Spoilers ahead for “Let Me Stand Next To Your Fire,” the latest episode of ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.!
The short version: Daisy and Simmons team up to look into the Watch Dogs; Coulson recruits the Ghost Rider to help them on this ghost virus case; and we get an epic fire dudes battle in a fireworks store.
The good: Robbie Reyes joins the gang, and Daisy/Simmons is the team-up we’ve been missing
Introducing Robbie Reyes into the fold looks to be a major component of this season (or at least the opening arc), and now a lot of those narrative threads finally started weaving together. Coulson finally met the Ghost Rider, and though he made the decision to join up with S.H.I.E.L.D. (in an unofficial capacity) a bit too easily, it was a fantastic payoff to see all our heroes (and anti-heroes) fighting on the same side. This entire ghost virus story is obviously linked very closely linked to Robbie’s family, but we’re really curious to see what happens to the Ghost Rider once this case is solved. Will he just drive off into the sunset like Deathlok, or actually stick around?
Having Daisy on the outs with the core team has really been one of the weak points of this season, just because she works best as a part of that ensemble. That was made all the more obvious this week, as Daisy enlists Simmons’ help to patch her up — leading the two to head off and take on the Watchdogs themselves. Their side quest to track down James (the fire-starter Inhuman from last season) was great. Here’s hoping this is the first step to reintegrating Daisy back into the main cast, because her vigilante routine is quickly becoming stale. Plus, she’s literally falling apart without the help of S.H.I.E.LD.’s medical tech.
Oh, dude — and the car chase between Ghost Rider and Coulson’s beloved Lola was worth the price of admissions alone this week. Fans have been waiting for that one ever since it was announced that Reyes would be a player in Season 4.
The bad: Hellfire still sucks, and the Darkhold setup is getting thin
Just when you think they might be setting up something interesting with the return of Hellfire, aka James, he goes and shows he’s still pretty much a giant tool. Daisy tries to recruit him to make a difference in the world, and that could’ve been a potentially interesting story. But there’s room for only one fire dude in this show, apparently. It turns out James has teamed up with the Watch Dogs to hack his tracking bracelet, which (somehow????) allowed the terrorist group to hack into all of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s files. Yeah, we’ll just chalk that one up to a plot McGuffin and leave it at that.
The subplot of following around these “ghosts,” and chatting up Robbie’s uncle for exposition, fell a bit flat this week. Yes, we need to have these plot points established — but does getting there have to be so boring? The “ghosts” have turned out to be little more than angry office drones (though still pretty freaky), and it took Robbie asking his uncle for us to finally learn they were conducting some shady experiments at the think tank lab (yeah we guessed that already).
So it turns out these “ghosts” were created when experiments with a quantum particle generator went haywire. If you’ll remember from Ant-Man, we’ve already gotten a peek at quantum realms — and reports indicate Doctor Strange will also be dabbling in some similar territory. It looks like S.H.I.E.L.D. will also be tying into that thread, and we’re curious to see how far they can pull it as we wait for Doctor Strange to debut.
Everyone has been looking for the Darkhold for centuries, apparently, and even Nick Fury himself couldn’t find it. The powerful magic book plays a role in Doctor Strange’s comic origin story, so again, there’s some more connective tissue.
The first ever Life Model Decoy in the MCU, AIDA, got a real life Turing Test this week after serving as a nurse for Agent May. Though she managed to fool May and Coulson, Simmons picked up on her true origin almost immediately. With this project finally getting out in the open, how will LMDs affect the series moving forward? They’re huge in the comic canon, but just how much will that translate?
Lines of the night:
“We're making a comeback.” - Coulson
“I get his car now, right? Isn't that how this works?” - Coulson
“In my experience, gods usually turn out to be aliens.” -Coulson
“Quake and the Amazing Bomb Boy,” - Simmons
“Did two fire dudes just drop into a warehouse full of fireworks?” - Mac
Up next: The search for the Darkhold begins! We get a peek at it in the trailer, so it seems Coulson can find it a whole lot quicker than Nick Fury. Sorry, Nick.