There were a few sub plots wrapped up here, which is nice. It’s good to see the plot moving forward a bit. There was also a new sort of villain introduced, though it’s not super clear how long he’ll end up lasting. He’s effectively the leader of the Watchdogs, I guess. This also gave us some background for the motivations of The Watchdogs as well as a bit of insight on Agent Coulson in the bigger picture world, since he is supposed to be dead and all.
More importantly, we got the return of Agent Koenig, as well as Agent Koenig, and the introduction of Agent Koenig and another character, also named Koenig. In addition to the kooky twins, triplets, whatever joke, I really enjoy Koenig when he shows up because he feels sort of like a 4th wall “Voice of the Fans” sort of fanboy, which makes for even more good jokes. His presents definitely made this episode a good one, but I’ll get more detail on that with…
The Spoiler Zone!
So there are a couple of running sub plots here but all of them pertain to tracking down the Darkhold. It turns out that the previously mentioned “Agent who can make things disappear” that Coulson mentioned giving the Darkhold to is Agent Koenig, specifically, Billy. The show starts off with Billy Koenig and his twin brother Sam Koenig on some sort of operation, being followed by Watchdogs. They manage to elude them for a bit but the Watchdogs manage to kidnap Billy. They also, don’t seem to quite realize that there are two identical people, which causes some confusion. Shield picks up Sam in an effort to find the whereabouts of Billy, and the Darkhold.
Unfortunately, Sam was unable to continue tracking the Watchdogs. Meanwhile, Fitz is working on reviving the previously shot Not Radcliffe LMD in order to interrogate it in an effort to find Doctor Radcliffe. Unfortunately, Not Radcliffe also doesn’t know where Radcliffe is located either, or that’s what he claims, and begins instead doing his best to agitate Fitz over his failures and weaknesses by bringing up Fitz’s poor relationship with his father. Kind of curious here, this seems to be more sudden backstory akin to Mack and his lost daughter from last episode. Could Fitz’s father make some kind of appearance later in the series, or is this just a continuation of some trend in trying to flesh out these characters a bit more.
Throughout the episode, the interrogation pretty much gets them nowhere but a few revelations are made regarding the LMDs. First, Fitz finds some suspicious and complex code embedded inside the program of the LMD. This leads to the discovery that the LMD has a light based quantum brain inside it’s head. There’s also a brief conversation between Mack and Not Radcliffe about what constitutes having a soul and what really differentiates a robot from a human. The revelation of the brain and a comment from Not Radcliffe about “Brains” causes Simmons to remember that there was another brain imaged, May’s which leads them to conclude May is also an LMD.
Oh right and during his meltdown over his father, Fitz kisses Simmons. It’s probably happened before that I’m forgetting, but it felt like something that hasn’t really happened much. Not much comes from it but considering how long it feels like they have been dancing around Fitz-Simmons, it was a nice change of pace to FINALLY get something from these two.
As for the real Radcliffe, he’s holed up in a submarine with some Russians, the captain of the sub seems to be the leader of the Watchdogs, and is really into torture. It seems this guy is also The Superior who keep hearing about, which is kind of a letdown honestly, he’s not that amazing. When classic intimidation fails to get Billy to talk, and Radcliffe refuses to let the captain harm Koenig, they resort to a different strategy. Radcliffe and Aida use their gear to create an image of Koenig’s mind, which Radcliffe them plays back to learn the location of the Darkhold.
Except all they learn is that Billy gave the Darkhold to Sam, whom they don’t have. It turns out, that having Sam isn’t super useful either, since Sam apparently gave the book to a third Koenig, LT Koenig. Coulson and crew head out to pick up LT Koenig, if they can find him. They manage to track the last known location of LT to a hipster night club where, Koenig is performing on stage, protesting how the people are all sheep and the government is not to be trusted! Except it turns out that this Koenig is not LT at all it’s Thurston Koenig, who seems to be the only Koenig who isn’t an Agent. It turns out LT is present however, except LT is the sister to the brothers. That brings us to 5 Koenigs, counting the deceased Eric.
