Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D has returned, in a blazing flurry of vengeance with its autumn premiere of ‘The Ghost’.
A darker, more mature tone is established right from the offset of Season 4. Predominately through the introduction of the Ghost Rider character Robbie Reyes. But the episode also introduced our first glimpse of the supernatural within the MCU. The combination of the Spirit of Vengeance, and the the release of a mysterious ghost are sure to give plenty of chills this season.
A lot has changed since Season 3 wrapped up. In the aftermath of the Civil War, and Sokovia Accords, S.H.I.E.L.D are no longer forced to hide in the shadows. They are are once again in the public eye under the command of a new director.
The old team have also been split up by the the director. Jemma Simmons has risen to the top of the podium, now being the most senior member of the original team. This is great to see, and her character has a brand new lease of confidence. It’s also great to see how far she has come from way back in Season 1. Mack and Coulson are active agents and have been travelling the world doing various missions. As most of the MCU believe Coulson died in the Battle of New York, he is no longer the face of S.H.I.E.L.D. May has been training the newest bunch of agents, while
kicking their asses preparing them for active duty. While Fitz has been developing plenty of new tech for the team, from exploding pens, to advanced virtual reality spaces.
Daisy is still recovering from the loss of Lincoln. Through her conversation with Yo-Yo it’s clear she is reluctant to lose anyone else she cares about. Having left S.H.I.E.L.D, she is taking the law into her own hands and acting as a vigilante. Although she has no contact now with S.H.I.E.L.D, she is still close to Yo-Yo. It is also revealed that Yo-Yo did sign the Sokovia Accords and is still in contact with S.H.I.E.L.D. This allows Daisy to get information on what leads S.H.I.E.L.D may be following. Yo-Yo is also able to get Daisy medication as the constant use of her quake powers is starting to take its toll on her body.
Daisy has predominately being tracking down a dangerous weapon, shadowing gangs that have been working with the Watchdogs. Her vigilante ways however cause her to cross paths with the deadly Ghost Rider. Ghost Rider’s first appearance is ominous. Neither Daisy, or the viewer can make out the Ghost rider through the wall of flames. His initial scene however sets up a string of the most violent scenes we have ever seen on the show.
As Daisy confronts the gang, Ghost Rider arrives on the scene, and not even a bazooka gun can stop his wrath. Ghost Rider’s car erupts in a burning blaze as he slams into the thug’s car. In a violent display of power, he takes one of the gang members hostage. Torturing the thug throughout the episode for answers, when he doesn’t find what he is looking for, Ghost Rider disposes of the thug in a typical Ghost Rider horrifying fashion.
Unable to see his face through the blaze of flames, Daisy is intrigued by the emergence of this enhanced human. Daisy’s search switched from finding the weapon to finding out who the mysterious man he is. Her search finally leads her to the scrapyard of Robbie Reyes and we finally get to see Robbie transform into Ghost Rider for the first time. This is the moment in which Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D stepped up their game. The quality of the effects for Ghost Rider make him one of the most exciting additions to the show. This is potentially one of the best live action Ghost Riders we have seen.
This episode also introduced various other plot points which will no doubt be developed gradually over the course of the season. We see the introduction of a Life Model Decoy, called AIDA developed by Radcliffe. We see Fitz and Radcliffe agreeing they need to make AIDA perfect before they can tell Simmons about her, but something tells us that may end up backfiring on Fitz.
Season 4 has most definitely started off with a solid opening. The new mature tone outs it in line with Marvel’s Netflix series now, and we can definitely start to feel like they all belong in the same universe. I’m looking forward to seeing how far they can take Ghost Rider this season, and seeing them explore more of the MCU’s supernatural elements with the mysterious Ghost unleashed.