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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Debrief Season 4, Episode 6: “The Good Samaritan”

Agent Carter references abound! Yessss.

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Spoilers. And I don’t mean just on Ghost Rider’s car.

Greetings, Agents, and welcome back to another Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. debrief. We’ve got a lot of ground to cover (including more than a few hecking cliffhangers), so let’s get to it, shall we?


In a continuing trend, we begin with a flashback.

Eli Morrow’s back at Momentum Labs (arriving in future-Robbie’s sweet muscle car), where they’re about to start up the device they’ve built using the plans from the Darkhold. After putting together what looks like a Magic Bullet blender (no, seriously), something shorts and a wave of energy gets shot out from the device, going through everybody present. This seeming failure ends up being just the opposite, as Dr. Bauer opens the blender to find a solid piece of carbon. It worked–they’ve made matter from nothing.

During the celebration, Lucy almost spills the beans about the book to Morrow, stopped only by her husband, Joseph. He angrily replies to Morrow’s requests to see it, saying that the book is his, and all Morrow needs to do is whatever he tells him to do.

Back in the present day, Agent May is at Momentum Labs in search of Lucy, Morrow, and the Darkhold book. The guard detail S.H.I.E.L.D. left behind is dead, but there’s no sign of any of the people they’re looking for. Meanwhile, Gabriel Reyes, Robbie’s brother, seems to be worried about Robbie, checking up on him via phone calls to his work and friends. As he’s talking with Robbie’s boss, someone knocks on his front door. It’s Daisy, who’s there to take him to Coulson’s ship to see Robbie and keep him in protective custody.

Robbie and Gabriel reunite aboard the ship, where Gabriel’s made to believe that Robbie’s actually a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent. It’s a cover for the times he slipped out of the house to do Ghost Rider things, basically. Unfortunately, their reunion is cut short as Director Mace announces to Coulson that he’s boarding the ship to take Quake and an as-yet-unidentified Inhuman (Robbie/Ghost Rider, who technically isn’t an Inhuman) into custody.

Mack hides the two of them and Gabriel in the containment unit. In one of the funniest exchanges of the episode, Mack walks up to Gabriel, who’s sitting in his wheelchair, and starts wheeling him towards the containment unit. He says, “You too, Ironsides,” and without missing a beat, Gabriel replies, “Hey, screw you, black Kojak. No one moves this thing except for me.” Nice.

Mack just wheels him into the unit and says, “I like this kid.” Me, too, Mack. Me, too.

Phil parlays with Mace, who reveals that Robbie (or more accurately, Ghost Rider) killed somebody in the prison. As they’re having their verbal spar, Robbie, Daisy, and Gabriel are hanging out in the containment unit, which is suspended from the belly of the Bus. As they’re talking, Gabriel, who is apparently hella sharper than people give him credit for, pokes at the both of them to try to find out what’s really going on.

This all essentially serves as the impetus for the centerpiece of the episode, which is Ghost Rider’s origin story.

Once again, a flashback, and once again, Robbie’s muscle car. Only this time, it’s still Morrow’s car, and Robbie’s quietly taking it out to head to an illegal race. He’s stopped by Gabriel, who–in this memory–isn’t paralyzed yet. Robbie’s set to race against a Fifth Street Loco, the gang to which the murdered prisoner from the last episode belonged. Robbie gets Gabriel to join him, to watch him race.

This proves to be more than just a little mistake, as on the way to the race, they’re attacked by a group of folks in a van, who throw a molotov cocktail at their car when they’re at a stoplight. Robbie tries to drive away, worried about Gabriel the whole time, but they’re ultimately shot up in a drive-by when a car pulls up alongside them and unloads.

From here, Gabriel shares what he remembered, which was that a “good Samaritan” pulled up on a bike (two guesses as to who, and one doesn’t count) and saved them. They pulled Gabriel out from the burning car and then went to go check on Robbie. From Gabriel’s position, Robbie moved and was alive as soon as the Samaritan checked on him.

But Robbie’s side of the tale reveals something different. He says as he was thrown from the car, he was begging God, begging the universe, begging anybody to keep his brother safe. Then, when he hit the ground, he was dead. He described death as “nothing, just darkness,” which was interrupted by a voice asking if he wanted a second chance at vengeance.

When he accepted, that’s when the “good Samaritan” (aka Ghost-freakin’-Rider) showed up. He stood over Robbie, just like how Gabriel remembered, except Robbie could see that this was a fully flame-skulled Ghost Rider. When he touches Robbie, the flames and the skull transfer onto him, like a mantle being passed. To Robbie, he took this mantle on to enact some kind of cold-blooded justice on the people who did that to his brother and him. Gabriel doesn’t want that blood on his hands, saying that he never wanted that kind of revenge on those people. This stops Robbie in his tracks, fully cognizant now of the ramifications of his decision to take on being Ghost Rider.

