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January 31 2017

(SPOILER) Discuss Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4x12 "Hot Potato Soup". The episode was written by Craig Titley and directed by Nina Lopez-Corrado. The Agents Koenig return!

<<< crickets >>>

That hop over the bar was sweet.
This is Agent Koenig! They've got Agent Koenig!

I like this episode already.
So that moron went from working for one megalomaniac only to end up in the clutches of another.
Both Flash and SHIELD went for humor tonight. Some good development here and a new mini character mystery too!
Ew ew ew, don't touch the eyeball!
I knew he was a plant as soon as he suggested Koenig tell them where the book was!

...I guess that would have been more impressive if I'd mentioned it before they revealed he was a plant.
You know, I had a feeling Radcliffe's role was subtrefuge. But I kept spelling subtrefuge wrong, so I didn't post it.

Subtrafuge? Subterfuge? Ah! SubTERfuge.
Howdy all. More Koenig is always good.
That was punny!
Shouldn't Skye be there to help them with the robot code cracking?Oh, Simmons is wondering the same thing!
LOL!!! Canary...
Is that a puppy?!?! Hahahaha.
They have you shipping with Black Widow...

Love that whole conversation!
Do we know anything about Fitz's father?
If Fitz's dad ends up being the big bad, I think I might cry. Just because of what it'll do to Fitz.
Well daddy is not Radcliffe and I like this alternative better in any case.
Oh, yeah! These characters have/had parents. Did not even think about Fitz having a father.
Where's my puppy? Who took my puppy?

I want to cry!
I'm enjoying the differences in the two interrogations; one played for laughs and the other for the feels.
Another one??? LOL!
Wonder what LT stands for?
NyPinTA-Skye? I think Billy's made you forget its Daisy now lol!

Fitz's father is new. We've seen May's parents, hints of Coulson's father, seen Mack's brother and had mentions of their parents, and brief mention Simmons still sees hers sometimes. And of course 2 seasons on Daisy's family.
I'm thinking Coulson knows May is an LMD.
@Dusk, when it's computers, it's Skye. Regular ass-kicking fight, it's Daisy. Super power stuff: Quake. ;P
LMAO!!! Hey, hey, ho, ho....

[ edited by Nebula1400 on 2017-02-01 04:31 ]
Fake out!

Best ep so far this season.
So if she's LT, who's the dorky comedian?
Interesting. Another brother and a sister as well.
Thank the lord for Patton Oswalt. How much of the fanfic stuff do you think was improv?
The Oswalt Bunch....

Is this the, "You're just a toaster" speech?
They just can't stop teasing about all the Patton's, can they?
Nope. Stop that!
I'm very nearly biting my nails, and I don't bite my nails. Great episode!
They took my puppy! I'm saying that from now one whenever I'm having a bad day.
Not the puppy!
Actually 2 more guys...
Oh and fwiw I am glad they are dealing with the fact Radcliffe's little invention is the ultimate interrogation
enabler. But it looks like its dependent on Darkhold tech that is likely to disappear when this segment ends.
"They took my puppy" has to be one of the quotes on the Whedonque home page.

[ edited by Nebula1400 on 2017-02-01 04:57 ]
They seem to imply Radcliffe really does like Fitz and the team and he was trying to reform until he glimpsed the Darkhold, so I doubt he'd be on board with The Superior's plan to whack Coulson.
This probably is my favorite episode of the LMD arc.Some great reveals and I liked that they didn't drag out the LMD May reveal to the team much longer.

Also loved having the Koenig's back tonight and the twists there.
So there was an earlier LMD program, which the Koenig brothers worked on... which explains why Tony Stark used the term "life model decoy" in The Avengers. Nice little bit of canon wanking, there.
Props to Artemis Pebdani for being a convincing Koenig! Also a delightful one.
Again I beg for a bit of clarification.

I thought I saw two LMDs being burned near the end. The Radcliffe LMD was one, but we know that May LMD wasn't the other, and I didn't see the team seize Aida (which would have been well worth showing)(was she even in the labyrinth scenes?).

