The big payoff of Agents of SHIELD this week in “The Man Behind the Curtain” was four of the team being replaced with LMD replicas by Radcliffe, via Aida after a trio of agents go in and pull Mace out of The Superior’s clutches. There was a somewhat satisfactory fight sequence between the Russian baddie and Quake which ends, somewhat predictably, with the delusional chap losing.
The inhuman SHIELD agent does take it for granted that The Superior was killed with her final action which leaves the barely living Watch Dog leader to Aida’s devices. (On a sidenote, the actions of Aida, “Even filth has a purpose” in terms of very human delight at enacting revenge on the idiot leader was just brilliant.)
The Superior managed to prove that he had no real idea or understanding of his place in this verse. His statement to Quake before having his arse handed to him an a plate (that he had been training for this event) showed how little he really understood about the whole issue of inhumans.
Backstory wise, the Phil and May relationship was looked at in more detail with emphasis on their “almost romance.” That they were attracted to one another has always been a constant but it turns out that May’s “civilian number 14” (Andrew Garner) was the one who stopped them from consummating their attraction.
It explained much but the portrayal of Phil Coulson as a somewhat nebbish agent that May poked good natured fun at was, to a degree, misplaced. In the overall scheme of things, one feels that this may have been an attempt to make Coulson less capable whereas in the verse itself the head of SHIELD has always felt completely on top of everything.
(With the exception of his death by Loki’s hand earlier. Even then, however, Coulson was pretty much unflappable. When he fires the weapon at Loki his throw-away remark of “so that’s what it does,” showed the real essence of Phil. Just as his last words to Nick Fury revealed his true thought process.)
Regardless of the “manufactured” feel of the flashback, which managed to tie in The Superior with Coulson and May, it served to show just why Phil was so ready to accept the LMD version of Agent May.
Mace has, seemingly, been rescued just in the nick of time but, especially after Aida’s whispered comments to the barely alive Superior, he could have died and still had his consciousness imprinted onto the LMD that Fitzsimmons spot in the corridor at the show’s end.
The episode ends with LMD Phil reviving LMD May and saying that they have waited forever. Clearly things will be taking a downward turn before the season finale. So far it looks like the only two members of SHIELD on Phil’s team who are not Radcliffe replicants are the two scientists.
It will be interesting to see if The Superior becomes a more interesting character once he has been turned into a LMD. Up to this point he was all empty posturing, with Aida at least who could have kicked the Russian’s arse seven ways to Sunday with little effort, and pointless threats.
The big question at the end of this episode of Agents of SHIELD is whether Mace actually survived his session with The Superior’s goons and just what purpose Radcliffe has in mind for the fallen Watch Dog leader.
On yet another sidenote, the whole Framework exercise at the start and later with Mack, was brilliant. While we see none of what transpires during Mack’s session the Oculus Rift line was priceless. The earlier sparring match between Phil and Daisy was also great to watch. One can only presume that many things will be sorted out in this Matrix type world in the series.
Agents of SHIELD airs Tuesdays on ABC. Tune in and see where the season heads next in this alternative LMD world.
- Clark Gregg – Phil Coulson
- Ming-Na Wen – Melinda May
- Chloe Bennet – Daisy ‘Skye’ Johnson, aka Quake
- Elizabeth Henstridge – Jemma Simmons
- Iain De Caestecker – Leo Fitz
- Henry Simmons – Alphonso ‘Mack’ Mackenzie
- Natalia Cordova-Buckley – Elena ‘Yo-Yo’ Rodriguez
- John Hannah – Holden Radcliffe
- Jason O’Mara – Jeffery Mace
- Mallory Jansen – Aida
- Zach McGowan as The Superior.