We gave it a B+
Mace and company have landed at the Nadeer house, but the senator keeps them separate from Vijay. That leaves Vijay in the company of the armed gunmen. This, naturally, does not end well. One of them moves to attack him, at which point Vijay reveals his Inhuman power of super-speed. He disarms and takes down the goons, but some shots are fired and that draws Mace’s attention. The three of them arrive with Senator Nadeer just as Vijay finishes off the goons. Simmons and Ellen then try to convince him to go with each of them. Poisoned by his sister’s paranoia, however, Vijay still seems convinced that S.H.I.E.L.D. just wants to use him as a weapon. He ultimately decides to go with his sister. Simmons wants to go after him, but Mace tells her that Vijay made his choice.
It was, of course, the wrong choice. While they’re on a getaway helicopter, Ellen kills Vijay herself with a shot to the chest. The look in his eyes is devastating, right before he collapses in her arms. Make no mistake, Ellen Nadeer is a fanatic, willing to murder her brother rather than countenance alien influence. Apparently, she’s not quite the head of the Watchdog power structure, as she mentions asking an unnamed superior for reinforcements. She does seem to have regained absolute control over her little gangster squad here, though. “Never question me again,” she tells them, covered in her brother’s blood.
So it’s been quite a violent, game-changing episode, but some sort of peace seems to have settled over S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters. Mack demonstrates his extensive knowledge of robot movies to Yo-Yo, while Fitz quietly mourns AIDA. As LMD May tells Coulson, at least now they know who the real enemy is. This statement would be ironic enough, given that May is still a secret robot replacement, but even more so considering the immediate next scene, which features Radcliffe talking to his secret new AIDA model (though apparently with a different name, as Radcliffe keeps using “AIDA” to refer to the decapitated one). Apparently everything the old AIDA did was by Radcliffe’s order. When we first met Radcliffe last season, it was at a transhuman conference, and apparently he still holds on to some of those beliefs. He very much wants to live forever, and thinks the Darkhold can help him do it (though it’s “complicated”). He got one little taste of the book, and he’s salivating for more. He’s even behind the May replacement, and according to their video feed of a happy Coulson talking to the fake May, that plan seems to be going well.
The final bookmark scene, by the way, shows that things may not exactly be over for Vijay Nadeer. After his sister’s goon dump his body in a river, he slowly sinks to the bottom … until his cocoon reemerges to cover him. Could he have a power like the minor X-Men character Darwin, whose superpowers change constantly to help him survive new situations? Or maybe something like Resurrection Man, where he always comes back with a new power? That would be nice, considering this show already has one speedster.
This was a thrilling, game-changing episode, but it seems like it may be burning its fuel too quickly. One episode into this ‘LMD’ arc, and the main AIDA is already dead. We’ve still got lots to dive in to with the Watchdogs’ secrets and Radcliffe’s plan for the Darkhold, but let’s hope the show’s able to keep a good pace going forward.