Agents of SHIELD Season 4 Episode 21: The Return Recap

 

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This week, it’s time for the agents of SHIELD to reacclimate to the real world. Some challenges and surprises await them, as you’d expect.

We start with a cheesy opening outside shot of the oil rig. This is why most of the season has been gray. It’s easier to make the CGM look good.

The Darkhold and Ivanov have a sense of humor! Ivanov talks to himself before he goes to check on the pod room, where Aida has just teleported Fitz away. Coulson makes a couple of his own dry jokes about the Framework before Ivanov interrupts them with the good news that he has free will now, and his first act as a free man is to become a murder bot.

May is surprised to see a robot as she and Coulson fend off LMD Ivanov, with Coulson’s energy shield popping out of his arm and saving the day in the end.

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Agents of Shield Season 4 Episode 20: Farewell, Cruel World! Recap

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This week, we find out what Yo-Yo, Piper, and the SHIELD gang have been up to while Daisy and Jemma have been in the Framework. Most of the team make their way to Radcliffe’s backdoor and the one escape from the Framework left, but one team member is caught up in the life that Aida and the Darkhold built for him. And Aida and Fitz’s Project Looking Glass machine gets its first use.

The episode begins with a flash back to 10 days earlier, when Daisy and Jemma went into the Framework. We are reminded that they have to come out voluntarily. Pulling them out might leave them brain-damaged.

The Zephyr has spent the last ten days cloaked and in the air, on radio silence. Talbot has been trying to reach them, but they aren’t sure who they can trust. Running the Framework is draining the ship’s power. They only have 24 hours left in the air until they run out, and they’ve already turned off all nonessential systems.Yo-Yo reluctantly agrees to turn off the cloaking rather than land, even though they know there are enemies searching for them. Tough call.

Inside the Framework, HYDRA has declared martial law, and there are violent riots in the streets, as the fight for control of the broadcast center continues. Looks like Coulson’s speech had an impact.

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Agents of SHIELD Season 4 Episode 19: All the Madame’s Men Recap

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This week, HYDRA memorializes fallen hero John Garrett, mentor and corrupter of Grant Ward in the real world, played by the late Bill Paxton. Our dear Madame HYDRA also falls, in a spectacular callback to Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and the nursery rhyme Humpty Dumpty. However, despite the episode title, she prefers to be put back together again by science, rather than her men.

We begin with Sunil Bakshi’s show-within-the-show, The Bakshi Report. Bakshi, who was Daniel Whitehall’s righthand man in the real world, is now Ophelia and Fitz’s mouthpiece and lackey. The topic of this episode is “Justice,” or, more specifically, the death of the Patriot. Bakshi cautions Constant Vigilance, because the Patriot wasn’t the only evil enemy of the state that could be lurking around any corner.

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Agents of SHIELD Episode 18: No Regrets Recap

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Daisy’s two dad’s are out on their first Framework mission alone together, but Daddy Mace doesn’t remember Daisy, so he has other priorities. Mainly showing off his muscles and how intensely, seriously in charge he can be. This leaves Daddy Phil to play up his concern for Daisy, Jemma, and the rest of the kids, while proving his worth by being an excellent shot and agent overall, despite his surface cluelessness. In other words, both are acting exactly like they do in the real word.

They stage a car accident to force a HYDRA prison transport bus to stop for them, then storm the bus. Unfortunately, they find bodies in body bags instead of live prisoners. They still need to use the bus to gain access to a HYDRA prison and rescue one of the Resistance’s embedded operatives.

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Agents of SHIELD Season 4 Episode 17: Identity and Change Recap

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Picking up where we left off last episode, Coulson and Daisy have spent the night catching up and are back at school the next morning. Coulson summarizes everything Skye has revealed to him, ending by saying he knew he wasn’t crazy. He can tell the difference between fact and fiction because he’s stopped using the Kree-blue mind-control soap. Instead, he makes his own. This will be a running joke for the rest of the episode, but, remember, you’re not paranoid if they’re out to get you. There’ve been way stranger weapons in the MCU. And I can’t use most soaps either, so I totally believe it’s a weapon, Phil.

Clark Gregg’s daughter, Stella, stops by to ask for help. He tells her he’s having grown up time and sends her on her way. But just then, Good Guy Ward calls to tell Skye that Hydra is on their way, so it’s time to bring Coulson in.

