Here's a promo/teaser compilation. Season 4 begins Sept. 20!

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In the October 25 episode, Daisy "Quake" Johnson had an extended single-handed battle inside a prison, reminiscent of the old Captain America-battles-in-prison bit. All martial arts, no Quake powers, and really well done!

Jason O'Mara is a kick as Director Jeffrey Mace. He just revealed something big.

I run hot and cold on this show, but last night's episode was a good 'un ... maybe my favorite ever.

Without getting all spoilery, I'll just say that this wasn't at all what I was expecting.  I was dreading expecting a by-the-numbers "robot duplicates capture the base" episode -- who but a complete nerd could say that with a straight face -- and instead I got one of the most emotionally wrenching episodes ever. 

Great work by all the leads, but especially Iain De Caestecker and Elizabeth Henstridge. "That" scene was nerve-wracking and painful and just freakin' awesome.  (In fact, Henstridge pretty much ruled this episode.)

I just watched it. *whew* That was damned good. More later.

That was an amazing episode. Probably the show's best episode ever. 

The part that got me was that hug. That was *perfect*.

Which hug? It's been a few days since I've seen it.

I thought Henstridge was just awesome. She really looked like she was falling apart. When she told Quake, "You could be a robot that's malfunctioning!" Quake replied, "You look like a robot that's malfunctioning." Because, honestly, she really did.

I'll give it to the guy who plays the Director -- he's just a PR guy, and his fear in the interrogation scenes seemed genuine. We're so used to seeing well-trained, stoic agents and superheroes that a regular guy in that situation in a show like this is a new experience. (It certainly was for the character.) He was also inept in his combat scenes because, duh, he has no combat training. Even with super-strength, he fought about as well as I would. (Badly.)

The Coulson LMD-May LMD conversation was very interesting. "What did you do?" "What I wanted to do." I expected a cliched line there (I've forgotten what that was), and instead got one that was enormously telling.

This episode was about as well-written as any I've seen. There was desperate combat married to plausible paranoia married to glimpses into interior lives of the principals married to a subtle debate about free will and an invitation to ask yourself "what is life?" and "What is happiness?"

Would you go into the Framework if it meant eternal happiness and no fear of death (although your body would, in fact, die)? You'd be happy, but you'd be dead. Kinda sounds like the heaven of a few religions, doesn't it? And if an LMD has free will and self-awareness and the capacity to learn, is it alive?

There was a lot packed into this show, and none of it heavy-handed. Just very well done.

And now what? Melissa May, Agent of Hydra? I'm not usually a fan of dream/fantasy stories because they're not real and they don't count. I gather they're supposed to be interesting because of what they reveal about the characters, but not all writers are equally capable of doing something interesting with that premise. I'm not worried about that here.

I'm guessing Rob meant the hug between Quake and Jemma.  That was another well-earned emotional moment.

So much happened that I had no idea what to say about it. I loved it. The show has been getting better all the time. The Ghost Rider episodes felt forced, but the LMD episodes feel natural. Is this the first time LMDs were a major threat?

That's the one! It worked so well, because it was both a hug and not a hug, but a moment of diagnosis for both of them that is resolved in the relief of knowing they aren't alone. So layered and well done.


Doctor Hmmm? said:

I'm guessing Rob meant the hug between Quake and Jemma.  That was another well-earned emotional moment.

Have we really had nothing to say about the Framework?

I wonder if we've seen the last of it, yet.

Lots of good character work (again).

It was a very short bit, but I really ... well, enjoyed isn't quite the right word ... appreciated how Iain De Caestecker let us see how distraught Fitz was when he realized just how easily he had slipped into the role of a truly despicable bad guy.

Ratings have not been good, but the prediction is that the show will get at least another partial season.

SHIELD has been really, really good. Had it been this good from the start there would be no ratings problems!

I've been stunned by how good Agents of SHIELD has been lately. I mean -- giving me sympathy for Grant Ward, of all people! I've never seen a show improve by such leaps and bounds this late in its run -- but the second half of Season 4, from LMD onward, has been amazing.

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