Marvel’s 'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' Reveals Another LMD Impostor in “Wake Up”

Wednesday, 25 January 2017 - 11:52AM
Marvel
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D
Wednesday, 25 January 2017 - 11:52AM
Marvel’s 'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' Reveals Another LMD Impostor in “Wake Up”
This week, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D stuck with the trend of meaningful reveals and unexpected twists in what continues to be its strongest season yet. In "Wake Up", we finally learn who was responsible for the leak, although viewers probably weren't too surprised to discover it was Radcliffe, as his selfish ways and lack of morals are all too familiar. The real shock came from learning that Radcliffe has an LMD counterpart.

There has been speculation among fans for some time now that Radcliffe had placed another LMD within S.H.I.E.L.D. The common consensus was that an LMD Fitz would be the most likely option, especially after we saw both Fitz and Radcliffe get knocked out by Aida since this would have been the best time to make the switch. As it turns out, Radcliffe took that chance to run. His plan to steal the Darkhold using Aida backfired, and it was only a matter of time before someone found out that he was the leak.

Now that the LMD Radcliffe has been damaged, it looks like the other androids are on their own. LMD May is having an identity crisis, and if she's as much like the real May as she seems to be, that could serve to make her even more dangerous than before. As far as Aida being left to her own devices, that's probably cause for more immediate concern. She doesn't have the same motivations as LMD May, and so there's no point in her cooperating with the S.H.I.E.L.D. team. It should be especially interesting to see if she refrains from killing for the "greater good" in the absence of Radcliffe's dubious moral guidance. If Aida discovers that LMD Radcliffe wasn't the real one, could that make her reconsider his moral stance on killing? Or has she been aware that Radcliffe was an android? The exact extent to which the LMDs are allowed to make their own judgment calls isn't always clear at this point, so we have to wait and see what will happen now that Radcliffe is no longer there to look after them.

After finding out that Radcliffe wasn't what he seemed, the rest of the team might be more likely to keep an eye out for LMDs in their midst. The question now is how long LMD May will be able to keep her cover in the heightened atmosphere of suspicion. So far, LMD May hasn't had any trouble deceiving the team, but that was before she was aware that she was an LMD. Now that LMD May is self-aware, this could have a significant impact on her behavior, which appears to be dynamic and capable of change and growth.

LMD May was told to become closer to Coulson so that she could gain access to the Darkhold, but Radcliffe never specified a romantic approach. The real May would likely approach or express those feelings in a very guarded way, but LMD May seems to be inclined to do otherwise. After a convincing little speech from Radcliffe, LMD May suddenly set to pursue Coulson and seems open to the emotional vulnerability that would entail. This development is a little difficult to get on board with, especially since it took place after LMD May spent the last five minutes of screen time proving that she behaves exactly like the real May. Still, the real May has never suddenly discovered she was an LMD. Maybe something about that experience helped her overcome the trauma of the Bahrain incident and evolve into a fully emotionally expressive being—but probably not. This did bring up some interesting points as far as the "emotional" capabilities of LMD May, even if it felt a little off. Inconsistent character traits aren't the only problem with this plotline though. Although the budding Coulson/LMD May romance creates the potential for some serious intrigue, it's also just plain uncomfortable. So far the romance has come off as unsatisfying, not only because May isn't herself, but because it involves a relationship that has been building up since the first episode of the first season. That relationship is so vital to the show's emotional core, and finally approaching a romantic angle for the first time using the LMD context seems a little forced.

Next week's episode looks a little lighter with the return of Patton Oswalt as the Koenig brothers:



Best Lines + Stray Comments:


  • Simulation: "Hope you liked your facial, Melinda." May: "No." 
  • Coulson: "You know, no one likes a smartass." Elena: "That hasn't been my experience."
  • Whether androids dream of electric sheep remains a mystery, but we do know that their human counterparts are plagued with nightmares of spa vacations.  
  • The simulation scenario based on the incident in Bahrain was a poignant reminder of May's "origin story", and her coping with the aftermath of that could be used as a bonding moment between May and her LMD counterpart, seeing as they share the same memories.
  • Elena and Mack shared a sweet storyline this week that was overshadowed by the show trying to cram one too many plotlines into an episode. Still, hopefully this means that we get to learn more about Mack's history soon.

The next episode of AoS, "Hot Potato Soup", will air on January 31st, 2017 on ABC.
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