Agents of SHIELD: Let Me Stand Next To Your Fire

coulson

No, really. Agent of SHIELD. See?

The Agents of SHIELD go classic rock for their title this week, “Let Me Stand Next To Your Fire.” It opens with an interesting revelation- Simmons and Fitz are apparently moving in together. She’s very excited about hunting for an apartment for them, but gets a surprise. Daisy lured her there because she needed help. Since Daisy left Robbie in LA, she’s been having a rough time of things, and needs Simmons’ medical expertise. But Daisy’s not entirely mean, she set up a nice surprise for Fitz and Simmons.

Robbie’s infamous Uncle Eli gets an unexpected visitor: Coulson. We get a lot of hints about Eli’s background, but not a lot of details. Apparently he was involved with whatever turned the scientists into their current, ghost-like states. Whatever happened, Eli felt strongly enough about it to beat the remaining unaffected scientist into a coma, which is why he’s in prison now. One nice touch in the interview was Eli being surprised that SHIELD was still around.

To no great surprise, May is not a good patient, and she’s getting sick of Radcliffe’s tests. She also isn’t thrilled to find out how he cured her. She gets on pretty well with Aida, which is amusing. Elsewhere, Daisy is a somewhat better patient for Simmons. Daisy also has asset numbers and locations she took off some of the Watchdogs she’s managed to capture. Simmons is shocked that the information from the Accords is in the hands of the Watchdogs.

Coulson concludes his interview with Eli after some surprises on both sides as they compare notes about the events at Momentum Labs. There are even more surprises when Coulson goes outside to talk to Mac. Mac recognizes Robbie cruising by in his storied Charger. There’s a big car chase through LA which, by filming law, ends up in the concrete-bound LA River. The Charger is actually a match for Lola, but Coulson manages a surprise to catch Robbie. When Coulson wins, he quips to Mac, “I get to keep his car now, right? Isn’t that how this works?”

Daisy and Simmons are trying to track down the leak inside SHIELD, and they have very different perspectives on how to do things. Daisy has a complicated plan that Simmons manages to completely ignore. Sometimes it’s good to both be on the inside and be the boss. Daisy’s reaction to that was really entertaining.

Fitz almost has a heart attack when he sees May and Aida togehter, which is also funny to watch. Radcliffe has a very rational explanation for why he’s taking the risk, and it makes sense, for all that Fitz doesn’t like it. While this happens, Simmons and Daisy get a lead, and Simmons gives Daisy a more than fair talking to about how she’s operating these days.

On the Zephyr, Mac is really impressed with the Charger they have captured along with Robbie. Despite a very abrupt end to the car chase, the Charger is somehow completely undamaged. Robbie is a lot less impressed with the special cages they have to hold Inhumans and other “enhanced” as the Marvel Cinematic Universe calls people with powers. Robbie and Coulson talk for a while, and then, to Mac’s amazement, Coulson lets Robbie out so they can work together. Coulson is very skeptical about Robbie’s story of selling his soul to the devil

Daisy and Simmons’ lead turns out to be James, the Inhuman with the explosive powers who they dealt with during the incident with Hive. For someone with his abilities, the choice of work in a fireworks warehouse is a bit questionable. James is less than thrilled to see Daisy and Simmons, but agrees to meet with them after work, after they warn him about the Watchdogs. I guess even obnoxious low-profile Inhumans need that paycheck.

While Coulson and Robbie negotiate a way to work together, Aida keeps taking care of May. Radcliffe and Fitz really need to get their stories straight about Aida’s background. May’s reaction to Aida is very much in character and really entertaining. I wonder what her response is going to be back down the road if she learns more about Aida.

Working together, Coulson and Robbie get Eli to talk about what happened at Momentum. We get a lot of detail about Robbie and Eli’s past, and how Eli started to work at Momentum. More importantly, SHIELD learns about the book that the ghosts are so interested in. Things are finally starting to come together for the various mystic aspects we’ve seen this season as Marvel leads up to the Dr. Strange movie.

Lucy, the ghostly woman scientist, gets another step closer in her quest to find the book. She finds her husband, the man Eli beat into a coma, and gets into his hospital room. She wakes him up in what looks like a really painful manner so she can ask him more questions.

Our two major plots run into each other, as we see a confluence of Coulson’s team, Daisy and Simmons, James, the Watchdogs, and Ghost Rider. It’s a pretty cool action sequence, and it gives Ghost Rider one of his trademarked tools from his 90’s incarnation. Keeping this group together might be as hard as the eventual reuniting of the Avengers.

The two wrap up scenes both have a lot of interesting things floating around. SHIELD and friends finally learn the name of the elusive book, the Darkhold. That’s a major league magical artifact in the Marvel Universe, and it showing up is never a good thing. They finish reuniting the team when Coulson picks up May and meets Aida. There are few misunderstandings that are allowed to linger from those meetings as our heroes set off to find the Darkhold.

What I liked: Ftiz freaking out about May meeting Aida may have been the part that amused me the most in this episode. Ghost Rider’s scene near the end was really nicely done with great visuals. Daisy seeking out Simmons made perfect sense and their team up was great. Coulson was playing to his strengths- being a great field agent with cool, relaxed quips. I’m really hoping this is set up to Marvel finally saying there is magic without it being “other science” like they did with Thor and the Asgardians. I’m glad May is up and around again.

What I didn’t: I would have been perfectly happy never seeing James again. I don’t quite understand why the Charger is apparently invulnerable when it’s not in Ghost Rider mode. I was hoping to see Ghost Rider bust out of the cell and surprise Coulson.

I thought this was a good episode. I’ll give it a 4 out of 5 for the car chase and the Ghost Rider fight near the end.

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