Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 4, Episode 15, "Self Control" REVIEW (SPOILERS)

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Oh, wow.  Last night’s episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. had a veritably-mind-blowing conclusion.  For the most part I enjoyed the whole episode, but the conclusion—teasing the final story arc of the season—was a huge shock.  In terms of twists, this was pretty much the biggest one of the series.

But let’s talk about the rest of the episode first.


  • I really like what they do with LMD-May in this episode.  I knew that she would have something further to do when Coulson elected to keep her around, and this was a worthy conclusion to that story.  Her confusion and uncertainty was an interesting dynamic to add into the LMD equation.  And the fact that at the end she actually destroyed the Coulson LMD right after admitting that she (as May’s consciousness) is in love with Coulson was a huge moment of “liberation” for the LMD.
  • I really liked the storage room scene with Simmons and LMD-Fitz, especially how he uses her compassion and love for Fitz against her.  Then the follow-up scene when Daisy found her and her shock, horror, and confusion at having been forced to “murder” Fitz was very well done.  This whole scene (particularly her sheer inability to function without Fitz) does a lot to show the progression of the Fitz-Simmons relationship.
  • Daisy fighting the LMDs was absolutely awesome, particularly when she vibrated LMD-Mack’s head completely apart
  • What on earth did AIDA do to Ivanov???  She decided that she needed a machine capable of feeling emotions which could protect the Framework with her and decided that creating an Ivanov drone controlled by his disembodied head was the best course of action.  Wow.  I mean, wow.  Now this begs the question:  what is AIDA planning, and how will she enable herself to feel emotions?
  • AIDA’s murder of Radcliffe was not unexpected, but it was still a huge shock.  As soon as she said that her two prime directives (Protect the Framework and Protect him) were in conflict, I was waiting to see just how she would “resolve” the conflict—and a part of me assumed that Radcliffe was not going to survive the resolution!


  • So they decided that Daisy needs to fight the LMDs just because Fitz and Simmons are “meant to be together”????  The twist at the end of the episode redeems this line slightly, but it is still a terribly corny reason for Daisy to charge into battle.
  • Did I understand correctly that AIDA was hitting on the Ivanov-drone and he was reciprocating her desire for “joy”?  Because that is just weird.

Things to Look for (a.k.a. “The Twist”):
My reaction to the concluding sequence
  • The ending of the episode before the final commercial break was very Matrix:  a shipload of survivors must plug into the computer-created system in order to rescue humanity from the computer uprising.
  • The regular cast appears to be taking a backseat in favor of Agent Piper’s STRIKE team, which isn’t a bad thing.  I hope they do give the new characters some development in the final third of the season.  Thus far all we know about them is that the one had just started training to fly the Zephyr, and that Piper is kind of like “mini-May.”
  • In the Framework, Ward is still alive, and Daisy is his girlfriend.  And that’s just the beginning of the craziness.
  • Coulson is a teacher (of some sort) who is teaching some very anti-Inhuman views.  I can’t imagine him actually being happy with this.
  • Mack is out of S.H.I.E.L.D. and living in a suburb (presumably) with his no-longer-ex and their still-alive daughter.  However, of all the team members, Mack’s about the only one who appears happy.
  • Fitz is a big player, but that’s all we find out
  • All we see of Simmons is a grave marker.  There are three possibilities from this shocker:
    • Framework-Simmons faked her death and is still alive somewhere (after all, the last time we saw a character’s grave stone, he was still alive)
    • Framework-Simmons really died and Simmons’ consciousness reanimated her in the grave—putting Daisy on a clock to find her before her digital air runs out
    • Because she tried to enter the Framework as a dead person, Simmons is now dead in real life
  • The biggest shock comes from May:  May is now a leader in Hydra!
  • It seems that the Hydra uprising succeeded, as the Triskelion is still standing
    • I suspect that because Coulson’s “great regret” was joining S.H.I.E.L.D., his absence from S.H.I.E.L.D. meant that Steve Rogers was never discovered and the Avengers were never formed.  Without Captain America and the Avengers, there was no one to stop Hydra from taking over S.H.I.E.L.D.
  • Looking at all the evidence presented, it looks like the final arc of the season will be focused on the Framework and the Zephyr team’s efforts to destroy it and rescue the rest of the team.  This seems to be combining themes from both The Matrix and the comic book “House of M” storyline, among other things.
So there we have it!  This is the “conclusion” of the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: LMD story arc, but this conclusion is a lot more like the second part of a trilogy than the conclusion of a distinct story.  This story will continue in the third story arc when the series returns on April 4.  Until then, we will have plenty to speculate on regarding Hydra’s “New World Order.”

What did you think of the LMD arc?  Were you expecting the Framework to look like this?  What do you think happened to Simmons?  Let me know in the comments!

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