So whose was the second LMD in the flames?
Good question. Did they have a spare Aida?

[ edited by javelina on 2017-02-01 05:12 ]
The First Aida, the head that killed Nathanson and took bullets for the team.

Aida 2 on the submarine hasn't met anyone besides real May yet.
The other Aida that Fitz had.

Edit: What Dusk said.

[ edited by NYPinTA on 2017-02-01 05:12 ]
That was a really good episode. A lot of humor, but it's balanced out with some dramatic and almost tearful moments.

One minor shortcoming. I know they've been working and May/Coulson shipping, but I'm not feeling it. It's not that I would hate the show if they do become something (which is unlikely, because the LMD and May are not the same), but except for FitzSimmons, and Bobbie/Hunter, the show hasn't done couples too well.

Still, possibly the best episode all season.
The title of next weeks episode makes me super nervous.
Many thanks, Internet. You are smart.
Kind of sad they burned the Aida head after Fitz promised to fix her and all.

The preview makes me fear for Mace next ep.
Also I actually understood what Fitz meant when he said 5h generation syntax. I am nerd.
Do y'all think there's any chance that we'll get Hunter and Bobbie back?

Wistful sigh.
Not according to the article from a few days ago. Though I give it a decent chance that if/when the show ends sometime they'd pop up as will others like Deathlok.
Not this season. :(
You know what I was desperately hoping at then end there?

A man who's always there . . . at every alien event, every strange phenomenon . . . a man who is always in the background . . . a man responsible for everything that has happened.

I was hoping to @#$% it was going to be Stan Lee.

That would have made the third arc of the season the greatest, most meta, hilarious, genius Marvel story yet put to film. The hunt for Stan the Man!

I woulda KILLED for that. So disappointed it's just another "Get Phil!" story. S'like, what, the third, fourth one?
I think this might have been one of the strongest episodes of this entire season overall. Fun.

Also, a bit a annoyed with the Get Phil storyline, as if he got anything to do with the Kree tampering with the planet ages ago, and we're not even counting Peter Quill's "abduction" which was back in the 80s and got absolutely nothing to do with Coulson.

The show does seem unsure how to play the Phil card. How pivotal he actually is.
So the third mini-arc of the season is "Kill Phil"? Not the worst idea. Good episode overall. Poor RobotMay.
I'd imagine the 3rd arc is something with VJ. Kill Phil might carry over or it might wrap the same time as the LMD arc.
So enjoyed the Patton injection - stole every scene, and yes my guess is the fanfic discussion was at least partially improvised.

Actually enjoyed it right to the end when it became apparent that two threads going forward I have little interest in. The Coulson/May dynamic seems entirely forced (IMO) and the "Coulson is Alive" dynamic seems ridiculous at this stage and, like rationalizing the ages of superheroes who've been at it for 50 years, better left unmentioned as it doesn't hold up to scrutiny
They named the Watchdog higher-up with the cattle prod Mr. Shockley ? Heh, well at least it'll be an easy one to remember until his inevitable death.

Nebula1400 said:
"Oh, yeah! These characters have/had parents. Did not even think about Fitz having a father."

Yeah, it's easy to forget sometimes. I always thought it was a nice touch when, in the fourth episode of Season 1, when it looked like Jemma might die from that Chitauri explosion virus or whatever it was (when Ward dove out of The Bus with her and I was kinda lovin' him and, I shamelessly admit, sorta shipped him with Jemma over Skye briefly--although fuckbuddies with May made the most sense, given occupations and cold chemistry and just wanting the show to do some arguably mature/grown-up stuff), Jemma mentioned her parents. It humanized the character early on in a powerful way. I'm still impressed that the show fooled me into believing that they might've actually gone ahead and killed her off in that ep. I figured, why does the main cast need two science experts ? (even though I know that's not the most logical reasoning, given that they can have scientists who excel in different fields).

