This is not how their story ends.
Possibly surrounded by LMD’s, Fittz-Simmons tries to get to a safe place to discuss what to do next. But, thanks to LMD sensors installed on all the doors in the base, they discover that one of them has been replaced. After an emotional exchange, Simmons manages to crush Fittz under heavy machinery and stab him in his synthetic throat. While Simmons hides, LMD Mack, Mace, and Coulson, call back all of the hidden Inhumans to the base under the deception that it’s for their own safety, but they plan to execute them one at a time. In preparing the Inhuman module rooms for new guests, Daisy discovers a small army of unactivated Daisy LMD’s. MAck confronts her, but Daisy escapes, taking his shotgun-axe with her.
As the LMD’s turn the other agents against them, claiming them to be LMD’s, Daisy and Simmons meetup. Initially doubting each other, Daisy proves they’re both who they say they are with help from her powers. Determined to escape the base, they set off gas canisters throughout the building, knocking their fellow agents unconscious, leaving only the LMD’s awake. Providing a distraction for Simmons, Daisy takes on the LMD’s, putting them down, but sustaining serious injuries. Simmons wakes up a few of the sleeping agents to help her evacuate the base, but one final LMD stands in their way; May.
Reactivated by LMD Coulson so they can live out their robo-romance together in the framework, May sets explosives throughout the base to stop anyone from escaping. However, due to her programming and revelation of being a LMD, she cares more about saving her friends, Daisy, Simmons, and the other agents, than letting pale imitations replace them. Once they’re safely aboard the zephyr, May sets off the explosives, destroying herself and the other LMD’s. Now, all of SHIELD is aboard the Zephyr, no base, and no orders. Daisy and Simmons agree they need to get their friends out of the framework and stop Radcliffe and Aida, but to do that, they have to go into an unknown parallel reality.
“Self Control” as an episode was disappointing, and I use the word disappointing to avoid using the word dumb, but that’s what I feel it was. While it was a new style and direction for the show to take, mimicking a gory (without showing much gore) thriller, though copying the same “who do we trust” intrigue as last season’s “The Team,” the decisions made by these intelligent characters were as bad as teens running around a haunted mansion on Friday the 13th. Fittz-Simmons discovers their friends are LMD’s, so instead of sounding the alarm, which they created the LMD detection system to do just that, they keep it to themselves. Even if one of them was in fact and LMD, the other, as a leading member of SHIELD, should have sent warning to the other agents. Then, the LMD’s decide it’s a good idea to take the Inhumans out of hiding and put them all in the same place. This was fine when Daisy was thought to be an LMD, but when it’s revealed she isn’t, I have a very hard time believing she would be on board with this plan. I’m sure there are other examples, as well as explanations to these poorly thought out plot points, but I had trouble seeing them as I rolled my eyes at the focus on shipping of Fittz-Simmons, which is already a thing, and robot love Philinda.
However, this episode did have two redeeming factors. First, the actual action, and not the horror show portions of it, were exciting to watch. Having Mace and Daisy face off against each other was entertaining and well choreographed. One of the recurring themes of this show lately is the awesomeness that is Daisy weaving her skills as an agent and Inhuman powers together to take down a foe. And watching her create a Quake-Kamehameha to turn Mack into a scrapped Terminator was pretty cool.
Secondly, the lead into the third act of this season was well done. The LMD’s are still a threat, but the focus of the show seems to be shifting less on them, and more on navigating an alternate reality inside the Framework to save their friends. Alternate realities is a common theme in this phase of the MCU, introduced with Doctor Strange. The first act of this season with the Ghost Rider explored the existence of another dimension. Now, it looks as if they face a reality not of made of magic, but science. It will be interesting to see how this other world plays out, as we’re given only a few glimpses into the Framework. But, what we see foreshadows a dangerous world for Daisy and Simmons.
One last thing… Why was there an army of Daisy’s?! Why did Aida choose the Superior, who hates robots and the Framework, TO PROTECT THE FRAMEWORK?! Okay. I’m done.