Previously on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., “Lockup”
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – S4E6 – The Good Samaritan | Starring: Clark Gregg, Ming-Na Wen, Chloe Bennett, Henry Simmons, Elizabeth Henstridge, Iain de Caestecker, Gabriel Luna, Jason O’Mara | Writer: Jeffrey Bell | Director: Billy Gierhart
IN THE DOSSIER
The Director was on the warpath and determined to remind Coulson who’s in charge of SHIELD. While avoiding detainment with Daisy, Robbie filled his little brother in on who he is and what he’s done. Also, Fitz was pitching a fit due to his intense dislike for the new boss and not knowing where on earth Jemma is currently on assignment. Elsewhere, Eli and Lucy completed their ominous device, but it turns out the workplace dynamic was not as everyone believed.
YOU GOTTA GO THROUGH HELL BEFORE YOU GET TO HEAVEN
Finally, the episode all of us, including Clark Gregg, was waiting for! The fateful rise of Ghost Rider!
“Samaritan” was lead by a pair of S.H.I.E.L.D. veterans who were responsible for a number of pivotal episodes in the show’s four seasons. Writer Jeffrey Bell is responsible for several of the series’ more evocative stories in “T.A.H.I.T.I.”, “S.O.S” and “Maveth” that have become the standard for S.H.I.E.L.D.’s expansive story arc. Couple his talent with director Billy Gierhart (who helmed a number of episodes including “Absolution” and season four premiere “The Ghost”) and the two created a very dark, emotional roller coaster that is typically favored by fans and commonly seen throughout their work.
As advertised, the origin of Robbie’s transformation into Ghost Rider was revealed however most of the flashbacks in “Samaritan” involved the entire family. Though they were happier times, the dynamic between the three men was already beginning to splinter. While Eli was too busy with his work as Momentum, Robbie would take his ‘69 Charger out for joyrides and races. If it wasn’t for one fateful night involving a clica of 5th Street Locos – hired by Joseph Bauer to kill Eli – Gabriel would probably be having the time of his young life at Stanford or Berkeley.
Fast forward to today and the guilt in Reyes is too much to carry. He finally let loose about his alias as the Rider and attempted to explain to Gabe (Lorenzo James Henrie) what occurred after the drive-by wasn’t as he remembered, but the work of the devil. Even after all the men Robbie murdered, his near-death and loss of his legs, Gabe continued to love his brother knowing that he suffered in his own way. That is until he saw the Rider up close and personal. Realizing his rage can barely be contained, Gabriel has to seriously weigh the merits of having a seemingly uncontrollable, demon-possessed mass murderer for a brother.
One can’t help but feel for Robbie. All he wanted to do was the right thing, for Gabe, his uncle and the neighborhood. While his bloody exploits had gotten his name out there, the world is so full of evil, his deal with the devil – be it actual or metaphorical – will never be complete. Given how the MCU version of Eli Morrow has diverted considerably along with Reyes’ origin and powers from the comic version, it’ll be intriguing to see if there will be a confluence of mystical forces as the season progresses.
SEE YA, WOULDN’T WANT TO BE YA
Did anyone expect Lucy Bauer (Lilli Birdsell) to last as long as she did – and take a sympathetic turn during her tragic tale at that? It’s clear the Darkhold has a staggering influence on those who read its power and she succumbed to it easily because an ambitious scientist is almost always a wicked combination in comic adaptations. It didn’t take long for her and hubby Joseph (Kerr Smith) to warp their benevolent ideals into a frenzied quest for ultimate power. Here comes Eli (José Zúñiga), belittled and taken advantage of by his project partners, putting together an elaborate scheme to reunite with the book and resume their work for his own gain.
It wasn’t so much a surprising turn of events as it felt hurried and flimsily executed. Except for a few seconds when Morrow would leer at any lead ominously, nothing about Morrow feels intimidating or grandiose to fashion him as a “power player” in S.H.I.E.L.D.’s current narrative. As much as the ‘ghosts’ have resorted to being either throwaway characters to marginally aggravating, at least Lucy had an appeasing balance of manic desperation and zealous reverence for the Darkhold. Alas, her time had come and the team must overcome a new sinister force. First, they have to handle the threat that proverbially signs their checks.
Deep down, the Director could be a really nice guy. Hey, it’s possible! Thanks to Senator Nadeer showing him footage of Reyes giving a 5th Street Loco the fourth degree, all the charm and platitudes and tired rhetoric went out the window for a man dead set to clean house. Coulson was to partly blame for not recognizing how unstable Robbie becomes in the field, but Director Mace is so preoccupied with boosting S.H.I.E.L.D.’s credibility among the government’s top officials, the agency is barely getting anything done. At least it hadn’t before things really went from bad to catastrophic.
Where Mace fails is believing his hubris to be the truth. Apparently Jemma knew better and now Senator Nadeer does as well. For his smarmy bluster about transparency and truth among compatriots, the Director seems to be hiding a lot more skeletons in his closet aside from his recently revealed status as an inhuman. No one can rely on him having their backs, and considering that he just lost two of his top agents (and one powerful fugitive) for parts unknown during an arcane experiment, S.H.I.E.L.D. could be in for a mess of trouble the next couple episodes.
Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait until November 29 to get any answers! Stay tuned, true believers!
- Hey, they made an Agent Carter reference! We almost forgot about Zero Matter, didn’t we? It’s nice to see the show and its deceptively prolific mythology remains relevant to contemporary MCU storylines.
- What the what? Roberto was given his supernatural power… by Ghost Rider?! Was it Johnny Blaze or Danny Ketch? Or could that have been all in Reyes’ head? That was without any doubt a shocking turn of events. Hopefully this means otherworldly heroes and villains will jump in S.H.I.E.L.D. in future episode, once they’ve gotten their footing with their one badass.
- Speaking of badass, how about that fight between Mace and Reyes? After making a dent in the Director’s head, I’m fairly certain Phil now believes any warning Robbie makes could become reality. “I will bring this plane down!” “YES, OK I BELIEVE YOU.”
- What are we to think about Director Mace and Simmons’ relationship? Is the favor he owed Senator Nadeer already being cashed in via access to his top aide… or is Jemma back on spy duty like the good ol’ days when she was a HYDRA researcher?
- Apparently the Doctor Strange tie-in will occur next episode. Or never. Although S.H.I.E.L.D. has been an entertaining Marvel show on its lonesome, the bit cameos that occurred in the first two seasons were exciting compared to the few lines written about Sokovia or an Avenger.
- Now that S.H.I.E.L.D. is reinstated as a legit intelligence agency with a very active media presence, the Avengers do recognize its existence, right?
Agents of SHIELD S4E6 = 9.5/10