Last week on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Director Mace’s dirty little secret was found out. The director was not an Inhuman, but someone chosen by General Talbot to be augmented with a knock off Super Soldier Serum to basically “pretend” to be an Inhuman for public relations purposes. With that knowledge (and the fact that Mace has no real combat or leadership experience), Coulson would be the de facto head of S.H.I.E.L.D., even if Mace was still the face of the agency.
This week continues the Life Model Decoy (LMD) arc of the show as Radcliffe is still trying to get his hands on the Darkhold, and is using ADA and his May LMD to get the job done. The beginning of the episode give us a flashback and shows up how the “real” may got caught and subdued by ADA and revealed just how well planned Radcliffe’s operation has been. He already had an LMD May waiting in hiding to send back to the headquarters and take over. It makes you think, how much more LMD S.H.I.E.L.D. agents do he have (we’ll get to that later)? It also shows how he can copy memories from the “real” May and transfer them to the LMD to the point that the LMD doesn’t know they are not the real person, only when they are “activated.”
Much of the episode focuses on May as she tries to escape from Radcliffe’s apartment. However, they gave us such a red herring as her “escape” was actually another form of control. Radcliffe previously kept her in a virtual simulation where she was in an almost paradise-like atmosphere, and she continuously did not accept the program, knowing it was wrong. As a result, Radcliffe created an “escape” simulation where May would escape her capture and engage ADA in hand to hand combat. She bought the program, but would still overcome it as ADA and Radcliffe couldn’t re-write the program quick enough to keep up with her. This gave her some comfort as even though her memory would be wiped and she would repeat the exercise, she knew she would eventually overcome.
Meanwhile, S.H.I.E.LD. decided to go on the offensive against Senator Nadeer and her Watchdog backing. Under the guise of Daisy signing the Sokovia Accords and having a senate meeting, Yo-Yo and Coulson would sneak into her room and plant some bugs so they can catch her in the act. However, S.H.I.E.L.D. has a mole and Nadeer was able to get the drop on them and embarrass them while the hearing was going on. All signs point to Mack, since he opted out of the mission, however, he had a good excuse that Yo-Yo finds out after confronting him afterwards (it was the anniversary of his child’s death and he needed some alone time).
Fitz is continuing to experiment on the first ADA’s head, which is causing a rift with Simmons. She even suspects him of being the leak. However, he was not a leak, he was investigating what exactly went wrong with the first ADA, if she really did go crazy after looking at the Darkhold. Upon discovering that the head has receptors, he realizes that Radcliffe was behind it. May realizes that she is a robot and goes to confront Radcliffe. Radcliffe reveals to her that she is coded to follow his mission, even though she believes that she is May. Even when she tries to stop him, she’s been programmed to not harm him. However, Fitz and a bunch of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents come and arrest Radcliffe.
While interrogating Radcliffe, Fitz notices that something is off. He immediately grabs a gun and shoots Radcliffe in the head…. Revealing that Radcliffe is an LMD. The “real” Radcliffe replaced himself with an LMD when he realized it was getting too hot and he would eventually be found out. She was watching through a receiver in an undisclosed location with ADA 2.0 and Senator Nadeer (and still holding the real May hostage). Radcliffe still wants to get the Darkhold, so Senator Nadeer reveals that she will take him to “The Superior.”
With more and more LMD’s, there’s bound to be another Agent who is not who they say they are? Now that we know that the LMD can have all the memories of the person, my money’s on Mack. An LMD version of him would have the same sadness about a dead child, so he probably could be a robot as well. Hopefully, we’ll find out who this Superior is, as The Watchdogs have been minor/major players since last season and they need to move forward to be the big bad guys. Although, having Radcliffe as the big bad is also a great idea as well.
Next week marks the return of Patton Oswalt as the Koenig triplets.