Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Review: It’s All About the LMDs Now

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has been firing on all cylinders for quite a while now, despite the fact it’s a “DVR” show for most fans.

Though I enjoyed getting to know Robbie Reyes/Ghost Rider (Gabriel Luna) immensely, it’s easy to understand replacing the burning skull VFX with humans posing as robots. From what I’ve read, featuring Ghost Rider in the first half of the season cost the series a pretty penny. That said, I hope that Season 4B doesn’t overuse the robot swapping bodies trope. That will get old quick.

MARVEL'S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. - "Broken Promises"
Courtesy of ABC/Marvel
Mallory Jansen is fantastic as Aida and beefing up her storyline definitely makes me miss Luna less. She kicked butt, didn’t she? The second erasing the android’s hard drive was mentioned, you knew she was going to revolt. I loved hearing Mack say, “Robots always attack.” That statement was both amusing and acknowledged the trope itself. All the pop-culture movie reference were cute as hell. After Westworld’s phenomenal first season, this arc seems to have come at the perfect time. Though I wonder if MustGeekTV fans will inevitably compare the two and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will suffer by comparison. Still, the Agent May LMD swap was a nice twist I didn’t see coming. Even Ming-Na Wen was surprised by that reveal. How cool was the new opening title card, guys?

While all these elements are working so far, I have had very little interest in Senator Nadeer since her introduction. After tonight’s episode, I simply despise the character. Sure, I get the siblings making a promise to each other, but I would not be able to shoot my brother in cold blood. Especially after he trusted you to keep him safe. Vijay Nadeer’s dream/premonition made me jump out of my seat, but I didn’t quite understand his inhuman abilities. Was he gifted with premonitions, which is why he was able to move out of the way of bullets during that fight? Did he have superspeed? Either way, it appears he will emerge from his second husk with different powers. Why did he go through Terrigenesis a second time? That’s new, right? Will he become part of the Secret Warriors? I guess after the Sokovia Accords we can’t call Daisy’s team that anymore. Will Vijay join S.H.I.E.L.D. or come back for revenge?

MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. – “The Patriot”
Courtesy of ABC/Marvel
As we get to know the new director better, both the show’s characters and audience have begun to trust him more. I can’t help feel the writers are lulling us into a false sense of security. There’s just something off about Director Mace, isn’t there? Good thing that the episode that follows will reveal a “shocking secret” about the inhuman. Will this put our minds at ease once and for all? It’s always possible the creative team are taking a different approach to the character, but did you know in the comics Jeffrey Mace (aka the Patriot) was also the third Captain America? There’s plenty of interesting material to mine from that if the writers decide to go there. I will say I’m enjoying Jason O’Mara’s portrayal and would like for him to stick around. Fingers crossed he’s a good guy in the end.

Another character I’ve really grown to love is Elena “Yo-Yo” Rodriguez. If you haven’t checked out her 6-part digital series “Slingshot,” you should watch it ASAP. ‎Natalia Cordova-Buckley is simply awesome and I love the fact she helps make the series a little more diverse. It’s cool to have a Mexican-born actress on the show, you know? Now the writers just need to give her some meaty material to sink her teeth into. I think with “Slingshot” she’s proven she can handle herself as a lead.

Ultimately, Aida made her move for the Darkhold and she very cleverly used LMD May to learn its location. The fact LMD May seemed to be playing along and was shut down by Aida implies she was probably unaware she’s a bot. That’s a very Westworld angle as well. Of course, it’s no surprise that Dr. Radcliffe’s the one pulling the strings. Naturally, since it’s all about the LMDs now, they are probably everywhere. Perhaps the Radcliffe our heroes are dealing with is a LMD himself? Could the real doctor be stashed away somewhere?

Verdict

“Broken Promises” did a decent job of maintaining the momentum of the first half of the season. Though I will say, I’m glad we did not have to wait three months for the show to return. This installment would have definitely disappointed fans if the show had not returned as quickly as it did. Hearing General Talbot’s name dropped means we will probably be seeing him again soon, which is great. I have faith the writers will deliver with the LMD storyline, though a part of me is hoping it all comes back to Ghost Rider in the finale. How about you? Share your thoughts with me in the comments below.


Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs Tuesdays at 10/9c on ABC.