So, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is back from their “end of first arc” break with a new story arc, and a new villain, even though it’s not the one viewers were likely expecting to see. (Or is it?) The new arc, what we’ve been told is the second of three arcs this season, following on the flaming heels of the Ghost Rider arc that started the season, is labeled LMD and, as any good Marvel fan knows, stands for Life Model Decoy…lifelike androids that have permeated the comics version of S.H.I.E.L.D. for decades.
While MCU Exchange’s review of last night’s episode, Broken Promises, can be found here, EW got to ask a few questions of executive producer Jed Whedon about who might actually be the Big Bad in the upcoming arc and whether the twist that it’s Radcliffe and not Aida might have a counter twist coming up later. Ultimately, according to Whedon, this is a quest for possession of the Darkhold…and those go so well (see a history of those quests here).
Radcliffe says at the end of episode 9 that he wants the Darkhold. He glimpsed it, and it has its hooks into him. He’s just doing something very innocent to try to get it back. He’s not going to harm a soul.
Of course, the end of the previous episode shows that souls were indeed harmed. Harmed a lot. Killed even. Leaving one to wonder if maybe…just maybe…Radcliffe doesn’t have the control over Aida that he thinks he has. Whedon’s take?
He may have over-calibrated a little bit on that.
Yes. Maybe. A bit. She seems to be a far more autonomous than Radcliffe seems to think. At the end of the episode, Radcliffe does seem to firmly believe that he is pulling the strings. Though, not to be too much like Mack and his many (perhaps a couple too many) film references, I believe we’ve seen this movie before. Addressing this, Whedon has this to say of Radcliffe:
We explore him as our baddie.
“Explore”? That’s a bit of an odd way of putting that, don’t you think? Not, oh, “establish”…but “explore”. It does seem that, yes, they’ll explore it, but they’ll come back to the base camp when they’re done.
Base Camp Aida.
They’ve set up far too much and spent way too much time exploring the nature of personhood and sentience to have this Radcliffe reveal be anything more than the first couple turns of that twist.
Speculation, of course. But I think they’re overdoing it on the Mack movie references so they can tease him when he’s “wrong” after they find out Radcliffe is supposedly behind the plan, only to have him be right in the end.
Like I said, I’m pretty sure I’ve seen this movie before…but I’m enjoying it this time too.
How do you see this arc going? Is Radcliffe the Big Bad we are being led to believe (And that he believes he is)? Let’s hear your theories in the comments section below about this upcoming storyline and its ultimate effects on the team.
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs on ABC Tuesdays at 10 p.m. Eastern.