Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Recap and Review: "Deals with Our Devils"
A few weeks ago, Agents of SHIELD left off on a massive cliffhanger with Fitz, Coulson, and Robbie vanishing into thin air as our newly minted villain succeeded in his quest for ultimate power. The three end up in a sepia-tone parallel dimension where they're slowly being dragged into hell. Apparently, Ghost Rider wasn't a fan of the situation, so he jumped ship and temporarily possessed Mack instead of Robbie.
Although it didn't last, seeing Mack as the Ghost Rider was an exciting turn of events. Now that Mack and Robbie have bonded over their "spiritual" experience, it looks like we'll get to see the two team up to settle the final score. Robbie and Mack have had a rocky relationship from the start, but between Robbie's powers and Mack's morality (and shotgun-axe) they would make a pretty decent team. Besides, now that Daisy's been behind the wheel of the Hell Charger, all I want is a vengeance buddies road trip. Life complete.
With Fitz stuck in another dimension, Simmons would generally be the first person to call. Or, she would have been, if she weren't away on a secret mission in response to Senator Nadeer's blackmail. The Senator's brother had been in terrigenesis for months, and there's no telling what this means for his powers, or his mental state. Thanks to Simmons' empathy and scientific genius, the mystery has begun to crack. It's too soon to say what's in store for this newly hatched Inhuman, but judging by how fast Simmons was whisked away once he was revived, the Senator has her own nefarious plans in mind.
In the meantime, May is so desperate to get her teammates back that she turns to the Darkhold for answers. Her bond with Coulson has always been one of the highlights of the show, but this season the focus on it is so intense that we're left wondering if Philinda could become cannon. Still, considering that both of them have recently been through extreme heartbreak and loss, it might take some time. Romantic or not, we're clearly getting to see a new side of Coulson and May's relationship.
Because no human can read the Darkhold without consequences, May calls in Radcliffe and Aida to help with the interdimensional magic tech. Aida saves the day by reading the Darkhold and constructing an interdimensional gateway, so that means the rest of the team should feel safe despite finding out she's an android, right? Maybe not for long. The Darkhold's effects clearly aren't limited to humans, since it displayed binary code for specifically for Aida when she went to read it. This means the negative consequences of the Darkhold could impact her as well. In addition to building interdimensional gateways, Aida can now reconfigure her own mind, and things are beginning to look a lot like Ultron.
Next week the team faces off with Eli and his new matter-creating abilities. So far, he hasn't been too creative with his powers, limiting himself to stabbing agents and building blockades, so it's difficult to tell what he's really capable of. With magic that matters, Aida's mystical download, and a new Inhuman to look forward to, the winter finale has a lot to work with. As it sets up the remainder of what's been a strong season so far, "The Laws of Inferno Dynamics" promises to be an exciting episode.
*It was nice to see Mace acknowledge the loss of this week's nameless fallen Agents. It was also a slightly awkward reminder of how often that goes unaddressed in the show.
*Did Fitz just call Mack, "Big Mac"?
* Robbie has been the perfect addition to both the team and the show in general, can we just skip to the part where he's a cherished part of the SHIELD family already?
*Aida reading The Darkhold in binary code and "talking to ghosts" is just another fantastic example of Marvel perfectly blending magic and science.
*Can we just take a minute to appreciate how ridiculously talented Mallory Jansen is? Her outstanding performance as Aida is one of the best things to come out of this week's episode.