Agents of SHIELD “Uprising” Review (Season 4 Episode 3)

ghost rider Agents of SHIELD S4E3 Review

Agents of SHIELD delivered a strong episode this week, dialing back the supernatural elements to reintroduce the Watch Dogs as a major threat. Though there’s no doubt some viewers who want nothing but Ghost Rider and evil spirits as this point, I’m happy to have “Uprising” shift focus back to the Inhumans, who’re obviously still a sticking point in the larger world of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

It also helps that, though all the characters are still separated, the worldwide blackouts create a unifying situation for all of them to face. Daisy’s still on her own and working with Robbie, but their adventure this week is as much about the blackout as anyone else’s. It also gives Daisy and Robbie a chance to get to know each other a little better, as Daisy meets Robbie’s brother Gabe and learns more about his relationship with his uncle.

Even knowing the character’s backstory, I’m not entirely sure why avenging his uncle would get rid of the Spirit of Vengeance. That said, I don’t think it needs to make sense; for Robbie, it’s the hope that it might be possible to be free that drives him, however implausible. He can’t give Daisy a good answer, but it’s clear he doesn’t want to think too much about it himself.

The best character work this week, however, was done with Yo-Yo, who was at the site of the first blackout and ended up held captive by Watch Dogs agents. Despite being heavily advertised last season, the Secret Warriors never really came into their own, despite the promise to the characters. Though Joey is still MIA this season, I’m glad to get more time with Yo-Yo outside of being Mack’s love interest. She’s a tough, reserved character, and though the storyline she goes through is familiar – a friend or family member not accepting someone for their mutant power is what the X-Men franchise is built on – seeing Yo-Yo deal with the betrayal and hate adds welcome depth.

I will say, May’s storyline lacked a bit of tension, just for the fact that I never felt she was in any real danger of dying. That said, it still made for an emotionally affecting moment when Jemma thought she was going to lose her, and it gave Radcliffe a chance to show that he’s not entirely a self-serving jerk. He didn’t fully reveal Aida to Jemma, but showing off her power source will no doubt lead to further questions.

Finally, this episode gave us a number of great action scenes that highlighted the strengths of the different characters. Daisy and Robbie used their powers to take on a group of looters, while Fitz used any improvised weapon he could to contribute to fights alongside Coulson and Mack. The highlight, though, was the final fight against the Watch Dogs, featuring Yo-Yo and the others taking down enemies against a strobe light backdrop.

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