“Five Days Ago” … I swear if I see one more show start with the flashback/flash forward device I might lose my mind. Yes it is very effective, but I swear to god television series use it to death. This week SHIELD used it to finally show us just what happened to May and how Radcliffe captured her.
I found May’s storylines, both real and LMD, to be very compelling this week although predictable. I mean did they really think we were all fooled when May suddenly woke up from her medically induced coma and escaped? No, of course not. Everyone watching knew right away, “oh this is another simulation to keep her busy.” We knew because it was obvious and because it made sense. Cliché in reasonable situations is fine. Again, May’s action scenes are always a high point in these episodes and while not as jaw-droppingly cool as past fights, her battle with Aida was still tons of fun.
LMD May is smart enough to put the pieces together and realize what she really is and who is behind it, confronting Radcliffe in a scene that cements how out of touch and twisted he is. The calm, sure demeanor and callous way he talks to her and illustrates just how under his control she is was chilling, almost … robotic? That twist I did not see coming. Radcliffe having replaced himself with an LMD as well? Genius turn that, also makes complete sense. My curiosity is did his LMD have self awareness? Or was it living under the assumption it was the real Radcliffe? Also good on Fitz for figuring it out but I’m still not altogether sure how he did so. Considering if he was wrong he would have shot him in the head, it was a big leap of faith, but again a great scene.
Having Fitz turn out to be obsessed with Aida not to revive the project but investigating the real cause was a nice turn that made him way less creepy in hindsight. It did shine a light on a huge problem between him and Simmons. Lack of communication. So far their relationship has consisted of half truths and lies. Why didn’t he simply tell Simmons what his true goal was? Then she could have helped him out. After teasing their romance out for all these years, now that they are together they aren’t a very good couple at all. Might be time for the old Whedon love death. I vote Simmons since she seems to have the least to add nowadays but either one would work.
Radcliffe also teased a second LMD in SHIELD’s ranks, something many of us have wondered about since day one. As cheesy as they handled it, I loved the suspicion that was being tossed around. I mean when they literally had Fitz repeatedly talk about “processing” information … yes, a bit heavy-handed but it was like watching Clue: everyone’s a suspect. Talbot was obsessed about getting SHIELD’s records off site, Mack is away on “personal” business. Of course most of these are red herrings like Mack’s situation, but it’s still fun having the mystery.
Speaking of Mack, he and Yoyo took a big step forward this week, her finding out about his ex and their dead daughter. Also her little nickname of “turtle man” and Mack’s inappropriate interpretation were cute little asides to the story. As always when I start to like a couple on a Whedon produced series I get ready for a heartbreaking murder to be coming any day. But at least Mack and Yoyo aren’t coming up with more dumb reasons not to date anymore.
So now Radcliffe is with Senator Nadir, having helped her trap Coulson and Yoyo into a compromising situation, who knows where that’s all heading? And now she is going to introduce Radcliffe to “The Superior,” the big bad behind all the watchdog troubles this year. Hopefully the reveal of this dark overlord’s identity has some real weight and not just Baron Zemo’s other forgotten son or some other Hydra left over crap. My guess right now is out there but I’m betting on it being an Inhuman, setting up roadblocks and bigotry against his own people for some kind of long game con. If you’re gonna swing, swing big I say!
This episode felt much more substantial and, more importantly, more fun than last week. Still not anything amazing but well crafted and well written leading us into what should be some big revelations in the weeks to come. Agents of SHIELD seems to be back to form and ready to kick ass again!
What did you think of this week’s episode? Tell us in the comments section below!