If you were waiting for some sign about the direction of the show before you invested yourself in watching another season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., consider this your burning bush. This episode was amazing.
When I took up the mantle of AoS reviewer this year it was mostly just a nagging sense of ‘okay someone has to keep reviewing this show,’ if only for continuity’s sake. I never imagined that I would enjoy it so much. This episode was as close to perfect as I could imagine. We got Robbie backstory, answers to questions, and someone punched Jeffrey in the face. Love it.
The episode's main focus was Robbie. Forced into a containment unit with Daisy and Gabe, Robbie finally confesses everything to his little brother as Daisy somewhat awkwardly looks on. Robbie takes Gabe out racing one night (which is just jaw-droppingly irresponsible) and the Locos perform their hit on what they know to be Eli Morrow’s car, paralyzing Gabe and killing Robbie, or so he believes. In the moments before his death, Robbie begs the universe to save Gabe and is presented with a choice and choses be returned to life as a instrument of vengeance. The idea of the devil existing in the MCU seems a little Judeo-Christian to me. I think it more likely that the being who offered Robbie the choice was another Ghost Rider, that the flaming skull thing is like a virus that can only be passed on willingly. This is all just guesswork, though, as I have no familiarity with the comics or the Nicolas Cage film. Feel free to weigh in the comments, guys!
As for Robbie, I’m still not clear who’s in control. Is it like a thing where Ghost Rider takes over completely? Because if so, having him respond to Gabe’s voice seems odd. Does Robbie still have a modicum of control over himself after he flames out? Is it like a Hulk thing where his level of control varies depending on how he transforms?
After being teased last week, we learned that the hit was put on Eli by Joseph Bauer because Eli…dramatic pause…is not a good guy! He wanted the Darkhold for himself the whole time! Last week I said I couldn’t see Eli beating a man mostly to death for endangering the lives of coworkers, but I could totally see him doing the same out of desire for the Darkhold.
I do have a couple of complaints about the episode. For instance, Jemma. She appeared in the first few minutes of the episode and then ended up being…sort of kidnapped? I think? It felt like a distraction from the truly compelling main body of the episode. Second complaint: after Mace flew half a day to reach the team, boarded and searched the Zephyr, discovered that Coulson has been hiding fugitives, and got beat up by Ghost Rider, it seems a little unbelievable for him to agree with Coulson that Robbie should be allowed to be let go for now. Can you say ‘plot necessity?’
It might be moot now that Robbie is possibly dead. Now that’s what I call a cliffhanger. Coulson, Fitz, and Robbie potentially blasted into non-existence? I’m counting the minutes until the next episode.
Intel and Assets
--This week in nicknames: Mack called Gabe “Ironside” and Gabe called Mack “Black Kojak.”
--It was a blink-and-you-missed-it moment but did the “Good Samaritan” have a bullet hole in his skull?
--Given how Ghost Rider broke out of the containment unit, he’s the most powerful thing they’ve ever come up against.
--Called it. Momentum is related to Agent Carter’s Isodyne and Roxxon.
Mace: “It’s not a wild goose-chase if there are geese. Do you deny they’re on board?”
Coulson: “Geese? I have zero geese. We are goose-free.”
Robbie: “Why aren’t you in bed, boy?”
Gabe: “Bed’s for people who aren’t taking honors classes, who don’t have soccer practice, who don’t want to go to college. So why aren’t you in bed?”
Robbie: “All work and no play…”
Gabe: “Gets me into Stanford or Berkeley.”
Robbie: “I’ll help you with your homework when we get back.”
Gabe: “Okay but you are not helping me with my homework. I need to get an A.”
Mack: “Who names these things? Are there focus groups for evil things?”
four out of four focus groups for evil things
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 4
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