Welcome back to my review coverage of Agents of SHIELD. Be sure to catch up on previous reviews here.
On the overall scheme of things, this episode felt like it was dragging the plot along a bit. There were some surprising reveals and great alterations to the status quo that I think will be good for the show going forward, but it did not feel like we needed a whole episode to let these thing evolve. This isn’t to say that I did not enjoy the episode, but more rather that once it was over I didn’t feel like much of anything actually happened in serving the main story arch of this part of the season. Let’s get into the bits and pieces though.
Director Mace was attacked at the beginning of the episode with an exploding bullet that lodged itself into the podium he was standing in front of. Showcasing his super strength, he took the podium and tossed it into the air. Normally, this wouldn’t be too impressive, until at least we found out what was in the briefcase that Burrows was carrying attached to his wrist. Burrows, along with Director Mace, Mack, and Coulson were all taken to an awaiting Quin Jet to escort them all to safety. The HYDRA cell knew their protocols and knocked the jet, and Burrows out of the sky above a Rangers outpost. Once Mack, Coulson, and Mace regain their footing after the crash, Mace orders the two agents to run an immediate search for Burrows’ body, and by extension that case because inside is a formula that temporarily gives Mace his super strength.
So, Director Mace is a phony. This was only slightly surprising in that the show had hinted at Mace having a secret like this when he met secretly with Senator Nadeer and she blackmailed him. The repercussions are proving to be exciting as Coulson decided to use it to his advantage. Rather than accept Mace’s full resignation, Coulson elected to have the dedicated political stay and handle just that, the politics. Coulson now has control over operation decisions again. I really liked this power move from Coulson. For weeks I was continually surprised at how willing he was to just sit on the sidelines as a lowly agent. Turns out he was just biding his time. With Daisy back as a full-time agent too now, having Coulson in charge will bring about better structure on their missions together because they already have a great chemistry.
On the Agent May front, the real May is still being held captive by Radcliffe and the real Aida at his laboratory in a hidden antechamber/closet. The May that is at SHIELD is a further advanced LMD (Life-Model Decoy) than even Aida is, allowing the android to completely take on the persona of Melinda May without having the awkward reactions to social commentary that Aida does. However, the real May was able to fight back against the machine that is inducing May’s coma. Radcliffe had set up her consciousness to dream about a relaxing spa vacation full of calming music, running water, and massage therapy. The only problem is May isn’t comfortable in that environment, she feels uneasy about her surroundings and was able to exit her coma and get out of her confinement space. Her disorientation from the machine only hindered her fighting ability and Aida was able to overpower her only too easy. But Radcliffe had to insist to Aida that she not kill May in that moment. Clearly Radcliffe is having some programming errors with Aida again, which leads me to think that she is going to revolt against her creator, for real this time.
For the life of the fake May, she came to the discovery that she is in fact an Android. Radcliffe, in one of his discussions with Aida, explicitly said that the programming currently in the May android is perfectly flawless as long as she does not learn of her true existence. Well, she does now due to an injury sustained in the rescue operation of Coulson, Mack, and Mace. One of the Hydra agents had slammed May onto a wood sawing table with the saw blade exposed. Her metal body bent the saw blade to a 90 degree angle, and destroyed her outer synthetic layer. The May android won’t be able to fix that herself so it is only a matter of time before Radcliffe’s plan is revealed to SHIELD.
Episode Rating: 7/10
Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD airs Tuesdays 10/9c on ABC.