Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD returned from its winter break with the episode Broken Promises. And it looks like we’ve got a new bad guy. Unfortunately, while we’d love to be pointing at LMD May, this threat is human. We’re instead looking at someone else who’s got something up their sleeves; someone we’ve come to trust.
The episode featured Aida trying to get her hands on the Darkhold – a remnant element from the Ghost Rider arc which just concluded. For the most part, we assumed Aida just an AI gone rogue. But at the very end we saw Dr. Radcliffe as the one pulling the strings.
Ultron All Over Again
Genius builds artificial companion meant to improve quality of life. Artificial companion becomes sentient, and in the worst way possible. They attack, and everyone regrets it. Does this sound familiar?
The idea of the AI turning against their human creators has been previously explored in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The conflict of Avengers: Age of Ultron revolved largely around that. Since Agents of SHIELD takes place further down the timeline, maybe we’d have hoped that they’ve learned that lesson.
But the episode hits us with the curveball at the end of the episode. The real deal isn’t a machine uprising at all: It’s Dr. Radcliffe. He’s got his sights set on the Darkhold, and it looks like eternal life (or something else rather attached to the Darkhold) is appealing to him.
How Bad Is The Bad Guy?
While it’s easy to dismiss Radcliffe as some kind of schemer, there may be more at play here. One theory is that the Darkhold has corrupted Radcliffe. We know him as a smart guy; this may not be him at all. For all we know, the influence of the Darkhold is the one setting events in motion, and the next question is how to get Radcliffe to snap out of it.
Another possibility? AV Club suggests that Radcliffe has other nobler intentions at heart. He could be trying to use the Darkhold for its potential. He’s expressed ambition and pride in equal measure for his work. When people look at his work, he wants them to be in awe. Imagine the kind of levels he could reach in terms of human evolution if he could tap into the Darkhold?
Of course, for all we know, he’s also just evil and the next Marvel villain to put down. We’ll need to wait for the next couple of episodes to find out for sure. Any thought of your own? Post them below and let us hear it!