Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD Thoughts: Season 4, Episode 9 “Broken Promises”

MALLORY JANSEN

By: Casey Johnston (@DarthHockey)

WARNING: There are spoilers ahead for the latest episode of Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD.

The Abrupt Change in Story

Coming out of the winter break, I was worried about the abrupt change in the storyline. I got fully invested in Ghost Rider, both as a character and story arc, so I was disappointed to see him go so quickly. Carrying over the Senator Nadeer storyline, which I had actually forgotten about, was a nice way to transition things; the story felt new yet familiar. Overall, I thought the writers handled things well and I wouldn’t mind if getting a new story arc every 8-10 episodes became a permanent thing.

Aida and Radcliffe

Until the big twist at the end, the Aida storyline was disappointing me. It wasn’t just derivative of the Age of Ultron plot, it was pretty much the television version of that story. Finding out that Radcliffe was behind everything saved things for me. This does leave some questions about Aida and her intelligence. If I were to guess, I would say that Radcliffe was behind the whole from the beginning and Aida never gained the level of self-awareness that would cause her rebel against her own programming. Everything from attacking Radcliffe and the SHIELD agents at the beginning of the episode to getting beheaded by Mack was a script that Aida was simply carrying out. Radcliffe is the real villain here, and that’s a shame because I like him, but I’m willing to sacrifice him for a good story.

Senator Nadeer and the Watchdogs

I completely forgot about this plot while the show was on break. Thankfully, it seems like this arc may be getting an upgrade from the B-plot to the A-plot, and that’s a good thing. For the first nine episodes, the team was divided. Daisy was on the run, Coulson was butting heads with Mace, and everyone else was just staying out of the way and doing their job. Now everyone is on the verge of getting back together and the Watchdog story could be the catalyst for that to happen. I wouldn’t expect it too soon, though. I think the writers will spend some time building this story and then transition from Agents of SHIELD: LMD to Agents of SHIELD: Watchdogs to end the season.

As for this specific episode, Senator Nadeer became much more interesting to me. Being the secret leader of the Watchdogs was enough for me to hate her, but watching her kill her own brother, after convincing him to trust her, took away any chance of redemption for me.

I was initially disappointed to lose Vijay because he seemed promising as a character, so I’m glad to see another Terrigenesis cocoon form around him. Perhaps one of his new powers is a Wolverine-like regeneration?

Thanks for reading!