A few folks here are calling this the best ep of the season, but although it was good and balanced all the scenes and characters beautifully, I can't give it that honour. And I'm not won over just because of an especially funny episode, either. This was all set-up with humour to fill in the gaps/smooth things over and ONE pay-off (now the book is in Radcliffe's hands, now we know what the Watchdogs' plans are and I assume that handsome Russian submarine-owning industrialist is The Superior? And the team finding out about LMD-May was the one pay-off). The Koenigs are fun (loved Patton Oswalt for years, like many here) and I'm glad they confirmed that they're not LMDs, but I hope they're used sparingly in the remainder of the series.

One of the previous LMD eps was the best of the season so far, for me. I like the show best when it's really pushing the action-suspense, when it goes for the feels and the truly bizarre, and when it's occasionally smart and makes us think. Moral dilemma stuff. Radcliffe's ends-justifies-the-means quest for immortality for humanity ? A worthy pursuit, IMO, but murder ain't okay (he really needs to get his hands dirty at some point and not just have Aida doing it for him). I'm not sure whether or not I want the show to spend time on sentient robots and the right to live (if the Darkhold did indeed do something to Aida), especially because it's been covered in tons of great films and shows already, but if they can write it well and not rush/half-ass it, then maybe it'll be worth the effort

The other side of the conversation that Mack and Radcliffe were having about what it means to be alive and having a soul vs. not having a soul was completely ignored -- what if souls don't exist/what if they're just a fiction ? This is the Marvel Universe, so presumably they DO exist just as they do in the Marvel comics, but there's no way for either Mack or LMD-Radcliffe to know for sure. I think LMD-Radcliffe didn't bring up that bit of skepticism because he was toying with Mack and his Catholicism (to be clear, I like that Mack is religious and that the show brings it up every so often -- the majority of people in real life ARE and it feels right to have that depicted in our fiction -- but I don't like when the assumption of souls existing gets a free pass, as it most often does).

Not feeling Phil/May (even though I do believe Coulson has feelings for May and I buy into that part of it and his eventual anguish). It'd be great if, when RealMay comes back (if she gets out of this alive?), she finds out about him romancing the LMD, comfronts him about it, and makes it clear that she doesn't feel the same way toward him and would NEVER cross that line with him.

More interesting is the LMD-May's arc, if she's more than just her programming. Hmmm...seems like they're going that way with at least one of the LMDs this season. If Vision/Jarvis can matter, why not these LMDs, right ?

[ edited by Kris on 2017-02-01 21:11 ]

[ edited by Kris on 2017-02-02 07:20 ]
Well, we knew that Fitz had just his mother and no other family, so the father was conspicuous by his absence. He had to be either dead, or an absentee dad.

I enjoyed this episode a lot. The humor worked (unlike in episode 9 with all the forced and overdone robot movie references). I'm really relieved that the Koenigs are not LMDs, since I always strongly disliked that theory. They were trolling the audience with robot references throughout, but it was fun. I also liked that Daisy (Daisy... Skye... it doesn't really matter, I don't know why people get into such a frenzy over that) was annoyed at the idea that she almost became another person just because she got superpowers, or started using her birth name. I always found it silly when fans so that.

The stuff with LMD Radcliffe was really interesting, even more so than with real Radcliffe. (And having the show focus again on Fitz is something I certainly support.) I enjoyed the soul conversation, personally. At the end of the last season Mack and Daisy had a similarly philosophical conversation, which I loved, that touched on his faith, where Daisy, talking about Hive, even suggested taking on a person's memories is the closest thing to stealing their soul... which was a very Dollhousey idea. But also, if taken literally, would make the Angel/Connor-like wiping of her biological dad's memories even more disturbing than I already thought it was... The show is often better at starting conversations about ethics than drawing any consistent conclusions of that sort.
And that kind of was a case here as well - Radcliffe implies that killing him would be a murder, but the team still seem to see LMDs as simple machines and burn them in the end... a bit disturbing to say the least, when they've made it clear that the LMDs do have thoughts and feelings of their own. With Coulson making an exception for Robo May, which reminds of the times when Buffy and the Scoobies would make exceptions for vampires for sentimental reasons, like not killing Vamp Willow.

