Agents of SHIELD: Season Four Premiere ‘The Ghost’ (Review)


After a season three finale that called for copious amounts of tissue box sojourns and much sniffing, Agents of SHIELD starts off where everything previously ended. Phil is now “agent” Coulson again, Daisy, aka Quake, is still operating solo and Melinda May has been demoted. Fitzsimmons have been promoted however and hold a special place under the new director.

The premiere of season four, having been moved to a bit later time slot, is that bit bloodier and has a slightly darker theme.  There is also a lot going on in terms of subterfuge in the land of SHIELD.

Yo-Yo may still have a serious thing for Mack but she is still working as a double-agent. Reporting to Daisy and helping her to get the bone healing medicine only available from SHIELD.

Simmons is also acting as a sort of double-agent. She may be sticking to the rules but only to keep the new director off balance. Jemma points out to May that she does not trust the new head, but he trusts her and she is exploiting that to help the “band.”

Radcliffe gives AIDA a new and very sexy shape, Leo is certainly impressed, and the two are now colluding on the project.   So much for a fun afternoon watching footie on the telly and sucking down some beer.  Jemma is still in the dark about Radcliffe’s latest project however and this may not be a good thing.

Daisy encounters a “serial killer” who turns out to be the “Ghost Rider” which adds an interesting dynamic to the whole episode/series.  In a splendid reshaping of the whole SHIELD mythos we now have a demon powered anti-hero mixing it up with an inhuman.

Gabriel Luna as Ghost Rider

Leaving aside the brilliant fight between “Quake” and Robbie Reyes, aka Ghost Rider, the FX were, to put it bluntly, breath taking. Great flames and fantastic skull work made this a win/win all the way around.

Reyes is, for those who never got past Nick Cage’s Johnny Blaze incarnation, the latest version of the demon powered anti-hero.

Interestingly enough, Reyes decides to let Daisy live, after she tells him to “do it.” Could be that the Ghost Rider may play a hand in helping Daisy realize her truth worth?

It is also worth mentioning that Daisy operates as Quake at great cost to herself. Shattering bones and bruising her limbs, she is not allowing pain to interfere with her crusade against the Watchdogs.

The season four premiere of Agents of SHIELD, also featured a “Raiders of the Lost Ark” vibe.  As Mack and Phil track down Daisy, with Melinda May on their tails as well, a group of men open a mysterious box.

Said box was responsible for the two dead men that Coulson and Mack found in the back of the semi trailer. When the thing is opened this time a  spectral creature, that looks female, whispers in the leader’s ear.

He asks what this is, and the ghostly apparition says it is a “breath of fresh air.”  All the men who were in close proximity of the mystery box are affected by the thing.

Like the Ark of the Covenant in the first Indiana Jones film, a spirit is ejected from the container and it influences those near it. Although there is no melting flesh in this scenario, it is very evocative of the climatic scene in the 1981 film.

In this first episode of the new season Agents of SHIELD introduces a new walking and talking A.I.; AIDA (played by Mallory Jansen), a demon powered judge, jury and executioner, a box that may, or may not, have another supernatural purpose and an “infected” Melinda May. 

The last bit is the most disturbing.  May is already disgruntled and  this new influence could spell disaster for the ever decreasing members of Phil’s SHIELD family.

Melinda May and Mack.

At the risk of repetition, it is brilliant to see Scottish actor John Hannah as a regular and his character’s invention is also a welcome addition to the show.

This year looks to be more focussed on the smaller verse of Marvel with less emphasis on big screen crossovers. This may be a good thing overall, although those very infrequent guest spots were fun.

Agents of SHIELD airs Tuesdays on ABC.


Author: Mike's Film Talk

Former Actor, Former Writer, Former Journalist, USAF Veteran, Former Member Nevada Film Critics Society

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