Remembering Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 4, Part IV

The fourth (and final) part of our three-part series in which we recap Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s jam-packed fourth season!

First we looked at Ghost Rider, the arc in which S.H.I.E.L.D. helped the flaming-skulled vigilante take down his evil uncle Eli Morrow. Then we looked at LMD, the arc where the team faced off against Dr. Holden Radcliffe as he secretly replaced members with dangerous, life-like androids. Finally, we looked at Agents of HYDRA, where the team was trapped in the HYDRA-ruled alternate reality by the villainous android Aida.

Now, let’s look at my rankings for the season and let’s see if I still agree.

Ghost Rider 04×01 – The Ghost – 7.5/10 7/10
I gave this episode a 7.5/10, which I mostly still agree with; maybe a 7/10. I speculated that Aida would turn evil (which she did), and that Quake and Ghost Rider would join S.H.I.E.L.D. (which they did). I also incorrectly guessed the Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. four times, wondered if Lucy was a Spirit of Vengeance and presented the false theory that Punisher would cross-over.

Ghost Rider 04×02 – Meet the New Boss – 7/10 7.5/10
I went a little lower for this episode, claiming it was not as good as The Ghost. In retrospect, I think it was a fine entrance for Jeffrey Mace, the Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. and bumped it up to 7.5/10. I also noted that I don’t trust Mace at all – my mistake.

Ghost Rider 04×03 – Uprising – 8/10
May died, Yo-Yo got something to do and S.H.I.E.L.D. went public. This was a cool episode and I stand by my 8/10. In this recap, I decided I liked Mace after all, and theorized that he would either die a heroes death or become a villain. One of these was true. I also speculated on why Nadeer’s brother was trapped in Terrigenesis.

Ghost Rider 04×04 – Let Me Stand Next To Your Fire – 8/10
I don’t remember loving this episode as much as I claimed to, but it did spawn my ever-popular Agents of O.V.E.R.W.A.T.C.H. post long before I ever even played Overwatch, so it couldn’t have been bad. And who doesn’t love some Hellfire? I reaffirmed my believe that Aida would turn evil, I wondered if May and Coulson knew Aida was an android (they didn’t), and I questioned the possibilities the Darkhold presented for the universe.

Ghost Rider 04×05 – Lockup – 7.5/10
Sometimes I wonder if I was being too lenient on this episode, and then I remember it was the first MCU property to tease the existence of Johnny Blaze. There was also some nice shady Mace/Simmons/Nadeer stuff going on that was a joy to watch. Double blackmail!

Ghost Rider 04×06 – The Good Samaritan – 9.5/10
This episode was so insanely cool. That being said, this is early in Season 4 and you ain’t seen nothing yet. I loved seeing Johnny Blaze, I loved seeing Ghost Rider’s origin, I loved the Eli twist. In this episode I theorized that Mace gave Simmons to Nadeer (yep), that Eli Morrow was Molecule Man (sort of), that S.H.I.E.L.D. was picking up Agent Carter storylines (nope), that the gang was teleported to the Dark Dimension (nope) and that Johnny Blaze would be recurring from here on (nope).

Ghost Rider 04×07 – Deals with Our Devils – 9.5/10 8.5/10
Hold your horses, Jesse! Did I give two episodes a 9.5/10 in a row? This one was cool, but it probably wasn’t even a 9/10! I did like seeing the gang interact with the alternate dimension and Mack as Ghost Rider was hella cool though. In this episode I correctly guess that Hope is Mack’s dead daughter, that Aida is going to be the Big Bad and the Eli wouldn’t last another episode.

Ghost Rider 04×08 – The Laws of Inferno Dynamics – 9.5/10 9/10
What was I doing, just handing out 9.5/10 scores like they were candy? This episode was also fantastic, but it wasn’t the most mind-blowing thing I’ve ever seen. I was totally blindsided by the reveal that May was a LMD, but I correctly guessed that this wasn’t the last we will see of Ghost Rider.

LMD 04×09 – Broken Promises – 8.5/10
Aida is evil like right off the bat – and then destroyed and replaced. This episode was the start of my musings into transhumanity and artificial intelligence.

LMD 04×10 – The Patriot – 8.5/10 9/10
I love Jeffrey Mace. How dare I give this episode an 8.5/10? It had Glenn Talbot and a Luke Cage tie-in! I don’t have a lot of speculations so far, but I do implore S.H.I.E.L.D. to keep up the good work. It does.

LMD 04×11 – Wake Up – 8/10
The episode in which Radcliffe betrays S.H.I.E.L.D., the Watchdogs start to win, and S.H.I.E.L.D. starts to lose. In this episode I called for Radcliffe’s death. Who would have guessed I didn’t know what I wanted after all?

