Synopsis 4×11: May and LMD May struggle under the control of Radcliffe. SHIELD faces interrogation over the Sokovia Accords.
From here, Agent May sits trapped in the loop of endless spa days, before awakening, leading to what was seen last episode (The Patriot), where May realizes that she is trapped in a mental loop. “I knew it wasn’t real.”
Aida questions the logic behind keeping May alive, with Radcliffe responding that they are not killers. He also hints at another Life Model Decoy (LMD), before cutting to LMD May. This cut proves to be a red herring as there is, in fact, a third LMD outside of Aida and May.
LMD May seems confused by her situation, questioning her own reality, while the real Agent May finds herself trapped in a loop of mental challenges as Radcliffe and Aida seek to keep her under their control. With each attempt at escape, she is thwarted, but a residual memory remains, as her ability to escape improves each time.
As Daisy (Chloe Bennet) enters a courtroom to be sworn under the Sokovia Accords, Coulson (Clark Gregg) and Yo-Yo (Natalia Cordova-Buckley) attempt to break into and bug Senator Nadeen’s (Parminder Nagra) office. Daisy stands up for Inhumans (mirroring the arguments for protections of immigrants in many ways), before Coulson and Yo-Yo are caught, which is used against Daisy and all of SHIELD. Coulson spins this as a positive, that now they know to look for a leak.
Fitz continues in his study of Aida 1, only to discover that she is likely controlled and programmed by Radcliffe, as opposed to having reached her sentience with the Darkhold. LMD May confronts Radcliffe only to realize her programming denies her the ability to tell anyone of her true state. She is as trapped as the real Agent May.
For Fitz, he uncovers that truth of Radcliffe, with SHIELD arresting Radcliffe. Unfortunately, they may be wrong about Radcliffe, and the comment on the “other” LMD proves true: Radcliffe is an LMD, and Fitz shoots him (one of the most badass moments of the episode). Radcliffe is the leak to Nadeen.
As a side story, Mack and Yo-Yo continue to develop their relationship, with Mack opening up about his past and the loss of his child. For me, I like the two of them together, so I hope their storyline continues to develop without much drama. Mack deserves something good after all this time on the show.
Before the episode concludes, we see one final glimpse of May. Radcliffe has rewritten her loop, she is now reliving her experience in Bahrain, but this time, she saves the little girl. Fighting, but with ultimate peace at the end of it. And can she find peace in love as well? The trap continues.
Overall, we are seeing a return to the AoS of the past. The stakes make far more sense, with politics motivating many characters’ actions. However, there is still some faltering in over-arching storyline. Now that SHIELD has returned to the public’s attention, it would seem the logical thing to do was to act above board, however, Agent Coulson still seems motivated in some ways by what SHIELD used to be, taking risks and invading privacy that seems… illegal.
In particular, his attempted bugging of Senator Nadeer seems criminal. Yes, they suspect that she is trying to harm Inhumans, and yes, we saw her take the life of her own brother, but it still seems outside of the purview of SHIELD to bug her office. Why not simply follow her outside of her political position to find out what she is doing? I highly doubt that she calls the Watchdogs from her government phone. She is a worthy opponent, but the methods the characters employ seems sloppy. Not nearly as technologically advanced as what has been seen in the past.
Further, I’m still waiting for Jemma and Fitz to prove their nerdy worth again. Fitz began to with his reactivation of Aida 1 and his uncovering of Radcliffe, but I miss the days of them sitting in a lab solving problems. Maybe we’ll get back to that too.