Welcome back, true believers! On last week’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Agent May attempted to escape the clutches of Radcliffe and Aida while finding herself in an Inception-style scenario, falling deeper into a mental prison. At the same time, the team attempted to place more tabs on the nefarious Senator Nadeer while attempting to free Daisy of her past transgressions as the renegade Quake. In “Hot Potato Soup,” we also see the long awaited return of Patton Oswalt’s Agent Koenig and his many siblings, as they join the fold in order to protect the Darkhold. Our episode begins with a clever switcheroo, leading us to believe that Koenig and his twins were in fact LMDs all along, moving slowly along what appears to be a conveyor belt. The truth of the matter is in fact that the twin Koenigs are simply playing an arcade game while rattling off a slew of Star Wars references along the way.
Agent Koenig was always a welcome addition to the team, acting as something of a gatekeeper and caretaker to S.H.I.E.L.D.’s various headquarters. Oswalt’s flare in standup comedy translates well to the character of the mismatched member of the team, and it doesn’t hurt that Patton is a nerd at heart, which is perfect for Koenig. You can’t help but love the laid back conversation he has with Daisy, chatting about the fanfiction that was being written about her online, and having a stronger affinity for her now that she’s gone from computer hacking agent to full blown Inhuman superhero with Earth-shifting powers. The Koenigs also manage to start the episode off strong with a nice action beat as they hurtle across the bar while being targeted by Russian members of the Watchdogs. Billy unfortunately gets captured along the way and is nearly tortured, at first showing a stoic facade but quickly melting into a puddle of woe as the captain of the ship he finds himself on holds a broken vial to his eye.
While this is all happening, Coulson and May’s robotic double (or LMayD as I call her) are continuing to move forward with their relationship, which continues down its path of disaster. One of the strengths of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. that I’ve really appreciated in these past few seasons has been managing to recognize when a plotline has run its course, and moving forward with the revelations as they conclude. With LMayD, a lesser show would have held the reveal of her true identity until the season finale for what may be perceived as maximum effect, but with this episode, the cat is out of the bag as the LMD imposter attempts to get away with the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s dark book. LMayD is an interesting character, not quite under the thrall of Radcliffe and Aida while also not being entirely altruistic. I’m looking forward to seeing how the character moves forward either as an antagonist or a hero that happens to be a ticking time bomb at the same time. Regardless, LMayD manages to get the Darkhold back to Radcliffe, promising some more evil shenanigans to come in the remainder of this fourth season.
During the exploits of Coulson and crew, Fitz, Simmons, and Mack attempt to discover more information about Radcliffe through his LMD, which Fitz had shot in the head in the previous episode. Through their conversations, Radcliffe LMD manages to twist the knife into Fitz’s psyche by going into the relationship that Radcliffe had with his father. A subject not touched upon too often, it’s good to take a deeper look into the backgrounds of our main protagonists, as we did last week with Mack and the story of his lost daughter. Speaking of Mack, I found the discussion between him and Radcliffe’s robot double to be intriguing in that the question of whether or not the latter had a soul was an interesting debate. Of course Mack, in typical Mack fashion, simply states that he hates robots and wants to blow its head off, but he’s stopped by Fitz before he can pull the trigger.
The episode ends with the agents teaming up with the numerous Koenig siblings and managing to fight off the Watchdogs, but ultimately losing the Darkhold. While this part of the season still feels like it’s missing something with the lack of Ghost Rider, this episode was a fun ride that managed to implement the use of Patton Oswalt’s return quite well, while also giving us some neat reveals along the way that will keep the events in motion as we get closer and closer to the Season 4 finale.
Rating: ★★★★ Very good
Agents of M.I.S.C.E.L.L.A.N.E.A.
– Has anyone tried a shot of vodka before taking a big sniff of an onion like the Watchdogs did? I have to give that a try.
– Last week, I messed up on the idea that there was a second LMD outside of the Radcliffe copy in the ranks of the Agents. My bad!
– Artemis Pebdani was a great choice to pick for the tough-as-nails Koenig sister. Her work in It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia always has me cracking a smile (and I had no idea the actress’s’ real name was Artemis!)
– Great final joke on the Koenig’s involvement with the LMD program, with them actually being engineers who helped to develop the program
– Koenig: “These aren’t the droids you’re looking for.”
– Coulson: “Kidnapping a Koenig? It’s like capturing moonlight.”
– Radcliffe LMD: “What’s the occasional bullet in the head between friends?”
– Koenig: “Oh my God, I’m in so much pain. I don’t know if I can take this!”
– Radcliffe LMD: “Singing like a bird? Why not Mick Jagger?”
– Daisy: “You’re literally wearing the same thing right now.”
– Koenig: “You’re a superhero! That’s so awesome!”
– Koenig: “They call you Quack!”
– Daisy: “Negative. Just a lot of man buns.”