LMD 04×12 – Hot Potato Soup – 8/10
One Patton Oswalt, two Patton Oswalt, three Patton Oswalt, four. This episode finally answers the burning question: Are the Koenigs androids? (They’re not.) Lots of great developments with Fitz’ dad, too. If only we know how important he’d be.

LMD 04×13 – BOOM! – 7.5/10
When the sag in the middle of your season features Nitro blowing up your villain right off the bat and The Patriot stopping a truck with his bare hands, it’s a good season. This episode is also when I  which I announced my bizarre transhumanist essay Is Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D Preparing Us for the Ethical Questions of the Future?.

LMD 04×14 – The Man Behind the Shield – 6.5/10 7.5/10
Was I crazy? There is not an episode this season worthy of a 6.5/10; especially not one in LMD. This episode had some wonky pacing (which ends up actually being a plot point) but is overall a cool character study. Plus, it sets up for the next episode…

LMD 04×15 – Self Control – 10/10
This episode is S.H.I.E.L.D. at it’s most balls-to-the-wall crazy. When it came out I lamented that 11/10 wasn’t a possibility, and I’m still upset about that. From the who’s real paranoia to entering the Framework, this episode was one of the coolest things Marvel has done. In this episode, I wonder if The Superior is the Red Guardian (he isn’t), and whether or not Trip and Hunter are around in the Framework. One of them is.

Agents of HYDRA 04×16 – What If… – 8/10 8.5/10
I think I was a little too harsh on this episode. I gotta give it props for originality. The Framework and the idea of a “What If?” episode is just such a unique idea. In this episode I wonder if Mack and Ward will willingly leave the Framework. They don’t.

Agents of HYDRA 4×17 – Identity and Change 8/10
Evil Fitz at his most evil. This is also when all the political jabs start. A solid episode in the dark, depressing Framework.

Agents of HYDRA 4×18 – No Regrets – 9.5/10
Trip is back. Mace died. I cried. 9.5/10. No regrets.

Agents of HYDRA 4×19 – All the Madame’s Men8/10
Coulson had a great speech and Bakshi is back. Other than that, it was just your average really good Framework episode. No one died, so that’s good.

Agents of HYDRA 4×20 – Farewell, Cruel World! – 8/10 8.5/10
I gave out a lot of 8/10 scores this arc. Well, this one deserved more! Simmons killing Fitz’s dad, Coulson and Simmons getting shot, Mack refusing to leave and the team escaping. Mmm. Tasty episode.

Agents of HYDRA 4×21 – The Return – 8/10 8.5/10
What a surprise, I gave it an 8/10. Ghost Rider came back, I called it. I bumped it up to an 8.5/10 because Mallory Jansen’s acting as Aida was beyond top-notch.

Agents of HYDRA 4×22 – World’s End – 8.5/10 9/10
The more I think about this episode, the better it gets. Mack and Yo-Yo’s heartbreaking scene in the Framework, Coulson becoming Ghost Rider, the team ending up in space, Talbot being shot, Simmons’ fake death and the final goodbyes of Radcliffe and Aida. It wasn’t an action-packed two-parter like past years, but there was no better way to close off the season.

GHOST RIDER TOTAL: 8.313/10 8.125/10
I didn’t like Ghost Rider as much as the other arcs, and I think the new rating reflects that a little better – even if it is a little higher than I would give it.

LMD TOTAL: 8.143/10 8.357/10
Honestly, a little lower than I expected. However, the last episode of the arc makes it all worth it.

AGENTS OF HYDRA TOTAL: 8.286/10 8.571/10
The best arc of the season and the ratings show. Here’s to Season 5!

BONUS: SLINGSHOT SEASON 1 – 9/10 8.5/10
It is what it is. A good little miniseries that was a little too “mini”.

What do you think? Agree? Disagree? Let us know!

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Author: Jesse "The Clairvoyant" Rolufs

Film star. Chemical engineer. Dancer. Comedian. I am none of these things. What I am, however, is a huge geek hailing from the frigid wastes of western Canada. I couldn’t even tell you when it started - I’m told the first words out of my mouth were “I swing my +2 DEX war axe and attack the dragon.” My name is Jesse (also known as “The Clairvoyant”) and I am a big nerd when it comes to video games, board games, movies, anime, TV, RPGs - and I am possibly the one of the world leading experts on comic books, the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Joss Whedon. You can find me on twitter as @JesseRolufs. Don’t be afraid to check out my informative Joss Whedon-themed podcast @whedoncast, and my hilarious bargain-bin-movie-bashing podcast @BlindBuy!

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