Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: The Ghost
September 20, 2016 8:01 PM - Season 4, Episode 1 - Subscribe

Ghost Rider is coming, and S.H.I.E.L.D. will never be the same.

Daisy gets nerfed and can no longer go toe-to-toe with an avenger.
The spirit of vengeance and Box-ghost set the stage for the arcane magicks of Dr.Strange.
Dr. Radcliff reveals Ultron 2.0 Ada.
S.H.I.E.L.D. undergoes reorganization and follows common-sense guidelines for information security and public safety.
posted by FallowKing (22 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I forgot that Ghost Rider was guesting this season. I thought that was kind of fun.

Was rolling my eyes at Fitz' new "I must keep a secret from Simmons, to introduce conflict in our relationship" plotline. Whatever, Whedonverse law of no happy couplings, what ever.
posted by oh yeah! at 9:04 PM on September 20, 2016 [1 favorite]

So the episode opened with a completely pointless shot of Daisy putting on her underwear, and it didn't really improve from there for me. It felt pretty dull throughout. I'm vaguely interested in what Simmons is up to, but that's about it.

Who is the new director? Are we supposed to know or remember?

Dude built a sex bot. I'm sorry, it does not need nipples to be a decoy. If the robot isn't barbie doll smooth, it's a sex bot. Shades of Ex Machina come to mind.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 10:45 PM on September 20, 2016 [4 favorites]

also: "He burns your soul"
posted by vibratory manner of working at 10:45 PM on September 20, 2016

Daisy gets nerfed and can no longer go toe-to-toe with an avenger.

Hold up, when did she do that? And how is she nerfed? She seems to be doing pretty well...
posted by flaterik at 11:24 PM on September 20, 2016

Yeah that there was a sexbot.
posted by Justinian at 1:17 AM on September 21, 2016 [1 favorite]

Hold up, when did she do that? And how is she nerfed? She seems to be doing pretty well...

The pills she was popping. As she is using her powers more and more her bones are splintering. The super bone regrowth pills that YoYo nabbed from SHIELD for her can't keep up because she's using them so much.

I'm not sure what happened to the bracers that Simmons built her.

I think the androids will eventually be full on avatars for agents in the field (till something goes wrong), combined with the VR tech that FitzSimmons were playing with. So May is in the safety of the SHIELD base controlling May-bot working a mission. I've seen enough James Bond to know that sex is an integral part of spy missions, so nipples make total sense.

Plus, we didn't SEE the nipples...
posted by 2ht at 5:05 AM on September 21, 2016

So the episode opened with a completely pointless shot of Daisy putting on her underwear,

Oof, yeah, that was like a dictionary example of the word gratuitous. My "that was fun" comment was meant entirely for the Ghost Rider portions of the episode, the rest was kind of a background blur while I was doing my bills.
posted by oh yeah! at 5:24 AM on September 21, 2016 [2 favorites]

Considering that it looks like the bot was supposed to be a life model decoy, it would have made more sense for it to look like like an actual character. So the only reason why it didn't look like its inventor was because it was a sexbot.

I was unclear as to whether the show was aware of exactly how creepy it was being right then. It makes Fitz really unlikable.
posted by dinty_moore at 7:46 AM on September 21, 2016 [3 favorites]

Also this was my first episode checking in after missing most of last season, and man, it did not encourage me to come back for more. The ghost rider parts were okay.
posted by dinty_moore at 7:48 AM on September 21, 2016 [1 favorite]

I agree with everyone who liked Ghost Rider, but was sort of meh on the rest. The ghost box or whatever is promising, because I'd like to see them integrate that weirder side of things with the rest of the show which has a very different one. I'm hopeful that that could be fun.

But thumbs down to gratuitous underwear shots, more potential SHIELD infighting, and the LMD/sexbot. The last fucking thing this show needs is LMDs, honestly.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 10:13 AM on September 21, 2016

I will say, the problem is not that he built a sexbot per se. The bigger problem is that the show thinks he didn't.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 10:40 AM on September 21, 2016 [8 favorites]

The script was clunky, contrived and far too focused on exposition and setting up future episodes. Very little actually happened this episode. It's the first part of a two part season opener and they didn't give us the second half that would draw us into the season.

The acting. The Aryan brotherhood and graffiti-guy were just bad, and the acting of the main cast seemed half-hearted. Not having a decent script half the time held back even the good actors.

