First thing first – On of the reasons I DID NOT REVIEW the episode 1 of Agents of Shield last week was that I felt that this was very likely…
well, boys and girls, Ghost Rider that we are getting in Agents of shield is NOT a one off appearance, GHOST RIDER IS HERE TO STAY.Marvel is even labeling all promos as Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.- Ghost Rider.
Anyways, let’s talk about the first two episodes of Agents of Shield did. ( I think they should have aired both episodes the same day. That would have create a better impact!) Agents of Shield has always been a series that gained from one season to other. Always improving. One of the reasons that made it possible was that each previous season established the next one. However, season 3 finale effectively concluded 3 major arcs that Agents of Shield has been running for years now.
- Hydra arc
- Inhuman arc.
- Grant ward arc.
Instead, the season 4 of AoS starts as the aftermath of Sokovia accords and takes on a territory it has never ventured before – THE SUPERNATURAL. Not only that, Shield is back on the way to be legitimized. And that has resulted some massive changes to the structure and to the status of everyone and everything. Which has resulted in a much more sedate start then the explosive start that Season 3 took. The whole world of AoS is rebuilding, and every character is trying to find their place in this new world order.
However, that doesn’t mean AoS is dropping the ball this season. It is ONCE AGAIN doing what it did last season. CREATING MULTIPLE ARCS AND RUNNING THEM AT THE SAME TIME. And running them well.
The arcs that Agents of Shield is establishing and do they work?
1) The new world order :
Just like AoS s01e17 gave us a great look at MCU post Captain America : The winter soldier, Season 4 has taken on itself to show us the world that is reeling from effects of CA: Civil war and Sokovia accords. (Read more in the spoilery section) With the destruction of Hydra at its roots AND at its Heads, S.H.I.E.L.D. is back on the way to legitimacy and with accordance with the Sokovia accords. However, that has come up with a price. Coulson is no longer the Director, and the team has been fractured.
Gotta say,I love the fact that this one small team that was a minuscule cog in the machinery of S.H.I.E.L.D., has grown into such a formidable force that powers to be did not want them to stay together. the situation is complicated by the fact that a grief-stricken Daisy has left the S.H.I.E.L.D. to take a more drastic approach.
As a result of this, all of a sudden all the members are having their own arcs. And I do mean that literally.
2) Skye/Daisy/Quake meets the Ghost Rider arc :
First of all, let me say that GABRIEL LUNA IS KILLING AS THE GHOST RIDER. (Pun intended and not intended at the same time) Yeah, I know, I lknow – you love and want only the Johnny Blaze version. But really, Robbie Reyes has gotten a great arc and well, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is taking advantage of its late night slot to bring a much darker and more Comics accurate version than we have seen before. This is a Ghost Rider with conviction and no remorse, who does NOT HOLD BACK on vengeance. 2 episodes in, and the guy is already moving towards a double figure on-screen kills. The special effect of Ghost Rider are not shoddy at all. Way better than I expected TBH!
Look, I wanted Johnny as much as anyone. But this looks to be shaping up to be a great Ghost Rider on his own!
More importantly, the Ghost Rider is here to stay. As series progresses, we can be sure of more and better scenes with Ghost Rider. I have a feeling this season is working as a back door season 1 for the Ghost Rider himself, or at least jump board for his own series if he gets a good reception.
Agents of Shield has spent last 3 years establishing Daisy/Quake as a potential top-tier hero. This time, they are showing that there ARE limits to her powers. Which is only enhanced by setting her up against a MUCH POWERFUL entity that is the Ghost Rider. Chloe Bennet has been great so far in her role as Vigilante with a death wish and she has a great chemistry with Gabriel Luna. The dynamics that is emerging between them is fun and promises us an excellent arc ahead.
However, this is Agents of Shield and it can’t let Ghost Rider have his own thread only. There is another major arc that is emerging and that seems tied up to him too.
3.1) Magic – A magical artifact :
Yupp, Agents of Shield is finally going there. Without actually spoiling much, another supernatural entity enters the fray in episode 1, and while one would believe that there would be a scientific explanation at the end of the day ( especially if you happen to be Fitz and Simmons), but AoS has introduced a MAJOR , MAJOR MAGIC ITEM to MCU. It is of course a massive spoiler , so I have discussed it in the Spoiler section at the end. If YOU WANT TO KNOW WHAT IT IS at this moment, CLICK HERE.
The show runners have already said that Magic will be a big part of this season and that questions rising from the series will be answered by the Doctor Strange movie. and with what has been revealed so far, seems they were not exaggerating. THIS, is the big connection to doctor Strange!
3.2) Magic – “Ghosts” :
AoS finally has some “Ghosts” too. TBH, I felt that AoS missed a trick with not going for the scary route for them in episode 2, but still, they kinda work in their own way. Still the weakest part of the narrative was their CGI.
Not that Agents Shield is forgetting its science roots…
4) Life Model Decoys:
L.M.D.s, which were teased in season 3 have finally arrived. And of course, post Sokovia , all AI is banned. So this arc is gonna be all secret. Don’t want to spoil much, but to the uninitiated, L.M.D.s were pretty big with Nick Fury once upon a time. He had so many decoys, you would never know if you are talking to the real Fury or not. They purpose is literally to be a decoy and die for someone else, so let’s prepare for an emotional death. 😛
5) THE NEW DIRECTOR :
Trust me, this is big. The show runners have said that he has his roots in 1940s, and what little was revealed in Episode 2, has potentially MASSIVE implications for MCU ( WHY, you ask? See the spoilery section! No seriously, this is good!) Anyways, Jason O’Mara was great in his first appearance as the director. He and Coulson have a good chemistry/rivalry built already so that is gonna be good to watch.
