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

If you would like to read my review of the last episode, click here.

Synopsis: Mace fights for his life while Coulson and team find themselves in a deadly cat-and-mouse game as they attempt his rescue. (Agents of SHIELD Wiki)

Writer: Matt Owens

Director: Wendey Stanzler

Rating: TV-PG

Running Time: 45mins

This episode was pretty much standard fare until a miraculous twist at the end. It was surprising to say the least and I’m not exactly sure what to make of it but more on that later.

The last episode ended by Mace being taken by the Superior so it was now time to get him back. They managed to track his suit to some sort of warehouse in Alaska where Coulson finds a board full of pictures of him. They then went to a special mining facility. The significance of this place was that Coulson went on a mission there with May a long time ago.

This mission offered a glimpse of Coulson and May before they became the people we now know. Both Coulson and May are close but they were even closer back then, seeming to be involved romantically. Coulson’s mission, for who May later showed up, was to retrieve an 084 from the facility and bring it back to SHIELD. In doing so, Coulson was caught temporarily before he was saved by May. In the melee, men from the Superior’s former unit were killed. He blamed Coulson for what happened and then found out about the other stuff he did while researching him. Perhaps a little underwhelming but that’s okay.

As they were investigating the facility, the show cut between both investigations and it was nice to see the contrast between then and now. They then went to an old submarine base in Russia where they were able to find Mace. The Superior tried to break him with torture but Mace never gave in, knowing that SHIELD was going to come for him and that they did, obviously.

Once they arrived at the base, Coulson and Daisy ran into the Superior who was ready for them. They fought but Daisy ultimately came out on top by dropping cement on him. We are not done with him apparently as Aida claimed that he hadn’t served his purpose yet. The Superior has been a disappointment so far this season. His motivations are weak and his dialogue, for the most part, has been on the cheesy side.

Since Radcliffe was busy in his framework, he left Aida in charge. Working with the Superior was not easy as he did not trust her and she did not seem to trust him either. She hid some of her abilities from him and actually appeared to show remorse while Mace was being beaten. She did not necessarily believe in what was being done but this was against her programming.

Also since May was in Radcliffe’s framework somewhere, Fitz tried to tried to track its origin but couldn’t find anything because of its sophisticated signal. They believed the source of the framework was in the sub base but it lacked enough power to run it. Fitz was able to salvage some equipment from the base to try and get more information. They received a potential Aida sighting but when Simmons went to investigate, she had just gotten away.

Communications were in and out and there was a slight delay before everyone got reunited. Daisy wanted to go after them but with Mace injured, Coulson called it off. Back at the base, Simmons remembered the delay and along with the com troubles, things didn’t seem right to her and Fitz. As soon as that happened, Simmons received an alert saying that the blast door LMD scanner was disabled and the report deleted by Coulson but she still found a copy. The report claimed the scanner detected 4 LMDs as Coulson, Mack, Daisy, and Mace were walking in. If you need anymore proof that something wasn’t right, fake Coulson turned fake May back on.

Overall, this was an okay episode, elevated by the twist at the end. I have no idea why or how they did it but it definitely made things more interesting. With Fitz and Simmons seemingly being the only humans left, I can’t wait to see where it all goes. When you think you know Radcliffe and Aida’s end game, things keep changing.

Score: 8/10

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