Good to see the new villain seem like someone interesting and actually have presence/charisma, that sets him apart from the rest of the Watchdogs we've seen so far.

...However, the last scene ruined a lot of my enjoyment of his character and this episode. I was expecting some big mythological thing and wondering what it can be - but then it's about Coulson, again? Really? That's just stupid. We're long past season 1, when his resurrection was still a mystery and it made sense that it was front and center of the storyline, especially since Garrett had a very rational and strong reason to be interested in it. But at this point, it's hard to believe people who are targeting SHIELD in any way really are still puzzled by him being alive or think he's dead, that's really old news. And Coulson is just a regular human dude, in no way connected to the Inhumans or Kree, except he once got their transfusion, I guess. The show's habit of making it all about Coulson and treating him as the most special person on Earth, with every antagonist focusing on him, is pretty tiresome. The Superior started off well and now just seems kinda dumb.

@Dusk: Not to mention all the drama with Ward's brothers.

@Kris: Speaking of which, I've seen people say that before re: May/Ward, but I don't understand why exactly is being fuck buddies with someone seen as a sign of maturity or adultness, either in characters or in a storyline. It's not like adults are uninterested in love and genuine romantic relationships, or that his is more childish or immature? And I'm sure there's no shortage of teenagers who are just having casual sex.
I think this is all curving back to Felix Blake and that is a loose end that needs tying off. Blake hates all enhanceds and blames Coulson for his broken back.
Did they really say the Koenigs were not LMDs?

They said they were not robots. Earlier LMDs could have been clones though, and the sister did make the joke about there being so much DNA they could have made a clone army.

Of course they could still be robots and are just programmed to lie about it when confronted and say they were technicians. Maybe they were a technician that cloned himself. It is possible to switch genders with cloning as well, at least from male to female.
TimeTravellingBunny said:
"I've seen people say that before re: May/Ward, but I don't understand why exactly is being fuck buddies with someone seen as a sign of maturity or adultness, either in characters or in a storyline."

I didn't intend to imply that dating or relationships were immature and NSA relations were the opposite, but when it comes to the way these all are usually played out on TV (especially network TV), the portrayals are sophomoric, more often than not. Hook-ups and fbuds abound, sure, but they're usually promoted in one of three ways: self-destructive/a-step-backwards for a character/nothing-of-real-value, or merely a stepping stone to something more substantial [which is a subjective notion and depends on what best suits each of us individually] that the show's writers or perhaps, they assume, its audience will want for the character(s)...or a delay in arriving at the One True Love/Pairing destination.

It was mature of Agents Of SHIELD in its handling of it, IMO, in comparison to how I see f-buddies written about in most dramas. Not uncharted territory by any stretch, especially within the spy genre, but still a small detail that made me happy, early in the show's run -- to see it colouring in the characters a bit that way. Of course, Ward turned out to be a a manipulative, opportunist nutjob, but before we knew that, his and May's thing just seemed like healthy blowing off steam/mutually beneficial sex between co-workers (whether or not one should sleep with their co-workers is another topic for discussion, heh) and no specific tone or judgement was cast upon it by the show.
@Jayne's Hat: It's time people gave up that theory. The show was clearly mocking it and making clear they're just human. Turning around and making them LMDs after that wouldn't make any sense.

@Kris: I see your point, the way it was depicted can be said to be more mature than how these things often are in movies and TV shows.
@TimeTravellingBunny It makes perfect sense for this show. They love to reverse what we thought was true and throw it in our faces. My examples are all valid ways of doing that.
@No, it doesn't, because that's not "reverse of what we thought". That would be like if they had spent an entire episode in early season 2 bringing up the idea that Skye may be an Inhuman and mocking it and how stupid it is and stressing that she totally can't be, only to then reveal, Psych! She is actually an Inhuman. Bringing up and mocking the idea of Koenigs being LMDs only to reveal them as LMDs later would just be terrible storytelling.

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