Agents of SHIELD 4.13 Review: “Boom”
Revelations of Aida’s aesthetic origin arise as the search for May begins and the Science Squad finds a remedy for gas.
Radcliffe did not design Aida from the ether nor the zeitgeist. It turns out he molded her aesthetic on the love of his life, Agnes. A woman who is trying to live out her last days through illness on her own terms. A woman he left behind because he couldn’t “fix” her. He’s now inherently a bad guy. Even if he was still working with SHIELD, he’s a bad person. Later in this episode Coulson convinces Agnes to help the team out by saying Radcliffe is under the control of the Darkhold, but make no mistake he’s just not worth lightening reputation for.
Beyond that, the most important part of this means there is an in for stopping Radcliffe. He’s still got an emotional attachment to Agnes and I can see Coulson pushing the team to use that to their advantage as we eke closer to season’s end.
Aida, on the other hand, seems like she’s in the “teach me to love” stage of robo-sentience. Throughout “BOOM” she’s learning of Agnes’ past with Radcliffe. Seemingly, she’s forming her first experiences with jealousy and emotional attachment. If any performance stands out in this episode, it’s this one. It’s fair to say it’s easy to assume any robotic character will walk this path in their story but Mallory Jansen is giving a nuanced performance that far exceeds expectations.
PS – Let’s keep reminding ourselves on a regular basis that no character named Holden has ever been a good person.
I Am Irony Man
So, the Watch Dogs. An organization based on hate of the Inhuman people now has an Inhuman in a prominent role. Shockley, one of the staunchest opposers of Inhuman rights is transformed into the very thing he hates.
There’s an interesting route taken with this. The obvious road is Shockley would pivot his stance, realizing “Oh, I’m one of them now.” Having him continue to fight against what he’s been indoctrinated to hate showcases that self-realization isn’t an easy thing.
Bustin’ Makes Me Feel Good
I’m still not super keen on Mace continuing to publically live as an Inhuman when he’s not. For that reason, I do appreciate writing in that his super serum could actually cause him to die. Granted, it also sets up him using it despite the risk which (spoiler alert) he clearly does at his first chance. In doing so, he’s immediately captured by the Watch Dogs & Russians. So remember: don’t use steroids.
Daisy, Fitz and Simmons, in the meantime, get their science on. Daisy acts as the proton pack while Fitz-Simmons rolls in with the Muon Trap. Shockley may not be a ghost, but that won’t stop me from making all those Ghostbusters references because it’s all I could think of.
“BOOM” didn’t exactly wrap up any loose ends. We’re hitting the point in the season where episodic structure tends to give way to more overarching plots, so I’m totally cool with that. The planning is finished and the explosive rescue of Melinda May primed. I fully expect the action to ramp up as conclusions come together despite a mere nine episodes remaining.
AGENTS OF SHIELD airs Tuesday nights, 10/9c on ABC.