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REVIEW: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×13 “BOOM!”

This week’s episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was aptly titled with it’s to-the-point, “BOOM!” With the Superior now known to S.H.I.E.L.D. and viewers alike, Episode 13 was chalk-full of truth bombs as well as actual bombs.

Spoilers ahead!

The main goal for S.H.I.E.L.D. is to track down and recover the still-missing Agent May and, as it turns out, the best way to do this is through finding the woman behind the first LMD.

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Coulson and Mack are living it up in sunny Spain, tracking a woman by the name of Agnes who is the literal face behind Aida. The former girlfriend of Holden Radcliffe wants nothing to do with the mad scientist, understandably still bitter about the fact that he left her while she had a brain tumor, but wavers when Coulson tells her about May. She agrees to help and sends Radcliffe a message through a secret online channel, asking that he come meet her so she can find closure before she does.

Radcliffe takes the bait but winds up convincing Agnes to come with him, telling her all about the Framework he’s built where she can live her best life forever.

While Mack and Coulson aren’t able to find much of a lead where Agnes is concerned, overhearing Radcliffe mentioning that he has another subject within the Framework gives Coulson renewed hope at finding May.

Elsewhere on the bad guy front, the Superior enacts the next part of his plan to rid the world of Inhumans. After, “glancing,” at the Darkhold, Russian Baddie #1 sends his best Watchdog to the office of Senator Nadeer… along with a Terrigen crystal that Radcliffe had stolen while working for Hive. While the plan was to chuck the rock in order to determine whether or not Nadeer carries the same genes as her brother, in a surprise turn of events it’s actually the Watchdog who promptly becomes encased in an Inhuman cocoon.

He just as quickly explodes and immediately kills Nadeer and her security guards.

Not good.

While S.H.I.E.L.D. sends FitzSimmons, Daisy, and Mace to investigate the scene of the crime, they walk away with very little information or understanding as to what kind of device could cause an explosion without leaving any trace…

Meaning they don’t know that it’s actually Shockley (the Watchdog) who is responsible…

Meaning that when Daisy captures him, nobody realizes that they’ve brought a ticking time-bomb onto the Quinjet.

Unfortunately, Shockley is quite literally a suicide bomber, disgusted by the fact that he’s an Inhuman and all too happy to use his powers to take out the two most famous Inhumans in the world (“Mace” and Quake). He begins the process of exploding but thanks to Fitz and Mace being quick on their feet, he’s shoved into a containment module and pushed off the plane just before he can take it, and everyone in it, down.

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The newest Inhuman respawns somewhere in desert America and manages to find the one building in an x-hundred mile radius. He makes a phone call to the Superior, confessing to the Russian that he was the one who transformed in Nadeer’s office and vowing to use his new role as an abomination to take out all others like him.

S.H.I.E.L.D. of course tracks the call and devises a plan to use Daisy’s control over vibrations to subdue Shockley (whose powers work at some sort of kinetic frequency) long enough for FitzSimmons to trap him in an enormous device that they whipped up in like, ten minutes. While the trio succeeds in their plan, the victory is only made possible due to the sacrifice of the S.H.I.E.L.D. Director.

As it turns out, Shockley was using himself as bait to lure Quake and Mace to his location while the Superior and his Russian lackeys were waiting to ambush them. Mace takes one for the team, injecting himself with the super-serum that Simmons had warned him could kill him and staving off the Russians while the rest of his team took care of Shockley. Unfortunately, Mace is captured in the process- seen as a prized commodity to the Inhuman haters who still don’t know that Jeffrey is not, in fact, Inhuman.

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This was a fine episode of S.H.I.E.L.D. that, though not quite as strong as last week, certainly allowed for a bit of progress to be made where the overarching arc of this installment of the show is concerned. While much of the allusions made last week were largely ignored this week in favor of another Inhumans V. Inhuman Haters showdown, the few teases that popped up here and there reaffirmed that we won’t be in the dark forever.

It felt like there was a lot of stuffing to get from point A to B, but there were enough fun moments for it to not be too cumbersome to sit through. While I wouldn’t go so far as to call, “BOOM!,” a filler episode, I do think that it’s one meant to build up to something else rather than to stand alone.

Episode Grade: B-

Episode Highs:

  • I’m really loving the fact that, as the season progresses, the original trio of Fitz, Simmons, and Daisy (affectionately dubbed the “Bus Kids” across social media) have been able to share more scenes with one another. It’s always delightful watching Daisy deal with the scientific-babbling of her adoptive siblings, and FitzSimmons dealing with Daisy’s feigned exasperation, and theirs is a dynamic that we’ll hopefully continue to see more of.
  • Mallory Jansen did an excellent job playing double-duty this week. While she’s already done well at portraying the various incarnations of Aida, this week she crushed it playing an entirely different, and completely human, character while simultaneously portraying Aida.
  • Jemma smacking Fitz and telling him to quick being so self-sacrificial, though played off humorously, felt like a seriously important interaction between the two. Considering Jemma’s had to deal with Fitz giving her the last breath of oxygen at the bottom of the ocean, jumping through a hole in the universe, and just generally putting himself in harms way to protect the people he cares about (namely her) it’s no surprise that she finally snapped and told him to quit it and I’m glad that (even though it was quick and funny) we got to see Jemma call Fitz out for his act first, think later, habits.

 

Episode Lows:

  • There were more football references than the Superbowl which… I guess is good if you like football? (The only good one was Jemma comforting Mace by telling him he’d eventually figure out his role on the, “footy squad.”)
  • I think that the fact that I couldn’t tell which of the two plots of the episode was the B plot might be indicative of the fact that neither really sprung out as the plot.

Additional Thoughts:

  • I’m still not convinced that the Superior is the Superior.

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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