Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Review: Spa-la Land

Well, I certainly enjoyed this hour of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. more than last week’s episode. There were lots of twists I didn’t see coming.

Going back several days, 5 to be exact, was a brilliant way for the writers to fill in the blanks. I mean, we never saw Radcliffe or Aida kidnap Agent May. Now we understand since she was intent on destroying the Darkhold, the doctor initiated “Sunset Protocol.” Then we had a chance to see May about to get a massage in a spa. It’s not that she couldn’t relax, more like the loop alerted her to the fact something was off. I loved the fact that Radcliffe ultimately realized that taking May back to Bahrain was the key. Not only was it an emotional moment, but it brought us back to that crucial time in Agent May’s life. She saved the girl, and phoned Andrew to let him know. We can only imagine how different things would be had that been the true outcome.

In the present, it was awfully eerie hearing Aida speak of the real May as dispensable. It makes sense that an android would not value human life. We’re so imperfect after all. Still, if you think about it shouldn’t Radcliffe have a built in fail-safe against that reasoning? Westworld‘s robots can not harm the humans in the park, right? LMD May could not harm Radcliffe. Did the Darkhold have an affect on Aida? When Radcliffe mentioned another LMD, the scene jumped to Yo-Yo and Mack in bed (finally). Naturally, we were led to believe one of them was the second LMD. Though it turned out to be Radcliffe himself, any non-Inhuman could potentially be swapped for a LMD at any moment. I say non-Inhuman because the moment we saw Yo-Yo do her stuff, it was clear she wasn’t an android.

I will say that in my review of the first episode back from the winter break, “Broken Promises” I mentioned Radcliffe being an LMD. The writers threw me off last week though, which was great. I hate it when shows get predictable.

While it was great to see Coulson playing hardball with Talbot again, I felt really bad for Director Mace. Talk about dispensable. He’s not going to be around long, is he? Daisy sure did let him have it, though she softened up towards the end. Senator Nadeer was at it again, and though I do not like the character she played her part well this week. Yo-Yo and Coulson getting caught was a total shock. That rarely happens on this show, so it was an interesting turn of events. Radcliffe’s part in all that made perfect sense. By the way, Yo-Yo bringing up #Philinda makes the possibility of them getting together closer to a reality. What worries me though, is the writers screwing up the relationship like Arrow did with #Olicity. Bring them together, but keep them apart for the drama.

Another killer twist, was the “framework” simulation and realizing the real May was trapped in a VR world. Wowza! Yeah, that was pretty much the coolest (though saddest) reveal of the hour. I also loved that Fitz was investigating Aida because he didn’t trust Doctor Radcliffe. I wrongly assumed his scientific curiosity was leading him down a dark path. Well, until he shot the Radcliffe LMD in the head. Though the dastardly duo have relocated the real May, I’m pretty sure the team will find her in no time. Radcliffe’s cover is now blown, so his game is up. Next episode, the Koenig’s are back. Do you think they’ll be responsible for LMD testing? Will they get to the truth about LMD May?

VERDICT

Though last week’s installment was a letdown, the show bounced back this week. Historically, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. always has its ups and downs. It’s not consistent like the Netflix shows, but then again those are just 13 episodes and written as full seasons. That’s okay, I am enjoying the LMD arc so far and I think the writers are just getting started. Also, Mack brought on the tears this week when he shared the story of his daughter with Yo-Yo. Terrific performances by both Henry Simmons and Natalia Cordova-Buckley.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs Tuesdays at 10/9c on ABC.