Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Broken Promises

“Roll credits.”

Since season two, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has divided its seasons into two sections separated by the winter break. One problem I’ve had with that structure is that the first section of the season is strong, packed with twists and emotions, but then after the winter break the story slows down and loses momentum. It didn’t affect season two so badly, but season three suffered from it. Enter season four, with an initial Ghost Rider arc as great as you could ask for, and now the show seamlessly transitions to the season’s second arc, LMD. Flawless execution, you guys.

After the winter finale aired, many fans were disappointed Aida turned evil. Both because Aida was truly endearing and because robots/androids going evil has become a repetitive pattern on stories. As this episode progressed, Aida’s charm was showing to be there somewhere, so much so that I believed, heck, I wanted her intentions to be good. As it turns out, she is not the villain of the tale.

When Mack cut her head off, I presumed the LMD arc would continue with LMD!May. That Aida was under Radcliffe’s command all along was a great, unexpected twist. Well played, writers, well played. Radcliffe did glimpse the Darkhold for a second, enough to corrupt him, but we — and S.H.I.E.L.D. — were all so focused on Aida we didn’t notice Radcliffe could be the real threat.

LMD!May has no idea she is an android, which is sort of depressing. It would be neat if she had an arc of self-discovery, Dollhouse style. Now, is it Coulson suspicious of her? He should be. He told her about the Darkhold and then Aida conveniently found it. I hope he doesn’t go into a relationship with her only to find out she is not real May. Or is she real May? I mean, she has May’s memories, desires, personality. She is not the original May, but doesn’t she have a “right” to exist as the being she is? See... there are interesting philosophical threads the show could explore there.

The B plot revolved around Senator Nadeer’s brother, Vijay. It turns out they made a pact after their mother died at the alien attack in 2012: if one of them ever got “contaminated” by the alien “virus”, the other one would eliminate them. Nadeer is ready to fulfill her promise, but wavers when Vijay tells her he resisted the “disease”. It’s a complicated situation, and the writers use it to further develop Nadeer. It was a powerful moment when she actually shot her brother, after it was clear he had Inhuman powers, and it instantly made Nadeer a very good villain. She follows the unfortunate current trend to listen to fear and hate, instead of love. In fact, in the MCU, she is a leader among people who think like that.

Mace, Daisy and Simmons tried to rescue Vijay, but he declined the help. They did their part, though, as Mace tries to ensure Simmons afterwards. Vijay went away, but the three of them gained something very important: trust. Daisy and Simmons now trust Mace, and he trusts them as well. And you know what they say, a team that trusts is a team that triumphs.

Intel and Assets

- There is a new intro and it is LMD themed.

- The leader of the Watchdogs is called The Superior.

- Remember Simmons trying to be a spy back in season one? She has come a long way.

- Radcliffe could at least put May in a more comfortable place and position. She is going to be all sore — and pissed off, of course — when she wakes up.

- I was sad to see Aida go, she had a nice character development, and Aida 2 seems to be back to square one. Well, maybe Aida 2 can have some growth of her own.

- I was sad to see Vijay go, and then... another twist, he is back into a cocoon in the bottom of the ocean. What is his power? Word has been going online that it’s “adaptation”.

- It will be a delicious twist if Nadeer herself becomes an Inhuman.

Mace: “So happy you agree. 'Cause it’s also an order.”

Simmons: “You know how boys can be with their robots.”
Daisy: “Actually, I really don’t.”

Daisy: “You don’t get to be modest and have a framed glamour shot on your desk.”

Aida: “Why would you want to hurt me, Leopold? I was your shield.”

Daisy: “I think Simmons has been kidnapped like three times since I’ve known her.”
Mace: “Really?”
Daisy: “Yeah, well, only twice on this planet.”

Yo-Yo: “Someone needs to make Radcliffe watch all Terminator movies.”
Mack: “Even Salvation?”
Yo-Yo: “He brought this onto himself.”

Mack: “She did not just go all Maximum Overdrive on us.”

Mack: “I always worried that robots would try and kill me one day.”
Yo-Yo: “Really? We grew up different.”

What a great beginning to the LMD arc. Four out of four cocoons.
--
Lamounier, who has not watched all Terminator movies.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Simmons ate that Headbutt like a pro

sunbunny said...

Thank you so much for taking this on Lamounier! Great review and I'm looking forward to your thoughts on the rest of the season. :)

The Radcliffe twist totally took me by surprise which Agents of Shield doesn't do very often. I loved it. So much more original than the evil robot angle.

Lamounier said...

So much more original than the evil robot angle.

Exactly. Also a better villain than Robbie's uncle.

And I stole your "Intel and Assets" bit to keep the reviews with the same pattern. :)

sunbunny said...

I originally stole it from Mark Greig for the very same reason :)

Mark Greig said...

If you're gonna steal, steal from the best ;)

rebecca_s921 said...

Anyone noticed the SHIELD backup security system was run from 5.25 in floppy and what looked like banks of Apple Ii? I laughed out loud at that.

Marianna said...

Mack's insurance policy for death by robot is hilarious!

If I were trapped in a closet for who knows how long I would like to listen to Mahler too!