[SPOILERS for those not caught up on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. ahead.]
Throughout the first half of the fourth season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the show has largely dealt with the introduction of Robbie Reyes aka Ghost Rider (Gabriel Luna). His origin and hero’s journey made him cross paths with S.H.I.E.L.D. on more than one occasion, but ultimately his time on the show appeared to be wrapped, for now. The series currently is on its winter break, but when it returns, the show will continue on with the seeds planted in the first eight episodes as Dr. Radcliffe’s first Life Model Decoy creation Aida (Mallory Jansen) takes center stage.
The midseason finale showed that not only is she looking to become more human by developing an actual brain for herself, but offered the shocking revelation that she had already created a second LMD that has been playing the role of Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen) for the past few weeks. Now, the synopsis for the second half of the season not only teases Aida’s plan, but also S.H.I.E.L.D. once again dealing with the notorious anti-Inhuman group known as the Watchdogs.
Marvel officially released the synopsis for the remaining episodes, putting Ghost Rider’s story behind them and moving ahead with the Watchdogs and Aida as primary antagonists. It appears as though Aida’s villainy will not be uncovered right away, with the Watchdogs being the immediate threat.
On the heels of their encounter with Ghost Rider, their strangest phenomenon yet, the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. suddenly find themselves up against a myriad of new and ongoing threats: The anti-Inhuman Watchdogs are gaining political influence with Senator Nadeer, and uniting behind a mysterious benefactor. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to the team, Aida has kidnapped Agent May and replaced her with a Life Model Decoy. Aida’s evil plans for May and the team remain a mystery.
It should be interesting to see if there are any mentions of Ghost Rider moving forward or if the show will make a clean break of sorts to move along the story, despite the character’s popularity. Instead, they will be moving closer to their roots over the previous two seasons by dealing with Inhuman politics. These politics will be exacerbated with Daisy/Quake (Chloe Bennet) being reinstated as a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, and the organization currently being run by another Inhuman, Jeffrey Mace (Jason O’Mara).
May’s storyline meanwhile will be one to watch closely as a romantic flame between her and Coulson has sparked up in recent episodes. This could ultimately hurt their relationship in the long run should Coulson have feelings, only to find out this May is a fake and the true May does not feel the same way. No matter which way the show decides to take these characters and this storyline, they have already set up Aida to be more of a methodical villain playing the long game. With May’s fate revealed, it appears as though no one who spends one-on-one time with Aida is safe from being turned into an LMD moving forward.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 4 continues on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 @10pm on ABC.