Marvel's Agents of SHIELD Review by John Keegan

Marvel's Agents of SHIELD 4.04: Let Me Stand Next to Your Fire

Marvel's Agents of SHIELD 4.04: Let Me Stand Next to Your Fire

Written By:
Matt Owens
Directed By:
Brad Turner

The stellar fourth season of Agents of SHIELD continues apace with this installment that covers the threats to Inhumans, supernatural forces, and potential AI threats.  For the most part, the episode focuses on the somewhat difficult job of meshing the Inhuman part of the equation with Ghost Rider.  The Watchdogs are using SHIELD data files to track down Inhumans, and Daisy wants to protect Inhumans.  Ghost Rider is with Daisy these days.  It should be simple, right?  Of course, it’s not, because once Daisy meets up with Simmons to handle the data breach, they find out that Hellfire (one of Hive’s followers last season) is an apparent target.

 


 

Meanwhile, the writers find a way to get Coulson and Ghost Rider into an urban car chase ala Fast and Furious, and it’s just as fun and hilarious as one would expect.  Reyes ends up in SHIELD custody and that means Coulson gets to evaluate Robbie face-to-face.  Not surprisingly, Coulson ends up deciding that he can trust Robbie, and Coulson’s network of superheroes expands accordingly.

 

Hellfire turns out to be a traitor to his Inhuman people, working with the Watchdogs, and things look pretty grim until Ghost Rider emerges on the scene.  Before long, he’s wielding his infamous fiery chain in the middle of a fireworks shop, kicking Hellfire around with a vengeance.  Coulson gets him to spare Hellfire’s life in the end, and suddenly it makes sense why Coulson’s trust matters.  Who else could convince a vengeance demon to spare a life?

 


 

All of this mutual trust leads to some revelations about the “ghosts”.  As hinted many times, they are scientists that were using particle accelerator experiments to locate the book known as the Darkhold.  Oddly enough, this information comes via Robbie’s uncle Eli, which seems like one of the more tenuous links in the supernatural chain this season.  They try to cover over the notion that several mystically-aligned villainous organizations couldn’t find it all this time, but it seems ludicrous when that it would therefore just fall into SHIELD’s lap.

 

Much more reasonable is the subplot involving Fitz, Radcliffe, and May.  As Agent May continues to recover, Radcliffe enlists Aida to serve as May’s nurse.  Fitz and Radcliffe argue over whether or not this is a good idea, and ultimately Aida is introduced to the idea of lying for the sake of self-preservation.  There’s simply no way that could ever go wrong, especially since Simmons is able to identify Aida as an android almost immediately.  In a season that has delivered us Westworld, this exploration of the pitfalls of AIs with human likeness may seem trite, but it’s got a long history in the Marvel universe.


Our Grade:
B+
The Good:
  • The writers manage to juggle quite a few narrative threads in this episode
  • Ghost Rider’s slow but steady rise as a heroic addition to the cast continues
The Bad:
  • Aida’s development is going to have to deliver some twists and turns to avoid seeming too familiar

John Keegan aka "criticalmyth", is one of the hosts of the "Critical Myth" podcast heard here on VOG Network's radio feed Monday, Wednesday & Friday. You can follow him on twitter at @criticalmyth

Marvel's Agents of SHIELD by - 10/19/2016 10:51 AM262 views

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