Agents of SHIELD Self Control review S4, Ep. 15

Self Control brought the LMD storyline to a head with an almost flawless episode making excellent use of its premise.

With most of the SHIELD high command a switched out LMD, Fitz and Simmons have a Batman style dilemma. Who do you trust? The paranoia and mistrust was at an all-time high recalling the mood after the HYDRA infiltration reveal from Season 1.

That proved to be a nice subtle bit of foreshadowing. Is the Framework a HYDRA program? A last ditch effort to control a virtual world if the real one wasn’t an option? So many interesting questions to consider here.

One nice twist with the LMD ver. 3.0. They know they’re LMDs unlike the May LMD, whose illusion of a normal life was shattered. This made the Fitz and Simmons scene all the more intense as one was definitely lying. I appreciated the detection wasn’t a glitch and one actually was an LMD. Even though we knew he was an LMD, the sight of Simmons repeatedly stabbing Fitz was jarring.

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The reveal that Quake wasn’t an LMD was confusing since the LMD scanner last week outed Mack, Coulson, Mace and her as LMDs when they returned to headquarters. And it seemed weird that SHIELD LMD would create an army of Quakes since they couldn’t duplicate her powers.

This proved a problem when Quake faced LMD Mace, Mack and Coulson. While a nice homage to Trinity and Sarah Connor, it didn’t make a lot of sense for Quake to fight Mace toe to toe instead of just shattering him with her powers.

Agents of SHIELD Self Control review - Simmons and Fitz

At least Quake and Simmons were able to grab a trio of SHIELD agents as backup. Bonus (!) they had speaking roles so maybe they won’t get the redshirt treatment? Good thing they got to someone as LMD May blew up the SHIELD base to stop LMD Coulson. This was another mindscrew scene with Coulson actually threatening and ultimately going for the kill shot against May.

My only significant issue was the Aida/Radcliffe development. It seems silly to think a master strategist like Radcliffe wouldn’t have considered the possibility of Aida turning on him and installed safeguards where she couldn’t harm him. The creation turning on its creator has been a thing since Frankenstein and to a more fitting comparison The Terminator.

Even the bad guys in Robocop set up that precautionary measure. So for now, he’s bleeding out and now part of the Framework. Hopefully this isn’t the last we’ll see of Radcliffe as that would be a terrible way to write him off. And why Aida appoints Antov as the Framework guardian was weird. Why would he go along with this new assignment?

Agents of SHIELD Self Control review - Melinda May LMD

With Yo-Yo’s help, Quake and Simmons willingly go into the Framework to hopefully find their buddies’ location. But that doesn’t work out so well. In Framework World, Coulson is a teacher railing against the Inhumans’ threat, Fitz is a billionaire, Mack is enjoying the quiet life. But the real kickers? Quake is with Ward while Simmons is dead. And May is running shop at the Triskelion, which is now Hydra HQ?? Something has gone dangerously wrong.

Self Control set up the Framework arc beautifully. Save the disappointing resolution to Radcliffe’s arc, things are heating up nicely for the back end of the season.

Rating: 9.7 out of 10

Photo Credit: ABC

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