After their confrontation with Shockley in last week’sAgents of SHIELD,” Mace is missing. The team pulls out all of the stops to rescue him, all while trying to figure out a way to save May as well. By the end of “The Man Behind the Shield” though, May isn’t the only one who has been replaced with a Life Model Decoy.

The framework is impressive

With Coulson knowing that Radcliffe has someone “in the framework,” Fitz and Simmons show off their virtual reality world that was created as a training tool. The idea was that agents could use it to train for missions.

(If you’re familiar with the X-Men, it’s an advanced version of the Danger Room.) Radcliffe has used the same contained technology that Fitz created to expand his “framework” to create an immersive world. The audience knows that’s where May’s mind is, but now we know a little bit more.

When the Superior moves to pull Radcliffe out of the framework, he’s warned that forcing him out will shred Radcliffe’s mind. In order to get May out (and anyone else who might end up there by the end of the episode), someone familiar with the programming, like Fitz and Simmons, will have to be the ones in charge.

If you want a Coulson-May romance, this is your episode

The show has been teasing the Coulson and May pretty heavily this season, but this episode gives the audience a flashback to one of their earliest missions.

Said mission involves a lot of flirting and talk of even earlier missions, one in which they had to pretend to be husband and wife. May, as it turns out, is also the one who suggests Coulson wears sunglasses to prevent people from telling when he’s lying as they look him in the eye.

There isn’t any obvious movement on the will-they, won’t-they of their friendship or otherwise in the present, but even if the past, we see that Coulson had picked up on tension between himself and May.

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Prior to May meeting the man she married, there was even a moment where they considered dating.

Fitz needs a confidence boost

Mack gives Fitz a serious dressing down when it comes to their current Life Model Decoy situation. Not only did Fitz help Radcliffe create Aida, but he also created the framework. As Mack points out to him, if Fitz hadn’t worked on either of these things, they wouldn’t have the problems they have now.

While we don’t see a ton of Fitz in the episode as a whole, Jemma does give him something of a pep talk when he begins to wallow in the guilt of creating “murder weapons” as he calls them. It’s a sweet moment where she reminds him that even though he should think about the implications of the things he creates, he can’t be blamed for someone else deciding to turn them into weapons. Jemma is absolutely right. After all, hasn’t that been a theme since the start of the show? Scientists creating something that can be used for good, only to have it co-opted by someone like Hydra to use for evil?

Everyone is an LMD

The final confrontation has Jemma making a revelation about her team. With missing time while they were all split up in the field, at least four of them are now LMDs.

Since Fitz and Simmons were together for most of the time they weren't likely replaced, but could the writers pull a fast one on us? Hopefully not since Fitz and Simmons are the two most capable of saving the day in this technologically heavy situation where they understand the science the most.

The verdict and what’s next

As evidenced by the lack of coverage of it here, Mace's story is the weakest of the episode. We probably didn’t need to see what the Watchdog group was doing to him and could have had more of the other story bits. Aside from that though, this episode did provide an interesting bridge between the beginning and end of the LMD storyline, which appears to be rapidly reaching its conclusion.

3 out of 5 stars.

In next week’s “Self Control,” Fitz and Simmons will have to take on their team of LMDs.