Another great episode, but I still find myself unconvinced of Robbie’s dark side.
Coulson and May take on the relatively banal measure of transferring a prisoner. The whole thing turns into a massive riot, fortunately for the viewing audience. The whole prison setting plus the violent horde thing had me thinking of The Walking Dead. Again. But I really liked season three of The Walking Dead, so it worked for me.
Ultimately, what made this episode (and the one that proceeded it) so great is the focus on character. Yes, Coulson & Co. are off to look for a magical MacGuffin which is the stuff of season one. But season one didn’t boast the same depth of character as we have now.
The episode managed to balance some really dark emotional stuff, like Daisy’s depression and Coulson not being over his “death experience” with some real fun. And by fun I mean watching Daisy Johnson kick serious ass. Unable to use her powers, Daisy got back to basics and Melinda May-ed the shit out of the prisoner Watchdogs. There is a question as to why the obviously suicidal Daisy didn’t just use her powers regardless of the risks. But we could also ask why the obviously suicidal Daisy hasn’t jumped off a bridge yet. Personally, I think it’s because she couldn’t justify it to herself. If she goes out in a fight, she’s more than fine with that, but hurting herself intentionally would mean having to admit to herself that death is what she’s after and I don’t think she’s ready to do that yet. But ultimately, it doesn’t matter. Mental illness doesn’t work in a particularly logical way and I remain resolutely convinced she’s clinically depressed.
May confronts her, basically telling her she’s been there and Coulson pulled her out of it and he would do the same for Daisy if she wanted him to or not. I loved that moment. It was so…parental. I’m a broken record on the subject of found families, but honestly there’s not a trope I love more.
Coulson wants to talk to May about dying because he doesn’t know anyone who’s done it and lived to tell the tale. May isn’t exactly an oversharer. Part of me thinks it’s so sweet that she saw him as she died, the rest of me is convinced she said that just to shut him up.
The weak point of the episode for me was Robbie, which actually hurts me to say because I like him, but I’m just not buying him as Ghost Rider. His interactions with the Calle Cinco member felt..off. Like I said last week, I’m just not seeing him as the uncontrollable rage guy and he did nothing to convince me of his wrath here. We did learn that the attack that paralyzed Gabe was a hit but, as Calle Cinco guy pointed out, Robbie’s out of luck finding any more information on the matter because he’s already killed everyone who might’ve known something. Oh, irony.
The end of our prison break found good ol’ Uncle Eli in the sometimes-corporeal hands of Lucy Bauer. See, Robbie? This is what happens when you don’t pay attention to the person you’re supposed to be breaking out of prison. Although Mack has to bear some responsibility, I think. Robbie is, to him, at least, an unknown quantity in the field and he never should have left him alone with someone so valuable.
What the show is selling really well is the greed and jealousy the Darkhold can create. The looks on the faces of those who read it have been delighted to the point of being extremely creepy.
I love when my unfounded suspicions turn out to be right. Jeffrey Mace is not a good guy. At least, not a great guy. What we know is that he’s lying about events in Vienna and needs to cover up what he’s lying about so desperately that he’s willing to exempt Simmons from further security screening, even though he knows she’s lying to him. He also proved himself susceptible to blackmail. Honestly? The idea that the dude folds like a cheap suit when confronted with the possibility of…gasp…bad press makes me hate him a bit. I’m also feeling a little judgmental towards Coulson for handing the reins of S.H.I.E.L.D. over to this douche. Then again, field agent Coulson is so great I can’t stay mad at him for long.
Intel and Assets
--Coulson has a Cap shield programmed into his prosthetic hand. I know we’ve seen it before but I just love it so much.
--Daisy gets new gauntlets.
--Is Lucy the last ghost remaining? I’ve lost track.
--The prisoners locking themselves up to get away from Robbie was a great visual.
Coulson: “It’s powerful, it’s deadly, and now probably in the hands of a pissed-off mad scientist/ghost. So…thoughts, feelings? This is a safe space.”
Robbie: “I don’t take orders.”
Coulson: “Then this will be a new experience.”
Coulson: “C’mon, you had a near death experience.”
May: “It was a death experience. I’m over it.”
Coulson: “Well, I’m really not over mine.”
Daisy: “We’re here to…uh…rescue you?”
three and a half out of four Taco Tuesdays
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 4
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. home
- Watch this episode or the entire season on Amazon now