Power loops(?) on a motor controller shield

I made a video to explain what's going on. It's about 10 minutes, but is probably easier to digest than my trying to type all of that out.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxsfCqXIuOM

I figure I'm probably not doing something right, or maybe worrying over something that's not a problem. Any guidance would be appreciated.

The amazon seller has decided to send me a new board. He said it would be here Friday. We'll see how that turns out.

I was testing continuity on the board last night and I think there is some conductivity, but not enough to beep, between the ext power and the ground pins. Would that be enough to light up those LEDs?