Agents of SHIELD Season 4 Premiere – Burning Ring of Fire

Everyone’s favorite government team is back and they are on the trail of one of their own, who in turn is hunting down a serial killer.

Spoilers for “The Ghost”

Recap:

Picking up six weeks after the six-month jump from the season three finale, Daisy (mostly known as Quake by the public) has been disbanding the Inhuman hate group, Watchdogs, by disabling their funds and breaking up their suppliers. While attempting to take down a group of white supremacist who are doing the Watchdog’s dirty work, Daisy witnesses a mysteriously odd looking man driving a beautiful ’69 Dodge Charger injure one man, kill two others and drag off a fourth man. Later Daisy goes to question the wounded survivor in the hospital. He warns her “when he burns you, he burns your soul” just before he dies.

The driver interrogates his prisoner about the theft of a box and the buyers looking to cash in. The prisoner has little information for the driver and he is eventually burned.

Image Courtesy of ABC

Image Courtesy of ABC

May brings Coulson and Mack in from the field ten days early to update them on a woman in LA who has been identified as Quake at a scene where two men were killed and one injured. The two men were pulled off of Daisy’s case because the new (faceless and nameless in this episode) director felt they were letting her get away. Sure Daisy didn’t kill the men in LA, Coulson and Mack take Zephyr One to LA under the guise of checking in on their asset in the field, Yo-Yo which allows May can keep the intel about Quake off the director’s desk.

After her evaluation with Mack, Elena goes straight to Daisy and gives her the heads up about SHIELD and passes her some pain meds. Daisy using her powers without the compression sleeves Simmons made for her have taken their toll on her hands, causing stress fractures.

Daisy continues her investigation into the shadowy driver by following the trail of the car. A piece of art that gorgeous does not go unnoticed. Eventually the trail leads to a junk yard where Robbie Reyes (Gabriel Luna) works. At first he starts to show her the door, but he senses something inside of her and attacks. The two engage in a highly destructive fight (good thing they are already in a junk yard) where Robbie explains he killed those men because they deserved it. The other men Daisy found he killed were also bad people who had committed heinous crimes and got away with it.

“It was vengeance.” He can’t stop killing because the devil inside of him compels him to do so. Robbie, who has become full on Ghost Rider at this point, gets the upper hand on Daisy and she begs him to finish her. All the guilt from the pain she has cause is still eating away at her. Seeing her remorse, Ghost Rider spares her. Curious about this new powered person, Daisy continues to follow Robbie and finds him taking care of his wheelchair bound brother.

Image Courtesy of ABC

Image Courtesy of ABC

Back at headquarters, the new director has implemented many strict, color coded structures to keep a Hydra like situation from happening again. Simmons managed to be one of the few people from the original team to have gained the trust of the director putting her at odds with May. The Calvary is none too thrilled with the restrictions placed on everyone and Simmons’s place by his side. But Simmons is trying to make the best of a strenuous situation. She doesn’t agree with how the leader is running SHIELD and is using her new found power to protect her friends.

Unfortunately to keep the trust of the director, Simmons has to send May and her people into the field to pull Mack and Coulson from their off book mission to bring in Daisy. Upon arrival to LA, May finds Coulson and Mack following the trail of a mysterious box a group of mobsters have in their possession thinking Daisy will show to break up the meeting. The mobsters think whatever is inside of the box will “bring [their] new enhanced enemies to their knees.” When they open the box, a supernatural mist that takes the form of a woman is released and affects the men making them see their faces as corroded, almost dead like. As the men panic over what they are seeing, SHIELD is able to infiltrate and take the men and box back to the lab. As they are flying back to base, May starts to see Coulson’s face the same way the mobsters were seeing each other’s faces, but doesn’t say anything to Coulson.

In the meantime, Fitz has continued his budding friendship with Holden Radcliffe. While the two are set to watch a football (real football, not the NFL) final together, Fitz is accidentally introduced to AIDA, Radcliffe’s project we saw him working on at the end of season three. AIDA is not another Ultron, but a possible method of protecting SHIELD agents. A “Life Model Decoy” built to look exactly like a regular human and mirror speech, movement, and expression. Under the terms of his pardon, Radcliffe is not to be working on any non-sanctioned experiments and could get in a lot of trouble if AIDA is found. Fitz, worried about the possible use of the LMD as a weapon, offers to keep AIDA a secret from everyone, including Simmons, until the technology is perfected.

Image Courtesy of ABC

Image Courtesy of ABC

Questions, Thoughts, and Theories:

Interesting that Fitz is the one to break the barrier of calling AIDA a “she” and not an “it” like Radcliffe does.

With Doctor Strange hitting theaters soon, Agents of SHIELD is more than happy to jump both feet into the new possibilities magic and mysticism the new film will bring to the MCU. Ghost Rider stands squarely in that area as he is a man possessed by the Devil. What is inside that box, I’m not sure, but it was a great surprise to see more than just one character who will be coming in from the magical realm.

Image Courtesy of ABC

Image Courtesy of ABC

It is interesting that the beginning of season four starts much in the same way as season one. Daisy is a fugitive on the run from a shadowy organization and unleashing her brand of justice (also living in a van). Coulson is no longer the director, just another field agent sent to investigate the new and weird goings on. The team is finding their footing with one another in a new situation. In this darker season, the show is seemingly rebooting itself into something more than just fodder to enjoy between films.

I’m glad the producers and writers didn’t drop the Watchdogs storyline from last season. With Inhumans still making new appearances, fighting for their rights to have freedoms, and dealing with the repercussions of the Sokovia Accords, it makes sense there would be a hate group of those who would work to take the enhanced persons out.

Seeing May and Simmons at odds with one another is refreshing. In the past the scientist has always differed to the field agent as her superior. Now the tables have turn and Simmons has the power within SHIELD and is more than willing to stand toe to toe with May.

Image Courtesy of ABC

Image Courtesy of ABC

Fitz’s nick name for Simmons position SADIST (Special Advisor to the Director in Science and Technology) is so wonderfully telling. Love that those two are still going strong despite Simmons always working.

What did you think of last night’s premiere of Agents of SHIELD? What do you think was inside the box and how will it affect May? Do you like to new and darker direction the show is going? Let me know in the comments section below.

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About Nerdling

The Nerdling has an unhealthy obsession with books, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and Star Wars. She finds hockey to be the best sport in the world (Go Dallas Stars!) and is working on her first novel, but mostly glowers at a blank screen. You can find her on Twitter @nerdlingstale on Facebook @NerdlingTales or Instagram @nerdling_tales

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