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AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. Roundtable: The Man Behind the Shield

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Flashbacks, Faceoffs, and Fakeouts – this week had a lot to talk about and we do just that… talk about it! See what Ruben, Roz, and Karen had to say about the episode and leave your thoughts in the comments.

Okay, I’m a whovian so I’m used to these things, but is it me, or is it getting harder each week to follow the twists and turns in each episode?

Rueben: I’m a whovian too (although only since 2005), how about that? As for the twists and turns in the episodes, yeah, it is getting a little hard to follow especially with more and more LMD’s showing up.

Roz: Yeah, I can’t follow the shift from flashback to now without some really good color work and with so much of the episode in the dark, it was hard. (Veronica Mars did it well, this episode, not so much.) Also, if you’re playing that much of a bait-and-switch, shouldn’t the audience know it’s happening?

Karen: The whole reason I asked this question is because I had to watch it twice just to get the whole replacement thing straight in my head. The flashback sequences were straightforward enough (I agree about the colorwork too Roz, could be better), but I was a little off-kilter with the time-placement of Coulson/Mack/Daisy getting exchanged.

Coulson was front and center this week – Flashback, Murder Board, and a Badass Confrontation with the Big Bad. Did he use the time they gave him wisely?

Rueben:  I just want to say I really enjoyed the flashback.  It was great to see him and May before all the alien stuff settled into their lives.  As for the time dedicated to all things Coulson, yes, it was great to see so much time spent on him.  I think they dedicated just the right amount of time to him given how much Anton has been jonesing for him.

Roz: I’m all for Coulson getting some love as the guy who we were supposed to root for at the start of the show, but it feels like a weird way to tell us more about all the in-between MCU movies of what he was really doing. Or maybe I just want to see them get out of the LMD arc and the Big Bad’s ideas.

Karen: Coulson has always been the heart and soul of this show for me, and to get a Phil-filled episode is just a treat. Clark Gregg really got to stretch his legs here with the flashback and the realization that the bad guy is focused on him. Pre-Avengers Coulson, his face at the baddie’s murder board, the nostalgic look as he remembers his mission with May, and ultimately, the almost glee when he lets the bad guy know that it was just another job to him. Anton’s been carrying this grudge for years, yet Phil never gave him a second thought. There’s some power there for sure.

LMDs… LMDs everywhere. Radcliffe managed to do some more agent replacement and FitzSimmons are smart enough to figure it out. How will they deal?

Rueben:  There are just too many of them now!  Am I right?!  It’s actually starting to freak me out how many there are.  Thank GOD that FitzSimmons figured it out, but they are going to have to tread very lightly in dealing with all of them.

Roz: TRUST NO ONE! I just think that so much of what is going to save SHIELD is covert between the two of them while ignoring all those LMDs AIDA put in.

Karen: Rueben – you are right! So. Many. LMDs. Mad Scientists never learn. I’m a little worried that I’m not going to know who is and who isn’t a replicant (take that PKD!) anymore. If anyone can find a way to “outsmart” the AIs, it’s Leo and Jemma. Their two brains are worth one-hundred AIDAs. I have faith.

Mace, for someone who isn’t an inhuman or superpowered, turned out to have more character than I gave him originally. How is he faring in your eyes?

Rueben:  The real Mace is faring pretty good in my eyes given all that he has had to deal with since being captured; but was that the real Mace throughout most of that brutal crackdown by Anton’s men?  Or was that the LMD Mace?

Roz: I’m all for Mace looking like an actual good guy rather than just a pretty face, but there are too many other issues for me to want to focus on it more than this.

Karen: I think we’re seeing the real Mace, and not a replacement LMD, and I think he’s hanging in there. I actually like that he’s becoming a part of the team and we’re seeing him in each episode, and the fact that he’s becoming the hero that he was purported to be when it wasn’t 100% true. He’s standing up for what’s right, and living up to the Jeffrey Mace who took over for Captain America in the comics. (spoiler alert – whoops)

And AIDA. Oh. My. Gawd. AIDA. We warned them. Everybody warned them. How bad will it get before Radcliffe figures out he’ll end up collateral damage? Is that where you see it heading?

