S.H.I.E.L.D. Recap: Blasts From the Past

Agents of SHIELD Season 4 Recap

This week on ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., we learned of the past event that both landed Coulson on The Superior’s radar as well as planted the seed for a romance that recently has been on the verge of blooming anew.

Searching for Director Mace, who was captured by the Watchdogs at the end of last week’s mission, Coulson & Co. followed the GPS on the Patriot suit to a bunker in Nome, Alaska. There, they found the abandoned armor and a wall map that documented myriad Coulson sightings over the years, all over the globe. One photo is of an old mining facility in Russia that Anton Ivanov aka The Superior owns — and which is all too familiar to Phil.

In a series of flashbacks, we learned that “some time ago,” Level 4 field agent Phil Coulson and downright peppy Level 3 specialist Melinda May were tasked with retrieving an 084 object from that mining facility, only to bump up against some Russkies — Ivanov included — in search of same. When Coulson got captured, May T-boned the baddies’ getaway van and rescued her colleague. Ivanov’s comrades were later executed for failing, for which he in turns holds Coulson accountable. On the drive away from that op, Coulson and May joked about their respective sad love lives and made a handshake agreement that, if May’s next date with a civilian went south, they would go for “drinks.” But then we learn that May’s date is with “a shrink,” meaning future husband Andrew. Raincheck!

Back in the current timeline….

Daisy deduces that Ivanov is holed up in the old detention facility where his comrades had been tortured and killed. Upon jetting to the location and storming it through the hole they blasted in an external wall, Fitz and Simmons head downstairs to (unsuccessfully) seek out Radcliffe’s base of operations, while Coulson, verbally, followed by Daisy, physically, whale on Ivanov. Powerless Mace, meanwhile, is getting a brutal beatdown in his cell when Mack shows up to intervene, with an assist from an arriving Coulson. The two then carry the battered Mace to the rendezvous point at the sub dock.

Back aboard the Zephyr, Simmons is vexed by the peculiar “timetable” of events in Russia — namely, how for stretches of time the comms went out, and how Daisy took so long to meet up with the team after her brawl with Ivanov. Just as FitzSimmons start wrapping their head around the several incongruities, they are alerted to the fact that the blast door’s LMD scanning system had been disabled — by Coulson. What was he trying to hide? An LMD scan revealing that the Coulson, Mack, Mace and Daisy that returned from the op are all android duplicates.

What’s more, the audience learns in the final tag, LMD Coulson seems to have smuggled into his room the LMD May. Kinky.

What did you think of the episode “The Man Behind the Shield”?

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