Previously on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., S.H.I.E.L.D. has a new Director, his name is Mace, he is a cool dude, he has a secret, he saved a woman in Vietnam, that’s not the secret, oh, surprise, he is an Inhuman and that’s not the secret either. Now on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., we finally learn Mace’s secret, which is...
Oh, surprise, he is not an Inhuman.
Instead, Mace is the budgeted version of Captain America, both in the sense that The Patriot is a character the MCU Powers That Be let TV Land have and also because a special serum is the source of his powers, but it’s temporary and he needs to inject new doses periodically. That was a cool revelation, but I’m not sure it was enough to build an episode around. Coulson, Mack and Mace in the woods got old very quickly, and Mace’s obsession with the briefcase was a giveaway of the twist.
It surprised me that Mace was so guideless without his powers, but it’s coherent with the fact that his entire Director persona is fabricated upon them. Mace is a nice guy. I liked what he said to Coulson in the end, that he wanted Inhumans to have the same rights as everyone else. It makes no sense Talbot would make him S.H.I.E.L.D.’s de facto Director, though. Political head? I can see it. But give the command of the agency’s operations to a man that didn’t have much in the way of experience? No logic there. Which is why I liked Coulson being back in charge.
The B plot was far more exciting and I wish they had devoted more time to it. As of now, we have three very interesting LMD characters. First, there is Aida Two, who is prone to killing due to how Radcliffe programmed her. It’s revealed that she, and not Aida One, killed Nathanson, and she nearly killed May now. Then there's Aida One, who is alive! It’s just the head, but yay. Fitz promises to fix her programming, unbeknownst to Simmons, who thinks the android is dead. Finally, LMayD (AoS’s facebook page called her that, it’s better than LMD!May and I’m taking it) has just discovered she is made of steel, and I can’t wait to see what happens next. May is so pragmatic that I won’t be surprised if LMayD tries and rescues her, and they join forces against Radcliffe. We already had May vs. May, it would be awesome if we had a May & May Super Team.
As Radcliffe points out later, May is a warrior, she thrives in conflict. Aida Two put her into a peaceful simulated environment, but May knew that wherever she was, it wasn’t real and she woke up from it. That’s how awesome May is. When I said before I wish we had seen more of the B plot, that’s what I was talking about. I wish we had seen the reality Aida Two created and May breaking away from it. It would have been much more thought-provoking than seeing Mace run after a briefcase.
Intel and Assets
- No spy would display such an important briefcase in public.
- Mack calling Coulson “sir” was a good way for Mack to establish who he thought was in charge, as well as a nice foreshadowing of the end.
- Mack should have more to do. He is mostly somebody else’s sidekick.
- There have been very little Fitzsimmons’ romantic moments this season. Is it because the writers don’t want to upset the fans that don’t like them as a couple? There was a tiny moment in this episode, seriously, if you blinked you missed it.
- Having that said, this series could use more scenes of the characters hanging out, just talking to each other, all perils aside.
- Talbot, with his clichéd moustache, is so frequently used as comic relief that I have a hard time taking him seriously.
- Many, many years ago, Coulson had a moustache, LMayD told Daisy.
- Coulson has the coolest shield.
- Nice comic bit with Coulson putting on his glasses, noticing they were broken and tossing them away.
- What is the new simulation Radcliffe is going to build for May? Could he possibly brainwash her?
- R.I.P. Burrows.
- This episode had the lowest ratings of the series. This can’t be good.
Talbot: “Agent May, with the possible exception of my mother, you are the single most intimidating woman I’ve ever met.”
Daisy: “You tried to kill the director with exploding bullets. They don’t sell those at Walmart... yet.”
Simmons: “Our friends are missing. Maybe dead.”
Fitz: “As always.”
Radcliffe: “She was supposed to be in a relaxing simulation.”
Aida Two: “She was in a day spa getting a hot stone massage.”
Radcliffe: “How hot did you make the stones?”
Talbot: “We are not idiots. We took the bad stuff out. Most of it, anyway.”
Fitz: “Oh, okay, so you are just mostly hideous.”
Simmons: “So even if they survived the crash, they can be stranded in the wilderness, on the run from a band of ex-HYDRA thugs, unaware that their enhanced asset is a charlatan.”
Talbot: “No need to be so melodramatic, Poppins, but yeah, that’s it.”
Talbot: “You’d think a damn spy would understand the need to keep a secret.”
I don’t back Talbot’s decisions, but this line is very applicable to most of the principal characters.
Coulson: “When it comes to operations, make no mistake. From now on, I’m calling the shots.”
Not a bad episode, but certainly the weakest of the season thus far. Two out of four briefcases,
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 4
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- Watch this episode or the entire season on Amazon now