Agents of SHIELD” kicks off the second of its three major story arcs in season four with “Broken Promises.” Radcliffe and Fitz are tasked with shutting Aida down, while Mace takes Simmons and Daisy on a mission to retrieve a new Inhuman. Of course, nothing ever goes as planned for the SHIELD agents.

Aida is a “bloodthirsty murder bot”

Mack calls it like he sees it, and he’s right when it comes to Aida - sort of. Aida isn’t really out for blood, but she has no problem eliminating anyone who gets in her way, or at least throwing them around a little.

Mack and Elena bonding over their shared foresight of evil robots, brought on by their love of movies, makes this whole thing even better. Of course, what we find out later in the episode that Aida isn’t actually evil, but just doing what she’s told. So, technically speaking, we’re still not seeing evil robots, but humanity corrupted by greed and a lust for power, as per usual.

Jemma Simmons has been through some stuff

Who would have thought that rule-lover and exemplary SHIELD agent Dr. Jemma Simmons would be the person she is now?

I’ve said it before, and I’ll probably be saying it again before the end of the season, but Jemma has changed so much since the show began, and Daisy points out just how much to Director Mace.

As Jemma is trusted to go undercover in Nadeer’s office on her own, Mace wonders if she’ll be alright. Jemma, who has been kidnapped a few times (once, not even on this planet), has learned a thing or two since her earlier disastrous undercover assignments.

She ends up with a split lip and a bump on her head, but she wins the fight, and she smiles while doing it.

May doesn’t know she’s an LMD

In addition to the real May being drugged and stored at Radcliffe’s, and thus, not knowing what’s going on, the Life Model Decoy version of May doesn’t appear to know that she’s an LMD. Even though Coulson is unconscious, she is still ready to fight Aida. If she knew the truth, wouldn’t we see her in a fighting stance for the possible cameras, but talking to Aida as though she was in on the plan?Instead, Aida shuts her down and installs a camera in her eye to watch everything she’s doing.

This makes the talks Fitz and Radcliffe have about the ethical implications of killing an android all the more troubling, not to mention Radcliffe jumping to point out he’s not sleeping with his creation. With LMD-May not self-aware and flirting with Coulson as though she’s the real May, we’re heading toward a very strange (and probably sad) situation.

What about Vijay?

Are we going to see the senator’s brother again one day? “The Superior” orders him killed, but the newly revealed Inhuman appears to undergo terrigenesis again once he’s left for dead underwater. Going through the process multiple times in the comic books that inspire the show tends to have very bad consequences, so if and when we see him again, he’ll probably be changed even more.

We can’t trust Radcliffe

He’s the real one pulling the strings behind the “evil” robot. Corrupted by the Darkhold, it’s Radcliffe we have to watch out for, which is going to be another betrayal that’s going to hit Fitz hard. Why can’t Fitz just make nice friends?

'Agents of SHIELD' isn’t afraid to call itself out

In a great bit of meta humor in tonight’s episode, we get several shout outs to the storylines on the show. In addition to Daisy commenting on Simmons getting kidnapped quite often over the last few years, Mack makes a point of telling everyone (repeatedly) that creating robots never goes well, Fitz points out that the base gets hacked way too often, and nothing about the metaphors involved in the politics in this episode gets a thin veil.

You have to love a show that can make fun of itself, entertain you, and have nods to the real world.

The verdict

Par for the course this season, this episode was a ton of fun!

4 out of 5 stars.

What’s next

Secrets about Mace will be revealed next week in “The Patriot.”

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