Spoilers ahead for “The Laws of Inferno Dynamics,” the midseason finale of ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
The short version: Robbie Reyes gets his face-off with Evil Uncle Eli, and ends up dragging them both down to hell (or the dimensional equivalent). Daisy rejoins S.H.I.E.L.D., Mac finally makes a move on Yoyo, and Aida is hiding a very big secret.
The good: Ghost Rider’s big battle, Daisy’s return, Aida’s WTF shocker
Robbie’s face-off with his Uncle Eli took top billing this episode, and for the most part, it did not disappoint. Eli tries to give Robbie a chance to leave. When he refuses, Eli jams him full of carbon spears. Lucky for Robbie, it takes more than that to put the Ghost Rider down. Though Robbie spends most of the episode literally nailed to a wall and chatting with Eli about his motivations, he finally gets a chance to shine in the final moments as he rides the magic alt-universe box all the way to the Upside Down (or whatever they’re calling it). Though this at least provided a wrap-up for Ghost Rider’s story, even Coulson alluded to the fact that the Rider has escaped from worse places in the past. Robbie Reyes might be on the bench, but we’d think he’ll resurface (both literally and figuratively) at some point.
Spinning Daisy off as a terrorist on the run for most of the season was a clunky storyline, though it obviously provided a conduit to team her up with Robbie down the line. With the Ghost Rider/Eli story seemingly wrapped up, they tied a bow on Daisy’s sabbatical and brought her back into the fold in the closing minutes. It makes sense they’d want to get her back in the ensemble, and she’s definitely been missed, though they did wrap that up a bit too quickly (especially since her separation has been such a Big Deal for the entire season).
Now, let’s talk about that final post-credit scene: Agent May is a LMD, and the real May has been locked up by Aida for … a while, at least. The past couple episodes have shown May opening up a bit more to Coulson, as a relationship looked to potentially be brewing. But now it seems Coulson is actually kicking it with an android. This obviously provided a great shock heading into the midseason break, but it leaves a ton of questions dangling. What is Aida’s motivation? Why is she doing this? What’s the endgame? We might not have Ghost Rider to lure us back when the show returns, but this is certainly enough to keep us on the hook.
Other good stuff: Yoyo gets a great Flash/Quicksilver moment in this episode, which was crazy fun. The LMD worked! Aida jumped in front of a bullet for Fitz and saved the day. Little did we know she’s up to something much more nefarious. Mace finally gets to suit up, and his suit is solid. It has some nice homages to the comic version, and actually works in live action. Well played.
The bad: *crickets*
This episode was actually a whole lot of fun, and there’s not much to pick apart. Sure, Daisy’s story was wrapped up a bit too easily. And Mace embraced breaking the rules a bit too quickly. But overall, it was a tense and compelling midseason finale with a jaw-dropping cliffhanger.
After being at odds with the team for much of the season, S.H.I.E.L.D.’s new director Mace finally opens up to Coulson in a human moment and shows a willingness to work with the former director and his team. If they plan on keeping Mace around, it’ll be a nice change of pace to (hopefully) have everyone on the same page. Seeing Coulson and the gang butt heads with Mace was starting to get a bit stale.
Mac finally kisses Yoyo! This has been a stealth storyline for much of the season, weaving in their burgeoning relationship. But, after seeing Yoyo almost get killed by a bomb, Mac finally decides to pull the trigger. Not a lot of shows go to the trouble of introducing relationship arcs like this for supporting players, but after hosting the Ghost Rider, it’s great to see Mac get a happy ending.
Where does the back half of the season go? The Ghost Rider story has dominated this year, and judging by the final scene, it looks like we’ll be getting a big, juicy Life Model Decoy arc. Comic fans should certainly be geeking out.
Lines of the night:
“I do not like magic. Or clowns. Or clowns with knives in the dark.” - Fitz
“You better be. Because the devil is coming for you.” - Robbie
“Maybe about electric sheep?” -Coulson
“Oh, that? Right. Fitz figured that out.” -Daisy
“Maybe in the comic book version.” - Daisy
Up next: All LMDs, all the time.