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Marvel’s Agents of Shield: Is Aida Developing Emotions?

MARVEL%27S+AGENTS+OF+S.H.I.E.L.D.+-+%22What+If...%22+%28ABC%2FJennifer+Clasen%29%0AMALLORY+JANSEN
MARVEL'S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. -

MARVEL'S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. - "What If..." (ABC/Jennifer Clasen) MALLORY JANSEN

ABC

ABC

MARVEL'S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. - "What If..." (ABC/Jennifer Clasen) MALLORY JANSEN

Aislinn Haselden, Creative Writer/Journalist

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Agents of Shield has plunged into to insanity of The Framework, highlighting one once slightly overlooked character as the unofficial ruler of this upside-down world: Aida the LMD. Now going by Madame Hydra, or Ophelia Sarkissian, Aida appears to have programmed herself into Dr. Radcliffe’s creation as the head honcho. This does seem bad at first glance, but looking in deeper you can find the true alarming truth that her presence seems to be hinting at.

In the earlier episodes of season 4, Radcliffe begged Fitz to keep Aida a secret and help him develop her. Being the sweet little Fitz that he is, of course he obliges and assists the man that will soon betray him. Aida appears fascinated in Fitz in these episodes. One example that I can pick off the top of my head is the episode when Aida learns about lies. Radcliffe explains how sometimes lies are okay when you’re trying to protect someone. This came up after Fitz lied to keep Aida a secret from people who would destroy her. Aida the replies by asking who he was protecting when he lied, and Radcliffe told her that Fitz was protecting her. We received a very thoughtful expression from the LMD then.

As the episodes wore on, we see what appears to be the development of a personality in the humanoid robot. After Radcliffe touches the Darkhold, a dark and powerful piece of magic, he was shown a way to help people be rid of their pain and regrets. Finding this extremely tempting, especially since the women he loved had cancer, Radcliffe built the Framework. This alternate world constructed from millions of numbers of code allowed people to live their lives free of their biggest regret. With his thoughts corrupted by the Darkhold, Radcliffe made it appear to the Agents of Shield that Aida had gone completely rogue as a result from reading the dark, magical book. Radcliffe was in need of the Darkhold to build the Framework, so he sent Aida to steal it for him without giving his plans away.

It seems that Aida was not pretending after all, as the presence of Madame Hydra suggests.

After Mac cut the LMD’s head off with an axe, that seemed to be the end of Aida. It seemed. Fitz kept her alive, at least as alive as a robot can be. He did not believe that she was at any fault for what had happened and helped sustain her.

Eventually Radcliffe was able to recollect Aida and struck out against Shield in a much more dangerous attempt to retrieve the Darkhold. The two succeed in their goal, taking Coulson, May, Fitz, Mac, and Mace. He plugged them into the Framework and took away their biggest regret in life.

Aida was programmed to protect Radcliffe and the Framework from danger. Finding a paradox in her programming (Radcliffe was poisoning the Framework with his constant visits), Aida ends up killing her creator after submitting his conscious into the Framework. His being will live on there until he is killed in the alternate world.  

The rest is up to the audience to piece together.

What we are able to get out of this is an explanation as to why Aida has positioned Fitz as her second-in-command and is in a relationship with him: Fitz has always been kind and friendly to her. The thoughtful expressions, Fitz saving her from being destroyed…A robot would not take any of these things into consideration when developing an alternate world. Aida did consider these things.

Why would she be involved with Fitz if she did not have feelings for him? Aida does appear to be developing emotions, and the only possible explanation to this appears to be the result of her touching the Darkhold, which she only ever did so that she could save Fitz.

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Marvel’s Agents of Shield: Is Aida Developing Emotions?