Uneasy alliances are being made in this week’s episode. SHIELD needs Robbie Reyes (Ghost Rider) and Daisy to get their hands of a dangerous book, while SHIELD Director Jeffrey Mace makes some alliances to improve his image.
SHIELD is trying to find the Darkhold, a mystical book with forbidden knowledge that also reads the reader. That’s why Lucy and Joseph Bauer (Lilli Birdsell and Kerr Smith) see it as blank ages, until words start appearing in different languages. The info is the same: it’s a shortcut to their efforts to make machines that make matter from thin air. It’s also known as “tampering in God’s domain.” In a flashback that starts the episode, they find it buried in a basement, but he decided to rebury it when it was causing death and destruction.
Lucy, still in her ghost state, has the book after waking her comatose husband but can’t get it to reveal its secrets. She needs someone alive to help her read the book. That means Robbie’s Uncle Eli (Jose Zuniga), who’s in a prison outside of Los Angeles.
SHIELD decides to go to the prison and decides Daisy and Robbie must help out. They also think it’s a good idea not to tell the new boss about it. They’re still not sure about him.
They discover Lucy got there first by infecting the staff with “ghost paranoia”. Fortunately, they already came up with a way to it with a small dart. That comes in handy when Mack gets infected.
Daisy discovers a part of the prison has Watchdogs who don’t like her kind. Once Lucy lets them free, they go after her. She winds up being trapped with them at a cafeteria, and she clobbers them through old-fashioned punching. She can’t use her quake powers because they could shatter her skeleton. May winds up saving her, but Daisy isn’t happy about it. She is still determined to leave SHIELD for good once the mission is done. She makes that very clear to May in a very emotional scene, but May says Coulson won’t give up on Daisy easily, or at all. Neither will May.
May and Coulson also spend a lot of time talking about her near-death experience. He wants to know what it was like for her on the other side. She said it wasn’t like going to Tahiti. She just says she saw him on the other side. Fans are hoping they’ll be the next Bobbi Morse and Lance Hunter, mainly because we miss them. Let’s root for Fitz and Simmons first. They’re still working things out.
Robbie (Gabriel Luna) is able to keep his demons at bay. He finds a guy named Santino (Rolando Molina) who he remembers from the hood. It turns out he’s responsible for crippling Robbie’s brother Gabe because he got caught in a drive-by shooting. The demon inside Robbie wants vengeance, and it got just that. The fire is so intense the prisoners go back to their cells.
Meanwhile, Jemma’s worried about the next lie detector test, especially since she knows things Director Jeffrey Mace (Jason O’Mara) doesn’t know. It looks like she’s caught until she is recruited to help him in an appearance on This Week with George Stephanopoulos. He has to debate the “Inhumans” problem with Senator Ellen Nadeer (Parminder Nagra). She still thinks they’re a threat, and would ignore treaties from foolish humans. She, of course, doesn’t mention her brother experienced terrigenesis and is still a statue. To George’s credit, he does call her out on thinking the Inhumans are “different” and should be feared because of it.
Jemma’s able to feed Mace good answers with hidden earphones (just like in Broadcast News). However, the earphones stop working, and he has to improvise. He stuns everyone by admitting he’s an Inhuman, too. So that may change the debate, right?
Well, no. It seems that he and Nadeer are in cahoots. He apparently needs her support to keep his spot at SHIELD, and that means he can be Nadeer’s favorite Inhuman for the time being. She’s upset Daisy is with SHIELD, and they also get their first look at the Ghost Rider, and how he killed Santino. She’s going to send this to ABC News unless Mace plays ball with her. So, it looks like Robbie and Daisy will be targeted by Nadeer, since the Senator thinks they are both Inhumans.
Aside from that, Jemma’s research into trying to beat lie detector tests helped her notice Mace hasn’t been completely honest about his heroic career. That gets her exempt from future lie detector tests, but it doesn’t mean she’s safe. If Mace will do anything to keep his job, she should watch her back.
The episode packed a lot of action and twists, and some interesting corporate synergy by involving ABC News. It’s still a prelude to next week, when the Ghost Rider’s origin story will be revealed. It also looks like Eli and Lucy will unleash the Darkhold, which may be a preview of what to expect when Doctor Strange premieres next week.