[SPOILERS for those not caught up on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. ahead.]
It’s been a long, winding fourth season on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Originally billed with the subtitle Ghost Rider, and serving as an introduction for the Spirit of Vengeance within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the ABC TV series has since pivoted into another unexplored corner of the comics universe during the second half of the current season - Life Model Decoys.
Now billed as Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: LMD, the current season has found Ming-Na Wen’s Agent Melinda May kidnapped and replaced with an android by John Hannah’s Dr. Radcliffe. The real May, meanwhile, has been locked away and kept in a drug-induced coma while Radcliffe and his assistant android assistant, Aida, played by Mallory Jansen (Galavant) conspire to get their hands on the Darkhold. With Coulson and company none the wiser, the current state of S.H.I.E.L.D. itself depends largely on when and if Agent May can be revived. A new clip from tomorrow night’s episode gives a glimpse of how this will go down.
EW released the clip (from the aptly-titled episode 'Wake Up') via social media today, showing Agent May escaping her confines and finally going toe-to-toe with Aida. The minute-long video stops just short of showing us the final outcome, but it certainly seems as though things are finally starting to turn for the S.H.I.E.L.D. team as we move on in season 4.
It’s always good to see Agent May swing into action; her fighting scenes have consistently been some of the best moments of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. since the first season back in 2013. Anytime we can see Wen face off against a worthy opponent, you’re in for a real treat. But is there more to this clip than meets the eye?
The prospect of May waking up and escaping the clutches of Dr. Radcliffe and Aida are great, but recall that in a recent episode Radcliffe opined that their sedation methods would work better if they gave May “a dragon to slay.” Part of their plan involved controlling the agent’s minds and making it seem as though she was living in a perfect world. May being who May is, the scenario was repeatedly rejected by her brain. According to Radcliffe, giving her a world in which she could fight would allow them to keep her under sedation.
This seems a likely scenario for the clip released today. After spending several episodes out of commission, it seems strange that she would suddenly wake up and escape her prison at full-strength. Recall that the last time May woke up, she was too drugged to move. It doesn’t make sense that she’d be able to pull the kind of maneuvers we see in the clip (given the current state of things on then show), though we don’t yet have all the information.
It would be great if May did come back and rejoin the team - perhaps giving us a repeat of the May vs. May battle from season 2 as the agent faces off against her LMD - but with so little yet at stake, this feels like a misdirection more than anything. We’ll know for sure tomorrow night when the next episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs, so stay tuned for further developments.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. continues on Tuesday, January 24th, with ‘Wake Up’ @10pm on ABC.