Given that much of the promotion for “Agents of SHIELD” season 4 centered around the arrival of a certain Ghost Rider, the series put itself in a rather precarious position where they staked almost the entirety of their series’ future success on just one character. To make it all the more risky, Marvel went for the more-recent version of the character in Robbie Reyes rather than Johnny Blaze, the character who existed for decades before that.
After having seen the first episode, we have a pretty clear picture on how the show made the right move, and it begins by casting Gabriel Luna. He’s utterly fantastic as Reyes, and give you everything that you could want from this character. There is a little bit of that natural fear that should be there with any presentation of Ghost Rider, given that this is an extremely dangerous dude with a Spirit of Vengeance that he cannot properly control. Others are afraid of him, but to a certain extent, so is he.
Yet, at the same time there is also this tender part of him with a good heart, and a desire to take care of his family close to him. Daisy Johnson in particular got a sense of this plurality near the end of the episode, seeing him help his brother into a wheelchair seemingly the day after Ghost Rider almost killed her. This entire story was awesome, and far and away it helped make this the best premiere for the show to date.
Of course, you can argue that the Ghost Rider stuff was so good that everyone else struggled to hold a candle to it, even if we did enjoy seeing Coulson’s attempts to go rogue in an attempt to bring Daisy back. It’s nice to have him back out in the field, but as May reminded him, these actions are going to get him some face-time with the Director, who may be none too pleased over his actions. Episode Grade: A-.
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