If this doesn't improve rapidly I'm going to drop it, but I expect next episode will be better.
posted by FallowKing at 11:04 AM on September 21, 2016

I liked Ghost Rider, so the episode was alright by me. Then again, I don't expect a tightly written script from this show, just some fun action sequences and cheesy comic book logic.
posted by Pendragon at 11:30 AM on September 21, 2016


* I'm in the 'Ghost Rider was fun' group. The horror movie intro was effective, and he retained a good edge the whole time.

* I agree that the stuff with Ada was creepy, not so much in that it happened in that the show doesn't seem to appreciate what it was doing there - 100% agreement with what vibratory manner of working said about it above.

* The stuff with Daisy was creepy. The underwear scene is the most obvious, but I find the whole theme of them trying to chase her and bring her back to SHIELD pretty unpleasant to watch, too.

* The constant 'we're not telling you who the new Director' stuff is is wearying and bad, rather than cause for speculation. It makes every scene around HQ sound forced.

* Hope the ghost box is fun. It's fun so far. (Up side, May was strong enough to handle the Berserker staff. She can probably make the ghost regret haunting her, too.)
posted by mordax at 6:46 PM on September 21, 2016 [1 favorite]

Sparting partner cam was pretty cool. Ghost Rider looks interesting. Shots of Daisy getting dressed do not.

The sex bot makes sense for the doctor to make, cause he's that kinda guy. Fitz keeping it a secret makes no damn sense.

An ok episode, which is terrible for a season opener.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:40 PM on September 21, 2016

At least they could make the "getting dressed" shots less gratuitous. I'm not sure how, exactly, but it would be hard to make them more gratuitous. At least give me a fig leaf here!
posted by Justinian at 12:52 PM on September 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

The opening shot with Daisy getting dressed bothered me a lot more than the sex bot. Actually it bothered me a whole hell of a lot. There was absolutely no need for that at all.

As for the robot, yes, it was a naked, sexy woman, but I know it's just the groundwork for an eventual LMD (Life Model Decoy) so I'm almost fine with it. I know it has to be realistic because it has to be able to pass for an actual living person (so yes, there will be nipples) and yet be entirely disposable. I guess because I can see the endgame with this, I'm much more able to skip over the very awkward and uncomfortable beginning, whereas there is no endgame for underwear shot of Daisy.

Watching this has almost always felt like an obligation, not a joy, and throughout the entire episode I kept asking myself why am I bothering to continue my viewing. It has been proven that this really has no direct relation to the goings on in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so what's the point? Bobbi and Hunter are gone. Fitz and Simmons will just be kept apart by her position with the director. Colson is boring me to death these days. I'm not invested in Mac and Yoyo. And there is no way the showrunners are going to be able to resolve ghosts/spirits/whatever successfully.

I really can't think of anything drawing me back in. I'm not sure I'll drop the show yet, but I'm darned close to doing so.
posted by sardonyx at 7:25 PM on September 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

My favorite part was finding out that May has an army. All is right with the world and it should have happened sooner.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:54 AM on September 23, 2016 [2 favorites]

I'd put a little money on an LMD being how Brett Dalton will be wedged back in the show this season.
posted by The Man from Lardfork at 10:28 AM on September 23, 2016 [3 favorites]

Oh god yeah, please let that happen, even if it's only a short gag for an episode. Maybe it'll be something May's sparring partner/punching bag.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:31 PM on September 23, 2016 [2 favorites]

The "Daisy Butt Shot" thing made both my partner and I look at each other with a whaaa? expression.

Among Andy Daly's many gifts to humanity are the creation of Don DiMello, Theatrical Producer, a semi-regular character on Comedy Bang! Bang!, and any time I see anything like that, I just picture Don DiMello in the writers' room grunting "bring out the goils" and, well, it doesn't make things BETTER, but at least it amuses me.
posted by Shepherd at 4:40 PM on September 28, 2016 [1 favorite]

They moved the show to a later time slot, outside the "family" zone. The Daisy Butt Shot was deliberately placed in order to signal that this would no longer be a "family-friendly" series*. It's their cue that they can show more this season ("should" is an entire other matter).

Good energy to start. Sexbot is a very tired concept, though. Could have been a more clever intro to that storyline. We'll have to see where they take it.

* Yeah, because all the graphic violence in previous seasons was completely compatible with family viewing...
posted by GhostintheMachine at 5:13 AM on September 29, 2016

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