Yet another break has ended, and we get a return of the Agents of SHIELD. The show picks right up where the previous episode left off, only now under the LMD banner. LMD stands for Life Model Decoy, aka the android robot known as Aida. When we previously left, Aida had absorbed some of the knowledge from the mysterious Darkhold book and effectively become a sentient crazy ala Ultron. She had also replaced Agent May with a May LMD.
We get a few new answers in this episode, we don’t get a lot of new questions, mostly just set up for the LMD plot line for the next few episodes or so. There’s not a whole ton of great action going on in this episode, but there’s a lot of good back and forth between the crew as they work through the events of the episode.
I’m still a little curious about where this little plot run will go. Aida doesn’t seem nearly malicious enough to really carry the villain role for a super long time Maybe she isn’t the villain though, with the return of the Watchdogs.
Anyway, onto the Spoiler Section!
The show starts off with a brief segment of Aida changing out of some bloody clothes showing some bullet holes and she talks briefly to the unconscious May. The most notable part of this while scene is that it feels like it’s intended to emulate the scenes from Daredevil where Wilson Fisk gets dressed and prepared for the day. The close up shots, the soft classic style music, it all very much feels like a mimic of these Fisk scenes.
Meanwhile Coulson assembling his team to do some final clean up after the Ghost Rider event. He wants the Darkhold taken to a special agent who is good at making things disappear (no names or other information given), and Fitz, Radcliffe are sent to decomission Aida and wiper her databanks of the Darkhold information.
Once they arrive at Radcliffe’s lap, Aida is waiting for them, and resists Radcliffe’s remote control shut down and disables the pair of Agents. I feel like I missed something here possibly, both Fitz and Radcliffe show up later at the base to discuss the situation with Coulson and NotMay. Apparently Aida just left them there? I suppose it’s believable given her histrory with the two, she has kept May alive in a box in the closet as well after all. It’s also possible that one or both of them have been secretly replaced with robots the way May has I suppose, which may also be the intentional effect of the ambiguity about how this transition has unfolded. It also reminds me a bit of the sloppy locations swapping from the previous episode a bit as well, something maybe has changed a bit on the writer’s end maybe, or they are just trying to cram a bit more into each episode by eliminating the little traveling scenes.
Next we get a return of Senator Nadeer, at a remote home chatting with her brother. Her brother, Vijay Nadeer, talks a bit about his experience with Terragenesis. This leads right to Skye and Director Mace discussing Daisy’s return to the fold. Mace also makes some effort, though somewhat unsuccessfully, to bond with Daisy. Simmons also shows up because she has figured out the identity of the “mystery inhuman” that she met and deduced that he’s effectively being held prisoner by his sister, Senator Nadeer. With the rest of the crew out working the Aida Darkhold issues, Mace, Skye, and Simmons head out to rescue him from the Senator.
Back at the base, Coulson and crew are working on locking things down to prevent Aida from getting the Darkhold, May also seems particularly interested in protecting the book. They are a little too slow in their efforts though as Aida is able to infiltrate the base, both physically and digitally. Mack heads out with a couple of agents to retrieve Yoyo and Coulson and May end up confronting Aida briefly before getting knocked out and locked up.
This also brings up a few mystery points, points that seem like they may become relevant later. First off, NotMay doesn’t know she is an LMD apparently. She starts to confront Aida in standard May style before Aida uses the control remote to disable her (May). There is also a brief scene where Aida seems to be cutting into NotMay’s face, though I’ll get into that more in the later Speculation section. Nothing else comes of this shot within this episode however.
I also have to wonder, where are the rest of the SHIELD agents? We’ve established that SHIELD is a full agency again, we’ve seen them in the build up episodes being pretty bustling with activity. Maybe everyone else is out on assignment elsewhere, but there seems to be a lack of “other Agents”.
Mack also really gets some great moments in this episode. He is not happy about the robot Radcliffe has created, which starts a running joke about movies where robots go berserk and kill everyone. This continues once he picks up Yoyo, who also makes the same observation even before Mack points it out. He also gets the great line to Radcliffe about the “Beautiful Weird Science Sex Bot”, though Radcliffe claims he has never had sex with Aida. Sure man, you keep that lie going, why else would you make her all “hot”.
