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Recap – Agents of Shield S04E08 – Ghost Busted!

So ends the Ghost Rider story arc.  So starts another month long break.  Fortunately there’s a mini series of some sort that’s going to be on the ABC streaming app.  It’s not super clear what the webseries will involve other than it follows Yo-Yo on a secret mission of some sort.  I imagine the episodes will be 5-10 minutes each, tops.  This isn’t likely going to be a whole series of hour long episodes ala Agent Carter.  Yo-Yo has turned into a fun character, but I kind of wish that we were getting a Carter webseries.  But now I’m just beating a dead horse.

This episode was alright but seemed really scattered in what was going on.  It was also a  bit of a let down as the culmination of Robbie’s arc.  I mean it wraped everything up nicely but it just felt a little anti climactic after so much build up.  Spoilers beyond the break.

At the end of last episode, it kind of felt like Robbie and Mac were going to go all vigilante on Eli Morrow.  Next episode and they are both just together, with the team, working to take out Morrow.  Morrow is hold up in an old warehouse with a bunch of thugs standing guard, SHIELD has laid siege tot he place and is planning their move.  There’s also mysterious Quakes, not cause by Quake.

There’s some back and forth in the planning, Director Mace isn’t too happy with bringing along Robbie or Daisy or that Radcliffe has a secret robot.   There’s even comments about Ultron and the Sokovia Accords.  After a throw down with Coulson about how they aren’t a very good team, they all agree to be friends and set up their master attack plan.  Mace makes it clear that Robbie and Daisy can’t be seen by the press covering the event while they are working with SHIELD.  The three super powered folks they have, Daisy, Yo-yo, and Robbie, all make up the attack team, May is sent to retrieve AIDA.

During the initial push, Yo-Yo runs in to do some recon which triggers a firestorm trap blocking off entry to the building.  Robbie, being immune to fire heads in, alone.  Inside he finds a mysterious box that Eli has built.  Things get a little messy plot wise in this area.  Characters seems to bop back and forth from the Bus Jet a bit, which I realize is a quick box flight away but it makes the pacing seem screwy.  Shield also doesn’t really seem to be doing anything, granted Eli can more or less kill people at will.  The box also in general gets explained, but not real clearly other than its some sort of bomb.  Why it’s an elaborate box looking bomb isn’t real clear.

All I’m saying is the whole middle portion of this episode felt a little off in the writing, especially given how solid this season has been.  It wasn’t awful, it just seemed below what we’ve been getting.

Anyway, Robbie enters the box where he gets pinned by Carbon spikes by Eli.  They exchange some words about how Robbie felt betrayed by Eli over the whole ordeal and Eli points out that Robbie apparently has secrets of his own since he hasn’t died yet after the radiation and carbon spikes.  Each time Robbie starts to transform into Ghost Rider he gets interrupted by another spike to the chest.

Meanwhile Fitz has figure out the Quakes are being caused by Eli drawing matter from the dark/mirror dimension.  They devise a plan to use AIDA to build a portal below the bomb to trap it safely away in the other dimension.  Quake gets tasked with using her power to stave off the quakes and keep things stable long enough for AIDA to build the portal and the plan to be executed.  Coulson confronts Eli in person, mostly to stall things while the others work in the room below.  poor Robbie is still trapped in the box.  Eventually when things are ready, Coulson gives the word and SHIELD comes bursting into the room.  Yo-Yo speeds in and disarms the thugs guarding the area and plants a little bomb thing on Eli that knocks him into the box.  Robbie transforms into Ghost Rider but he is unable to free himself from the carbon spikes and instead opts to hold Eli down inside the box as it’s sucked into the other dimension.

I want to go back to Yo-Yo a bit.  Someone, somewhere must have recently perfected the whole “Room stands still while one character moves” technique because it keeps showing up in a LOT of TV.  We get a sequence here, as Yo-Yo speeds through the room.  It’s used for Quicksilver in the X-men films, I’m sure there are many other examples but the first time I really remember seeing it is in the show House of Lies when Marty Kaan walks around explaining things to the audience.  It’s arguable the source of the whole Mannequin Challenge meme.  It’s a really popular effect going around lately.

Back to the show, Eli and Robbie and the bomb are gone, Quake becomes overwhelmed by the quakes and runs outside.  She does this weird Quake repel flight thing she does and falls back to Earth only to land in front of the press.  They are all surprised to see her, Director Mace shows up and claims she has been working with them undercover all along.  I just want to add this while sequence of events felt really bizzare and random, and follows the odd tone and flow of the writing on this episode.

There is a bit more celebrating and then a SHIELD agent collecting files and gear from Radcliffe’s lab discovers something mysterious in a closet.  AIDA shows up and snaps his neck and the mystery is revealed to be… an injured and unconscious Agent May.  Except May is also still at the party… It seems AIDA was (surprise!) made evil by reading the evil Darkhold book and now she has replaced May with a Life Model Decoy (LMD).

What’s to Come

What’s next?  Shield comes back in January, and instead of being subtitled Agents of Shield Ghost Rider, it’s now Agents of Shield LMD.  It seemed fairly clear that AIDA was going to be a major plot point and likely villain.  I’m still holding out for the return of LMD Ward.  It seems cheezy but I really like having the various incarnations of Ward always serving as the villain.

I’m also hoping the Slingshot web series turns out to be worthwhile.  I’m not doubting it, but I hope it doesn’t end up being 6 minute long episodes that go don’t really go anywhere or accomplish anything.  I’m not expecting Earth shattering revelations, I just want some substance.

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