Rueben:  I don’t see anything ending well as long as Aida is around – let alone all the LMD’s.  I think we saw this coming when she created that brain after reading the Darkhold; we just didn’t realize it at the time.  I also don’t think that Radcliffe is going to see anything coming given that he seems to be spending more time in that other world, presumably with Agnes.

Roz: OH EFF NO! This is why adaptive AI is a bad thing but man, I think AIDA’s running the show now rather than Radcliffe.

Karen: I agree Roz, I think AIDA took enough from the Darkhold book that she’s completely manipulated the situation in order to “wear the pants” in her relationship with Radcliffe. He’s got his blinders on – literally – and can’t see what’s happening. She’s making her LMD army, and if they rise up – hooo baby, watch out. We gotta nip it in the bud, so get to work FitzSimmons!

Any other thoughts? Favorite Scenes/Lines?

Rueben:  I think I’ve said this before, but I want them to find May; and once they do that, stick it to the LMD’s, Aida and Radcliffe.  It’s time to move on from these androids.

I really enjoyed the scene in the flashback where Coulson is talking to the Russians guard, trying to talk his way out of things right as May makes her “getaway.”

My favorite Exchange:

Anton: You are fake. Just like that man in there.
AIDA: And when will you be done with the Director?
Anton: Once he serves his purpose. Even filth has a purpose.

AIDA: Now the next phase begins. And you will be integral to that. You have not yet served your purpose. “Even filth has a purpose.”

Roz: Creepy LMD robots in love is wrong. I’m getting more bothered by this Coulson and May thing each week now.

Karen: I reiterate that I love Coulson-centric episodes, so this one is one of my favorites so far, even with the confusion issue. Sometimes a little messiness is worth it. The whole conversation between him and Anton was just delicious.

The flashbacks were great as well, seeing the banter between Phil and May before she married Andrew was really nice insight into their characters that we’ve never gotten before.

Here’s the dialogue from Coulson in that scene with Anton – just eat-em-up delicious!

All of these things you’ve done, all of the energy spent, the hatred.
And you know what the funny thing about it is? I have no idea who the hell you are.
I’ve been on hundreds of missions in my time.
This one you’re so upset about, I was sent to retrieve an object.
If I’m being honest, I don’t even remember what it was.
As far as I’m concerned, you’re just another red shirt like so many others who tried unsuccessfully to stop me from saving the world. ‘Cause that’s what I do.
So, cool origin story, bro, but this means nothing to me.

Next time on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D:

S.H.I.E.L.D. IS OVERRUN BY LMDs, AND THERE IS NO ONE TO TRUST, ON ABC’S  ‘MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.’

“Self Control” – written and directed by Jed Whedon.

 “Self Control” – Suspicion turns to paranoia when the team doesn’t know who can be trusted as more LMDs infiltrate S.H.I.E.L.D., on “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 21 (10:00-11:00 p.m. EST), on the ABC Television Network.

“Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” stars Clark Gregg as Agent Phil Coulson, Ming-Na Wen as Agent Melinda May, Chloe Bennet as Daisy Johnson, Iain De Caestecker as Agent Leo Fitz, Elizabeth Henstridge as Agent Jemma Simmons, Henry Simmons as Agent Alphonso “Mack” MacKenzie and John Hannah as Holden Radcliffe.

Guest starring are Natalia Cordova-Buckley as Elena “Yo-Yo” Rodriguez, Jason O’Mara as Director Jeffrey Mace, Mallory Jansen as Aida 2.0, Briana Venskus as Agent Piper, Maximilian Osinki as Agent Davis, Zach McGowan as The Superior, Ricardo Walker as Agent Prince and Cantrell Harris as Agent Fisher.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs Tuesday 10/9c on ABC

Karen Lindsay, often teased as being "obscurely famous," talks a lot. (i.e. she podcasts). Her current and past projects involve television shows like "Chuck", "Sleepy Hollow", "Castle", "Orphan Black", "Farscape", "Supergirl" and many others. She's an avid gamer, reader, & collector of all things shiny - and while you may not think those things go hand-in-hand, they sometimes do. So don't ask her about how many pets she has in Warcraft. (or how shiny they are).

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