This whole escapade also leads them in a loop since LT had given the Darkhold back to Billy. They all head back to the Zephyre for safe keeping. Sam (maybe it was LT) suggests there is a hidden SHIELD vault called the Labyrinth that Billy probably took the book to for safe keeping. Around this time, Radcliffe has also discovered the location of the Labyrinth via the memory copy.
The Superior is skeptical however and decides it’s time to torture Billy to confirm the information (because he really loves torture). Aida dispatches the two Russian guards however and The Superior agrees to spare Billy. He also of course learns that Aida is an LMD and not a human.
Before wrapping things up as everyone converges on the book, I wanted to mention a bit where Sam Koenig and Daisy are using some surveillance to search for clues to where Billy was taken. Sam is completely fanboying over Quake, which is pretty funny to start with, and clearly annoying Daisy. She mentions how she isn’t super fond of the name Quake to start with and how she is the same Skye that he met before, which also is kind of showing in this scene, she actually seems a lot more Skye in this episode in general. Anyway Koenig also asks if she’s seen any of her fan sites, with the fan art, or fan fiction between Quake and Black Widow… being dirty. Also pretty funny. Also something I imagine actually exists. There’s pretty much Fanfiction for and Character A X Character B these days.
Anyway, SHIELD arrives first to recover the Darkhold, Sam, Coulson and May go to the vault while LT and Daisy stand look out elsewhere. There is a brief period where Sam goes into the vault leaving Coulson and May alone. They have a brief discussion about their relationship before having a brief kiss. Sam returns at this time with the book and hands it over to May just as the Watchdogs arrive. Now, keep in mind, May’s programming is to recover the book, which she has just done. Sam heads off to catch up with Daisy and LT and May pulls a gun on Coulson.
Coulson puts two and two together and realizes she is an LMD, though it’s still possible he’s known/suspected. He mentions that the real May would never betray him, NotMay argues that she doesn’t have a choice. In the end, she doesn’t have a choice, Daisy shows up and plasters her against the wall crippling her. Remember before, Fitz and Simmons discovered the truth of NotMay, well they had let Daisy know. Coulson and Daisy recover the book and head out to meet with the Koenigs.
They also meet with the Watchdogs, who have brought Billy to use to negotiate for the book. Daisy dispatches the Watchdogs using her powers along with the help of LT. One of the Koenigs recovers the book and exits the fight post haste with it.
During his escape, the Koenig, I don’t remember which, I can’t keep them straight anymore, find May. Unaware that she is an LMD, he heads over to help her, except she knocks him out and recovers the book again. Her possession of the book is short lived however, Radcliffe shows up and takes it from her, leaving her for dead.
Back ad SHIELD base, they incinerate the Radcliffe LMD and spare Aida head, though they keep NotMay since they don’t know the fate of real May and NotMay is possibly all that is left. Coulson couldn’t let her go.
Meanwhile Radcliffe and the Superior have the book, The Superior reveals his ultimate plan, after using the book to eliminate the Inhumans, he wants to use it to eliminate the mystery man who has been present during so many alien crisis across the planet, the one who is supposed to be dead, the one who was still alive and present that night, Agent Coulson.
Not much to go on here. The previews suggests a lot of good action next episode, including from Director Mace. I kind of hope for more Daisy, she was working in pretty good form this episode during the fight sequences.
I’m also going to throw out something I thought of recently, sort of a real long ball speculation. The next upcoming marvel movie is Thor Ragnarok. There’s often some sort of tie in between Agents of Shield and the movies. In the comics, Ragnarok is a robot replica of Thor. Now I doubt that robot Thor shows up in the show, and who knows if Ragnarok will have anything to do with the Robot Thor angle from the comics, but it is a possible connection. It might be interesting if they try to tie it in with some sort of “Prototype super LMD” based on maybe, Lorelai or Lady Sif? Both are Thor related characters who have been on the show, someone bases their super LMD on one of them, and the tie in reveal is that there is one step up with the “real deal” Robo Thor? I know it’s a stretch, but it was something I thought up I figures would be worth throwing out.