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Agents of SHIELD Season 4 Episode 16: What If… Recap

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Welcome to Agents of HYDRA, the world of the Framework created by Aida, the Darkhold and Radcliffe. As you can see above, Aida’s given herself a few perks, casting herself in the role of Madame Hydra, director of HYDRA, which is charged with the safety of mankind in the dystopian world that she’s created. Be careful what you wish for.

This all came about because Radcliffe generously told Aida to solve one regret for each person she placed in the Framework. When you’re dealing with Agents of SHIELD, their regrets tend to be events that have global and historical consequences, so changing a few small decisions has a giant ripple effect. Of course, it’s not all due to Fitz, May, Coulson, and Mack opting for milder versions of the events of their earlier lives. (I think Mace wanted to be an inhuman and a true hero, while the others all wanted less violence and loss.) Aida also undoubtedly keeps tight control on the situation in the Framework, so that no one’s memory is triggered, and nothing seems unrealistic to them. It all adds up to HYDRA’s law and order, Big Brother philosophy dominating the culture with very little resistance, since Aida controls the population as a whole.

This episode opens with Daisy Skye looking at her bed, guessing about which boyfriend she’s going to find there. And, it’s door #2, consolation prize Grant Ward. She tries to take matters into her own hands, but, oops, her powers didn’t follow her into the Framework. She’s stuck with him for now.

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Agents of SHIELD/Agents of HYDRA Season 4B and 4C: LMD Review and HYDRA Photos, Posters and Speculation

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The LMD arc is one of my favorite arcs that this show has ever done. The story was compelling and a balanced combination of characterization, action and plot. All of the characters had something to do, or at least their LMDs did. We were kept guessing about the LMDs right up until the last episode. The only major disappointment was the writing for the Superior, who turned out to be a flat, boring character after his foreshadowing suggested someone more exciting. How you can make Zach McGowan boring, I don’t know, but they managed to do it. Maybe Ivanov will be more exciting as an LMD. He was offset by all of the Patton Oswalts, and all of the Mallory Jansens. Both were fun and amazing with their multiple characters. The other disappointment was the death of Senator Nadeer. I still have a small hope that she’ll turn out to have been an inhuman all along.

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Agents of SHIELD Season 4 Episode 15: Self Control Recap

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Wow! This was one of the best episodes of the entire series. Such a roller coaster ride of plot and emotion. It was well-titled, with Self Control, in the sense of self-rule, being the theme of the night. Who was still in control of their very self, and who had been replaced by an LMD against their will? Who was really in charge of the submarine and the orders coming out of it? Sometimes humans are so easy to fool. Which humans could control their emotions and their bodies long enough to beat the LMDs?

The episode starts with the two sneak peaks that were released last week. Aida’s playing classic rock for her captives in order to increase their dopamine levels. She’s chosen one of Ivanov’s favorites, since he’s about to undergo a terrifying procedure involving a saw and him becoming many things.

Fitz and Simmons are panicking over the LMDs taking over the base. They’re trying to figure out a plan when the LMDs approach them for advice about Ivanov’s weapons capabilities. They intend to bring all of the inhumans to HQ, ostensibly to protect them, but really to kill them. They have a fleet of Daisybots in the basement waiting to be activated, then they’ll send them all out to greet the inhumans personally and execute each one.

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Agents of SHIELD Season 4 Episode 15: Self Control Sneak Peeks [Video]

This week’s episode, #15 Self Control, marks the end of the LMD arc of Agents of SHIELD’s 4th season. After finishing its second plot unit the show will go on hiatus for six weeks, until April 4th. No word yet on what the third and final arc will be titled, or if the series will get a fifth season. I’ll be keeping an eye out for those announcements.

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Agents of SHIELD Season 4 Episode 14: The Man Behind the Shield Recap

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We open with Daisy and Coulson having a superfun sparring match, until Daisy kicks Phil too hard and he gets stuck in midair. I hate when that happens. They were in a mini Framework, designed for training exercises. When inside, agents can feel everything that’s happening as if it’s real. Phil notes that it was cold in the training room and Fitz tells him that Phil always leaves the base aircon set too low, so this is Fitz’s silent protest. I have a feeling that Fitz is quietly relentless with his silent protests, until the target is screaming for mercy.

The team discusses the larger version of the framework that May is in and possible ways to track its source code. Another agent comes in to tell them that they’ve found a GPS location for Mace’s suit in Nome, Alaska. The base is empty when SHIELD arrives, but Ivanov’s stalker wall on Coulson is still up. Coulson’s response: “This is why I don’t have Facebook.” Ivanov owns a mine that is pictured on the wall. It’s the location of one of Coulson and May’s early missions. The team sets off for the mine.

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