Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD series on ABC has been critically acclaimed for sometime now, but tonight’s episode broke new ground in numerous ways. For one it was the directorial debut of Jed Whedon, who is known for being largely affiliated with the Marvel Cinematic Universe along with his brother Joss Whedon.
The episode revolves around the solution to a conflict set up in last week’s episode in which numerous high ranking officers within SHIELD are revealed to be Life Model Decoys (LMDs) made to look and behave like them. Spoilers from here on out, so be cautious.
The episode took a far more cinematic approach than most other episodes of the series, using very jarring imagery to drive home the eerie nature of these lifelike androids pretending to be characters that years of character development have led many fans to love deeply.
Perhaps the most gripping aspect of the entire episode is that four seasons in, Agents of SHIELD still manages to drop incredibly potent reveals about a lot of our favorite characters. Particularly, the scene where Daisy agrees to combat the LMD versions of Coulson and Mack is one of the most effective in the entire series. To see her reaffirm Jemma, in a way that calls back to every major trial and tribulation they’ve been through over the course of many years was arguably the most emotional sequence in the entire series.
Jemma Simmons has drastically evolved as a character, arguably the most out of everyone, give or take Skye/Daisy. This feels as though it culminates in this episode, in the sequence where she has to fight Fitz himself. This is one of the most begrudging conflicts as neither one of them knows whether or not they’re an android.
Yet another major scene in this episode is near the end, when LMD May and Coulson are having a conversation, as May aims to blow both of them up. This conversation calls into question the most important underlying question of this entire season. Are these androids alive? They think and feel the same way the humans do, and so are they any less alive? May comes to terms with the fact that regardless of the answer to this question, she has to do what she sees as right.
Finally, the episode ends with a beautiful scene that could have been ripped right out of Life is Strange, showing the Framework that we’ve been waiting so long to see. Final spoiler warning for the biggest reveal of all.
Of course, most importantly is the news that after all this time, in the Framework, we’ll be seeing Grant Ward again. In this virtual reality, one of the most interesting and dynamic characters in Agents of SHIELD will finally be making a return. April can’t come soon enough!