Agents of SHIELD season one.
The best scenes of the episode by far, though, were the emotional moments between Daisy and her mother. Learning about Kora’s troubled transformation and the possible suicide in the original timeline deepened Jiaying’s humanity and answered a long-held question of why the leader of Afterlife was doing charity work when she met Daisy’s father. The reminder that Daisy was disappointed the first time she met her mother was then made more poignant by Jiaying’s statement, “Sometimes trying to do the right thing comes out all wrong.”
Having Sousa as Daisy’s wingman also felt right somehow, especially with Simmons noticing the growing connection between the pair. Simmons herself had a surprising bit of insight as well when Daisy told her about her “devastated” reaction when the memory inhibitor was removed during the time loop. Agents of SHIELD fans would flip if Fitz were indeed dead, but the worries she shares with Deke set the stage beautifully for the real reason Nathaniel infiltrated the Lighthouse.
It was a nice twist considering our low opinion of Nathaniel’s “anarchy” plan! Leading us to believe that Jiaying was the target and then having her supposedly die was a brilliant misdirect considering how little the transfer of Inhuman powers to evil henchmen has to do with either the defeat of SHIELD or a Chronicom takeover of Earth. The quick capture of Coulson, knowing he was about to arrive at Afterlife with Gordon, makes a lot more sense in this context.