‘The Good Samaritan’ Plot Summary:
As Coulson’s (Clark Gregg) team up with Quake (Chloe Bennet) and Ghost Rider (Gabriel Luna) causes friction within S.H.I.E.L.D., flashbacks show how Robbie became the Rider and what happened all those years ago at Momentum Labs.
After moving along the plot quite nicely in the last episode, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. does not let up this week, dropping a couple bombshells. Like, seriously. But before we talk about the biggest developments, let’s talk a bit about the faceoff between the team and Director Mace (Jason O’Mara).
I’m convinced now more than ever that the director is a bad guy. His spying and secrets are increasingly getting on our heroes’ nerves; he’s getting cut off with his teamwork quote more often. He’s got to give up the shtick with the color codes and motivational speeches or he’s going away for sure. Still, he might give Coulson and the gang some real problems with his powers, which I have a feeling we haven’t seen the full extent of. This won’t be the last time they butt heads, even with Coulson’s attempt to defuse the situation by talking Star Wars (amusing and better than the somewhat cringeworthy joke in Civil War).
Mace might be formidable, but he’s no match for the Spirit of Vengeance, who would have destroyed him in their crowd-pleasing fight scene if he wasn’t interrupted. Of course, with the revelation that another Ghost Rider gave Robbie his powers, we know he’s not the only one with a Spirit. This is a really smart move by Marvel. Sure, they changed parts of his backstory (which is typical for adaptations), but think of the possibilities. A lot of fans decried the choice of Robbie Reyes over Johnny Blaze, so this allows them to have their cake and eat it too. If they want to give this other Rider, who’s likely Blaze, a dark Netflix series, that’s possible.
The other big surprise is that Robbie’s Uncle Eli (José Zúñiga) is the true villain in this storyline. Yes, from my little knowledge about the comics I did know he was a satanic murderer, but he’s also supposed to be bound to Robbie’s soul, so it was unclear how similar he was to his comic counterpart. Lucy Bauer (Lilli Birdsell) was getting old, so it’s a welcome change. Anyway, the ending really makes you wonder where they’re going with the story. What happened exactly? Could it have something to do with Doctor Strange, which had a sneak peek attached to this episode? Either way, the magical occurrences in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. nicely coincide with the movie’s release, intentional or not.
If I have any gripes about this week’s installment, it’s that some of the dialogue and delivery of the lines during Robbie’s flashbacks come across as stale or just poorly done. The allusions to things like angels also aren’t the subtlest, but I guess that’s par for the course when you’ve got a character literally selling his soul to the Devil. And I can’t be too upset when they somehow manage to tie the plot to Zero Matter from Agent Carter. It might just be a throwaway reference, but it adds cohesiveness between the two shows.
Despite its flaws, exciting plot developments make this episode a winner, similar to last week. The hiatus comes as a bit of a surprise, outside next Tuesday being Election Day, but when S.H.I.E.L.D. returns November 29, you know where to find me.
RATING: 8 OUT OF 10 (GREAT)
Aaron Sarnecky is Pop-Break’s television editor and covers Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., among other things. He is a graduate of Rowan University with a degree in television and film. He probably remembers that show you forgot existed. Follow him on Twitter: @AaronSarnecky