By: Casey Johnston (@DarthHockey)
WARNING: There are spoilers ahead for the latest episode of Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD.
Ghost Rider Story
Now that the Ghost Rider arc has seemingly come to an end, I’m left scratching my head wondering what it was all for. We spent most of the first eight episodes thinking this was all leading up to an epic Doctor Strange tie-in (it wasn’t) only to learn that Robbie’s uncle Eli was really the evil mastermind all along. While it explored similar concepts from Doctor Strange, one really had nothing to do with the other. It could have been a great twist, but it felt a bit rushed. Rather than learning more about Eli and his motivations, the character ended up being absent for the whole last episode only to come back in this one and suffer a defeat at the hands of SHIELD and Ghost Rider. Now, I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of Robbie, so that means the potential for Eli to return is also high. But we also know that the show is moving on from the “Ghost Rider” subtitle to the “LMD” one when it returns from its winter break, so who knows when, or even if, we’ll return to this story. This isn’t to say it was bad because I enjoyed it, but this story ended before it was really finished.
We finally got to see Jeffrey Mace as the Patriot and it was low-key yet still spectacular. I’m guessing this will be a regular occurrence, so there was no need to overdo it. While Mace and Coulson have their problems, and I question how long the former will remain as the director, the character should be around and fight bad guys for the long run because he adds a much needed additional superhero element to the show.
Speaking of Mace and Coulson having their problems, I thought the director really turned a corner tonight. I spent much of the first half of this season wondering how much I was supposed to hate him, but the character really improved in my eyes. Not only was he able to explain what he was doing with Senator Nadeer, but he was able to take away the Senator’s leverage against Daisy while also redeeming the former rogue agent in the eyes of the public. Now that Daisy is back with SHIELD, once they clear up this upcoming mess with Aida, the team can start taking on Nadeer and the Watchdogs.
What are the writers doing with Aida? Please don’t tell me this is a small-scale recycling of the Age of Ultron story because that would be lame. The fact that this is actually getting a whole subtitle for next half-season suggests that this is going to be a long-term story. I know it’s fascinating to consider the possible effects of creating artificial intelligence, but the writers are seriously coming dangerously close to revisiting stories and concepts we’ve explored and resolved. I hope this ends up being something fresh.
Thanks for reading!