Ok, how many people here have watched any robot movies from the last 30 years? Anyone? Anyone?!? Ok, cause that was the big question throughout the return of Agents of Shield tonight, as “Broken Promises” brought us full speed into the LMD storyline with no punches held.
Easily the best part of the episode was the pacing of it all. It almost picked up right where we left off, in fact, in many ways, it did. As Aida had to “recover” from killing that SHIELD agent, and fix herself up before presenting herself again. The fact that there was almost no wasted motion in regards to how the mid-season finale ended, right up to now, was very refreshing. As that way, we didn’t have the long burn about how Aida would eventually turn on them…we got it in the first episode!
What was also cool though, was that just about EVERYONE was wary of Aida now that the Darkhold matter was “settled”, for as Mack noted, any intelligent robot will eventually turn evil and kill people. Thus all the movie references between him and Slingshot…which were epic in every single way. This, added with Coulson’s and Mace’s agreement of wiping Aida’s memories helped cement that these guys aren’t idiots. After all, it was Gideon a few episodes back who asked, “Doesn’t anyone remember Ultron?”
That was another important thing, was distinguishing Aida from Ultron. While one wanted to wipe out the human race because of their flaws, Aida simply wanted the Darkhold to become whole. Props to the Aida actress for being able to convey all those emotions while still making us believe she’s not human. That can be hard to do. Also though, the depth of the LMD’s were shown, as May’s LMD doesn’t know it’s an android, an important thing going forward no doubt. Also though, these LMD’s can be manipulated on the fly apparently, as Aida proved.
Now, as for the two big twists, I’m 50-50 on them. Mack straight up killing Aida was AWESOME!!! Complete with epic camera pan and one-liner as seen in the excerpt for this review. But…revealing that Radcliffe really was behind this the whole time? Not sold, not yet. Because now it’s just another “mad scientist” angle, instead of it being a “is an LMD really human?” thing. Now yes, it appears the “other” Aida may be more advanced than we’re seeing, but we’ll have to see how it all rolls out.
Then there was the family Nadeer. Who went through a very interesting sequence of events as Senator Ellen tried to determine whether he brother Vijay (who was in the cocoon from the previous episode) was a true Inhuman, and thus a threat. While I’m glad we did learn about the “promise” they made to one another in regards to killing the other if they ever got infected, some of those scenes felt kind of off. We knew the brother wouldn’t get killed before Mace, Simmons, and Daisy showed up, and the moment the brother left with Ellen…after the Watch Dogs tried to kill him on her watch…you kind of knew he was dead. ESPECIALLY when the head Watch Dog…who literally had just tried to kill him…got on the helicopter, and he barely reacted.
I am interested in seeing what that ending scene meant. Yes, it was clearly a body dump, but something was happening to those bodies. And there wasn’t…did we really need that scene?
All in all though, “Broken Promises” was a very solid return for Agents of Shield, and with new threats, and a big hidden one, now on the docket, I look forward to seeing what happens next.