Ghost Rider's Origin Story Included an Amazing Comics Easter Egg

Wednesday, 02 November 2016 - 11:39AM
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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D
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Wednesday, 02 November 2016 - 11:39AM
Ghost Rider's Origin Story Included an Amazing Comics Easter Egg
Ghost Rider has been a fan favorite character ever since he rode onto the scene in the premiere, and we've been clamoring to know his origin story ever since. Now, we were finally made privy to his backstory in last night's episode, and it was even better than we ever could have imagined. Not only was the story itself emotionally affecting, but it potentially introduced a beloved comics character to the MCU.

But before we talk about that big reveal, let's start with the new Big Bad. The season was lacking a good villain for Ghost Rider, and now it's introduced the perfect adversary in Uncle Eli. As was revealed in this episode, Eli was the one who trapped his ghostly colleagues and risked the lives of thousands of innocent people to achieve godlike powers of matter manipulation. He's already a much darker and more ominous threat than Lucy the Ghost, and having Eli as a villain will bring a complicated relationship dynamic into the mix, which is something the show excels at.
 
The hit on Robbie and Gabe was ordered by Joe and meant to target Eli, but after borrowing their Uncle's car for a street race, the two brothers got caught in the crossfire. While Robbie initially felt responsible for Gabe's accident after convincing him to come along, the blame (and fiery vengeance) is likely to shift to Uncle Eli. Could the eventual confrontation justify bringing in Aida and the Inhumans?
 
Now for what we've all been waiting for: Ghost Rider's origin story. The flashback sequence was just as exciting, emotional, and satisfying as fans could have hoped for. In the best possible plot twist, we discover that Robbie got his powers from none other than Johnny Blaze himself. We never see his face, but this Ghost Rider was riding his signature motorcycle, so the chances that it was anyone else are very slim. Did he pass on his powers to Robbie? Or did Johnny create a second Ghost Rider? Most importantly, could he return in a future episode? It's not entirely outside the realm of possibility, so we'll keep an eye out for any casting news.
 
For all the exciting reveals in this episode, I would have liked to see the origin story told in a similar fashion to Simmons' time on Maveth. The flashback didn't necessarily need its own episode, but it certainly could have benefitted from less interruptions. Cutting back to present time just so Daisy could cut in just to ask what happens next didn't fit the flow of the story and interfered with the riveting build-up to the moment.
 
The Director arrives to take Daisy and Robbie into custody, and Robbie (or Ghost Rider?) proceeds to beat the living crap out of him (along with our dreams of Robbie officially joining the SHIELD family anytime soon). Ghost Rider supposedly only exacts vengeance on guilty folks, so could Mace have been involved in something we don't know about? After last week, we know he's isn't above lies and deceit. Besides, how powerful do you have to be to survive an attack from someone that just beat their way out of a containment unit? There still seems to be a lot we don't know about Director Mace.

This episode also further muddled to what extent Robbie and Ghost Rider are distinct from each other. Robbie talks about Ghost Rider in much the same way that Bruce Banner talks about the Hulk in the MCU, and it's not always clear how much control he has over Ghost Rider's actions. So far he has claimed that he has none, but Gabe was able to convince Ghost Rider to spare Mace. This isn't the first time Robbie has seemed to be able to control the actions of his hot-headed counterpart.
 
The episode ended on a cliffhanger, with Coulson and Fitz disappearing in the explosion that gave Eli his powers. Because the events seem to involve Darkforce, it's likely that their disappearance will tie-in to the events of Doctor Strange. Otherwise Johnny Blaze could show up again and save Coulson and Fitz from death, forming an entire team of Ghost Riders. Okay, it's probably not that, but we can dream.  

 

Best Lines + Stray Comments

"Thanks, I feel so much better knowing that if I die in a fiery explosion my eyeballs with survive."
 
 "Geese? I have zero geese. We are geese free."
 
"Personally, I always felt that Admiral Ackbar was the unsung hero."
 
"I've devoted everything to SHEILD. I've gave my life for it. Literally."
 
"The skull on fire presents a pretty compelling argument for hail satan."
 
"Well, you're out of practice. Too much punching, not enough hacking."
 
"Sounds a little Fox News to me."
 
*Eli might not have been the direct cause of Robbie's powers, but the line "You're just like your uncle, you have the same fire" was a nice nod to his comic book origins all the same.
 
*That was the shortest promo I have ever seen for next week's episode. Maybe they're trying to save us from all the Doctor Strange tie-in spoilers. Maybe.
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Marvel
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