[SPOILERS for those not caught up on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. ahead.]
At the very end of season 3 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Dr. Radcliffe teased the secret project he had been working on, and it was a callback to a major comic idea. Season 4 has seen Radcliffe and Fitz fully create and perfect to a certain degree Life Model Decoys. While the usage of the first LMD Aida (Mallory Jansen) was a subplot at first in Ghost Rider’s story in S.H.I.E.L.D. season 4, the concept has taken center stage since his absence.
Recently, Radcliffe and Aida have teamed up with The Superior and his Watchdogs to try and take down S.H.I.E.L.D. As part of their master plan, May was kidnapped and replaced with an LMD of her own, before the episode ‘The Man Behind the Shield’ saw Daisy, Coulson, Mack, and Mace also get LMD versions of themselves. This has set up what should be an exciting episode for FitzSimmons next week in ‘Self Control’, which has now been confirmed to end the LMD storyline.
IGN spoke to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. co-creator/co-showrunner Jed Whedon about next week’s episode, ‘Self Control’, where he revealed that he is also set to make his TV directing debut on the episode. Not only was this decision made for him to direct because he was interested in doing so, but also because the episode will be used to wrap up the LMD story and launch the show into its third and final plotline for this season.
After exploring the Ghost Rider storyline for its first eight episodes, S.H.I.E.L.D. season 4 is wrapping up the LMD story one episode less, by comparison. With the third storyline now starting on episode 16 of this season, it too will have seven episodes to tell its mysterious story – assuming S.H.I.E.L.D. season 4 runs for the standard 22 episodes.
Revealing that next week will wrap up the LMD story could be telling for what transpires in ‘Self Control’. The conclusion of the LMD story indicates that Fitz and Simmons will be successful in staving off the LMD invasion and rescuing their friends as a result. The repercussions of five core members dealing with the effects of Radcliffe’s LMD experiment should factor in to whatever story ends up taking the spotlight for the remainder of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 4.
Many fans are no doubt hoping for Robbie Reyes/Ghost Rider to return this season on S.H.I.E.L.D., but don’t be surprised if the next storyline focuses on The Superior instead. The character may yet become a much bigger threat; after all, his name is The Superior and he has not quite lived up to that name just yet. If Radcliffe’s LMD plan fails, The Superior may take matters into his own hands and reveal more about himself in the process. Regardless, it will be interesting to see exactly what lies ahead on S.H.I.E.L.D. this season, once the threat of the LMDs has been fully (?) dealt with.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 4 continues with ‘Self Control’ Tuesday, February 21 at 10pm on ABC.