|Image Courtesy en.wikipedia.org|
However, I didn’t want to just let this review fall by the wayside, so here is my (belated) review of this week’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., “Lockup.”
I feel like a broken record saying this, but Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is on a serious winning streak this whole season. The addition of Robbie Reyes’ Ghost Rider has been a breath of fresh air, particularly with the way his story has ties in with those of Daisy and S.H.I.E.L.D. This episode was no different as we saw both heroes team up with S.H.I.E.L.D. to extract Robbie’s uncle, Eli Morrow, from the prison, which is simultaneously under attack from the ghost-people. Putting Robbie and Mack together against the ghosts is a brilliant move, considering Mack’s protective attitude toward Daisy and mistrust of things he doesn’t understand. He doesn’t trust Robbie, who is a much darker and more brutal character than any “hero” S.H.I.E.L.D. has encountered previously, and it turns out to be with good cause. They make a good team fighting the ghosts, but as soon as they split up it starts going wrong as Robbie sends Eli out without him so he can settle a score with the sole remaining Fifth Street Loco. I think everyone saw the twist coming—Robbie leaves Eli alone for revenge and Eli gets captured by Lucy (who by my count is the sole surviving ghost)—but it is still a good character moment for him. Considering that next week will be his origin story, I’m very interested to see where this is going to push him.
The Darkhold plot is really interesting as a way to introduce magic into the show (in anticipation of Doctor Strange introducing magic to the wider audience). I especially like the back story they give it as being a MacGuffin that everyone has been hunting for the entire recorded history of the MCU—exemplified by Red Skull, Whitehall, and Fury—as a way to work magic into the fabric of the universe. However, I’m not as interested in the ghosts themselves. When they were first introduced I thought they were ridiculously flat and acted terribly. This episode really didn’t do all that much to change that opinion. The two ghosts that Robbie torched didn’t get much screen time, but Lucy got more screen time than she has in any previous episode. I thought the back story at the beginning of the episode was good for how it showed what she and Joe were like before the Darkhold was in the picture. Actually, I thought her acting as a human was much better than as a ghost—which makes me wonder if the ghosts’ flatness was actually an intentional choice. If so, it definitely comes through, but I’m still not a fan of it.
|Image Courtesy www.mcuexchange.com|
The secondary story of Simmons and her polygraph was a bit of a surprise as it did not go the direction I expected. Instead of actually beating the polygraph, Simmons beats Director Mace by giving him a compelling reason not to make her retake it. She still isn’t particularly adept at lying, but she has proven to be excellent at coercion and blackmail.
|Image Courtesy www.screenrant.com|
Overall I really enjoyed this episode, as I have all the episodes so far this season. The introduction of magic—and tying it in to Ghost Rider—was a brilliant decision, even if the ghosts aren’t all that interesting. I am very curious to see how the Inhuman and Darkhold plots will be resolved, particularly as they are both being given roughly-equal time so far. Might they introduce an Inhuman whose power is a greater connection to magic?
What did you think of this episode? Which plot are you most excited to see moving forward? Let me know in the comments!