Agents of SHIELD 4.12 Review: “Hot Potato Soup”
Fitz confronts his demons while the Koenigs bring the funny and Robo-Philinda brings the heat.
Throughout Hot Potato Soup, the tracks were laid to showcase the experience of abandonment and betrayal. It seemed to focus on Fitz, with Radcliffe 2.0 revealing the working history of Fitz’s father and the true Radcliffe.
One issue in the back-half of this season is Fitz being to suffer in order to highlight each themes. Often times he’s not even the focus of the theme; merely the MacGuffin presenting the concept. Abandonment is clearly attached to Robo-May in this episode, and it’s a heavy moment upon her recitation of “Take me with you.” I believe if Fitz’s issues weren’t pushed so hard it could have resonated even stronger. On top of that, give Fitz a day off from being hyper-stressed. That guy’s heart is going to burst if we don’t.
Like any good robot apocalypse, we’ve got to open those puppies up. Programming alone isn’t at work. The Darkhold has brought an evolution in Radcliffe’s tech.
I won’t even begin to try to unpackage the techno-babble that went on because it’s above my pay-grade, but the LMDs are getting smarter and more powerful with each generation.
Instead of a shared mind, a la Ultron, these are individuals. Each one is different so their capabilities and intelligence will grow with new iterations. It makes sense then that this revelation comes right after Radcliffe 2.0 waxes philosophical in a confrontation with Mack.
The Joke’s On You!
Let me get this out of the way: I love Patton Oswalt. His running the gamut of Koenig personalities brings so much levity to AoS and the reveal of Artemis Pebdani as tough-as-nails LT was perfect.
After years of speculation, the mystery is finally over! The Koenigs are just dudes. Revealing their sister L.T. originally recruited them, they were technicians at SHIELD. It may be anticlimactic for some, after wondering what they could be for so long, but I like the turn.
Understandably, some folks are probably going to take the reveal personally. Using Agent Davis as an audience surrogate, the Koening crew laughs off the idea of clones or LMDs. There was even a DNA joke, which seemed a bit more blue than I expected, to keep the vagueness running through the episode.
I also enjoyed the humor in the Koenig’s constant pop-culture references. So far as to even reference Quake/Black Widow fan fiction, which I haven’t looked into but assume “Quack” is a real thing because there are rules about these things.
Kisses Are Just Ones & Zeroes
While I’m not a shipper of…well anything, I know a fair amount of people have an investment in Philinda. I fear that if there isn’t a moment between Phil and the OG May, a tsunami of tweets will be rushing AoS’ way.
I’m story-first. As long as the story quality maintains I’ll enjoy my weekly spy hour. While we’re in a slight lull of set-up priority, the pay-off moments balances it all out. Hopefully these set-ups begin finding their connective tissue because if they do, season four could be a high point that is difficult to top moving forward.
AGENTS OF SHIELD airs Tuesday nights, 10/9c on ABC