Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Wake Up

Until last night's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., you may have been trying to see things from Radcliffe's point of view. You might have imagined that there was a kernel of misguided good intentions in him, trying to do good. All that is pretty much out the window as he was revealed to be in league with Senator Nadeer. And revealed to be a robot.

This episode took several elements that had been boiling beneath the surface and spilled them over. The latent romance between Coulson and May? Totally going to be a thing now, it seems -- albeit with the dark twist that May is an LMD. It's a pretty good recipe for sabotaging any relationship down the road between the real May and Coulson, as you'll then have two people not really starting on the same page in the relationship. Poor May. She really never can get a moment of happiness.

It was relationship drama all around, actually. Mack and Yo-Yo got the one subplot of decidedly real world tone, deepening their relationship when he revealed to her the tragic past of his lost daughter. Meanwhile, Fitz and Simmons continued to dance around not telling each other the truth. Fitz's strange behavior of last week did gain some context; it seems he was on to Radcliffe, but cared enough about him to want to confirm the suspicion before permanently destroying his reputation with everyone else.

A couple of other scenes stood out in this busy tangle of story. Mace's heart-to-heart with Daisy before the hearing showed a nice side of Mace behind the veneer, and reminded us of just how far Daisy has come as a character over the run of the show. Fitz's anguish (and actions) upon realizing the true nature of the Radcliffe LMD were quite raw and affecting. And the coda showing May stuck back in her "Calvary" moment, the worst of her life, carried great poignancy for any longtime fan of the show.

Some of the moves this week purely serviced narrative, and felt a bit rushed. Still, it may all smooth out down the road if, say, we get more explanation of how Radcliffe and Nadeer wound up together. I give this week a B+.

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