Mace, aboard the ship with Coulson, figures out that the containment module is hidden underneath the plane. The unit’s brought up, with the three of them still inside. Mace orders them to turn the plane around to head back to HQ to detain Daisy and Robbie. That’s not cool with Ghost Rider, though, as Robbie starts getting angry, punching at the doors of the containment module. As Fitz is saying that it’s impossible for them to get out, Robbie ends up going full flame-on, punching and breaking the door.

Ghost Rider goes after Mace, and they trade a few blows until Ghost Rider has Mace up against the ropes, so to speak. He’s punching him over and over and over again, seemingly to kill the Director. He seems impervious to the S.H.I.E.L.D. soldiers’ Icer rounds, so there’s really no stopping him. That is, until Gabriel calls out to Robbie. Ghost Rider hesitates, then eventually stops his attack, granting control back to Robbie. Mace really was no match for Ghost Rider, it seems, and frankly, I wasn’t sure how that showdown would turn out, nor did I expect it to happen so soon. Remember: Mace is an Inhuman with super strength, and likely some other abilities that are as-yet unrevealed in the context of the show. So to see Ghost Rider thrashing away at him like that was nothing short of surprising.

Much later, Fitz is talking with Mack about his frustration at how nobody knows where Simmons is. Earlier in the episode, Simmons was sent off on her own mission by Director Mace, complete with black bag, so even she doesn’t know where she’s going. Eventually Fitz and Mack start talking about the mission, which carries a surprising link back to Agent Carter‘s last season. In passing, earlier in the episode, Fitz mentioned Isodyne Energy as he was exploring what’s been going on. Fans will remember that Isodyne was the energy company owned by Calvin Chadwick, and where they were researching Zero Matter/Dark Force energy.

Isodyne doesn’t exist, as they were acquired by Roxxon (another common MCU name, it seems). As well, it turns out that Momentum is also owned by Roxxon. Knowing that, there’s only one plant where Lucy can get enough power for the device she’s having Morrow create.

That plant is exactly where Morrow and Lucy are hiding. Morrow warns Lucy that there’s no turning back, and that if anything goes wrong, many peoples’ lives could be at stake. The setup is a mirror image of what they had back at Momentum.

Meanwhile, the S.H.I.E.L.D. team lands at the plant with the aim to shut it down, capture Lucy, and save Morrow. Coulson and May end up finding the experimentation room first, as well as the Darkhold book Coulson sends May back to the quinjet to secure it. Fitz and Mack are unable to shut down the plant from the control room, so Mack comes up with a plan to use an EMP similar to the one used in Miami earlier in the season. He heads upstairs to await its arrival from the Zephyr/Bus.

Robbie ends up running into Lucy, where a major revelation is shared. It turns out that Joseph hired the gang members to attack Morrow. It was a case of mistaken identity as Robbie was “borrowing” Morrow’s car for the race that night. They were collateral damage, it seems. Obviously not an excuse, Robbie still grabs Lucy, who goes on to share that it wasn’t her intent to try to play god. She says it was his uncle, Morrow, who wanted the power the Darkhold promised all along.

Another flashback reveals that Morrow was the one who caused the accident back at Momentum so long ago. He’s the one who trapped all of them in the containment boxes, turning them into the ghosts that they had become. He throws Lucy into the same chamber Mack was trapped in earlier this season, and ends up killing her. Back in the current time, Robbie burns Lucy up, in the same manner that he destroyed the other ghosts.

Coulson’s talking with Morrow, who enters the current chamber at the Roxxon plant, with the full intent of using the Darkhold’s power to make himself something of a god. He activates it, and there’s nothing anybody can do as it powers up, and another wave of energy spills out across the entire plant, running through everybody present: Fitz, who was in the plant’s control room, Robbie, who was in the access tunnels, and Coulson, who was outside the chamber where Morrow was.

In the aftermath, each of these places are shown completely empty, with Fitz, Robbie, and Coulson all missing.

Morrow, though, is safe, and exits the chamber. He holds his hand up, and reveals his new power: he recreates the piece of carbon from the beginning of the episode, pulling it from clear, thin air.


Quick Takes:

  • This episode was packed with reveals, and it was seriously one after another. It’s enough to make your head spin (in flames, I guess).
  • The twist with Morrow was perhaps a little bit surprising, though like many of you commenters, I had a hard time trusting him completely. Still, the show did a great job of hiding his hand, and the reveal at the end was pretty great.
  • Robbie’s Ghost Rider origin story was incredible. Comparing the experiences between him and his brother was a great device, and it worked well here.
  • Ghost Rider beat the hell out of Mace. I don’t completely hate Mace, but man, that was kind of satisfying to watch.
  • This show is full of cliffhangers. What the hecking heck happened to Fitz, Robbie, and Coulson?! More than that, where the hell is Simmons?

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Jessica Lachenal is a writer who doesn’t talk about herself a lot, so she isn’t quite sure how biographical info panels should work. But here we go anyway. She's the Weekend Editor for The Mary Sue, a Contributing Writer for The Bold Italic (thebolditalic.com), and a Staff Writer for Spinning Platters (spinningplatters.com). She's also been featured in Model View Culture and Frontiers LA magazine, and on Autostraddle. She hopes this has been as awkward for you as it has been for her.