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There is no shortage of toys to play with if you're an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., as all kinds of nifty gadgets are available to try out, and if you're lucky enough, you could even get a robot hand in the event of any on-duty dismemberment. Even though all this cool tech is already around, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will be getting some more gear to up the ante in Season 4, and it's nothing quite as simple as a hologram or an invisible gun. A Marvel comics staple is finally coming to the MCU in the form of L.M.D's. or Life Model Decoys, which will be a big factor in S.H.I.E.L.D's. upcoming season.
Yes, Life Model Decoys will finally make their way onto the show after years of teasing. In the Season 3 finale, the frenemy scientist Dr. Holden Radcliffe was seen talking with his A.I. AIDA and telling her it was a special day, her birthday, and a female outline appeared behind a white wall. The words "L.M.D. Phase 1 Upload Complete" flashed on a computer screen, and the implication was that Holden had uploaded AIDA into a robotic body; now we know for a fact that's what happened. Life Model Decoys will be a big part of Season 4, but in what way is still unclear.
ABC is currently casting for the role of AIDA, according to TVLine, and the description is for an "attractive robot" who moves naturally but speaks more like Tony Stark's JARVIS. That doesn't sound like the description of a villain, but they might be keeping that reveal close to their chests. Of course, the showrunners may choose to avoid the A.I. turns evil angle, since the MCU has kind of already done that one.
For those unfamiliar, Life Model Decoys are pretty much exactly what they sound like robotic duplicates made to look and think exactly like the person they are based on. Nick Fury used them all the time in the comics to trick his enemies and avoid danger. Basically, if he was ever out in the open you could bet he was an L.M.D. Some L.M.D's. were so good that even they thought they were the real version and would snap when they inevitably saw they were made of nuts and bolts and not guts and organs. The appearance of L.M.D's on the show could hint at a lot of trickery and fake outs are on the way.
The arrival of the Life Model Decoys has been a long time coming. They were first referenced by Tony Stark in The Avengers when he pretended to be one on the phone to avoid seeing Coulson. They were never really directly mentioned again until the Season 3 S.H.I.E.L.D. finale. Fans used to believe that the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents Billy and Eric Koenig played by Patton Oswalt were LMDs (and the show would wink at that with a few jokes), but it turned out they were just normal human twin brothers and not robots.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns this fall on Tuesday, September 20 at 10 p.m. on ABC. Make sure to check out our list of fall TV premieres to find out when all your favorite shows are returning and don't forget that the summer isn't over yet; we've also got the summer TV schedule for you to browse.