A lot is happening in Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD lately as I keep saying in these recaps, making it seem that they’re not dragging the whole season up by keeping things interesting. There’s a full recap below so if you’re not caught up yet, here’s the obligatory SPOILER ALERT. If you still want to know, read on and enjoy.
We start the episode with Coulson sitting outside a restaurant in Spain, seemingly talking to himself, but turns out to be Mack. They’re actually after a woman named Agnes who surprisingly looks like AIDA and could actually be her model. They think that this woman could lead them to Radcliffe and later to Agent May. Next, we see Radcliffe waking up from one of his simulations with the help of AIDA herself. Radcliffe marvels whatever they’re working on and checks on Agent May who, in their terms is quite ‘satisfied.’ Radcliffe then talks to The Superior who tells him that he’s already read the Darkhold so that they can find the solution to the Inhuman problem. Radcliffe takes the book from him showing signs of obsession and surprisingly, The Superior did not object. Radcliffe then shows The Superior his cache of pure Terrigen crystals given to him by Hive. Unlike previous incarnations, which killed those who came in contact with them, pure Terrigen is harmless to humans. These can be used then to transform suspected of having Inhuman genes.
We then turn to SHIELD HQ where Fitz is testing an LMD detector which is not quite perfected yet as it detects humans with metal on them while Simmons is working with Mace on his ‘super soldier serum.’ Simmons, however, tells him that the serum has the potential to cause cardiac arrest at any time and the danger rises the more it’s used. The reason for it is that Mace sincerely wants to matter and wants to be part of the team. He wants to continue using the serum as he’s not that skilled in hand-to-hand combat. Simmons is not so optimistic on him, but Fitz lifts his spirits up by bringing him his modified suit that can automatically inject him with the serum. Simmons again shoots his hopes down until Mace’s huge bodyguard ushers him back to is schedule. To handle bureaucracy and keep Nadeer in check.
Phil calls in that they found Agnes Kitsworth, the woman Radcliffe modeled AIDA after. Phil and Mack confront her about Radcliffe, but she doesn’t want anything to do with him until they show her AIDA. We see here that Ms. Mallory Jensen has more to offer than just act robotic. But acting like such does take some skill as she’s supposed to act as robotic as possible but not alert humans to such.
Next, we see The Superior’s aide Shockley visit Senator Nadeer. His purpose is to test the Terrigen crystal on her since her brother is an Inhuman, she could be also. In a surprising twist, she doesn’t turn, but Shockley does. They might not be blood siblings which could explain why she found it easy to dispose of her own brother or that she’s really psychopathic. We won’t find out because she gets killed in an explosion shown from the outside of the building as Shockley was undergoing terrigenesis. It’s a shame though that she’s killed immediately rendering that whole thing with her brother rather moot. If her purpose was to introduce the Superior, she’s a clever attempt to drag the story a bit. After SHIELD finds out what happened, Mace orders them to investigate while Phil is out elsewhere. Mace and team arrive to investigate the scene but again, Mace is delegated to answer the press instead of actually working which continues to annoy him. The team fails to detect any evidence of bomb material and takes their chances of Shockley still being at large.
In Spain, Agnes wasn’t so surprised at what she saw given her knowledge of Radcliffe’s work. She tells Phil that she’s Radcliffe’s dead end because she has a terminal illness Radcliffe can’t fix. He abandoned her and disappeared while she is spending her last days in Spain. Phil insists that she help to find Agent May, but she brushes them off. Mack disagrees with Phil in forcing Agnes to help as Phil appears to be taking things too personally for May at the cost of Agnes’ peace and ends up sitting it out.
We next see Shockley alive making his way back to a Watchdog base. Anton questions how he’s still alive and lies that it was Nadeer who turned and exploded because the terrigen was defective. Anton leaves, and later, the base gets attacked by SHIELD led by Daisy and captures Shockley.
Meanwhile, Coulson takes another shot at persuading Agnes to help by telling her his feelings for May and how Radcliffe kidnapped her and replaced her with an LMD. Agnes explains that Radcliffe has a good nature, but Coulson tells her how the Darkhold corrupted him. Agnes decides to help. Radcliffe later gets a message from Agnes and reveals to AIDA how she got her likeness. Radcliffe leaves and tells AIDA to finish the ‘framework’ but leaving her to ponder on her origin.
Daisy interrogates Shockley on the Zephyr while Fitz and Simmons try to detect any explosives from the evidence. They then deduce that Shockley was an exploding Inhuman just in time to prevent him from exploding in the Zephyr upon meeting Mace and Daisy. Mace, still trying to be relevant recklessly forces Shockley into a containment chamber with the help of Fitz. Shockley survives and later reconstitutes reminiscent of the Sandman in Spider-Man 3. The team deduces Shockley to be still alive and that only Daisy can counter his power. Mace tells them that Shockley has become the ultimate suicide bomber. He could be this universe’s version of the villain Nitro who was responsible for the Marvel Comics’ first Civil War event. Shockley later makes his way to a desert motel and confesses to the Superior what he’s become but remains true to their cause and that whatever they’re planning hasn’t changed. He then blows himself up again to gain SHIELD’s attention.
Agnes sets Radcliffe p to meet in a restaurant but gets a phone handed to her instead. Radcliffe explains that his new breakthrough can finally save her life. Agnes finds Radcliffe who persuades her that she can have another chance, not as an android but by living happily in another world. Radcliffe describes that he already has a thriving subject in that world. With such a promise, she chooses to go with Radcliffe leaving behind Coulson.
Meanwhile, SHIELD goes to confront Shockley in order to capture him. Daisy could not control his explosions but instead, decide to explode him instead in order to wear him out. However, they find out that Shockley isn’t alone. Anton is closing in on the team. Shockley’s real goal is to deliver Daisy and Mace to Anton. Mace decides to use the serum and confront Anton’s men. Daisy and team manage to capture Shockley but with Daisy weakened, they had to escape. Mace ends up getting captured by Anton.
In Radcliffe’s base, they upload Agnes’ mind into the ‘framework’ and then her body dies. Coulson understood Agnes’ choice but is actually relieved that May is still alive inside Radcliffe’s framework. Agnes is alive within the framework, and Radcliffe is satisfied with that but hints that the real body attached to it will eventually succumb which means curtains for May if she’s not rescued in time. AIDA meanwhile continues to exhibit some creepy emotion akin to jealousy and takes Agnes’ necklace for her own.
Overall, the episode is great and action packed. Almost everyone’s role here is well-balanced. Phil, Mack, Fitz, Simmons, AIDA and Radcliffe. Mace is the star of the show sincerely trying to help and stay relevant after he was discovered as not being inhuman. Unfortunately, he gets captured by The Superior leaving Coulson with two hands short and more to rescue. We could be in for a more interesting and exciting episode as the stakes are now much higher with SHIELD’s director held hostage and May’s life on the line. Meanwhile, Radcliffe is out to upload everyone into his Matrix-like world with the help of the Darkhold. AIDA is becoming more human, and The Superior has already read into the Darkhold and is a step closer to wiping out Inhumans. If you’re not into AOS yet, now’s the time.