Ahhh, yes! Agents of SHIELD is back in all of its fiery glory! (no pun intended) Season 4 kicked off with a bang introducing the flame rider himself, Ghost Rider! There is so much to talk about, so let’s get to it!
I was so happy when the episode started with introducing Ghost Rider right off the bat. Riding his black 69’ Charger, Hell Charger to be exact, and taking down the thugs. I’m sure all of you remember the 2007 film Ghost Rider and their take on the vengeful hero starring Nicholas Cage as Johnny Blaze. The movie was alright in my opinion but Sony sold the rights back to Marvel and they’ve decided to put the character on the small screen in the form of Robbie Reyes as Ghost Rider. I’m sure the behind Marvel TV will make this character right. In the comics, there were different people that took on as the titular hero and how they became the ghost rider. In episode 1, we weren’t filled in much but there are comic based references we saw. In the comcis, Robbie Reyes is Mexican-American, rides a 69’ Black Dodger, and has a disabled brother, all of which was introduced in season’s 4 premiere. The reason why Marvel went with Robbie Reyes instead of Johnny Blaze is the Robbie has that element of family. The Shield team is a family and Robbie has a disabled brother. Maybe the things Robbie does is because he wants his brother to be safe. How Robbie became Ghost Rider, I’m sure, will all be told in time but I’m glad we got those comic roots and constant tone of family onto the screen.
The producers and writers did everything right in this episode, showing off the new character Robbie and how he’ll be a handful for the rest of the SHIELD team. Throughout the episode, it shows Daisy, now rogue, hunting down criminals herself and coming into paths with a “serial killer.” The fight between Quake and Ghost Rider was completely awesome! The dialogue between the two provides more insight into Ghost Rider’s character saying “he only kills the wicked and does it out of vengeance.” Robbie also says “I’m not the one who decides who gets killed.” Then we see him in his awesome glory, flaming skull and Quake pinned down. She says to him to kill her, she deserves it. However, Ghost Rider decides to leave. It was an emotional moment for Daisy since she blames herself for the death of Lincoln and her obedience to Hive. We still see Daisy doing her own thing, but I’m sure she will be reunited with the SHIELD team at some point.
The SHIELD team we all know and love is different now that the Sokovia Accords is officially law and Hydra, as we know, is long gone. Director Coulson has been demoted to an agent again and partnered with Mack. Agent May now runs the strike team. Agent Simmons has been promoted the new director’s inner circle. Agent Fitz now holds a secret against Simmons knowing that Dr. Radcliffe went behind everyone’s back to create a Life Model Decoy (LMD). It could be dangerous but the sole purpose of a LMD is to be decoy and save the lives of real agents. Fitz holds this to himself because he’s not sure what the new director would do with this information. This should be interesting going forward now that Fitz and Simmons are in a relationship. It could blow up once Simmons finds out.
We weren’t introduced to the new SHIELD director in this episode. But, according to the character dynamic, they aren’t thrilled with his leadership style. In the season 3 finale, the new director tasked Coulson and Mack to track down Quake but have failed on many attempts. Now that Mack and Coulson are pulled from that mission, May let them in on the Ghost Rider attacks where Daisy was seen and they could track them down on their own and not let the SHIELD director know. Simmons ends up finding out and orders May to track Coulson and Mack down. While investigating, they run into a Korean mafia that has ties to the company that’s behind the dead bodies. At the sight, a container holding some energy opens releasing what appears to be a ghost. This “spirit” makes the mafia go insane and is released. At the end of the episode, we see May and Coulson playing a little game of backgammon and May has visions of darkness over Coulson’s face.
Overall, this episode was excellent. Now that Marvel is shifting into the realms of spirits, magic and unknown realms, I thought it was brilliant to bring in Ghost Rider. I’m sure Fitz and Simmons will do tons and tons of scientific research how Ghost Rider came to be but what did Thor say? “Your ancestors call it magic, but you call it science. I come from a place where it is one and the same.” I thought the CGI effects on Ghost Rider was incredible. It looks menacing and he looks he will bring hell to those that deserve it. We can’t also forget that May is now inhabited by some spirit/ghost that I’m sure will bring some twist in upcoming episodes. Now that Doctor Strange will be released in theaters in a few months, I love that they’re bringing the element of magic to the MCU. It brings that new layer instead of bringing flying suits, death cults and scientific horrors. Yes, Thor does bring that element of Magic and Space. But, now they’re going to be dealing with spirits and other realities. Ghost Rider is magic/different reality. Robbie Reyes is just a host for this spirit that’s killing all these people. Why does Robbie submit himself to the devil? We will find out. After the events Doctor Strange come to fruition, I’m sure it’ll tie to the events of Agents of Shield. I’m sure this will be an excellent season. New director, new threats and new adventures. Can’t wait!