(Marvel Studios – 2016)
Summary: 6 months have past since the events of season 3. SHIELD has been reinstated as an official government agency, but it’s still rebuilding and has a long way to go before it returns to glory. The world, however, believes Coulson dead and so a new Director is in charge. Daisy has left SHIELD and is now a vigilante working to help others while fleeing authorities. All the while a new supernatural entity has entered the ring: the Ghost Rider. This season tells of a family broken a part in need of being pieced back together.
Directed by Magnus Martens; Written by Craig Titley
Review: After having to take a week off thanks to the debate Agents of SHIELD returns with a bang as the Watchdogs begin an all-out assault on the U.S. by blacking out major cities from across the map. Most of the story takes place in Miami, Florida but both Daisy and Robbie get hit with a blackout in broad daylight over in L.A.
Looting and rioting play in the background to the drums of war as Coulson, Mack, Fitz and Yo-Yo go up against the Watchdogs attacking Miami. The Watchdogs for most of the episode attempt to spin the attacks back on the Inhumans pointing to them as the terrorists and during this excursion we get to see a few people close to both Yo-Yo and Robbie react to finding out people around them are Inhumans and the result is not pretty at all.
This episode plays at commenting on a few things still going on in the real world: Domestic terrorism and LGBT fear tendencies. The latter is nothing new to those who know the history of the X-Men, whom historically have been allegories for both racism and fear of homosexuality. Since Marvel Studios can’t use the mutants however they have the Inhumans and I for one am really happy to see this storyline finally getting played out on screen. So far I feel Agents of SHIELD is doing it far more subtly than the X-films ever did.
I’m happy to see the Watchdogs back and being used as a bigger, more mysterious and regulated force rather than ragtag groups we saw in season 3. Considering their story never truly concluded I was hoping they would be back to plague our heroes again. A couple questions I do have concerning the show however, and this has nothing to do with the Watchdogs, are we ever going to follow up on what happened to Joey? I know he left SHIELD but considering how important he was to most of last season I feel like it would be wrong to never see him again.
The other thought I had while watching this episode was wondering how long Matthew Ellis as been President canonically within the MCU? Considering we are having the first Presidential Election in the real world to happen while the MCU has a prominent and well-known President in lore I would’ve imagined a mini-arc for this season could have been a Presidential Election of their own using the Inhumans as a major campaign platform form each candidate in order to further mirror what’s going on in real life.
At what point does Ellis reach the end of his appointed 4-year term as President of the United States? To be fair such a storyline would effect the movies as they were the ones who introduced Ellis to the MCU, but considering we kind of need the TV storylines to eventually actually effect the movies this could be a natural way to do that without causing a detriment to the overall plot of any of the films.
Getting back to the episode proper the A-storyline with Coulson, Mack, Fitz and Yo-Yo is pretty great with Fitz definitely stealing the spotlight. We get to see him kick-ass and use rudimentary science (took that from the show) to save the day. Personally I love seeing the agents have to go old school in order to figure out the problem. It’s just so great to see everyday items being used in bad-ass ways.
There are two subplots going on in this episode that focus on Daisy and May respectively. The first one with Daisy sees her helping Robbie save his little brother, Gabe, from some gangbangers who try to kill him during the blackout. Later in the evening while Robbie is out – most likely seeking vengeance and taking lives – Gabe and Daisy have a talk that culminates in him telling her to leave thanks to his possible dislike of the Inhumans and his hope to protect his brother from “bad people,” not knowing what Robbie truly is.
This was a really good scene and it’s nice to know Gabe isn’t angelic either. I’m very curious to see where this goes. What makes it so juicy is whereas Yo-Yo’s good friend leaves her because of her obvious hatred of Inhumans, Gabe warns Daisy to stay away in an attempt to protect his brother. We don’t know completely whether or not he dislikes Inhumans but at least he’s doing it because he cares. Which means once Robbie finds out the truth things are going to get real interesting real fast.
The second subplot with May sees Simmons and Dr. Radcliffe attempting to cure her of her ailments after the Ghost from episode 1 infected her. They do this in a way that was honestly not something I saw coming: they had to kill her and essentially reboot her brain. It was incredibly clever and even suspenseful as they’re hit with an EMP and Radcliffe has to take certain measures to revive May.
It’ll be interesting to see how everyone reacts to knowing May had to die and then be shocked back into life but considering it worked I wouldn’t imagine anyone would be upset. If anything it’ll be Radcliffe in the hot seat as his measures may open up the secret of AIDA far sooner than he had originally planned.
The episode ends with SHIELD going public again, which is a huge deal, and it being revealed that a Senator who opposes the Inhumans seems to dislike them because her brother is still encased within a Terrigen Cocoon – seemingly either dead or just having yet to burst from it like a butterfly. If he is still alive in the cocoon and still undergoing metamorphosis it will be extremely interesting to see what his powers will be. He’ll most likely remain human looking because budgetary reasons however it’d definitely be cooler if he truly looked inhuman.
Very excited to see where this season is headed.
Final Score: 4.5 Riots in the Streets out of 5
Derrick is a born and raised otaku with a love for comics, anime, manga and movies. The full list is pretty long, but that’s just the basics. Stories set in space are his bread and butter.
You can find more of his writing at IndieComix.net