That was quite a twist for the Agents of SHIELD right before their four-week break. Fans will have to ponder how the Reyes family has become a bigger threat than HYDRA.
For the first six episodes, it was thought Lucy Bauer wanted forbidden power that apparently has roots in the past, but it was really someone else. It’s also revealed SHIELD Director Jeffrey Mace may have strength and suspicious motives, but he doesn’t have respect from his group.
The big news, though, is that the true origin story of Robbie Reyes, the Ghost Rider (Gabriel Luna), was revealed. He was on his way to a street race when the Fifth Street Locos shot at him and his brother Gabe (Lorenzo James Henrie). Gabe survived….but Robbie didn’t. However, they were both saved by a “Good Samaritan” who didn’t come from a magical place. Whoever he was, he answered Robbie’s prayer that his brother be saved and he’d get revenge. A demon was injected in Robbie, and he became the Ghost Rider. It’s a variation of the Ghost Rider origin from two years ago. The name of the demon was also Eli Morrow (Jose Zuniga), who is Robbie’s uncle on the show but also a serial killer in the comics. That could have been a hint that Eli has his own secrets.
Gabe, of course, is stunned by the news, and hopes to rein in his brother’s darker side, but it won’t be easy.
Eli’s role in this story, meanwhile, is more complex than first thought. In flashbacks, he is seen helping Joe and Lucy Bauer (Kerr Smith and Lilli Birdsell) with their experiments involving quantum power cells, They manage to make a bit of carbon at Momentum, and they think it can lead to making matter out of nothing, from elements to food. It sounds great, until Eli learns they had help from a powerful book called the Darkhold. It looks like he’s being forced by Lucy to revive the experiments and make her solid again.
By the way, anyone remember a storyline where a man had to deal with being a living ghost? That’s right, Jason Wilkes from Isodyne on Agent Carter. It seems the company’s experiments with zero matter led to what the Bauers were doing. He became solid again, eventually. Will Lucy also succeed?
While that’s happening, it looks like the agents just don’t like new boss Jeffrey Mace (Jason O’Mara). Since he’s in league with anti-Inhuman Senator Nadeer, they have a point, although the agents don’t know about it yet. He sends Simmons on an unknown mission, and blindfolds her. Since she knows Mace isn’t as heroic as people think, we should be worried.
He cares more about image than anything else, and he doesn’t like SHIELD allowing Robbie, a killer, and Daisy, a wanted Inhuman, helping out. That’s why the crew has to hide them while Mace and Coulson argue over Star Wars analogies and whether a hero should be a team player. Mace doesn’t like Han Solo, which is another reason to doubt him. Mace does figure it out, though, and winds up in a tough fight with the Ghost Rider. Mace gets the upper hand, but the Rider nearly clobbers him until Gabe tells him to stop. Mace still thinks Ghost Rider is a terrorist who should be sent back to HQ, forgetting that what Lucy has planned could cause more destruction and death. It’s all a matter of priorities, and they need The Rider to find Lucy.
Fitz figures out that what the Bauers were doing was connected with Isodyne fooling around with zero matter, thanks to some old SSR files. Roxxon (remember them?) wound up taking it over, and he figures Lucy’s at a power plant owned by Roxxon where she hopes to complete the experiment. So far, the flashbacks suggest that Eli was trying to convince her to abandon the experiment because the Darkhold was driving the Bauers insane. He thinks they should not try to become gods.
Robbie does find Lucy, and is stunned to learn Joe sent the Locos to kill Eli, not him and Gabe. She discovered Eli had zapped some of her staff into the quantum power cells, and then her. It was Eli who wanted to be a god all along. The Rider kills Lucy and goes after Eli.
May is able to get the Darkhold, while Fitz tries to shut down the plant with an EMP bomb, but he’s too late. Eli gets into the chamber, and hopes to become…something. The process is done, and a large jolt of energy explodes from the plant. Eli emerges apparently solid, and suddenly able to produce matter at will. That could be worse than having a demon inside him.
However, what happened to everyone else in the plant, especially Robbie?
So, SHIELD has to deal with someone with a demon inside him, another man who can produce anything out of thin air, and a powerful book that may link them all, and maybe more. There’s still Mace’s efforts to maintain SHIELD’s (and his) image, even if it means bending the rules. That’s a lot for fans to ponder while the show takes most of the month off due to Election Day and two Sweeps specials.
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns Tuesday, November 29th.