Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S04 E04: “Let Me Stand Next to Your Fire”

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Can vengeance be contained? After a few clashes with Quake, the Ghost Rider comes flaming face to face with the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. What is his secret, and what about the ghosts of the Momentum Lab? Worse than that, how are the Watchdogs getting info on the Inhumans? Meet me after the jump for my thoughts on “Let Me Stand Next to Your Fire!”

Dreams and Nightmares

We open on Simmons happily house hunting for her and Fitz, bringing their relationship to a new level, unfortunately when checking out her dream flat, she finds a wounded Daisy. She needs help, and has turned to Simmons, while simultaneously finding her friend the perfect home. Still friends, that made me smile. Even the kidnapping, forced help at gunpoint, is done like it’s a game, friends playing. I liked the back and forth between the two old friends. We’re just that much closer to the team/family getting back together.

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Daisy is sure that the Watchdogs have been hacking S.H.I.E.L.D. servers to access the registered Inhumans list. A quick counter-hack reveals that it is true somehow, and that James is next on the Watchdogs’ target list, so Daisy and Simmons go to contact him. One might recall James was particularly unstable, dangerous, served Hive, and had fire powers – not a nice piece of work. I highly doubt he has assimilated well to a tame post-registration existence.

Lola vs. Ghost Rider

Meanwhile Coulson tries to interview Elias Morrow in prison about Momentum Labs, but he ain’t talking. Luckily, afterward as Mack and Coulson are discussing how it went in the prison parking lot, Robbie in his Dodge Charger pulls up. Mack recognizes him immediately and the chase is on. I have to admit, it’s an awesome car chase, ended by the Charger hitting an invisible quinjet without a scratch – but let’s face it, when it comes to the Lola versus Ghost Rider, if one car ain’t flying and the other car flaming, it’s just not much of a car chase now, is it? I wish the budget had opened up for that, I bet ratings would have gone up.

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After a bit of foreplay and some clever verbal fencing of Coulson, the inevitable occurs, Ghost Rider joins forces with S.H.I.E.L.D., even if only temporarily. In a game of the enemy of my enemy is my friend, there is a tenuous alliance, and Robbie agrees to chat with his Uncle Eli and possibly get further than Coulson did with him. Eli is hip to the coincidence and knows why Robbie is there, and that he’s probably wired, but spills anyway.

Fighting Fire with Fire

Daisy and Quake track James down to his job at a fireworks factory, yeah, either it’s a death wish or a constant reminder for him not to use his powers. Either way, James seems to have mellowed and accepted his fate as a watched pot Inhuman in the post Civil War world. Unfortunately, it’s a trap, as he’s the key to how the Watchdogs are finding Inhumans. James is letting them use his tracking device in exchange for being the last Inhuman standing.

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When images first surfaced of James with a flaming chain, comparisons were immediately made to Ghost Rider, folks even suggested when Ghost Rider was announced on the show, that he was the character. It’s only fitting that when they encounter each other, Robbie takes the chain from James. Nice move. I loved Mack’s line here: “Did two fire dudes just fall into a warehouse full of fireworks?” to which Coulson answers, “You had to see that coming.” Priceless.

The Darkhold

Eli Morrow is in prison for beating his boss into a coma, his boss being the husband of our lead ghost Lucy Bauer. Morrow had been working at Momentum on a quantum particle generator, a machine that creates matter from almost nothing at all. But it was powered by the Darkhold, a book of evil in the Marvel Universe. This may have made more than a few folks at Momentum lose it a bit, including old Uncle Eli.

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Now the Darkhold is on S.H.I.E.L.D.’s and Ghost Rider’s want list, extending their alliance, and bringing Daisy along for the ride as well. Hey, at least the band is finally back together, only took four episodes. The weird part is, Coulson knows about the book, but the question is, what isn’t he telling us? The Darkhold has a S.H.I.E.L.D. serial number, a case number, how much do they know about it? Coulson says that Daniel Whitehall, the Red Skull, and Nick Fury himself have all looked for it. This is going to be a fun ride.

Conclusion

Again, we have the subplot of May recovering, only with Aida caring for her. This was a test of Radcliffe’s to see if May would know she was an android or not. We know there’s a moratorium on artificial intelligence in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, thanks to the events of Age of Ultron, so Aida has to remain a secret, but until there’s an endgame to this subplot, it’s just kind of boring for the moment, except for some nice verbal misdirection.

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We also have a pseudo-cliffhanger in Lucy Bauer. She has awoken her husband from his coma, so it seems that our heroes aren’t the only ones after the Darkhold. It will be very interesting watching the worlds of science and the supernatural mix in future episodes. I liked this one quite a bit, the show always works better with fewer characters and storylines, and I hope it stays this way for a bit. It’s been a long time since I felt this way, but I can’t wait until next week.

Next: “Lockup!”

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About Glenn Walker

Glenn Walker is a professional writer, and editor-in-chief and contributing writer at Biff Bam Pop!. A blogger, podcaster, and reviewer of pop culture in all its forms, he's done stints in radio, journalism and video retail. Ask him anything about movies, television, music, or especially comics or French fries, and you’ll be hard pressed to stump him or shut him up.

Posted on October 22, 2016, in agents of shield, Glenn Walker, Marvel, television and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I would’ve loved to see the flyer and the flamer duel it out in the sky, but you can’t have everything. I did get a tiny twinge of ‘setting up for that movie coming out soon’, but as always it was S.H.I.E.L.D.C.O.O.L. 😀

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