TV Review: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - Se 4 Ep 8 "The Laws of Inferno Dynamics"

EPISODE 8: "The Laws of Inferno Dynamics"

SYNOPSIS: S.H.I.E.L.D. and Ghost Rider find themselves unlikely allies when the lives of all of Los Angeles hang in the balance.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., TV Review, Drama, COmic Book, ABC, MArvel Studios, Clark Gregg

REVIEW: The Ghost Rider era of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. comes to an end tonight during the mid-season finale of the long-running Marvel Cinematic Universe show. Well, as Coulson says, we probably haven't heard the last of Robbie Reyes or the Rider, but it doesn't seem like he will be putting in another appearance this season on the show. Which is a shame because this run of episodes has been the most solid Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has ever had in the four years it has been on the air. In a single hour, the show managed to pull together most of thr narrative threads dangled this season while leaving just a couple out there for the second half arc. By segmenting the season like this, the show gets the benefit of feeling more like the Netflix Marvel series with limited episode runs and tighter plotting. Basically, the show is so much better now than it has ever been.

With Eli's plot to make himself a god in full effect, the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents all have to come together in order to stop him. That means not only our formal agents but also renegade former agent Daisy Johnson, Robbie Reyes, and even Director Jeffrey Mace himself. Mace has come off a bit underwhelming this season and was even neutered a bit when he was blackmailed by Senator Nadeer, but everyone is back at the top of their game. There even seems to be a little something romantic bubbling between Coulson and May, a subplot many of us expected since season one, but why is it only now coming to fruition? By the end of this hour we know all may not be as it seems. Before long, the team realizes that Eli is building a deadly bomb that is pulling energy from the Darkhold parallel universe and unless they stop him, Los Angeles will be going bye bye.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., TV Review, Drama, COmic Book, ABC, MArvel Studios, Clark Gregg

Robbie, Yo Yo, and Daisy attempt the first siege on Eli's compound but the building is booby-trapped and detonates some explosive material that hurls the trio back onto the street. Virtually impervious to fire, Robbie heads into confront his uncle. Eli gets a quick upper hand and uses his ability to manifest matter out of nowhere and pins Robbie inside the demon box he is using as a bomb. Robbie is overcome by the radiation and cannot turn into the Rider despite being kept alive by his supernatural parasite. At the same time, the rest of the team prepare a plan to pull the demon box into the parallel realm while using Daisy's abilities to keep building earthquakes at bay while Dr. Radcliffe and Aida build the portal. Coulson confronts Eli and explains what his powers are actually doing, but Eli refuses to believe it. Coulson then kicks the team into gear and the action begins.

In one of the best action sequences on the series, all of the heroes get in on the action led by Yo-yo who repositions weapons and characters much like Quicksilver in the X-MEN films. Mace gets in on the action in his updated S.H.I.E.L.D. armor which gives us a hint of what he could have looked like as The Patriot. She also manages to get the magnet device on Eli who gets pulled into the demon box alongside Robbie. Transforming into the Rider, Robbie holds his uncle as his face melts to a skull and they are pulled into the alternate dimension. At the same time on the floor below them, Aida jumps into the line of fire to protect Fitz and Simmons, fulfilling her design as a Life Model Decoy. With the world saved, Daisy flies outside to aleviate the pressure of stopping the quakes, landing in front of the media. Mace comes to her defense, claiming she has always been an agent and was undercover the entire time the world thought she was a fugitive terrorist.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., TV Review, Drama, COmic Book, ABC, MArvel Studios, Clark Gregg

As the episode draws to a close, Daisy rejoins S.H.I.E.L.D., Mack finally kisses Yo-yo, and Coulson is convinced Robbie will somehow cross their path again someday. The team celebrates their victory while Mace gives the greenlight for Dr. Radcliffe to continue his LMD research under official sanctions by S.H.I.E.L.D.. Radcliffe is thankful and we then flash to his home where Mace's assistant is helping Aida pack up the research needed for the LMD project. When a door unexpectedly opens, the assistant sees Agent May unconscious and bleeding. Aida breaks the man's neck and tells May she will clean her up, hinting that the May sharing a drink with Coulson is actually an LMD herself.

A very solid ending to the Ghost Rider half of the season, my only problem is the somewhat unceremonious way that Robbie was written off. If the writers are planning to bring him back, they didn't really do a good job of setting that up. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has always done a great job of teasing what comes next and that was the one thing I was hoping they would do woth Ghost Rider. Still, that is a minor quibble compared to the tight pacing and excellent flow of these first eight episodes of the season. While the show will be gone until early January, we do already know that Aida will be the villain for the second half of the season which is subtitled "LMD". Fans of the Decoys from the pages of Marvel Comics are likely excited to see these androids fit into the MCU at large.

MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE REFERENCES: There were references to "the first Ghost Rider" and Ultron in this episode.

NEXT ON MARVEL'S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.: New episodes resume in January 2017

Source: JoBlo.com



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