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Stephanie Watches Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: 4×01 “The Ghost”

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Our beloved SHIELD team is back, but very fragmented. Daisy is on the run (with Yoyo giving her intel behind SHIELD’s back), Coulson and Mack were trying to find Daisy but kicked off the mission so they’re flying around in their quinjet, FitzSimmons are adorable and being sciencey at the base, and May is training new agents at the base.

Dealing with the new director (who we will meet next episode) isn’t SHIELD’s only trouble. A new vigilante/possible serial killer is on the loose with a scary, fiery car leaving a trail of bodies in his wake. Not only that, but a certain Quakey lady was also spotted on his trail. This gets the team riled up. May (secretly) sends Coulson and Mack to track Daisy since they have a new lead, while Daisy tries to track down this murderey dude.

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“There’s only one thing I want: Nothing left to lose.”

That was the most telling line for why Daisy is doing what she’s doing. Why she’s far away from everyone she cares about and who care about her. She feels responsible for Lincoln’s death and likely for the countless others they’ve lost along the way (especially Tripp). If she separates herself from them, she won’t be a danger to them, and she won’t put them in danger anymore. And it also makes me super sad for her.

But she’s trying to right these wrongs by serving up her own justice. If she can find this guy who’s killing people and stop him, she’s evening out the balance again. Maybe she’ll never even it out for herself, but she can at least do the world a favor. I think she should move to Hell’s Kitchen and help Jessica, Luke, and Matt. They seem to all be on a similar path, with their internalized pain leading their efforts.

The only problem is the guy she’s chasing is doing the same thing. He’s trying to right wrongs by killing people who deserve it: murderers, pedophiles, etc. This doesn’t jibe with Daisy’s plan to stop him (especially after she sees him helping his brother into a wheelchair and being a nice, normal guy), so they fight it out and he reveals his fiery skull visage to her. Marvel fans will obviously know him as the classic character Ghost Rider.

Turns out GR was chasing after some people who wanted some thing in a box, likely to unleash upon the world. SHIELD was targeting the sale of the box (and hoped they’d run into Daisy along the way but Yoyo warned her that was the plan), so Coulson, Mack, and May + team show up after these guys open it. Some sort of ghostly smoke comes out and soon all the crime businessmen are trying to kill each other because their faces are all droopy, decaying messes. After some are killed and others are iced, May comes into the room, but the ghostly smoke lady brushes past her. She gets a chill but shakes it off. Later on the quinjet, however, as she’s playing a game with Coulson, she looks up and sees his face all creepy and decaying. Ruh-roh!

Meanwhile, Fitz is bonding with Holden Radcliffe — the ‘mad’ scientist from the tail end of season 3 — with some brews, some football, and, oh yeah, a naked robot chick! Holden’s robot, who he spoke to but had not developed a body for in season 3’s epilogue, is named AIDA. He is very excited about her, but Fitz is wigging out. After the Ultron incident, he thinks people should know better than to mess with artificial intelligence. But Holden promises she’s not an AI, she simply mimics humans. But we know she’s a life model decoy, like Patton’s character. When Fitz officially meets AIDA and she explains her purpose as a literal “shield” to keep SHIELD team members from dying, he seems intrigued. But he tells Holden to keep it a secret, especially from Simmons. She answers to the new Director and if she found out about Ada, she would have to tell the Director and much shit would hit the fan.

Robots are generally a sign of not-so-great things, so we’ll see where this takes off. Ultimately, I think Holden has good intentions, but like Tony Stark found out, science can easily take on a life of its own and get out of control. And, of course, all I can think of it Ex Machina.

Bonus: Joss Whedon came back to Twitter today and released this hilarious, but important video featuring many Avengers and other Whedon alums. Check it out.

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