Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. “The Man Behind The Shield” Recap and Review
Last week on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., there were plenty of explosions from a new Inhuman, Senator Nadeer died, and Director Mace was taken by Anton Ivanov and the Watchdogs. This week, Ivanov literally dug up skeletons from Coulson past, Mace got roughed up, and there was a major plot twist. Here are the highlights from “The Man Behind The Shield”.
The episode kicked off with a pretty badass spar between Daisy and Coulson. Things ended with Coulson floating mid-air. The entire thing was a demonstration of how the Framework, a virtual reality system originally created by Fitz to help agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. train, operates. Users can still feel sensations like pain and temperature within the system. Fitz’s version is a contained and not as wide as Radcliffe’s. After Mack gave the Framework a try, he voiced his displeasure that everything Fitz has created recently has caused them trouble. Things get a little touchy between the pair before Mack heads out.
At the Watchdog base, Radcliffe seemed to be spending quite a bit of time in his own Framework, much to Ivanov’s displeasure. Fitz and Simmons later discover that Radcliffe’s system is processing its data all over the world. That much processing power means his Framework is massive. Fitz suggested it was made possible by the Darkhold.
The Russia Mission
The GPS in Director Mace’s suit led to a base in Alaska where the team found article cut-outs and photos of Coulson all over a wall. Daisy managed to pull up an old report on Ivanov and Coulson noted that he was involved as well. We got a series of flashbacks throughout the episode of a mission in Russian where Coulson was sent to retrieve a 0-8-4 (an object of unknown origin). A younger and more carefree Melinda May popped in. We got some great banter between the two. Things went south and May ended up saving Coulson.
In the present, Coulson, Daisy, and Mack along with a few unnamed agents return to the location of that mission. They discovered skeletons dressed in the uniforms of the SVR soldiers Coulson and May faced. Ivanov called on a cell phone placed inside the mouth of one of the skulls. He explained to Coulson that he blamed him for the death of his comrades and even dug up their bodies to pay his respects…creepy.
Mace, Ivanov, and a cell
Mace got roughed up this week. As you can guess, he and the leader of the Watchdogs did not get along. Ivanov tried to convince the Director to turn against S.H.I.E.L.D., citing that they have filled his veins with poison and were not a true beacon of humanity. He also criticized Coulson’s motives saying he used everyone as a shield (the government, Nick Fury, Stark, and other agents) while plotting the alien takeover. Mace saw Ivanov as a conspiracy theorist and refused to side with him.
In another room, Ivanov reminded Aida that she is fake. He had already explained to Radcliffe that he agreed to work with him, not his machine.
When he returned later, Ivanov gave Mace one last chance to denounce Coulson and S.H.I.E.L.D. Instead, Mace says, “I believe in Agent Coulson. I believe in S.H.I.E.L.D.” Mace is surprised when Ivanov cuts him loose saying he is a pawn. His relief didn’t last long as several Watchdogs entered the room and began beating him.
Coulson and the agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. arrived at Ivanov’s base to rescue May and Mace shortly after the cell scene. Ivanov explained to Coulson that because his team failed to recover the 0-8-4 May and Coulson took they were killed. In his research of S.H.I.E.L.D., he found Coulson at the center and targeted him for his revenge. Daisy arrived and quickly tossed the Russian Watchdog so Coulson could go look for May. An awesome fight ensued. The result: Daisy got stabbed in the shoulder and Ivanov was knocked out by a pillar.
FitzSimmons Big Discovery
At the Watchdogs base, Fitz gained access to the computer system while Gemma went to take on Aida. Unfortunately, the android escaped on a submarine with May. Fitz ended up taking a hard drive to examine back at S.H.I.E.L.D. In the lab, Gemma noted that the timetable for the mission was off and that there was a period of time where no one was in communication with each other. They discover that the LMD detection for the base had been disabled and the system report had been deleted. After more digging, they learned the system was accessed by Coulson.
They looked at the report which revealed that the LMD sensor went off. It turns out that Coulson, Mack, Daisy, and Mace were replaced by life model decoys. In the final moments of the episode, Aida found an unconscious Ivanov. She said that everything had gone to plan and the Watchdog superior had not yet served his purpose. LMD Coulson also reactivated LMD May.
Final thoughts on this week’s Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
The plot twist this episode revealed was a jaw dropper. I didn’t think so many members of the team would be replaced by LMDs, especially Daisy, an inhuman. I figured she wouldn’t be an option because her abilities were impossible to replicate. Who knows what’s possible with the Darkhold though. It seems that Radcliffe’s plans are even deeper than viewers imagined. I’m excited to see how Fitz and Simmons deal with it. Chloe Bennett, who plays Daisy, stated in an Instagram post that next week’s episode is written and directed by Jed Whedon and will be the end of the LMD arc. I’m excited to see how it all plays out.
What did you think of “The Man Behind the Shield”?
Kira McCall covers entertainment for MFST. You can follow her on Twitter at cocovanilla45 and kiramira_.