So, I never thought most of the questions that have been building up this season would all get answered in one episode. And what a great episode this was. Lots of good action, lots of good backstory, lots of good surprises. It’s a good thing too, because apparently SHIELD is on hiatus for something like three or four weeks.
Anyway, plenty of spoilers behind the break, so, you’ve been warned.
So, after last episode, Robbie’s Uncle, Eli Morrow, who certainly deserves a name at this point, was kidnapped by the Ghost Lucy. Lucy needs him to read the Darkhold book to reverse the process that turned her into a Ghost so many years ago. Coulson and his team make a quick pit stop to pick up Robbie’s brother, Gabe.
All of our heroes are working together to find a way to track down the Ghost when Director Mace shows up for a surprise visit to pick up the two Fugitives Coulson is hiding, Robbie and Daisy. Robbie, Daisy and Gabe all hide out in the containment pod hanging off the bottom of the jet while Mace and his men sweep the Bus. This gives them a bit of time to bond and give some backstory about how Robbie became Ghost Rider.
The core story isn’t super exciting, Robbie is sneaking out to do some street racing in Eli’s Charger, Gabe shows up, they go off to the race together for some brotherly bonding, then they are attacked by gang thugs, hired to take out Eli (it’s Eli’s car), the Charger wrecks and rolls and bursts into flames, Gabe ends up crippled, Robbie ends up dead.
Then it gets interesting, when The Good Samaritan shows up. On his motorcycle. First thought, “Mystery Motocyclist saves Robbie from death making him into the Ghost Rider? Could it be Johnny Blaze, the original Ghost Rider? Gabe finishes his story and Robbie picks up, telling the part that Gabe couldn’t see. the mystery rider is indeed, Johnny Blaze. Or at least, another Ghost Rider. He even looks different. No sign of Nic Cage, for better or for worse. Essentially, Robbie “Prayed for anyone to save his brother”, an Ghost Rider complied, at a price.
The party is finished when Director Mace lifts the containment pod back into the plane, essentially because he’s not stupid and knows when it’s missing. Meanwhile Fitz has figured out where Lucy was heading based on their need for power. Upon hearing this and the Director’s refusal to follow through and rescue Eli, Robbie freaks out and transforms into Ghost Rider and breaks free of the inescapable containment cell. He and Mace then go at it for a bit before Ghost Rider essentially beats Mace unconscious and Gabe pleads with him to calm down and not kill Mace.
On another nice surprise side note, while doing his research, Fitz makes a direct reference to the events of Agent Carter Season 2. Specifically Isodyne and Zero Matter. It’s not the same process but the current experiment that caused the Ghost problem seems to be descendant from the Zero Matter experiment that affected Whitney Frost, which is pretty cool, plus… I sort of predicted/suggested/called it.
They then set out to rescue Eli inside a hydro electric dam. Daisy gets to sit this one out due to her injuries though it also kind of feels like an excuse to keep her away from later events. It also seems like a good idea not to take someone who specializes in Earthquakes into a dam. Fitz and Mack work to disable the power from the control room while Coulson, May, and Robbie head after Eli.
Fitz asks Mack to retrieve one of the Watchdog EMP devices (from the earlier episode) to use on the control room while Coulson’s crew encounters Lucy. Coulson and May head on ahead while Robbie detains Lucy. After some more flashbacks about Lucy and Eli’s past, Lucy suggests to Robbie that his uncle is the bad guy here and the one who put the Ghosts into their current Ghostly state. Robbie obliterates her anyway using his Ghost Rider Powers.
May and Coulson arrive at the lab and recover the Darkhold book. Coulson dispatches May to take the book away to safely, meanwhile Coulson is attacked by Eli. Another flashback later and we now know that Eli was basically storing his colleagues in the cubes to use them to power the experiment they had been working on to create matter from nothingness. Or… something… It’s all sort of just “Magic” which is mostly sort of feels confusing because a lot of the MCU so far has been pretty good about giving some level of “Science explanation” for things.
Eli locks himself in the chamber and activates the machine after a short fight with Coulson. When he emerges from the machine, he appears to now have the ability to create matter, or at least some little black blob of something. Also there is a shockwave of some sort that seemed to vanish away Coulson, Robbie, and Fitz.
That’s pretty much the whole of it. Well aside from Simmons being absent all episode after being dispatched on a secret mission by Director Mace at the start of the episode. No sign of doctor Radcliff either.
I’ll be honest, I have no idea what’s going to be next. There isn’t anything new to go on for Radcliff and his robot, or the Senator and her Inhuman brother. There’s not much to go on for what’s next in the current set up, there isn’t any clue what happened to Coulson, Fitz and Robbie, and it’s not super clear what Eli is capable of, or if it’s related to Whitney Frost at all (probably not #ItsAllConnected).
There’s also a long hiatus. Speculation is there’s some sort of tie in with Doctor Strange, and the break is to give people time to watch the movie. I can’t imagine what the tie in could possibly be. The ONLY thing I can think of is the Darkhold book, which according to Wikipedia was used by Doctor Strange to stop some Vampires. I don’t know that the movie will have Vampires but it’s not uncommon for the MCU to re-purpose ideas a bit and remix them. They did make several moments through the last few episode where there were lingering shots on the book as if to say “look, see, this is what it looks like”. It also seems to be magical and mystical in nature. Having May squirrel it away would be a good point for the movie to have Doctor Strange recover or even be given the book by SHIELD, introducing him to the greater MCU.
This seems like a stretch but it’s the best I’ve got.