Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD: ‘The Man Behind the Shield’ Review
“Even filth has a purpose”.
Warning: This is a spoiler filled review. Repeat, This is a spoiler filled review.
This week, we get a pretty rock solid chapter of the L.M.D. arc, which will be wrapping up soon. We also get some playful flashbacks between May and Coulson on an earlier mission. But what was up with that insane twist at the end, man?
With May becoming the first victim to be kidnapped and replaced with an L.M.D., it was only a matter of time until a few of the other SHIELD agents were going to get the same treatment. But dang, all the heavy hitters, all at once? Coulson, Daisy, Mack, and Mace were all replaced with L.M.D.s, leaving Fitz and Simmons to be the only actual humans among their immediate group. It seems as if these two are being set up to save the day. That would actually be quite awesome. Especially since Fitz has been blaming himself for all the chaos the L.M.D. program and The Framework has been causing. Props to Jemma for beautifully assuring Fitz that he is not at fault. It was all Radcliffe misusing the technology. With the L.M.D. pod coming to a close, this should create a very tense and exciting episode next week. I just wonder how much of the L.M.D. pod will carry over to the next story.
So it turns out Anton Ivanov is mostly just an inhuman hating conspiracy theorist thinking Coulson has an alien agenda. For someone who calls himself The Superior, his story and motivations have been rather weak. Although, I do like Zach McGowan’s acting as the intimidating villain, given all the more superior threats SHIELD has faced, Ivanov seems like a small time crook. There is a chance he was meant to be that way though. Radcliffe has been dozens of steps ahead of everyone since the beginning. He’s the show’s real threat, and may have been allowing Ivanov to seem like he’s in charge, while he was just being used for his resources. After being beaten by Daisy – which was epic – Ivanoz is probably going to be used by Radcliffe in some horrific manner. Aida learning over giving the fifth has a purpose line indicates something sinister is in store for the onion sniffing Russian.
The flashbacks taking place in Russia that played throughout the episode, which paralleled with the current mission, were pure gold. It was fun to see both Coulson nervously stumbling with his Russian and tactics, and an overeager May working at a level 3 class. I can tell both Clark Gregg and Ming-Na Wen had fun doing this episode. Turns out Phil and Melinda have been feeling each other for a long time. They even went on an even earlier mission as husband and wife, which probably sparked up these feelings. In fact, if May hadn’t married Andrew – R.I.P. – these two would have certainly hooked up even sooner. The innuendos were very clever, and the chemistry between both actors is so adorable, it makes me want them to be happy together more and more. Well, we might get a version of that next week since Coulson’s decoy re-activated May’s.
Poor Mace, getting sliced by Ivanov’s knife, and eventually beat down by his men. It’s a pretty startling sight to see Mace being tortured, knowing he’s not exactly a soldier who’s had this kind of experience, nor does he deserve it. I wonder just how this experience will affect the character going forward. We won’t really know until they get the real Mace back. Then again, that’s assuming Mace wasn’t switched out by his decoy beforehand.
Quick little bullet point, what happens when Daisy’s decoy tries to use her Quake powers? Yes, the L.M.D.s run on the subconscious level’s of the people they’re made after, but there can’t be a way they can replicate inhuman powers, can there?
Another quick thought, Fitz and Simmons need to hit up Yo-Yo next week for help. Maybe even call the dude who can melt metal. Forgot his name. Maybe if he was on the show more often, I’d remember it.
This was a really good episode, mostly due to the flashbacks with Coulson and May in Russia, and some incredible action. It’s only a shame The Superior and his Watchdogs haven’t been as well developed as I had hope. The Watchdog aspect has basically been the only significant flaw within the L.M.D. pod. I truly expected more to come out of it. I am, however, truly excited to see the conclusion of the L.M.D. story next week, but also quite nervous. You never know what kind of tragedy can happen.