Review: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 4 Ep. 11

(Marvel Studios / Marvel Entertainment / Disney Studios / ABC Studios – 2017)

LMD Arc – Part 3

Summary: The next arc in the 3rd season of Agents of SHIELD has begun. Daisy has returned to the agency, Ghost Rider is nowhere to be found, and a new threat has arrived: LMDs! These Life Model Decoys are android replicates of our favorite characters out to divide the team and take over the show. Led by AIDA, an android created by the enigmatic Dr. Radcliffe, the robot revolution has begun and SHIELD is at the forefront!

“Wake Up”

Directed by Jesse Bochco; Written by Drew Z. Greenberg

[SPOILERS!!]

Review: Ya know, overall I’m finding this  LMD arc to be pretty underwhelming so far. I’m not really sure why, I guess I just expected more than what we’re getting right now. And it’s not that this particular episode was bad, it wasn’t, it was more of a “just okay” in terms of quality.

“Wake Up” brings the LMD storyline back into prominence after its backseat last time and focuses more precisely on the lengths Radcliffe goes to keep May sedated so that she doesn’t attempt to escape again. It’s all rather interesting to be sure, but I wonder just how important it will be going forward. Specifically, will the information Radcliffe gains from May allow him to create more LMDs and put those people under more serious sedation in the coming episodes?

Hopefully, for May, it’ll all be a big thing for her character going forward. We also get a good amount of focus on LMD Mmay coming to terms with who she is. Her conversation with Radcliffe on the matter was super interesting.

Other parts of the episode I quite liked were the subplot with Daisy and going into trial for her time spent as an “undercover SHIELD agent” which led to some very juicy stuff when a botch surveillance plan to plant cameras in Senator Nadeer’s office goes wrong. Especially the conversation between Daisy and Mace, I’m really liking this man more and more now that he no longer has to put on an act for the audience.

And then there’s the Mack and Yo-Yo stuff which was delightful to watch, and we also learn what’s been haunting Mack since his time as Ghost Rider. The death of his daughter after only four days of being alive. That’s rough on a person by any caliber.

ep-11-wake-upSo, if there was all this good stuff, why was it only “just okay?” Well, again, it really goes back to what I said about the LMD arc being underwhelming. We’re three episodes into the arc, I’m not really sure how long it’s going to be, and we’re just not getting much. When I think LMDs I personally think of robotic clones in droves taking over as agents. Sort of like a mini-Skrull invasion if you’ve ever read the Marvel comics event Secret Invasion.

We do get a second LMD this episode with Radcliffe turning himself into one but given that he’s found out by the end of the episode and the real Radcliffe is fully aware of what’s going on and still walking around it’s not as fun as, say, seeing Coulson, Daisy, and May walking around as LMDs and no one being the wiser. And then when they are found out, no one knows whom to trust. That’s just an example however and I personally think it would be more compelling as well.

I know Ghost Rider blew their budget so we’re not seeing as much explored in these episodes as I’m sure the writers really want to, but I do think if we don’t get some sort of “who can you trust?” tagline going by multiple LMDs walking around then this whole thing may just be a wasted opportunity. I don’t want to see that.

Final Score: 2.5 Functioning LMDs out of 5

DERRICK-imageDerrick is a born and raised otaku with a love for comics, anime, manga and movies. The full list is pretty long, but that’s just the basics. Stories set in space are his bread and butter.

You can find more of his writing at IndieComix.net

@KazekunForever

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