Wednesday, 10 May 2017

TV Review No. 47 Marvel: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: The Man Behind The Shield (S4, Ep14)

Strong Points:
Twists and turns
Pre-Bahrain Coulson and May
Coulson speaking 'Russian'
Mace and Jason O'Mara
The Superior's origins

Weak Points:
The Superior
Is Aida still mimicking?
Lots of LMDs
In-depth Review:
So, we've got a Coulson-centric episode today, do we?  Good really, as for a character which had been in basically all MCU property up to The Avengers, we've haven't had too much backstory for him pre-Avengers days. I mean, we've had titbits and as I said previously, he's always been there but it's nice to see him get the spotlight this time around. This episode showed he wasn't always connected to Fury and the top-dogs, instead being a Level 4 agent (still higher than May), and that he was originally a bit more by the books than he is now.

Jason O'Mara (the actor who plays Mace) has surprised me this season but just how large his acting range has been. From powerful protector of the people to mildly comedic wimp with a silver tongue and now desperate prisoner, he's delivered some stellar moments in the series so far. The character as well has been really developed, which is surprising as he was one of the characters I thought would leave after the first few episodes like so many other characters have.

Now for something a bit lighter, mainly pre-Bahrain Coulson and May exchanging quips in their early field days. Oh, and Coulson trying to speak Russian. Overall though, I really liked this back to basics mission, it fleshed out the relationship between Coulson and May, making their now romance a bit more believable, and it just felt nice to have something slightly less high stakes than all the twists we've had this season. Don't get me wrong I love the twists and the stakes, they're just a bit tiring to have all the time.

Yay! The Superior wasn't meant to be the great evil of this season. He just wasn't very good, was he. A bit bland, no real objective. But that's what he was meant to be, as we found out through what I think is one of the more original ideas for a big baddie. He didn't have some secret affiliation with Coulson or special powers or anything really. He was as Coulson says 'just a red shirt to him' or if you don't know your Star Trek lingo, just another grunt in the way of his mission. And for that I'm glad, now bring on the multi-layered Aida and Radcliffe!

Is Aida still mimicking human emotion or has the Darkhold allowed her to feel now? That's a big question and one I'm having a hard answering. Technically, she's still mimicking human emotion, not actually being able to feel hate and other emotions but portraying them so as to fit in with the populace, but it's getting close to human emotion, especially at the end when she was talking to the down and out Superior.

You can be an LMD! You can be an LMD! How about you, young sir, have you ever thought about becoming and LMD? Yes, in a twist I personally didn't see coming, Coulson, Mack, Mace and Daisy seem to have been replaced by LMDs, leaving Fitz and Simmons alone and afraid. Nothing like putting Fitzsimmons in danger to get the viewings up right? Joking aside though, I am interested to see if they can pull this part off or if it will get too confusing for its own good.

Conclusion: overall, this episode was a nice bridge between higher stakes episodes, saved from some sluggish pacing by the acting of the characters, some of the twists and the lighter elements of the past. If everyone's actually been in the Framework this whole time though and everyone's an LMD...

Rating: 80%

Thanks for reading, Satamer.

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