‘Deals with Our Devils’ Plot Summary:
The explosion at Momentum Labs traps Coulson (Clark Gregg), Fitz (Iain De Caestecker), and Ghost Rider (Gabriel Luna) in another dimension. Unfortunately for them, the Spirit of Vengeance has other ideas.
When Coulson and company disappeared at the end of the last episode, I had a good idea of what was going to happen next. It’s goes without question that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. wouldn’t kill off that many characters at once, plus you’ve always got to see the body. But I did not expect the Spirit of Vengeance to latch onto Mack (Henry Simmons).
Marvel Television has been awfully generous to its fans lately. Not only did the previous episode all but confirm the existence of Johnny Blaze, this episode shows a possessed Mack ride a motorcycle and burn off his face like Robbie. It doesn’t last that long, of course, but it’s entertaining while it does. I forgot Mack had a shotgun-axe. I also forgot about the Senator’s brother (Manish Dayal). Anyway, a shotgun-axe is the perfect substitute for a fiery chain. All that and seeing evil Mack shrug after a bullet just oozes coolness.
I had previously mentioned that this current story arc parallels Doctor Strange, and the similarities do not let up in this episode. Without giving too much away for those who might not have seen Doctor Strange yet, they both deal in alternate dimensions and magic. They even tie in together thematically, sort of. As I said before, it’s nice to see TV and film on the same page, even if they’re not truly in sync.
Speaking of pages, what a great/terrible idea to have Aida (Mallory Jansen) read the Darkhold. Getting past whether or not it would work because she’s a robot, it’s crazy dangerous. Sure, without her reading it they would have never gotten Coulson and the others back. But what about the greater good? Dr. Radcliffe (John Hannah) has become a lovable member of the main cast, but he can’t close the can of worms he’s just opened with the strum of his guitar.
Bringing Robbie back will probably prove necessary defeating the now superpowered Eli (José Zúñiga) though. Being able to conjure pure carbon out of nothing seems like a weird ability, but hey, when you can impale people on it, why not? Seriously, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. occasionally gets pretty brutal. But you have to raise the stakes, you know?
While the flashing back and forth between dimensions feels like padding after the first time, you can’t say that things aren’t intriguing. Eli will undoubtedly pay for his crimes, but will that happen in next week’s mid-season finale, or will we get another cliffhanger? Will it be the last we see of Ghost Rider this season?
Next Tuesday can’t come soon enough.
RATING: 7.5 OUT OF 10 (GOOD)
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