Review: ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ Throws a Little Dynamite in the ‘LMD’ Arc With ‘BOOM’
Warning – FULL SPOILERS for Tonight’s “BOOM”:
Either I’m losing my mind, or someone in the Marvel TV offices has been watching The Matrix on a loop. Just one day after realizing FX’s Legion is essentially an eye-popping Wes Anderson-esque take on Neo’s escape from reality, it seems Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is building toward its own virtual-reality endgame in tonight’s “BOOM.” It’s just as well – the LMD guessing game was essentially over with – and I’d guess that Radcliffe’s “solution” to immortality is going to end with at least someone (cough, Coulson) entering the “framework” to rescue May.
It’s probably no accident that “BOOM” says goodbye to Parminder Nagra’s Senator Nadeer as well, given the arrival of Zach McGowan’s Superior essentially eliminates the need for another scheming big bad, and Nadeer’s brand of villainy never seemed particularly well-thought out anyway. Potentially turning the character into an Inhuman seemed like a possibility, but having Shockley be the one to undergo Terrigenesis made for a decent swerve, as did his willingness to remain dedicated to the Watchdogs’ mission after the fact. Not to mention, for a series whose super-powered characters are often limited to one rote effect, Shockley’s explosive* power made for a bit of inventive fun with Daisy repeatedly detonating him, and waiting for him to reconstitute.
*That said, likening the ability to an undetectable suicide bomber who walks away after the fact was something of a charged, oddly topical reference.
The other notable swing this week revealed that AIDA’s likeness has a human inspiration after all, ostensibly to give Mallory Jansen a non-robotic character (with her native accent) to play. Still, tracking down the character made for good use of the team; both for Coulson to flex the limits of how authoritarian he’d skew to confirm May’s survival, and how he’d ultimately opt for a more human appeal, with Mack serving once again as the team’s moral center. I presume Jensen’s Agnes will have more to do going forward, given the character’s consciousness in the “framework,” and what seemed to be AIDA’s jealousy at having to compete with someone more “real” than her.
We’ll also have a bit more Jeffrey Mace exploration to do next week, given his capture (and soon presumable outing) to the Watchdogs; not to mention the especially timely running football metaphor of Mace having to find his position on the team as neither Patriot or Director. That’s two S.H.I.E.L.D. members now in custody, and I’d hope that doesn’t mean we have to say goodbye to one. Jason O’Mara’s a strong fit with the series, but that Season 5 renewal might be getting further and further away.
AND ANOTHER THING …
- Still holding onto my Fitz as LMD theory, and I’d doubt if we’re off the hook for that particular story device just yet.
- That scene of Skye handling Director duties in business-wear was surely a clue to where the character is headed this (or maybe next) season, right?
- I feel like there’s something off about slapping a yellow filter on the camera to help sell that the scene is set in a foreign country.
- Granted, the first instance was handled over a winter break, it is still super-weird that the Inhuman chrysalis happens over only a few seconds.
- Still have to question Senator Nadeer’s death, offscreen explosions and all.
- So long as Fitz and Simmons are investigating exploding superhumans, whatever happened to those fancy drones of his?
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 4 will continue Tuesday, February 14 with “The Man Behind the Shield,” airing at 10:00 P.M. on ABC. Hey, some of us have Valentine’s Day plans. I mean, I don’t, but still.
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