This week’s episode was definitely a step up from last week, but presents a new array of problems for the team.
After Mace gets captured he is taken by Ivanov to a facility in Russia to be tortured and act as bait for the rest of the team. As it has seemed since we met Ivanov, he has the same complex that every villain suffers from where he is so hellbent on his own agenda that he is easily fooled. That of course, plays into Radcliffe’s hand perfectly, as he will turn out to be the real villain of this storyline.
As the team arrives at the old Russian facility we get a flashback storyline of May and Coulson on a mission at the same location years earlier. This whole back story seemed a little uneventful. I understand the point was to explain Ivanov and Coulson’s first encounter, and to show how long this tension between Coulson and May has existed, but it chopped up the episode in a weird way. It also revealed that Ivanov’s true hatred toward Coulson is not really about Inhumans or aliens, it was about revenge, which is such a boring bad guy trope I immediately stopped caring. This problem occurred in Captain America: Civil War too, but at least this time Ivanov is not the real villain and I could let his boring revenge story slide.
Ultimately the showdown with Coulson and Ivanov didn’t really occur as it was Daisy who took the fight as the tireless crusader for Inhuman rights. It was a nice foil conversation as Quake’s lines somewhat mirror what Ivanov had just said to Coulson, and she was pretty badass in this fight sequence. That said, it was so frustrating when she just left Ivanov under the pillar without finishing the job. I feel like that’s gotta be written in the Agent handbook somewhere… FINISH THE JOB. Anyway, of course he had to live as he now serves a purpose in Radcliffe’s endgame.
Oh also, Coulson didn’t die, shocking, I know. However, he did get replaced. In the main event of the episode, which occurred in the last 4 minutes, the team gets back to the base and FitzSimmons realize that Daisy, Mace, Coulson, and Mack have been replaced with LMDs. This is obviously part of Radcliffe’s masterplan and it definitely throws a curveball for FitzSimmons. With the replacement of basically all the combat agents, how are FitzSimmons going to pull off a plan to save them all?
Despite the impending catastrophe for the team next week, if there are any two people I have faith in to save everyone, it would be FitzSimmons. And they can leave Mack as an LMD for all I care. Following his petty conversation with Fitz about how he’s becoming like Radcliffe, I’ve really taken a disliking toward him. It was extremely unnecessary and Fitz has done nothing throughout all the seasons but try to improve technology to help the team. Mack was always my least favorite anyway as he doesn’t really add that much to the team, and he seems to let his emotions get the better of him for such a trained agent.
Additionally, there is AIDA. She is the only LMD who seems sentient. Android May only replicated May, and was unaware of her LMD nature. The new LMD replacements for the team also seem to be just replications with a mission programmed in them. AIDA on the other hand seems to act with some sort of free will. She so far has done all of Radcliffe’s biddings, but there is something about her that screams sentience. Perhaps it’s the subtle eye expressions when there is an order she doesn’t particularly agree with or the final insult to Ivanov’s almost dead body that came full circle. Whatever it is, AIDA definitely feels like a player in the outcome of this whole thing.
This episode was definitely a kicker and we can’t wait to see how everything pans out next week!
GEEK Grade: A-
Here’s the promo for next week’s conclusion to the LMD storyline, and it’s got a real Terminator feel to it.
What did you guys think of this week’s episode? Do you like the LMD arc? We think it is one of the better AOS storylines. Let us know what you like and don’t like down in the comments!
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D airs on Tuesdays at 10PM on ABC
Director: Wendey Stanzler
Writer: Matt Owens