Tonight, “Agents of SHIELD” certainly took a turn for the psychological, given that we did spend a good percentage of this episode trying to figure out what was real and what was fiction for the real Melinda May as Radcliffe and Aida II continued their bouts of experimentation.
First, the two tried a standard distraction for May while they had her locked away and attached to tubes: A spa. They, smartly went with what most humans would want in order to distract themselves from their present situation. Unfortunately, May is no ordinary woman. She’s someone who tends to follow her own unique set of rules, and with that, it quickly became apparent that the only way to distract May was to give her a bunch of people to beat up in her dreamworld. They basically gave her the equivalent of an iPad with an action movie on it. It wasn’t until the very end of the episode that they found something that really tied her up both physically and emotionally, and we were reminded in the process of how much Andrew meant to her.
As for LMD May… – She’s confused. She doesn’t want to be the traitor, yet she is and there’s nothing that she can do about it. She struggles also to figure out how much of her is the real May and how much of her is programming. That is in part what makes her relationship with Coulson interesting. There is a part of what she is doing that is a manifestation of how May feels, but there is also a rather hefty part of her that may be acting independently. It’s fascinating stuff, especially as we realized that this was not the only LMD that was out there for an existing character. Radcliffe also had one of himself, and Fitz shot it in the head near the end of the episode following a series of conversations with Jemma, with the latter one being one where he accused him of being potentially “obsessed” with trying to unlock secrets and going rogue in his attempts to do so.
While LMD Radcliffe was being shot, the real one was off with Senator Nadeer, talking mysteriously as mysterious bad people do. It was here where we were reminded that a bigger Big Bad still exists out there in The Superior, someone we’ve seemingly yet to meet unless it’s a major traitor. (Don’t accuse Talbot, since he doesn’t like that.) Of course, it wouldn’t be “Agents of SHIELD” if there wasn’t another extremely nefarious foe waiting on the other side of the fence.
Other odds and ends – In terms of romance, there was some great stuff this week. The sweetness of Coulson / May is of course jeopardized largely by us know that this is not the May we’re looking for. Meanwhile, Mack opened up to Yo-Yo, explaining that his recent absence had to do solely with his ex Nicole, and spending a day with her to reflect upon their loss of their child more than a decade before that.
All in all, really great stuff this week, though in particular things were better this week as they got more emotional. Ming-Na Wen continues to kill it as multiple facets of May, and while we’d of course love to know who’s behind the whole operation, we’re okay enough being patient for a little while longer. Grade: B+.
Next week – Patton Oswalt is coming back! If you want to get some more news regarding what is coming up for the Koenigs on the show, be sure to head over to the link here. (Photo: ABC.)