There are two ways to put up an illusion to hide real intentions. There’s keeping a SHIELD agent knocked out while an LMD is replacing her, and there’s doing something to prevent a senator from knowing she’s being investigated for her Watchdog ties.
Guess whose plan was more successful?
Well, it wasn’t SHIELD. This was a bad day for the group, even though they did uncover something about Radcliffe (John Hannah) that seemed to help them, but not quite.
Overall, this was one twisty episode that Drew Z. Greenberg wrote, as it looked at Radcliffe keeping real Agent May hidden and Coulson hoping for some misdirection to look into Nadeer’s (Parminder Negra) Watchdog connections. Both stories do involve LMayD at some level.
First, fans see how Radcliffe was able to switch fake May and real May in his bid to get the Darkhold. He was just able to use his concern for Aida (Mallory Jensen). However, that’s just for starters. His plan is actually very crafty, while he insists he’s not trying to kill anyone. He also reveals he’s got another LMD in the base aside from fake May.
Although May tried to get away, he’s now able to keep her trapped in something better than a virtual spa: a big battle against Aida that seems real, but isn’t. Once May beats Aida, she finds out it’s all a virtual battle, but she thinks she can eventually beat Aida. That is, until we find out Radcliffe just changes the battle to that notorious attack in Bahrain, only it has a happy ending. She manages to save Katya, the Inhuman girl, instead of being forced to kill her because of her powers. It’s so cruel that May’s life has been stolen by Radcliffe and Aida, and now she’s stuck in a fake happy ending with no end in sight.
It’s even more cruel because LMayD has replaced the real thing in nearly every way. She’s helped out a lot for the crew, and had no idea she’s an LMD until the wound she suffered last week.
Meanwhile, Coulson hopes to plant some hidden cameras in Senator Nadeer’s office while Daisy signs the Sokovia Accords in a special hearing called by the senator. General Talbot (Adrian Pasdar) thinks it won’t work because it involves politics, which he calls a “festering cesspool of toxic waste fires.” That may be too kind, actually.
Before that, Daisy and Mace (Jason O’Mara) have an interesting discussion about how she’s had to perform to get to stay in the foster homes she liked. It’s almost like him having to do those feats of strength at the Patriot. As he puts it, “(if) you enter every room thinking you have to do a song and dance, eventually everything becomes a performance.”
If there’s a season five, Mace just might become a real, live Director, but Coulson’s still the boss. It’s also interesting the show manages to forsee what’s happening in our government
Daisy does her best to convince Nadeer that Inhumans are human enough to be respected, but the senator brings up some of Daisy’s bank robberies while she was undercover.
As for Coulson’s plan, that goes south quickly, as Nadeer was apparently tipped off. That means the people trust SHIELD a whole lot less, mainly because Nadeer is gunning for them now. She’ll use her “True Humans First” policy to threaten Inhumans and those who support them.
It’s also interesting this is led by an Indian-American senator from New York. It’s a nice touch, but she does have other motives.
So how did she know? Coulson thinks there’s a leak, and there is. LMayD knew about the plan, and somehow she passed the info to Nadeer.
Believe it or not, LMayD confronts Radcliffe, and she’s mad about it! He’s not worried, though. Thanks to him getting into the real May’s brain earlier in the season, he knows her innermost secrets, like maybe strong feelings for Coulson. He’s also smart enough to program LMayD to prevent her from confessing she’s not real or attacking Radcliffe.
He’s also able to figure out who the other LMD that Radcliffe planted…himself!
Why? Well, he’s now with Nadeer, who wants the Darkhold for her anti-Inhuman needs. She’s also offering to let him meet the Superior. All he cares about is that he’s safe…for now.
While that’s happening, Mac and Rodriguez (Natalia Cordova-Buckley) are finally getting very close. It looks like this new love story may be in trouble when he suddenly sees something on his smartphone, and he can’t join her in D.C. It turns out he was mourning his daughter, Hope, who died after just a few days. It was an interesting development, but didn’t add much to the overall story.
Another couple talking about the day, however, does. Coulson is still smarting over the plan to investigate Nadeer, and admits it was an awful idea. However, LMayD comforts him by saying, “We are who we are, flaws and all.” It’s something the real May should have done, and once he finally figures out May is fake and they find the real Melinda May, he may have a lot to say to her. Maybe, so will she.
Before that happens, the real May has to wake up, and that could take weeks. It’ll still be much sooner than Senator Nadeer, whose humanity will be in a deep sleep for a long time.
Next week, the Koenig brothers get involved in the battle for the Darkhold…and they have to admit something, too.
One more thing: Congratulations to Ruth Negga, who played Raina in the first two seasons of SHIELD. She just received a Best Actress nomination for her performance in Loving, the film about the Supreme Court ruling that legalized interracial marriage.
Whedonopolis reviewed the movie in November, and here’s a link.