After easily its best season, Agents of Shield has a lot to prove with Season 04, and they started out hot (pun intended) by introducing Ghost Rider to the mix right off the bat.
If you don’t know this version of Ghost Rider, that’s fine. It’s a very new model, only a few years old, which kind of works as AOS is only a few years old itself. This much darker character of the MCU brings a presence and power that we haven’t really seen too often in AOS, even with Hive, and that’s saying something. Hearing Robbie Reyes note that “they always say that” when a thug is pleading that he doesn’t deserve to die was very chilling. You know, as was revving up the engine of his car to run him over.
The effects of Ghost Rider was a key thing. Would they work? I would say 90% did. There was a little bit of standing out in the opening scene, but the rest worked well. I personally don’t like the skull of this Rider, but judge for yourself, that’s what’s important.
Speaking of important thing, our favorite Shield agents are in anything but familiar surroundings. Shield has been legitimized, and because of that, there’s a new director. One who is apparently extremely paranoid, to the extent that not only do we not see him, but he’s broken up our favorite batch of rogues and “assigned” them to specialized positions. This is a very interesting status quo for the beginning, and it will be interested to see how it all plays out. However, because of this, we do get a lot of exposition, and forced information, and the familiar “I don’t trust you because of your ties to the director” thing. These characters have been through heck together, why would they suspect foul play now?
Then there’s Daisy, aka Quake! Now fully named as her comic book counterpart. She’s a one woman army trying to save the world…but also not getting attached to anyone. I’m glad the loss of Lincoln is still affecting her feelings, but at times it does come off as repetitive. I do however approve of how her powers hurt her when not using specialized Shield tech. It’s a nice caveat that could led to interesting stories down the road. Or in the case, the season.
Unlike previous seasons, it’s very unclear what the immediate threat it. We got a “ghost” appearing and causing havoc, but it’s unknown at present how that will affect the larger season picture. We’ll just have to wait and see I guess.
Though they did their best with the “get you up to speed” motif of season openers, there was still some faults. Some characters didn’t get a lot of time, some explanations were lacking. And other storylines, like the Life Model Decoy, seemed a bit out of place. At least for the early season. Also, that opening of Daisy getting dressed? Yeah, not needed. I know they can do that because of the time slot, but Daisy hasn’t done something like that in some time, why start back up now?
Overall, this was a solid return for Agents of Shield. Ghost Rider is a welcome addition, and I’m intrigued with what they will do with him, and the others as well. Let’s just hope some of these early hiccups don’t repeat themselves, because this season has a LOT of potential.