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REVIEW: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×05 “Lockup”

Wait a minute… I thought Prison Break wasn’t coming back until 2017?!?!

“Lockup,” really should have been named, “Breakout,” because very few of those locked up actually stayed that way by the close of the episode.

While impossible to top last week, the fifth episode of season 4 did manage to maintain the forward momentum of its predecessors. There was a bit more information and sub-plot this week, but a fair bit of it introduced new mysteries and questions that should carry on through the season, or at the very least the remainder of 4A.

Spoilers ahead!

While last week focused on the agents on the ground, this week picked up once again with the political head-butting occurring behind the scenes (yet entirely out in the open) in the political spectrum. The reemergence of S.H.I.E.L.D. in the public only seems to have increased the outcry towards what the organization represents and, more specifically, who it is aiming to protect. Senator Nadeer is still taking to the media to voice her anti-Inhuman beliefs but this time she actually has someone to tear into. With Mace now known to the world as the new leader of this old organization, Nadeer has a tangible opponent with which she can spar. And boy does she. Despite having Simmons spouting off facts in his earpiece, Nadeer seems to get the upper hand by mentioning the prison raid that the Director doesn’t know anything about.

Which brings us to…

While Mace and Simmons are trying to keep S.H.I.E.L.D. looking good, Coulson and Co. are down on the ground infiltrating a prison in search of Eli Morrow. While transferring Morrow into S.H.I.E.L.D.’s custody should be easy now that the organization is back in the open with some modicum of respect… the fact that Lucy got there first and infected half the prisoners while releasing the others certainly makes things more difficult.

Daisy and Robbie are both still in their, “I work alone,” phases and make that pretty clear by going against Coulson, Mack, and May and taking their respective adversaries on solo. For Robbie, this means taking out a prisoner locked behind bars who just happens to be a former member of the gang that left little bro Gabe in a wheelchair.

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For Daisy, this means locking Coulson and May out of what becomes a fight club between her and all of the released prisoners chasing them. Obviously Daisy’s surrogate parents are not happy with her suicidal solo-op and, after saving her butt, let her know that if they were her real parents… she’d probably be grounded.

Adding to the list of issues from this pretty terribly planned op, Eli Morrow ends up being kidnapped by Lucy the Ghost and taken to Momentum Labs to figure out how to reverse whatever damage the Dark Hold has done.

And then we have the tag…

A meet-up between Senator Nadeer and Director Mace. (Dang it… forget what I said the other week… Mace is back on the DON’T TRUST list.) Nadeer clues Mace into the presence of Robbie and threatens to release the footage of Coulson and Co’s trip to the prison to the media. Of course, being a slave to approval numbers, Mace can’t have it leaked that S.H.I.E.L.D. has teamed up with a flaming murderer and will do anything to prevent it from going public. Including asking Nadeer, “What do you want?”

This seems to be further confirmation that Nadeer will serve as the season’s big bad… with Mace now firmly back in the, “keep an eye on,” category.

From what I can tell, whatever issues arise with the Dark Hold and Momentum’s ghosts will likely be largely taken care of by the midseason finale. S.H.I.E.L.D. has been fairly consistent with providing two baddies early on, with one often serving as a pseudo-red herring to diminish the threat of the other. I think this pattern will likely continue this year because we all know that this Dark Hold business have likely been inserted into the show as a connection to the upcoming Doctor Strange. With the film premiering stateside in a little over a week, the tie-ins shouldn’t be as necessary to the, “it’s all connected,” motto in the back half of the season… meaning Nadeer and whatever her brother will wind up being will likely grow as antagonists as the season progresses.

Episode Grade: B

Episode Highs:

  • Can we get a slow clap for Jemma Simmons everybody? Jemma Simmons who infiltrated Hydra, survived 6 months on another planet, and withstood various forms of torture in order to keep those she loves, and those she doesn’t even know, safe from harm. Do you really think she couldn’t handle a lie-detector test? She is an innately pragmatic individual, which, though often misinterpreted as being less emotional or personable than her peers, actually makes her infinitely more adept at dealing with people. She studies. She takes in every piece of visual, auditory, and written information around her and utilizes it to her advantage. As was the case when she completely owned Mace, navigating around her own lie detector test by making it very clear that she herself is a lie detector… and knows that Mace has been less than truthful. Plus that pleased smirk was glorious.

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  • Daisy’s fight-scene in the prison was an exciting one to witness because it’s the first time in awhile that she hasn’t been exclusively reliant on her powers. It was a visual, and visceral, reminder that Daisy was a trained S.H.I.E.L.D. agent long before she was an Inhuman, and can handle herself even without her not-so-secret weapon.
  • The scene between May and Daisy was very much needed and very much appreciated. Perhaps nobody understands the emotions roiling around Daisy as much as her former SO, which made the heart-to-heart an important one. Much of the guilt, anger, and sorrow that Daisy is currently experiencing is something that May herself has dealt with and her vocalizing this fact was unbelievably important for both characters.

Episode Lows:

  • It might just be me but, so far, I am completely disinterested in the whole Lucy/Dark Hold storyline. It feels like it’s taking away from some of the more exciting plots that are currently being explored and, while I know that it’s the story that seems to by tying all of the others together, I hope it’s one that is resolved by the midseason finale so we don’t have to deal with it in 4B.

Additional Thoughts:

  • We still don’t know what will emerge from the still-solid, post-Terrigenesis, rock but… pretty sure it won’t be good.
  • I feel like I should care more about next week’s Robbie-centric/ Ghost Rider origin story episode than I actually do.

What did you think about the latest episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D? Let us know on Twitter or in the comments below!

About the author

Silje Falck-Pedersen

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