It’s been a long time, hasn’t it? We left off with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on a tragic note; Lincoln sacrificed himself to kill Hive and save the world. Daisy didn’t handle his heroic gesture very well and broke from the team. Plus, Coulson was demoted back to Agent only status. The only happy note was FitzSimmons getting their act together at long last. We picked up in season 4 with all the fallout still settling and the team divided once more.
Daisy is off doing her emo hero thing. While stopping some White Aryan Brotherhood thugs, she gets a glimpse of Ghost Rider and his sweet black car that would make Dean Winchester drool. This thing lights on fire and then some. The Rider kills most of the thugs but takes one with him. Another is left in critical condition in the hospital. When Daisy goes for a not so friendly visit, the guy begs her to save his friend, saying it is already too late for him. “When the Rider burns you, he burns your soul,” he says, before collapsing in a pool of blood.
After six weeks hopping around continents following leads about Inhumans, Mack and Coulson are suddenly called back to HQ by May. Daisy’s involvement in the murders has reached her ears and in an attempt to keep the news secret she tells Mack and Coulson in person. If the new Director finds out, a squad will be sent to hunt down and kill Daisy. Even though they’ve been taken off her case, the two men decide to try tracking her down in LA themselves.
First order of business is a check up with Elena. She and Mack have some off-the-charts flirty banter that is sadly cut short. Later, we see Elena and Daisy have stayed in contact as they exchange info during a bus ride. Elena gives her Inhuman friend some S.H.I.E.L.D.-issue meds for her bone troubles. Daisy is overtaxing her powers but is too emo to care. Working the angle of finding the Rider’s car, she’s directed toward a salvage yard.
Mack and Coulson track down a semi truck previously stolen by the dead Brotherhood thugs. Inside are two dead men who apparently tore each other apart. The cargo is missing, though. Similarly frustrated with being unable to locate the same cargo, the Rider runs into his prisoner with his car instead. Not long after, Daisy arrives and the two superpower beings have a pretty awesome fight. The Rider eventually flames on for real and gets the upper hand but does not give in to Daisy’s pleas to kill her.
After S.H.I.E.L.D. properly learns about Daisy’s potential involvement with the deaths in LA, Simmons confronts May. Earlier the two had had a tense conversation about the new Director’s emphasis on security protocols and ranking system. Simmons now outranks almost everyone on her former team, so learning of May’s subversion angers her because it could make Simmons look incompetent or subversive herself. Responding to May’s anger over how the team has been split up, Simmons explains that she’s worked hard to gain a seat close to the new director so that she can maintain some control of this new S.H.I.E.L.D. To retain that seat, she sends May and her strike team to extract Coulson and Mack from LA.
Thank goodness for Simmons’ order. Mack and Coulson eventually have luck linking the cargo to Chinese gangsters. During surveillance, they see the cargo open and a glowing mist emerges. A woman’s ghostly face appears to the gangsters and they begin attacking each other. May and her team arrive just in time to contain the situation. The ghost woman glides past May who shivers. In a nice, quiet moment with Coulson later, May sees the same vision the gangsters did: Coulson’s face transforms into something demonic for an instant before blinking back.
In a side story, Fitz meets up with Dr. Radcliffe, the dude who helped Hive engineer a bunch of Inhuman drones. They’re meant to be watching a soccer (football) match but get too wrapped up in Radcliffe’s latest creation: the Life Model Decoy aka AIDA. At first, Fitz is horrified. Radcliffe has clearly stepped beyond the boundaries of his pardon. But when AIDA explains she’s meant to be a field decoy, to help prevent actual agents from getting injured, Fitz has a change of heart. He agrees to help Radcliffe make AIDA “perfect,” and a secret lest the new Director find out and wish to use AIDA for personal gain. This also means keeping AIDA secret from Simmons, which is blatantly a terrible idea that Fitz will certainly come to regret.
- In the kicker, Daisy sees the Rider in his human form helping his wheelchair-bound little brother. It seems to make her think about his words from the night before, where he told her he wasn’t the one who decided who dies. The devil inside him does.
- Um wow, AOS, we get it; you’re in a later time slot. Did we really need a close-up shot of Daisy putting on her underwear though?
- Mack: YoYo, I just have a few questions.
Elena: I’m all yours.
- Mack and Elena went on a date and we didn’t get to see it? Do you even know what we want AOS?!
- My aesthetic: Elena leaving Mack stunned and speechless without doing a dang thing.
- Coulson: *excited to get back to HQ to see May*
May: *tiny, secret smile when Coulson arrives*
May: *saves Coulson’s butt for the umpteenth time*
Coulson: It’s good to have a moment just us. It’s been a long time.
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