Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. “Let Me Stand Next to Your Fire” Review (Season 4 Episode 4)

ghost rider Agents of SHIELD S4E3 Review

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returned to the Ghost Rider narrative in a big way this week, with Coulson and Mack quickly running into the Spirit of Vengeance early in the episode. It set the stage for “Let Me Stand in Your Fire” to be a fun, action-packed hour of the show, one that also managed to begin reuniting the team and setting the stage for what this season’s larger narrative will be.

So far, the show has limited the number of appearances from a transformed Robbie, which is understandable given it’s likely a fairly intense CGI effect. Instead, the show has made the most of its uses when it does, and tonight’s was the best yet. His battle with Hellfire was full of great moments, the clear highlight being when he caught and stole the Inhuman’s fiery chain whip. It was the exact sort of fist-pumping moment one would hope for from the character, as well as a great meta-reference to the early teases of Ghost Rider this summer, which many skeptical fans assumed were references to a bigger role for Hellfire.

Of course, there were plenty of other great moments tonight, including a race across LA between Lola and the Hell Charger – which featured the return of Clark Gregg’s mad swerves in his driving acting – and an explosion caused by two fire guys falling into a fireworks factory. It was a collection of ridiculous, over-the-top moments that, taken with the strong action beats last week, do a great job of reenergizing the series and getting me excited to see what they present next.

The show’s also doing a good job of exploring the characters again this season, something that’s possible given that the show lost four main cast member last year. The small cast means more time can be devoted to each of them, and that’s come through in numerous interactions this year. Tonight, that included several reunion scenes for Daisy, both with Simmons and Coulson. In particular, there’s clearly a lot that goes unsaid between the two, but Coulson making it clear that he’s just happy that Daisy is alright is a sweet moment.

Narratively, this episode made clear that, for the foreseeable future, the big focus is going to be on the Darkhold, a mystical tome that is tied in not only to Ghost Rider, but the ghosts that first appeared a few weeks back. There’s obviously a bigger threat on the way, but for now, this gives a clear sense of focus. The struggle for the show remains to better integrate all of the other storylines – the Watchdogs and Life-Model Decoy arcs are still pretty separated – but every thread remains engaging, which is enough for now.

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