We Review The Latest Episode of Agents of Shield SN04 EP06- ‘The Good Samaritan’
Several surprising twists make up Shield’s most shocking episode yet.
Going into this episode, all the hype was surrounding the reveal of Robbie Reyes’s origins as Ghost Rider. All the promos, the sneak peeks, focused around Robbie, so it was surprising when we were treated to an ending worthy of a finale on top of all this.
It helps that one didn’t cancel out the other. Robbie’s origins were as full of surprise and drama as the shock twist at the end of the episode that Eli Morrow is actually the bad guy. Furthermore, both will likely inform the future of the show. Morrow in a more immediate sense, but the revelation that Robbie Reyes isn’t the only Ghost Rider out there spells out possibilities for storylines to come. Focusing on Robbie’s backstory though, it gave us a clear idea as to why he’s such a tortured soul, as well as cementing his strong relationship with brother Gabe. Before this episode, it was unclear as to whether Robbie’s strong relationship with his brother was as a result of the attack that paralysed him. It was possible that in feeling guilt, the relationship strengthened, and whilst that did happen in a way, it was good to see the two bonding before their lives went crazy.
Guilt still plays an important part in this episode. It’s the whole reason Robbie confesses everything to Gabe, as well as the reason he became the Ghost Rider in the first place. Gabriel Luna plays a Robbie to near perfection this episode, as he goes through varying emotional states. Whether as a dying Robbie making a terrifying deal with the devil, a Robbie driven by the Devil inside him to find both justice and save his family, or as a Robbie burnt by betrayal. His whole world comes crashing down around him yet again, so it will be interesting to see the consequences caused by the actions of his Uncle. It’s already been established that family, and Gabe, in particular, is the whole reason he stands the Ghost Rider, so to find out he has been betrayed will no doubt send him into overdrive.
Whilst it was fun to see Ghost Rider’s origins play out on screen, it wasn’t the biggest holy shit moment to happen this episode. After five previous episodes of ghostly antics, with my lamenting that they were lacking as villains, it turns out they were never intended to be the real threat anyway. This makes the lack of time spent positioning them as worthy adversaries understandable, but it would have been nice had they been given a little more definition before being taken out of the game. Nevertheless, they set the stage for an honestly surprising twist, as we learnt Eli Morrow was actually the true villain of the proceedings. The attack on Robbie and Gabe wasn’t random at all, but rather a case of mistaken identity. It adds an extra layer of depth to the backstory that it wasn’t just a random act of violence that cursed Robbie, but rather the actions of someone he loved, and will likely define the character going forward.
However, if we thought Eli Morrow turning out to be the villain of the proceedings was going to be the biggest shock of the episode, we were very wrong indeed. The episode’s end saw Eli completing his weapon and causing Fitz, Coulson and Robbie to disappear all in one. As I said, finale level stuff, but a cliffhanger this big at this early point in the season proves that Agents of Shield has plenty up its sleeve yet.
So whilst the episode clearly wasn’t short on big, dramatic plot points, it also succeeded with smaller character moments. For one we got to see Director Smiles (Mace) in the thick of things, making the character slightly less ambiguous. His intentions thus far have been murky at best, but through taking a tremendous beating from Ghost Rider and then still trusting Coulson enough to use the Rider in the field showed that he just might have the team’s best intentions at heart after all. Though saying that, he did send Simmons off to who knows where, so it might take a few more episodes for the character to prove himself. In fact, this episode was a big one for the newer characters, with both Robbie and Director Smiles receiving some strong character work that gave further definition to the characters. On top of that, we saw a more vulnerable Daisy clearly open up to the Reyes brothers, hopefully signalling her return to the team and the people she obviously cares about.
S.H.I.E.L.D Zephyr One Report Log_Events of Interest and Enquiry:
- I’m guessing Simmons is about to meet the hibernating Inhuman, but what exactly is the Director’s connection to the Senator? Is it just as a result of the blackmail, or is he intrigued by the new Inhuman too?
- Whilst we’re asking questions, who reckons that was the Johnny Blaze version of Ghost Rider that gave Robbie his powers? Also, holy crap there’s another Ghost Rider!!!
- The effects were once again top notch this episode. The team has been killing it this season with Ghost Rider and this episode was no different, as efforts were clearly taken to differ the looks of Robbie and the mystery Ghost Rider, whilst watching the ghost burn was impressive.
- The show is really taking advantage of its later timeslot. The scene where Robbie and Gabe are attacked was raw and brutal and certainly managed to convey the devastation of the event.
- So where have Coulson, Fitz and Robbie disappeared to? I don’t think it’s a stretch to say they’re not dead, but we know there’s plenty of other dimensions out there for them to fall into, so it looks like their troubles are only just beginning.
Overall this was another shining episode of Agents of Shield. Not only did we learn about the dramatic and genuinely surprising details to Robbie’s origins as the Ghost Rider, we were also granted a shocking plot twist that looks set to have dire consequences for the team. With strong character moments, impressive performances and rousing effects, this episode truly had it all, making anticipation for the next one very high indeed.
Joe is a tad behind with Agents of Shield, given it returns with Episode 9 tomorrow. Fear not however! As he shall catch up to give all his opinions on the awesomeness that will inevitably go down. For first impressions on many different shows check him out @resonantrevs on Twitter.