6) Agent May’s Arc :
Agent May’s arc is all spoilery, so really can’t anything. However, what is happening with her certainly is gonna be a major event in the series. Chance for Ming-Na Wen to show off her action and acting chops! So far, she is acing it!
7) Other characters :
Gemma in particular seems to be heading for big things. It is kinda impressive how much Elizabeth Henstridge has grown as an actress in last 2 years! Yo yo is the character that seems to be having most fun though, especially with Mack 😛
All in all, just within 2 episodes, Agents of Shield has again established 7-8 arcs, of which 2-3 could have solely been major arcs. And seeing it is AoS, we can expect them all to be connected into the end and expect AoS to hit it home by smashing them together around episode 8 or 9. I, for one, Cannot wait for it!
Character development has always been a big plus of AoS, and this season is no exception. Simmons, Daisy and Coulson seems to be heading for the maximum change here. every character is trying to find their place in this new world order and the writers have nailed it.
The BREAK OUT has to be Gabriel Luna’s Ghost rider though. Can’t wait to see what they do with him!
ACTION and CGI
As I said before, The CGI of Ghost Rider is really good, especially for a TV show. Though there hasn’t been much action yet, the hand to hand that has been there is good. We haven’t had that BIG Ghost Rider scene yet, but that is because he seems to be in ir for the long hall, so they are saving it. Still, whatever they have shown so far is great.
All in all, The first two episodes of agents of Shield managed to establish some quality arcs and potential character development. It has also given the Ghost Rider a solid start. The show certainly is heading into supernatural territory without losing it’s foot hold into the Science. They are taking up the story from where Civil war ended. And they are likely to lead us into Doctor Strange. While it was not a dazzling start, it is the start that this season needed. The episodes answers many questions and raised even more, as they should!
AoS, after 2 season of running on its own, is back in MCU in a big way. And this time, you might be missing out on actual stuff, if you are not watching!
And I am pretty sure on calling it now. This season will be fantastic! Looking for Ghost rider to burn a few more souls and bodies and spirits even!
RATING : 9/10
SPOILERY SPECULATION AND DISCUSSION!
AoS has created three major arcs that bear more discussion.
1) THE MAGICAL ARTIFACT :
Yupp, We have the DARK HOLD!
The Darkhold was written billions of years ago by the Elder God Chthon, (who was the Earth’s first practitioner of black magic)containing all of the dark magical knowledge of the time. It has passed through the biggest names in magical history of Marvel and currently with Doctor Strange. This is especially important as the show runners have said that questions of AoS will be answered on Doctor Strange!
The Darkhold‘s power is so vast it took the combined strength and will of both Merlin and St. Brendan to contain it, and even together, they were unable to destroy it or its power. The show seems to suggests that SOMEONE has it under their control. and the “Ghosts” ( well they are not the ghost, but they are there in that state due to black magic, so I have no other word for that now) are looking for it. This certainly will be the major arc .
At this point, I would like to mention the possibility of May being infected by the malevolence of the Darkhold so badly that she becomes a sort f evil Ghost rider. Or at least, someone who acts like a uncontrollable Spirit of malevolence. Robbie Reyes’ arc has something similar, and so , I fell this might not be impossible.
2) THE DIRECTOR :
Jason O’mara’s character is inhuman, a super strong one with seeing physical vulnerability. WHAT IS MORE INTERESTING THOUGH, IS HIS NAME – JEFFERY.
WHY does that matter you ask? because the only big Jeffery that Marvel had in 1940s was JEFFERY MACE. The Patriot.
Again you will ask, WHY SHOULD YOU CARE ABOUT THIS OBSCURE CHARACTER?
well, the answer is, because HE BECAME CAPTAIN AMERICA AFTER CAP’S DEATH IN WW 2!
A VERY IMP Side note. Coulson wanted Captain America to be the new head of shield and the public face. ” New director should be a powered person that public could trust”. And obviously, Steve Rogers would have been great for that. Shield NEEDS the good PR. But as Cap is now on the run after civil war, Coulson got stuck with Jeffery. Which means, HE now is to become that. And now that Steve Rogers is not the Captain America, that spot is open too.
I highly doubt it is just a coincidence that someone who replaced Cap in 40s as per Marvel’s history is replacing Cap, who has super strength, needs to be “a powered person that public could trust” and not take up the shield. We are very likely looking at the new Captain america. or at least, Patriot who is promoted as the better , more patriotic version of Capatain america to be the face of Shield AND Sokovia Accords.
Which is Kinda funny because JASON O’MARA HAS VOICED BATMAN IN 6 ANIMATED MOVIES, LOL.
3) Ghost Rider:
I really like that Daisy and Ghost Rider are uneasy partners, rather than opponents. The Bonnie and Clyde dynamic between Robbie and Daisy really works for me, especially with their chemistry. Plus, very glad that Daisy did not defeat Ghost rider, lol.
Robbie seems to be thinking he is the key to it all. he knew the lab from its name. he took the picture of 8 people on the wall. It is safe to assume he knew some one. Could it be Robbie’s uncle,Elias Marrow…
from the comics who is the key to his abilities? Very likely!
all in all, some fantastic possibilities ahead!
let me know what you think!