'Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' S4E2: Meet the New Boss

★ ★ ★ ★

Finally, the reason for Ghost Rider's appearance has come to light. Prepping for Doctor Strange's arrival, this season of S.H.I.E.L.D. is solidifying the MCU's ties to magic. We've seen gods, pseudo magic, and psychics, but magic's always been a bit of an iffy topic with the Marvel world… until now.

Scarlet Witch was the first addition to the MCU to have magic powers, but even after that viewers haven't gotten the chance to see her further her powers by studying magic. It's around, but in the woodworks right now. With the possibility of actual ghosts being thrown into the mix and hints at the Darkhold, the agents are going to have to call in the ghostbusters. (Or the Howling Commandos, if you read the comics.) The Darkhold is a mystical book that is the origin of all of the dark magic in the Marvel universe. Created by Chthon, the elder god of black magic, this is the book that created a ton of things in the Marvel universe. Now while these ghosts may not be talking about this specific book, it's more than likely that they are. The question is: how does Ghost Rider know these ghosts?

(So sorry to say that the Marvel universe is very, very complicated.)

Scenes between Robbie and Daisy are more than electrifying, the uneasy build to their eventual alliance is teeming with smart dialogue. Daisy's shop-talk interrogation and Robbie's quick analysis of Daisy's baggage allowed them to create both conflict and friendship in one episode. Daisy's character has been enjoying more freedom this season (quite literally) and is getting the chance to reacquaint herself with the audience and remind them of the Daisy they liked in the first place: Skye. Now with a more legitimate reason for brooding, Lincoln's death means more to the show than he did when he was alive.

Agents of SHIELD: S4E2

Characters are trying to find their place in the world this season. A post-Sokovia Accords world means a world where S.H.I.E.L.D. needs the public to start trusting them again. With that comes Director Jeffrey Mace, the new face of S.H.I.E.L.D. and an Inhuman with superhuman strength. Better known as his superhero alias Patriot, this guy's roots date back to the 1940s. A 70-year-old character when he died, this updated version is getting his shot at being the hero he wanted to be and hasn't appeared to have retired from the superhero business. And what better way to gain the public's trust than to bring back one of the Captain Americas! (He's the fourth person in the comics to take up the mantle!) Even better, Jeffrey and Coulson had the opportunity to discuss both where they stood and why they wanted to have each other be in the positions they occupy now. Tensions aside, it seems that Jeffrey is far less trouble than the other people who tried claiming S.H.I.E.L.D. as their own a couple of seasons ago.

When and where Jeffrey got his powers is up in the air. He calls himself an Inhuman, however it's possible he's just another super soldier and is keeping his true identity hidden just in case. Though it's a wonder why he's trying to keep his identity a secret from a fanboy of Captain America like Coulson. (Boy, that feel like eons ago.) That is, if Jeffrey even is Patriot. He could be a modernized reboot of the character, not a comic version. It's a matter of whether Patriot existed in Captain America's time or not.

The jokes shared between several of the characters were awkwardly realistic highlights of the episode. Almost a bit of a surprise every time, it's a reminder of the comic relief that existed when Bobbi and Hunter were around. Any day where Mack can discuss theories with FitzSimmons is a good day.

It's unclear just what the show has in mind with May's storyline from this point going forward, or what it means for the future of the team's relations with the new S.H.I.E.L.D. Though it's creating a lot of tension by means of misunderstanding or lack of trust, the situation's a rather odd one to throw into the mix amidst Ghost Rider's larger story arc. The importance of the ghosts themselves is a much needed storyline to develop on and, hopefully, the payoff is huge.


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