Meanwhile back in the other plot line, it turns out the Watchdogs are on the grounds of the Senator’s secret hidey hole mansion, and they want to take out her Inhuman brother. It also turns out that the Senator is in on the whole thing and sets him up for an ambush. He pleads with her not to let them kill him, claiming he isn’t an inhuman, and she agrees for now since h hasn’t shown any powers or change, they all head back to the mansion.
Mace and crew manage to locate the Senator and show up at the door to confront her about her brother’s whereabouts. Daisy points out that the Senator’s “bodyguards” look a lot like Watchdogs agents, though they deny it. The Senator isn’t happy about SHIELD just showing up on her door step. We also get a bit of an indirect reference to the whole Sokovia Accords thing since she asks if the operation is authorized and she threatens to report them to the UN if they don’t leave. Meanwhile, the Watchdogs have gotten orders from “The Superior” to go ahead and kill the Brother. They confront him to kill him but he dodges all of their attacks using some super speed power.
Mace, Simmons and Daisy hear the gunshots and spring into action, with Daisy on point for taking down Watchdogs. Mace and Simmons arrive at the room where Vijay is being held. Daisy is off, elsewhere, presumably fighting off Watchdogs soldiers. Mace and Simmons try to convince Vijay that they want to help him and that he should come with them, his sister tries to convince him that SHIELD isn’t good and that he should come with her. Oddly, Vijay chooses his sister, who tried to have him killed, and leaves with her and the soldiers ho literally JUST TRIED TO KILL him. It actually doesn’t really make sense. Especially since Vijay seems interested in SHILED asking if there are Inhuman Agents. I mean there are two Inhumans on site in Mace and Daisy, both are also publicly known Inhumans, so it’s not like they are hiding their identities. Yet it’s like Vijay doesn’t believe the SHIELD agents treat Inhumans right.
He ends up making a poor choice I suppose, since in the end, on the helicopter, Senator Nadeer shoots her brother and dumps him in the ocean. She also mentions The Superior again.
Back at the base, Mack and Yoyo are heading back to assist Coulson and crew until they get pin downed by a remotely controlled Quinjet. May questions Coulson some more about the location of the Darkhold while they are locked away, which he eventually confesses to her, and a watching Aida. Aida heads to Director Mace’s office to retrieve the book while Fitz and Radcliffe manage to restore power and control to the base. They lock Aida out of the system and free Coulson who confronts Aida again.
Aida pleads that she just can’t control her new feelings that she found when she read the Darkhold book and she hasn’t actually killed anyone and she just wants to live before Mack shows up behind her and lops her head off with the SHOTGUN AXE.
Finally we get the big twist of the episode. While Fitz is lamenting the loss of Aida, it turns out… Aida is still alive, well, a different Aida anyway, she is a robot after all. Even more on the twist, Radcliffe is in on the whole thing, and both are working to retrieve the Darkhold for nefarious purposes.
During the final scene, we watch Vijay being tossed in the ocean, and after sinking to the bottom, he encases himself in an Inhuman cocoon again, not dead after all it seems.
So, I’m guessing that the Aida plot will end fairly quickly and the real threat this season will be this mysterious The Superior. I’m thinking Aida ends up joining SHIELD in some capacity once Radcliff is dispatched. The first Aida that is.
There is a comment by Aida to Radcliffe at the end concerning the LMD that Mack beheaded. Something along the lines of the first, or the original, basically, what I got from it was, this current Aida is a new, upgraded version, an evil one at that. The Aida we saw during most of the episode is the original one we saw during most of the Ghost Rider arc. This brings up the scene where Aida cuts NotMay’s face. I’m thinking that while Coulson was unconscious, Aida swapped bodies with NotMay. And the LMD that Mack beheaded was the LMD that had taken May’s place, a low level drone essentially.
So the full theory goes, Good Aida aka NotMay, ends up helping SHIELD take out Radcliffe and Evil Aida, then maybe they decide that she can be part of the team in some capacity, since she isn’t evil.
No idea on The Superior. These mysterious behind the scenes figures tend to be Hydra, so we’ll just go with Hydra is controlling the Watch Dogs.