After returning from its winter break last week, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. wasted absolutely no time in digging right in to to its Life Model Decoy story line. AIDA was swiftly revealed as a security threat and she responded by putting the team's base on lock-down as she searched for the location of the Darkhold. Happily for everyone involved, Mack and his trusty axe were on hand to prove that not even a futuristic android capable of breaching dimensions can survive decapitation.
It was later revealed however, that AIDA had not gone rogue as everyone assumed, but instead was still under the control of her creator, Dr. Radcliffe, who has betrayed S.H.I.E.L.D. and is seeking the Darkhold for his own purposes. Meanwhile, Coulson and co. fully believe that the L.M.D. threat is over, blissfully unaware that one of their own in conspiring against them and has kidnapped Agent May, replacing her with an identical L.M.D. imposter.
In a new clip (via E! Online) from tonight's episode, "The Patriot," Radcliffe is seen discussing his master plan with AIDA ver. 2.0, as well as his intentions for Agent May and her L.M.D. counterpart. It appears that after failing to obtain the ominous Darkhold by force, Radcliffe is opting for a more subtle approach, using his L.M.D. May to get close to Coulson - the only member of the team who knows the book's location.
The exposition-heavy clip makes several things very clear, not least of which is that the real Melinda May is putting up a hell of a fight in captivity despite being heavily dosed up. Perhaps more interestingly however, it also seems that despite his bad-guy turn, Radcliffe is keen to avoid any bloodshed in his quest for the Darkhold's power. This might suggest that it isn't the scientist's history as a villain driving him, but rather this is another example of the Darkhold making all who read it desperate to uncover the secrets within.
Although it's still early days, the opening episode of this current L.M.D. run did a great job of setting up the angle and kept events moving along at a good pace by having AIDA revealed as an enemy to the S.H.I.E.L.D. team very early on. The Radcliffe twist was also well-executed and although it appears as if the next episode will shift the focus somewhat back onto the relationship between Jeffrey Mace and his subordinates, the L.M.D. plot is nicely poised to bubble away in the background for an episode or two before coming back with a vengeance.
Speaking of vengeance, last week's episode didn't give any further development to the current situation of Robbie Reyes/Ghost Rider. The character was last seen escorting his villainous uncle to another dimension and although it was heavily suggested Reyes would have the power for a return trip, this has yet to come to fruition. Given that the addition of Ghost Rider somewhat revitalized the show earlier this season, it might not prove wise for the character to be away from the action for too long, even though rumors of a spin-off adventure persist.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. continues tonight (January 17th) with "The Patriot" on ABC.
Source: ABC (via E! Online)