Warning: This post will contain spoilers for the Agents of SHIELD mid-season finale, 'The Laws of Inferno Dynamics.'
The first half of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 4 focused on introducing us to Robbie Reyes a.k.a. The Ghost Rider (Gabriel Luna). When the Ghost Rider spirit left Robbie, he made it a new promise to get it back: after dealing with his uncle, he will continue to serve the spirit. Now, his main arc has been resolved (or has it?) when he sacrificed himself to trap his uncle Eli (José Zúñiga) between dimensions. When the show returns in 2017, we will enter a new arc.
#LMD, or Life Model Decoy, refers to Aida (Mallory Jansen) and her rapidly evolving mind. And let's not forget that twist in the final moments... Aida has kidnapped May (Ming-Na Wen) and replaced her with an LMD!
Do these people learn nothing? Stop bloody playing with robots, it never ends well!
So let's take a look at what could be in store for the characters when we see them return next year.
Coulson and May
Coulson (Clark Gregg) and May have taken a back seat for these eight episodes, their biggest stories being his recent employment change and her 'death.' But now we know that the real May never returned to S.H.I.E.L.D and is being kept, presumably drugged, in a secret closet. The main question for the second half of the Season, is naturally: what's in store for her? Was the LMD decoy deployed simply because the opportunity presented itself to Aida, or is there a bigger plan afoot?
Furthermore, how will #SHIELD find out what us viewers are now privy to? Will her history with Coulson lead him to suspect his friend might not be the real May, or will the agent break herself out of her prison? It could even be Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) who has been working closely with Aida and Dr. Radcliffe (John Hannah).
Let's not forget that this is the second time we have had an Agent May doppelgänger. In Season Two, Agent 33 a.k.a. Kara Lynn Palamas (Maya Stojan) is brainwashed by Hydra, and technology is used to make her sound and look like Agent May. When the tech is damaged, Agent 33 is temporarily stuck as May.
Meanwhile, Coulson has faced his own obstacles in the first half of the season. Now that new boss Jeffrey Mace (Jason O'Mara) has suited up and joined the team on the field, does this leave room for some freedom on the cases that Coulson gets to go on? Now that one of his best friends has been replaced by a LMD and when he finds that out (which he no doubt will), all cards will be off the table in what he will do to get May back.
Mack and Yo-Yo
Mack (Henry Simmons) has intermittently popped up in Season 4 when the other agents need some muscle, or when someone needs a pep talk. I'm hoping we can get a bigger Mac storyline; I miss the days of his friendship with Bobbie (Adrianne Palicki) and Hunter (Nick Blood), and when he grew close with Fitz after his accident.
Yo-Yo (Natalia Cordova-Buckley) is severely underused; so far, she's only been seeing in three episodes this season. Considering her and Mack shared a kiss at the end of the most recent episode, that could mean we will be seeing a lot more of her now when the show returns.
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Fitz and Simmons
Fitz and Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) haven't spent a lot of time together on screen so far. With Simmons' promotion and Fitz assisting Dr Radcliffe this pair have mostly just been talking about each other, and sharing the odd phone conversation.
I think that may change in the second half of this season with Aida going rogue. Fitz has been aiding in getting Aida to full functionality, so it would make sense if he played a major part in the quest to stop her. I also don't think we have seen the last of the Inhuman that Simmons was whisked away to help either.
I love Fitz and Simmons, both together and apart, but I'm starting to get worried; if you are a #JossWhedon fan, you all know what happens to happy couples!
Skye and Robbie
The storyline of Daisy being on the run got boring within the first episode, and unfortunately didn't get any better, even as she slowly started to interact with other characters.
The more she worked with Robbie, the more bearable she got, but it wasn't until the last two episodes that she's gotten back into the swing of things. I think that will change when the show returns now that she is member of S.H.I.E.L.D again.
I do not believe for one minute that Robbie and Eli are gone for good, if they don't return during the 'LMD' storyline, it's still likely we'll see them again before the end of the season. I really liked seeing Robbie and #GhostRider on television, I think it was great casting as usual and loved all the Johnny Blaze easter eggs.
What ever happens, whether it's what I've speculated here or something else, I have complete faith in the show — unless the kill Fitz and/or Simmons! Like the whole #MCU, they seem to have everything mapped out far in advanced.
What character do you want to see more of in the back half of Season 4?
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D returns to ABC on January 10th 2017.