The “Agents of SHIELD” put a plan in place to get into Nadeer’s office again, but there’s a lot more going on than a simply attempt at distracting a politician. In addition to Daisy attending a hearing while Coulson and Elena sneak into Nadeer’s office, Fitz and Simmons have a disagreement and the Life Model Decoys prove a difficult challenge for May.

Everyone is upset about something

If there’s one common thread running through this episode, it’s that everyone is upset about something. Elena wants to know what Mack is hiding. Coulson and Talbot can’t agree on how SHIELD should proceed.

Daisy feels no need to hide her disdain for Nadeer during her hearing. Fitz and Simmons have a wedge between them in the form of LMD technology.

If the point here is that working for SHIELD is not conducive to happy relationships, mission accomplished. Of course, that’s not really the case, is it? Instead, it’s more that this tightly knit group of people has had their dynamics shifted without their consent and the strain is finally starting to show.

Fitz's obsession

As one of the only lasting romantic relationships on the show, Jemma being so quick to call Fitz looking into Aida's programming an obsession is a little troubling, but very reflective of how they approach their problems: he studies them, while she wants to bury them.

I definitely look forward to seeing how this particular strain in their relationship helps them grow since they always bounce back stronger than before.

Mack reveals Hope to Elena

If you were still ruminating at just who was in that picture labeled “Hope” that we saw when audiences last saw Ghost Rider, you’re in luck! Sadly, it turns out that Mack had a daughter who died 11 years ago.

Tragic backstory aside, this does give us another layer to Mack’s character. Mack gets a lot of great one-liners and he’s always the guy who says what the audience is thinking, but there’s more to him than that. It’s about time we got to know him a little bit better.

Elena runs away with the episode

In all honesty, even with so many plot-heavy pieces in place in this episode, Natalia Cordova-Buckley really runs away with this one.

As Elena, she gets to be sassy, cocky, pushy, and all around fun on this show. Here, she gets to do all that, and get over her first relationship bump with Mack. Elena was such an inspired addition to the show last season, and she really brings a fresh feel to the episodes she’s in. I genuinely hope if/when the show gets a season five that she becomes a regular.

May’s grand escape

We see May try to escape Radcliffe and Aida throughout the hour, but we all knew that was all in her head, right? Leading the episode off with her “spa day” was a bit of a giveaway there. Seeing that with every scenario May is learning a little bit more and making it a little bit further indicates that she might be able to outsmart Radcliffe...eventually.

Hopefully she does it before Coulson and LMD-May (who now knows what she is) get too close.

Radcliffe is an LMD

Did anyone see this comic book twist coming? Simmons lays into Fitz when she worries his investigation into Aida caused a leak to Nadeer, getting SHIELD into some trouble. As I predicted last week though, it’s that very investigation that causes Fitz to realize that Radcliffe changed Aida’s programming, but that’s not all he finds out. Radcliffe is one sneaky guy. He’s got his own LMD, which is who SHIELD takes into custody. Where in the world are Radcliffe, Aida, and May now? And when will the men in Fitz’s life stop betraying him?

The verdict and what’s next

This episode really delivered on the fun comic book twists, and it’s definitely piqued my interest in what’s next since May can’t reveal she’s an LMD to the team. How will she make them learn the truth?

4 out of 5 stars.

Agents of SHIELD” brings “Hot Potato Soup” and the return of the Koenigs next week!