The second episode brings a few answers to some of the questions from last time, though they aren’t all complete answers. What’s in the box (hint, it’s not Brad Pitt’s wife’s head)? Who is the new director? What’s up with SHIELD? Why is Daisy feeling guilty?
Before getting into all of that, I want to say, Ghost Rider is looking really good. The first episode was good already but it really feels like they managed to step that up a bit even more. There is also quite a bit of decent action in this episode despite that the plot isn’t real fast moving.
Anyway, on with the spoilery part.
So, with some answers. In hind site, it’s kind of obvious why Daisy is so distraught. Lincoln, her boyfriend, died at the end of the last season. Technically, the only other person she has ever really been attached to ALSO died (Ward) but it’s hard telling how much that really brought her down considering Ward has been a crazy bad guy for a few seasons now. I imagine she’s over that. That really doesn’t quite explain why she has been apparently busy knocking off banks. I’m kind of wondering if there is something else going on there, like it’s a different person posing as Daisy. Even if you push the Robin Hood angle, robbing banks doesn’t really feel like a justifiable character trait, especially if the motivation is “Lincoln died”. I could see there being more angle to this, like, feeling guilty about Ward causing so much trouble when she should have, could have, just ended him early on.
Anyway, Daisy gets real ballsy and confronts Robbie, aka Ghost Rider, at his job directly under the guise of getting her van fixed and being an old friend. After the fight lat episode they both know who each other really are, Daisy just wants to pump him for information and Robbie gets to restrain himself since his coworkers are all hanging around. Unfortunately for her, his coworkers eventually all leave for the day or out on other work, a short confrontation ensues and she gets tied up. She accuses him of murder, he claims he only acts as Vengeance (that’s kind of Ghost Rider’s thing). The people he killed all deserved it, and he’s busy going through her files (presumably from her van) to find justification for killing her. They bond a bit over their shared frustrations with the world before Daisy mentions this warehouse where the mysterious crate came from. This completely triggers Robbie and he runs off. Daisy uses her power to free herself and gives chase but she is unable to stop him since her harm was fractured earlier and her Quake Powers cause her pain in her arms. Somehow, hanging off the roof of a speeding Charger doesn’t cause her pain though?
I wanted to mention something about Ghost Rider here real quick. In the Marvel universe has two Ghost Riders, there’s a lot of heroes like this actually, there’s been many Captain Americas, many Spidermans, a few Iron Mans, and so on. The more commonly known Ghost Rider is Johnny Blaze, he is “The one that rides a flaming motorcycle.” He also was played by Nicolas Cage in a movie a few years ago, though that movie isn’t in the MCU. This Ghost Rider is Robbie Reyes, or “the one that drives a muscle car.” I am sure there are other differences, but that’s pretty much the extent of what I know about Ghost Rider, to be honest.
Speaking of alternate Captain Americas, we also got to meet the new Director, Jeffrey Mace, who, at least int he comics was once known as Patriot, and also, for a while, Captain America. I doubt they push either angle directly in the show, that’s not really the show’s style. I don’t think they ever refereed to Bobbi as Mockingbird and they only once sort of referred to Daisy as Quake. Most of the heroes and villains on Agents of Shield don’t really get “Codenames.” He seems like he could be an interesting character, he’s certainly very friendly though also strict about things, if all of the rumblings by the characters are to be believed. He’s also an Inhuman, which is different than the comics. Inhumans weren’t really a thing when his comic character was created in the 40s. Not much is know bout his powers aside from being durable and strong, much like, well, Captain America.
This is all kept a secret for much of the episode until he is forced to step in and intervene when May’s exposure tot he contents of the box cause her to finally lose it. We get a fun little fight involving Coulson and May’s elite fighting team battling May, alone. It’s always nice to get to see May in action, it helps push just how bad ass she is supposed to be. It feels like she’s been spending a lot of time moping around the base lately.
None of this even touches on what is essentially the meat of the plot. Fitz and Simmons along with Mack’s help discover that there is some sort of Ghost in the footage from last episode’s warehouse fight, the ghost is what caused everyone, including May to go crazy. She, the ghost, is also now at the same lab that Ghost Rider ran off to after Daisy brought it up. It seems there are more crates and more ghosts locked away. It’s not super clear if they are ghosts or not yet, they all sort of argue about finding a way to fix their condition though it’s never really stated what that condition is. They mentioned some sort of “Him” as well, though it’s also never real clear WHO he is. Mack and Fitz also have tracked down the warehouse and show up after most of the ghosts have left. There is a short sort of fight where Mack and Fitz try to avoid touching the spirits, to avoid going nuts before Ghost Rider arrives and rescues them.
Rescue isn’t really his motivation, mostly he just wants to stop and kill the ghost dude.
It’s all very… mysterious.
Daisy arrives shortly after the commotion, Ghost Rider rides off, and there is a brief reunion between Daisy, Fitz and Mack. Basically, Fitz bitches her out for abandoning them all over her problems because they have all had bad experiences (generally all at the hands of Ward) but no one else ran off. Daisy leaves again, only to partner up with Robbie and the new Director has May shipped off, somewhere.
So what’s with the Ghosts? Somehow I bet they are related to Ghost Rider. Maybe a better question is, are they Ghosts? The show and the MCU in general has tended towards science-ish explanations for pretty much everything, they don’t do a lot of straight out magic or supernatural. That said, they have already stated that the upcoming Doctor Strange movie won’t have a sciencey explanation. There’s also a decent amount of what is essentially Magic in the MCU, mostly revolving around Thor. I keep having a thought that maybe it’s all related to Whitney Frost and Agent Carter Season 2 but the MCU has proven repeatedly it’s not nearly as organized about that sort of thing as I’d like it to be.
Then there is May. It’s not clear where she is being shipped to, or who with. The intro for the new Director involves him giving a tour of the facility to some congress folks. It looks like May is being shipped away with these people. Except why would a straight jacketed, psycho-babbling May be flying away in a Quinn Jet with some congress folks? Especially after there was so much emphasis on keeping things looking up and up. Here’s a thought, maybe, it’s a simulation, from that simulation deal from the previous episode. Another thought, the Director seems kind of hell bent on satisfying some higher ups by bringing in the fugitive Daisy. Maybe he’s trying to pass the crazy May off as Daisy to keep the suits happy, it’s unlikely that they are super tuned to who the Agents of Shield are after all.