Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Season 4, Episode 8, “Laws of Inferno Dynamics”
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. went into its mid-season finale with the same mission as the other shows in its genre: Wrap up what you’ve been doing and kick off the next thing.
Earlier in the evening on another network, The Flash struggled to do the story it has been telling all season justice before introducing the next set of danger. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. did a much better job of that because it realizes the next story only needs to be teased, not explained, which this time around left plenty of time to end the Ghost Rider story in a satisfying way before we start playing around in the land of the Life Model Decoys.
This hour was heavy on the action and the shifting sands of team dynamics, and everyone played their part in the resolution of the plot.
Along the way, we were treated to a more visually arresting interpretation of Yo-Yo’s powers which played well both in the trap she ran into, and her role in the climactic battle between evil Uncle Eli and his hired goons, which was reminiscent of the Quicksilver scenes from the most recent X-Men movies .
The action has driven Eli’s rage and lust for power. His newfound powers have only intensified the legitimate feelings of persecution and rage that come from being an outsider; to confront those things by using his power and the quantum energy battery he constructed to become like a god.
Robbie confronts Eli, but his power mad uncle traps Robbie in the battery, and prevents the Ghost Rider from coming out in the most painful ways imaginable.
Thanks to some real science (The Law of Conservation of Mass!) and the core cast working as a team for the first time this season, this piece of the season reached a satisfying climax. The teamwork was a most welcome sight; to watch everyone play their role and even see a couple of agents step outside of their comfort zone to help the cause.
In the end, the Spirit of Vengeance collects his prize before the whole thing gets sucked into another dimension. Robbie is gone, but as Coulson said, he’ll be back.
It all looked like it was going to end on such a happy note. The good ships Philinda and YoYoMack both seemed to be steaming toward Bonetown. Mace was still a little shady, but he did let Daisy back into S.H.I.E.L.D. on the fly. FitzSimmons was still as adorbs as ever.
Then we got to Radcliffe and Aida. Radcliffe has also been drafted into S.H.I.E.L.D. to continue his work on Life Model Decoys. Aida throws a kink into that plan when Mace’s assistant discovers an unconscious and bloodied Agent May in a secret closet in the Radcliffe compound, and gets his neck snapped by Aida for his trouble. It opens the door to many unanswered questions like what happened to Agent Koenig? Ok, maybe I was the only one asking that one. Most everyone else was wondering who or what is having drinks with Phil back at the base?
With Senator Nadeer’s story unresolved and the trouble with Aida cropping up there’s a lot on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s plate when they get back from winter break.