After finding out that members of his team may be taking matters into their own hands, Jeffrey Mace is entering the fray.
Before Mace leaves the base, he sends Simmons off on her own mission but he won’t tell her what or where she’s going. It’s clear that any illusion of openness between the two of them has been broken. Mace then heads off to intercept Coulson in order to take Robbie Reyes and Quake into custody. More than Quake, the new Director is concerned about SHIELD agents harboring a murderer. Mack hides Robbie, Gabe (who they picked up for some reason), and Daisy in a containment module and sends it outside the ship.
While they’re in the containment unit, Robbie and Gabe recount the story of what happened the night that they were gunned down. Robbie finally reveals to Gabe what happened to him that night. Robbie tells Gabe that he begged for his brother’s safety before he died. When he was dead a voice asked him if he wanted vengeance and Robbie agreed. He came back to life with another Ghost Rider (presumably Johnny Blaze) standing over him who passed the spirit of vengeance into him. Gabe is upset to learn that Robbie’s been killing in the name of vengeance and tells him not to use him as an excuse for the killing.
Once the story has been told, the Director finds them in the containment module. While Mace and Coulson are talking, Fitz tries to interject with information about Eli and Lucy. Mace isn’t willing to listen but Robbie overhears that they may know where Eli is. The Ghost Rider emerges and punches his way out of the containment module. Mace tries to stop Robbie, but he’s no match for the Ghost Rider. Gabe is able to get through to his brother before he kills Mace, but can’t look at his brother.
After the altercation, Coulson and Mace are able to come to an agreement about Robbie. Even though he’ll eventually have to pay for his crimes, they need him to deal with the imminent threat. Fitz has traced Lucy and Eli to a Roxxon plant. The team (Coulson, May, Mack, Fitz and Robbie) infiltrate the Roxxon plant on foot while an injured Daisy gives support from the ship. When they get inside, Coulson and May retrieve the book while Mack and Fitz try to shut down the plant. Robbie faces off with Lucy, who reveals that it was actually Eli who caused the experiment to fail, not her husband. She also tells Robbie that the gunfire that hit he and his brother was intended for Eli, who had been trying to steal the Darkhold. Robbie kills Lucy, but Eli restarts the experiment while Coulson and Fitz are still trapped in the facility. May and Mack where both outside the facility, at the time, but everyone else (except maybe Robbie) is hit by a burst of energy from the plant’s reactor. Eli emerges from the reactor with the ability to create matter in the palm of his hand, but Fitz and Coulson seem to have vanished.
- Coulson: “Geese? I have zero geese. We are goose free.”
- Gabe: “Hey, screw you black Kojak”
- Coulson: “The skull on fire presents a pretty convincing argument for ‘Hail Satan'”
- Mack: “Who names these things? Are there focus groups for evil things?”
- Fitz traces the plant that Lucy’s using back to the Roxxon corporation, which was involved with the dark matter experiments from the Peggy Carter series.
- There are flashbacks to what originally happened between Eli and Lucy throughout the episode.
So, a big chunk of this episode was spent on flashbacks. One set showing what happened to Robbie and Gabe and the other showing what happened to the Bauers and Eli. I felt like a lot of what was shown was obvious based on previous things that happened in the show.
I also don’t really get why they needed to pick up Gabe. I mean, from the show perspective, I get that they needed Gabe so he could go on this trip down memory lane with his brother and stop him from killing Mace. But, from a character standpoint, why bother picking up Gabe and bringing him on the plane? I know that he’s concerned about Robbie, but couldn’t Robbie have just made a phone call or sparred 5 minutes for a visit? I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m glad to have a little more detail about the origin of this Ghost Rider, I just didn’t appreciate the pretext of dragging Gabe into this, especially considering that he disappears just as conveniently as he appeared.
Now that we know how Robbie got his powers, we can see that it’s not too different from his comic origin. In the comics, Robbie merges with the murderous spirit of his uncle before the Johnny Blaze version Ghost Rider meets him and helps him get the ghost under control. In this version, it’s the other Ghost Rider (the one Gabe calls the “Good Samaritan”) who gives him the power directly. It is also worth noting that the show never confirmed that the other Ghost Rider was Johnny Blaze and that there is a possibility it could be someone else. However, when you bring out a guy with a flaming skull on a motorcycle, it’s safe to assume that it’s the Ghost Rider that we all already know.
Now that Eli has revealed himself as the true villain the team is probably going to have to scramble for a solution. They’re still shorthanded with Fitz and Coulson disappearing and Simmons sent to some unknown location. I imagine this isn’t going to go well because they’re also stuck with Mace, who none of them trusts. I’m sure they’re going to have to fight through a lot of that internal conflict in order to save their teammates.