‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ Recap: “The Good Samaritan” – Ghost Rider Origins

     November 1, 2016

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Things are definitely heating up now! Following last week’s prison break, Robbie, Daisy, and the rest of the gang are attempting to find the current Ghost Rider’s uncle who is being held captive by a not-so-friendly ghost. Aside from the current storyline of the Agents attempting to find Eli Morrow (Robbie and Gabe’s uncle) we’re presented with a nice re-telling of the origin of the Ghost Rider, albeit a different one for Reyes than the one we had seen in the previous movies with Johnny Blaze. Speaking of the original flamehead himself, if you were wondering if Blaze would be making an appearance in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., prepare to have that question answered with “The Good Samaritan.”

In the past, we’re shown two scenes of Eli and the team at Momentum Energy Lab experimenting with the newly discovered Darkhold, alongside Robbie and Gabe cutting curfew in order to drive to a street race in their off hours. The latter story is far more interesting than the former. Eli, Lucy, and the rest of Momentum have managed to take information from the Darkhold, the spellbook of the Marvel Universe, and create matter from nothing in what could very well be the find of the century. When Lucy informs Eli that the machine may not even be necessary in order to mimic the results, with the power being imbued into a person, Morrow is hesitant at first. However, in a twist among twists, the Reyes’ uncle proves to not be as altruistic as he seems, and was the direct cause of the explosion that transformed Lucy and her friends into ghosts.

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Image via ABC

On the other spectrum, Robbie and Gabe hit the road. The relationship between the brothers here is one of the strongest parts of the episode as their chemistry flows effortlessly. Both Gabriel Lunas and Lorenzo James Henrie really sell you on the idea that they could carry a solo Ghost Rider series if Marvel decided to go that route. The Reyes brothers talk about life and the desire for education before being targeted by the Fifth Street gang in a brutal drive-by that sees both Robbie and Gabe riddled with bullets. In a somewhat breathtaking display, we’re shown Robbie being flung from the car and begging for revenge from anyone, or anything, that can hear him. Reyes’ prayers are answered by none other than the original Ghost Rider (!) who appears by motorcycle and seemingly passes off the curse to Robbie. Needless to say, this is a pretty amazing development in that we weren’t even sure past Ghost Riders would be referenced in this latest season, yet here we are!

Back to the present, Director Mace steamrolls his way into Coulson’s ship following the shady one-on-one he had previously with Senator Nadeer. Under pressure to find the fugitives Quake and Reyes, Jeff does away with the pleasantries and manages to find them in the ship’s hull. What follows is a fantastic sequence of Robbie changing into the Ghost Rider, breaking free from the containment unit (which Fitz manages to convey a nice sense of surprise with) and pounding on the Inhuman director before being calmed down by his brother. For a time, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. almost seemed hamstrung by its connections to the Marvel Universe, seemingly unable to make a move without first consulting what precisely was happening in the movie universe. In this episode, we’re shown what Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. could have been all along: a sister piece that plays to the outer elements of the MCU that the movies haven’t been able to touch. In this episode alone, we have a Spirit of Vengeance beating up an Inhuman on the search for a cursed book being held presumably by ghosts. If that’s not a tagline to get people watching the show, I don’t know what is!

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Image via ABC

The team manages to find Eli and his ghost captor, Lucy, in an old research center, wherein Robbie confronts the spectre while Coulson tangles with Morrow. Unfortunately for Phil, Eli gets the drop on him and manages to convert the experiment into himself, granting him the power to create matter from thin air, leaving Phil and Fitz, along with Robbie, seemingly engulfed in the blast. When all’s said and done, this episode has left me more excited for the future of this season than the show ever has. “The Good Samaritan” managed to blend in nearly all the crazy aspects of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and produce a quality episode that stands shoulder to shoulder with their best. Introducing Ghost Rider and the more supernatural side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe was clearly the change that this show needed.

Rating: ★★★★ Very good

Agents of M.I.S.C.E.L.L.A.N.E.A.

– Original Ghost Rider! It bears repeating what a surprise this was. To be fair, we’re not entirely sure if this is in fact Johnny Blaze, as it very well could be his brother, Danny Ketch, who was also Ghost Rider for a spell.

– Did Eli Morrow become the Marvel villain, Molecule Man, in this episode? His power set certainly makes it seem that way.

– Nice reference to Peggy Carter and the Dark Force from her final season in essentially creating the antagonistic force of this season.

– It’s funny, but I don’t know if the Life Model Decoys really has a place this season. I feel like the Ana plotline has been pretty ancillary this entire time.

– Coulson’s favorite Star Wars character being Admiral Ackbar is hilarious.

– Scientist: “Thanks I feel so much better knowing that if I die in a fiery explosion, my eyeballs will survive.”

– Daisy: “He wanted to tell you but couldn’t because it’s a secret.”

– Coulson: “Jeff.”
Mace: “Phil.”

– Coulson: “Geese? I have zero geese. We are goose free.”

– Coulson: “The skull on fire presents a pretty compelling argument for hail satan!”

– Mack: “Are there focus groups on evil things?”

– Coulson: “Sounds a little Fox News to me.”

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