'Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' S4E7: Deals With Our Devils

★ ★ ★ ★

Oh, so that's why Aida is there.

A big issue with this season (more an annoyance than an actual problem) was the fact that the characters have been spread thin, assigned to their own individual storylines. You had Daisy, then Ghost Rider, then Aida, then ghosts, and, somehow, Agents found a way to tie all of it together into one functional whole. "Deals With Our Devils" is one of the best episodes of the season, with just enough scares to delve into the darkness of its source material this season and the presenting of real threats beyond our imaginations.

The tie-ins to the Agent Carter series, namely the background of the science facility, is a great throwback to the cancelled series and a very intelligent move given that Agent Carter has plenty of S.H.I.E.L.D.-friendly moments to pick up from. Black Masque (though it'll probably never get returned to) is still a very interesting concept if Agents were to pick it up. That being said, this season proves, more than anything, that S.H.I.E.L.D. is perfectly capable of expanding its universe while satisfying fans with characters of importance to Earth-616 (the main comic universe).

Agents of SHIELD: S4E7

Having Aida be the one to read and understand (and download) the entirety of the Darkhold is one of the most clever twists Agents has offered this season, besides the reveal of Eli's powers. It kind of makes you curious to know if she would be able to go toe-to-toe with Doctor Strange, though everything she does do from this point on is entirely experimental. While her character appears to be headed toward becoming the next Big Bad after Eli, it'll be interesting to see her explore her own humanity first now that she is literally crafting her own true artificial intelligence for herself.

AI is definitely not a new concept for the MCU. Vision and, to an extent, Zola are examples of that, but this will be the first time anyone in the MCU will have the knowledge and abilities that Aida will have.

The most important thing about this season as a whole is that after seasons of focus on the Inhumans and their introduction to the MCU, Agents of SHIELD is delving back into its roots and, potentially, we'll be able to see the exploration of multiple dimensions. (Evil versions of the characters are so on their way.)

The only drawback to this episode is the continued lack of interest in the Watchdog conspiracy, which would be better handled if the series hadn't gone gung-ho on the entire Ghost Rider storyline. The issue is where does it fit in the scheme of things now? How will the lack of trust in the new director matter in the end? The season has intelligently tied in everything else, so it'll be interesting to see just what this sub-subplot will be bringing to the table once everything supernatural is said and done.

Now with Inhumans coming in 2017 (YAY!), S.H.I.E.L.D. will have even more opportunities for much needed crossovers (something the MCU TV shows have been sorely missing). Though Marvel will always be on an entirely different level than DC's entries to the world, The CW's Arrowverse is one of the strongest competitors for S.H.I.E.L.D. and one that is well adored by fans. That being said, Agents isn't floundering and neither are the Netflix series, but more content is something that is desperately needed and hopefully Inhumans will bring that to the fold.

(In case you're curious, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is on Earth-199999.)

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