TV REVIEW: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S4E14 – The Man Behind The Shield

Well, I must admit, I was kind of frustrated by this episode.

Torturing the Director

Jason O’Mara did really well in these scenes, but this whole plotline still didn’t really grab me.

I guess I should have realized, if the theme of this current arc is still LMDs, that we’d have to meet some others (other than Aida). But I’m not big on where they seem to be going with that. It was one thing when one original team member was replaced by a robot, and then Radcliffe as well. That was gripping, and tense, and twisty. But now it seems like it’s just going to be all LMDs, all the time. And that really just leaves me frustrated and annoyed. I guess it’s good that Fitz and Simmons already know about it? And based on the promo for next week, at least they’re not LMDs, too, so they can maybe stop the infiltrators. But still – this seems kind of like it could turn into too much of a good thing.

Speaking of kinds of plots that bother me, to be honest, I’m not sure which would have frustrated me more: to find out so many of the team have been replaced by LMDs, or to find out they’d been captured and are now actually in the Framework without knowing it. I’m sure the four duplicated agents’ real selves are in the Framework now – but please don’t tell me Fitz and Simmons are, too. Somebody has to still really exist as themselves on the base, to save SHIELD!

Anyway. All that said, there were some excellent moments in this week’s outing. Many of those came in the flashbacks with May and Coulson. Those two were great together (of course). And of course it was good to see May on screen again, even Flashback Bangs!May. I love that May suggested Coulson’s trademark shades. I love Coulson’s terrible Russian. I’d hire him to keep my cats safe – hee! I also laughed out loud at Coulson’s very Sorkinesque, defensive insistence that, “I have what some people, certain people in certain parts of the world, refer to as ‘game’.” Plus, it was both fun and tragic to see more of what May was like pre-Bahrain. When we finally get the real May back, will she be a bit more like this one, now that Radcliffe messed with her memories? We’ll have to see.

These guys were so cute and flirty back then! And Coulson was so not-smooth!

I’m still not really sold on the Superior as some kind of Big Bad. He seems … blandly Evil Russian. If that was his real plan this week, it was still weird, poorly thought-out, and anticlimactic. Coulson seemed to agree with me, based on his totally unimpressed response. (Another great Coulson line there: “Cool origin story, bro.” I laughed again.) Perhaps the Superior will be more interesting as a part of Radcliffe and Aida’s master plan – or at least we can hope. His most interesting moment in the ep (besides getting his ass kicked by Daisy) was at the end, when Aida was talking to his unconscious self. The writers are doing a good job keeping us wondering just how human Aida’s thoughts and feelings have become.

Other thoughts: what was with Mack at the beginning, being all snippy and mean to Fitz? Not that he didn’t have any good points, but that seemed kind of out of character for him. But the very Matrix-y scene of Coulson and Daisy in the Framework, experiencing it as Fitz meant it to be used, was pretty cool.

So, now we wait for next week, a.k.a. “When LMDs Attack.” Things don’t look good for Fitzsimmons. By the way, sure hope Aida and Radcliffe weren’t expecting LMD Daisy to do much anywhere except on the base, since I’m pretty sure their robots can’t successfully mimic Inhuman powers.