This week on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., we finally got to find out Ghost Rider’s origin story.
Ever since he joined in the beginning of this season, actor Gabriel Luna has done a bang up job portraying Robbie Reyes, AKA the Ghost Rider. While comic book fans probably would have preferred the original Ghost Rider Johnny Blaze (more on that later), the newer version, first introduced in the comics in 2014 has been the small screen version of the character. Instead of the flaming motorcycle, we got the Hell Charger, but we still got the same Spirit of Vengeance.
This week, Robbie and Daisy are still teaming with the agents in search of The Darkhold, the Book of Sins. Unfortunately, last week Lucy, the leader of the Momentum Labs ghosts kidnapped Robbie’s uncle Eli with the hopes of using the Darkhold in order to reverse her ghostly appearances. Later on, we get an interesting twist related to that.
Unfortunately for the Agents, Director Mace, ever the politician has to deal with political pressure from anti-Inhuman Senator Nadeer, has to stop Coulson from colluding with Daisy and Robbie as they are wanted vigilantes (especially Robbie since he’s been killing his victims). Mace and Coulson’s meeting is not a friendly one as he knows Coulson is harboring the two fugitives on his plane. When Mace arrives with his S.H.I.E.L.D. hit squad, the two S.H.I.E.L.D. leaders engage in the best Star Wars references heard outside a Kevin Smith movie. Who knew that Coulson was such an Admiral Ackbar fan? Although Mack is able to hide Daisy, Robbie, and Robbie’s younger brother Gabe, Mace knows they are hiding in the containment cell.
Inside the containment cell, Robbie finally comes clean to his younger brother. At first, he and Daisy lie to Gabe telling him that he’s a secret agent, but Robbie doesn’t want to lie to his younger brother anymore. Here we are treated to Robbie’s Origin Story. Unlike his book-smart younger brother, Robbie is street smart and although is a mechanic, his real money comes from street racing. After stealing his uncle’s Hell Charger, he proceeds to go to a street race. He takes his brother with him so the two can do some bonding. Unfortunate for them, the gang that Robbie has been dispatching (and that we know were hired to kill him) shoot up the Hell Charger, paralyzing Gabe and seemingly killing Robbie. Gabe has fond memories of a “good Samaritan” who saves them, but that really wasn’t the case. Before Robbie died, he pleaded for his younger brother to survive and he would do anything, therefore, making a deal with the Devil. The Good Samaritan is none other than the original Ghost Rider Johnny Blaze! After reviving Robbie, he transfers the Ghost Rider power into him, therefore turning Robbie into the supernatural being he now is.
Later on, after Mace finds the containment cell, Robbie reveals his “true self” to his brother for the first time. While the containment cell has always been able to keep super powered beings at bay, it can’t contain Ghost Rider and he and Mace engage in a super-powered fist fight. Mace, being super strong, actually holds his own for a little bit, but is no match for Robbie. Just before Robbie is about to kill Mace, his brother interjects, reminding his brother of his humanity and he stops.
Meanwhile, Lucy is working with Uncle Eli on using the Darkhold to transfer her back to her human form. They get their own flashback scene as well. We get to see Momentum Labs true mission. They weren’t mad scientists bent on taking over the world, but actually wanted to use their discoveries for good reasons, like ending world hunger. Lucy’s husband, however, wanted to use the formulas derived from the Darkhold to become a god-like being. Uncle Eli is also not so innocent. We get to find out that not only did he betray the scientists and turn them into their ghostly form, but also put the hit out on Robbie and Gabe. Eli also wanted to use the book to gain infinite powers.
The agents chase them down to an old Momentum Labs area where they manage to retrieve the Book, but not before Eli reveals that he’s the real villain and uses the machine to transform himself. Comic book fans will notice that his new powers are similar to Molecule Man, who can pretty much do anything he wants with molecules. The episode ends with him gaining the abilities, but in doing so sent off a shockwave of “Zero Point Energy” and now Fitz and Coulson are nowhere to be found. Did they disappear? Since it’s so close to Doctor Strange, are they somewhere else in the multiverse?
This was a SOLID episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Not only did we get an almost true-to-comics origin story of Robbie Reyes, but we got the ultimate cameo of the original Ghost Rider. This means that Johnny Blaze is also in the marvel Cinematic Universe. It would be awesome if he shows up somewhere else either on TV or film. Now the good guys have a true bad guy to face. Just like Hive, he’s an almost invincible foe that will probably go toe to toe with them throughout this season.
Also kudos to actor Lorenzo James Henrie who plays Gabe on the show. He was one of the most annoying characters on Fear The Walking Dead until that character met his demise this year. However this episode, his portrayal of Gabe shines. Knowing how close the two characters are in the comics, here’s to hoping that he also stays around for a while on the show as this episode gave him much more to do.
We have to wait almost a whole month until the next episode!