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"What's Aida's play here? Why have the LMDs attend this?"
"My guess is to drive the final nail into S.H.I.E.L.D.'s coffin."
Quake and Phil Coulson[src]

The Attack on the S.H.I.E.L.D. International Inquiry was a semi-successful attempt by Aida to frame Daisy Johnson for a terrorist attack and cast S.H.I.E.L.D. in a negative light.

Background

"There's not going to be a S.H.I.E.L.D., not since Director Mace's autopsy report was leaked. I've got a dozen intelligence agencies who now know that Mace wasn't an Inhuman. They know S.H.I.E.L.D. lied about it, and they're wondering what else you might've lied about."
Glenn Talbot to Phil Coulson[src]

Following the destruction of the Playground and the discovery of Jeffrey Mace's body desecrated as if he had been destroyed by Quake, S.H.I.E.L.D. fell once again under investigation. A S.H.I.E.L.D. International Intelligence Inquiry was put in place by several intelligence agencies around the world to figure out to what extent S.H.I.E.L.D. had become a rogue organization.

Glenn Talbot asked Phil Coulson to join a committee session to defend S.H.I.E.L.D.'s case, but Coulson refused, stating that the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents were hunted by Aida, the former Life-Model Decoy who had sworn to exact revenge on them. Thus, coming to the committee session would endanger the lives of all who would attend it. In the meantime, Aida decided to send several LMDs, including two posing as Russian representatives to convince everyone else that S.H.I.E.L.D. could no longer exist and that the Inhumans had to be tracked down and arrested.[1]

Attack

"I missed it, didn't I? You two together, and we missed it. Damn."
Phil Coulson to Quake and Ghost Rider[src]
Superior-ShotByCoulson-S4E22

The LMDs are shot by Coulson and May

While the Superior and Sergei Mishkin's LMD advocated for a full destruction of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Inhumans by using the Darkhold, the meeting was interrupted by the brutal arrival of a Daisy Johnson's LMD. Glenn Talbot mistakenly thought that it was the real Daisy Johnson and asked if Phil Coulson was there as well, only to be shot in the head by the android. The LMD then fled, pursued by the Ghost Rider, who had arrived at the committee along with the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. Coulson and Melinda May joined the fight as well and shot the Superior and Sergei Mishkin's LMD multiple times, but they escaped, leaving the Darkhold behind them.

Superior-DeathByQuakeRider

The Superior's body is destroyed by Quake and Ghost Rider

While Coulson and May called for medical assistance and reclaimed the Darkhold, Quake found Aida accompanied by several LMDs, including the Johnson's LMD, who was quickly destroyed by Ghost Rider. Ghost Rider then tried to take on Aida, but she teleported away out of fear from him. Quake and Ghost Rider then fiercely battle the remaining LMDs, ultimately defeating all the androids by combining their powers.

Ensuring that Talbot had been taken in charge by the medical teams, Evans threatened Coulson and May that she would disclose the footage of Johnson attacking Talbot, disbelieving Coulson's explanation about the LMD. Evans tried to have Coulson and May arrested, but they escaped and found Quake and Ghost Rider just after they destroyed the Superior's mechanical body. The S.H.I.E.L.D. team then returned aboard the Zephyr One with the Darkhold.[1]

Aftermath

"I need the Darkhold."
"What? No! No one's ever reading that damn book again."
"I don't want to read it. I want to use it as bait."
Phil Coulson and Melinda May[src]

Thanks to this attack, S.H.I.E.L.D. figured out that Aida's plan was to recreate the same world she had built in the Framework by growing hatred towards the Inhumans. As she needed the Darkhold for doing so, Phil Coulson decided to use the book they just reclaimed to lure Aida into a trap within the Playground where she would eventually be destroyed.

As the United States Air Force was convinced that it was the real Daisy Johnson who had shot Glenn Talbot and plunged him into a coma following the attack, they decided to apprehend all the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. This would lead to the arrest of Leo Fitz after the rest of the team would be kidnapped by Enoch.[1]

Talbot woke from the coma but suffered severe brain damage that ended his Air Force career and caused him to become emotionally unstable. Despite the brain damage, he was well aware that Johnson had not shot him, correctly suspecting that the culprit was, in fact, a Life-Model Decoy, but Hale prevented him from alerting trustworthy authorities by abducting him, subsequently torturing him[2] and subjecting him to Faustus brainwashing in case he was ever to escape, which ultimately proved prudent.[3]

References

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