Friday, February 3, 2017

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 4, Episode 12, "Hot Potato Soup" REVIEW (SPOILERS)

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This is starting to turn into a broken record.  Every week I plan to publish my review on Wednesday, and every week it comes out at least a day later!  The episode itself was really good, though there was at least one aspect that really didn’t work for me.  That could be redeemed soon, but for now the “big bad” of the arc is somewhat underwhelming.


  • The Koenig Clan is hilarious and awesome.  Patton Oswalt is turning into one of my favorite background comedic actors, and this show is the biggest reason.  All three Koenig brothers are hilarious, and throwing L.T. into the mix was good.
  • Connected to the previous point, the Koenigs fawning over “Quake” was hilarious.  I especially enjoyed the bit with Billy telling Daisy about all the “fan fiction” out there, including fan fiction “shipping” her with Black Widow as “Quack.”
  • I also loved how well they drew out the “Are they or aren’t they LMDs?” question.  Then the final verdict was a good resolution to a small plot hole created by this LMD arc in introducing a previous attempt by S.H.I.E.L.D. to develop LMD technology.
  • Last week’s episode was very May-centered; this week’s was very much Fitz-centered.  We haven’t really learned much of anything about Fitz’s family life or past before now, and they turned the tap on a little in this episode.  That the Radcliffe-LMD was the one to really shed light on Fitz’s family—and that it made the connection of Radcliffe having known Fitz’s father—was a really nice touch.  That made the revelation feel much more natural as a defense mechanism by the LMD trying to preserve itself, rather than just an exposition dump.  Fitz’s reaction to the LMD’s words was very good and really helped deepen his character.  It was also a good decision to have Mack and Simmons as the only two characters there with Fitz for this whole thing.  That really helped to develop both of their relationships with Fitz.
  • The Radcliffe-LMD was a lot of fun, particularly with the way in which Radcliffe had programmed it to protect itself.  With Fitz, it brings up his father and keeps him distracted with his own inner demons.  With Mack, who is one of only 2 really religious characters (with Yo-Yo), the LMD turns to philosophy:  is the LMD alive and possessing of a soul, and if so, is it murder to kill it?
  • The degree of technological advancement from AIDA to the Radcliffe-LMD is fascinating.  Obviously it is a direct result of Radcliffe’s work with the Darkhold, which showed him how to create an artificial brain.  However, that must have already been on his mind before he’d ever seen the book, considering that he mapped May’s brain before he read the Darkhold.
  • I am very curious to see how the alliance between Radcliffe and Ivanov will go.  Ivanov did not appear enamored with the idea of having AIDA around—at least until he discovered that Radcliffe had built her.  However, I do not think that this alliance will last too long.  After all, the last time three villains sat down together and shared a drink, two betrayed the third within 2 episodes (2x08)!


  • I’m really on the fence with regard to the “Superior” reveal with Anton Ivanov.  On the one hand he’s got an interesting-ish connection to Coulson—blaming him for all the alien problems and visitations.  On the other hand, it was a bit of a letdown for the “big bad” bringing all these groups together to just be another billionaire industrialist with a grudge.  I’m really hoping he will turn out to be a take on the Red Guardian (maybe this one) and be working for someone else.
  • The LMD-May reveal didn’t generate nearly as much drama and conflict as I expected.  That may change next week with Coulson searching for the real May, but it was a little disappointing that she revealed herself and was almost instantly K.O.ed by Daisy.
  • To borrow from Cinema Sins:  “If Radcliffe can practically read people’s minds with his brain-mapping device, why is there any conflict?”  I mean, the human mind has got to be more complicated than that!

Things to Look for:

  • There’s got to be significance to their decision to keep LMD-May.  Part of me is hoping that they will reprogram her/it, give her/it one of those face-masks, and put her/it to work for S.H.I.E.L.D.  The other option is that the real May will be so badly broken that she will need to take time off, and S.H.I.E.L.D. will reprogram the LMD to take her place for a while.
  • The fact that Radcliffe now has the Darkhold can’t be a good thing.  My guess is that it will drive him insane in a matter of weeks.
  •  Now that there is actual fan fiction specifically referenced in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., could this be a bridge for a Kamala Khan Easter egg?
What were your thoughts on this episode?  What did you think of the Koenig “reveal”?  let me know in the comments!

1 comment:

  1. I can't be disappointed with the Superior because it's not as him they have been building him up over multiple episodes. He's been referenced twice: in episodes nine and eleven. Now, if they had been hyping him up from the very start of the season then yes, I would be pissed too. I don't see him as being a "big bad". As you will be aware in Aos big bads don't really come to the fore until the very last portion of the season, usually in episode 16 or 17. This Superior dude is just that - a dude.