Marvel's Agents of SHIELD Review by John Keegan

Marvel's Agents of SHIELD 4.05: Lockup

Marvel's Agents of SHIELD 4.05: Lockup

Written By:
Nora Zuckerman and Lilla Zuckerman
Directed By:
Kate Woods

The writers for Agents of SHIELD have done a near-perfect job of introducing Ghost Rider to the series without detracting from the focus that is (and should) be on the agents themselves.  Case in point: by slowly bringing Robbie Reyes into the fold, and waiting until he is working with SHIELD to start peeling back the layers of his origins, it keeps the narrative focus in the proper place.  In short, they earned the right to start telling this story because it’s part of the overall SHIELD story now.

 


 

The threat of the “ghosts” is directly tied to the Darkhold, which is tied to Robbie’s uncle Eli.  Therefore SHIELD must break Eli out of prison to get the information they need to end a threat.  Also, Robbie/Ghost Rider is the only one who can affect the “ghosts”.  Thus Robbie’s presence at the prison is critical to the progression of the story, and the fact that he also encounters someone related to his past is a bonus that adds to his character as a whole.  It feels completely organic, especially since it leads to mission failure.

 

The action at the prison allows for some character exploration, which makes sense, given that the prison setting itself makes a good portion of this episode a “bottle story”.  Those work best when they provide the characters with a crucible for revealing motivations and issues, and Daisy has plenty of those.  It’s also a great way to follow up on May’s recent death and resurrection and how that may or may not change things between her and Coulson.  All of these developments may feel like “filler”, but they are likely to prove important.

 


 

Equally important is the notion that Director Mace revealed his true nature to the world.  However, I was surprised that it took so little provocation from a political enemy to push Mace to that decision.  After all, the truth about his Inhuman nature was a card he can only play once, and it’s akin to sacrificing your queen in the first few moves of a chess match.  Simply waiting to see the effect of the interview might have been more reasonable; instead, despite the poll numbers talk, it comes across as reactionary.

 

The end effect of the prison debacle further underscores the importance of the episode: Director Mace is going to have to exact some consequences.  And of course, that’s an exercise in appeasement, so it’s just the beginning of what will likely be the slow but steady loss of official support for Team Coulson.  The road to ending the threat of the Darkhold just got harder.


Our Grade:
B
The Good:
  • The prison proved to be an effective crucible for the characters
  • Lots of solid character development for May, Daisy, and Robbie
The Bad:
  • Mace gives up an important piece of information a little too quickly

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 - 10/26/2016 12:19 PM164 views

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