Agents of SHIELD has been on fire this season (heh…) and that is all mainly because of the inclusion of Ghost Rider. The character and story surrounding him has brought a really neat aspect to the show through the inclusion of magic and the supernatural timed nicely into the release of Doctor Strange. Ghost Rider has brought a spark to the show that creates this greater mysticism for the writers to pull from and only opens up additional avenues for new stories. Agents of SHIELD has really changed up it’s dynamic this season and so far it’s really paying off; with the inclusion of Ghost Rider and the whole rebuilding of SHIELD, there are a lot of compelling conflicts on the show. “The Good Samaritan” begins to set Agents of SHIELD on what seems like it’s long-term path for the season and brought some extremely exciting moments and developments to light.
One of the biggest brewing conflicts this season has been the new director, Mace, vs. Coulson. The two have had a normal relationship to this point but it was only a matter of time until something went wrong with them and the trust was broken. Mace has been pretty lenient with Coulson so far and the former director has definitely taken advantage of the new guy, at least a little bit. The inclusion of Mace has been a great addition to Agents of SHIELD because it brings a refreshing and different aspect to the business side of SHIELD and how the organization operates. This episode finally reveals how much tolerance Mace has as a director until he has to put his foot down; between knowing Simmons is lying to him and willing to blackmail him for special privileges and finding out from Senator Nadeer that Coulson was working with Quake and Ghost Rider, his side is completely understandable. The show has been writing the character and his inclusion into the show very well so far where it feels like a natural progression.
Ghost Rider has clearly been a majorly positive addition to Agents of SHIELD and possibly the best character the show has chosen to bring onto the screen. A lot of the credit goes to Gabriel Luna for his acting skills and the powerful emotion he brings with him to the role. One of the major stories in this episode focuses on Robbie admitting what he is to Gabe and how he really survived the crash they were both in. Agents of SHIELD really nails the delivery of this origin reveal for Ghost Rider by seamlessly integrating the background of Gabe and Robbie in with how he received his powers. There are a lot of very emotional scenes that do a great job of showing how much Robbie cares despite being a killing machine of vengeance. The show also seems to handle Gabe’s reaction really well because the character is put into such a radical situation in a matter of moments. He displays a good combination of fear and concern with sadness and it’s easy to see that he loves his brothers and appreciates the sincerity behind what he did the night of their crash, but he’s also just as horrified that the person closest to him turns into a demon who looks to have no restraint when it comes to killing.
What makes the Ghost Rider and Reyes brothers’ story so much more interesting is the reveal in “The Good Samaritan” that their uncle, Eli, seems to be the main villain for at least the season’s first half. The story with the ghosts started out relatively boring but has definitely picked up in pace and become much more interesting. This episode finally seems to fill in all of the pieces around the season’s main story and it’s cool how it all fits together. Agents of SHIELD pulls a solid bait and switch by having Eli be the true villain who caused everything with the Darkhold, so it’s exciting that he has some knowledge about magic. Finally bringing magic and supernatural into the MCU is a super exciting addition and it seems like Agents of SHIELD has found an unforced way to introduce it to viewers and Marvel fans through the TV show. Choosing to have Eli be the bad guy also gives Robbie a purpose to stick around and hopefully work with Team Coulson more, plus there should be some strong emotional confrontation between Robbie and Eli in the future.
Agents of SHIELD has built itself up to be in a very nice position through the beginning of season 4. The show feels like it has finally presented some well thought out and mature stories that have a larger impact as the season progresses. Last night’s episode really advanced things with some big moments and new information involving multiple characters. Choosing to incorporate Ghost Rider has already had a huge payoff, but now his inclusion on the show is sparking new debates from the public because they assume he’s an Inhuman. Agents of SHIELD has added many layers of depth to the show’s plot and just as the world is adjusting to the reveal of Inhumans, supernatural beings are starting to appear as well. Ghost Rider adds to parts of the show that the character hasn’t been directly involved with either, and it’s going to make things interesting. “The Good Samaritan” is a great episode of Agents of SHIELD that fills viewers in on a lot of important information while also nailing Ghost Rider’s background and keeping it emotionally charged on the bond the Reyes brothers share.
*Seems pretty horrifying to watch your brother turn into a flaming demon monster.
*It was cool to watch Mace use his powers but unfortunate the debut came when he was in an unlikable position. He couldn’t even match the Ghost.
*Love the Agent Cater crossover!
*Robbie has been my favorite part of Agents of SHIELD but this episode only furthered my want for a Netflix Ghost Rider show and two Ghost Riders in the MCU. They could just give Luna a Netflix spinoff or keep him in the ABC realm and give Johnny Blaze a Netflix show, either way I would be super hype.
*Robbie, Coulson and Fitz get transported into the Dark Dimension… uh oh.