Agents of SHIELD “The Ghost” Review (Season 4 Episode 1)

Agents of SHIELD S4E1 Review 11

As is often the case for Agents of SHIELD, the season premiere was all about setting up the new status quo for the show following a bit of a time jump. The good news is that the show has a history of keeping all of the table setting entertaining, and that trend continues here as the show starts its fourth season. Of course, “The Ghost” also has a certain fiery vigilante adding new blood to the mix, so there’s no denying the hype going into this episode was sky high.

So, yeah, let’s just get right to the Spirit of Vengeance himself, Ghost Rider. Truthfully, Gabriel Luna didn’t get a whole lot to do in his first outing as Robbie Reyes, but that’s understandable. The episode instead played up the legendary status the Rider has quickly gained in Los Angeles, introducing us to the character more through the community and brief appearances. That said, what we got was promising, with Luna bringing the right intensity to the character and already giving a sense of the burden that the Ghost Rider puts on him.

And if we didn’t get a lot of character development yet – though we did meet his younger brother right at the end – we did get some fantastic action beats for the character. From the rocket launcher car flip, to his ability to engulf any weapon in flames, to the fantastic face melting effect used to transition between Robbie and the Rider, the show quickly established Ghost Rider as a powerhouse and a threat.

Ghost Rider’s introduction comes through an investigation by Daisy, who’s still on the run as established in last year’s finale. She’s still plagued with guilt over her actions under Hive’s sway and Lincoln’s death, choosing to focus on taking down the Watch Dogs instead of dealing with her feelings. Now, she’s got the chance to forge a new connection outside of her old support system, which seems likely to be the main focus of her arc for the foreseeable future.

The other half of the episode, meanwhile, did an impressive job of setting up the arcs for our other five main characters. Some were of course smaller than others – Mack’s burgeoning romance with Yo-Yo, Simmons dedicating herself to the new Director – but it’s nice to have a clear idea of where everybody’s heads are at.

The two big revelations came in regards to Fitz and May. As teased last season, Radcliffe has taken his work to the next level, creating the first draft of a Life Model Decoy in AIDA. Given Simmons’ insistence on telling the Director everything, Fitz is left to help Radcliffe perfect the LMD, and though they acknowledge the threat of AI that Ultron posed, they’re confident nothing can go wrong. Good luck with that.

Finally, May got a hit of whatever weird spirit was released near the episode’s end, which was one of the most intriguing developments. Ghost Rider’s arrival obviously signals a turn to the supernatural for the show, but the box ghost proves the show is doubling down on this new direction. After a season-and-a-half focused on Inhumans, it’s a welcome change, and one that will hopefully provide a more consistent season for the show. Whatever the case, this was a strong premiere that has me excited to find out what strange new stories the show is ready to tell.

What did you think of this week’s premiere? Let me know in the comments!