Agents of SHIELD Winter Finale Review: “Laws of Inferno Dynamics”

The Killer In Me, Is The Killer In You

Agents of Shield came into season 4 touting a darker tone, thanks to a later start time, and some high expectations due to the introduction of the Ghost Rider. By the time we got to the winter finale, “Laws of Inferno Dynamics”, not only had they successfully melded the supernatural and sci-fi elements, but they’d also created a genuine connection between the audience and the newer characters. Ghosts and mad scientists hellbent on world domination and destruction will only get you so far. Good thing SHIELD had the story to back it up.

The addition of Robbie Reyes’ version of Ghost Rider was a gamble that paid off. The iconography of the character without the baggage of the original, theatrical portrayals worked out much better than I expected they would. Robbie was a man on a mission from the get go and his chemistry with a then, on the run, Daisy Johnson provided much of the plot progression early on. By the time we get to “Laws of Inferno Dynamics”, they are both full fledged members of SHIELD. Which was welcome. I could only take so much more of sulking Daisy. Her motivations came off as shallow more often than not, considering EVERYONE had lost a friend, and stood to lose more if they didn’t work together. Her separation was more hindrance than help. I’m glad that it’ll be resolved going forward, since there will be much bigger things to worry about going into the second half of the season.

With Eli’s plan in motion, SHIELD mobilized to stop him, deducing that there was no Earthly way that he was creating elements from nothing, and that he had to be pulling from an alternate source; the Netherworld we’d visited in the past episode. He’s no God, he was just using a Game Genie. Robbie seemingly sacrificed himself to carry out his vengeance pact with The Rider, but there’s no way he, or Eli for that matter, are completely finished. If anything, they’re just stuck back in that muted realm.

On a lighter note, the few that were actually in this episode, Mack and Yo-Yo finally kissed. Ending Yo-Yo and our torment over him acting like a straight sucker for three months. Then there was Director Mace calling Daisy “Agent Johnson”. It was a small gesture that actually meant a lot to the structure of the show, as the public display of solidarity with a former fugitive leaves nothing to interpretation. She’s back in the fold and there ain’t a damn thing anyone can do about it.

Then there was the one moment that was painfully ripped away from us. Aida kidnapped May, and put a LMD in her place. Yet another reason teaching the android to lie AND letting her read the evil book was a bad idea. Pretty much everything about Aida has been bad news since she was reveald, which, if we’re being honest, was the only real outcome. Heroes being nincompoops when it comes to how to responsible handle AI is a constant in the Marvel universe. Like death and taxes. Two things that are also results of AI gone bad. The second half of SHIELD will focus mostly on Aida and her LMD’s, which will surely lead to more infighting and distrust. Mace still hasn’t fully won over the agents, and his motivations haven’t been made completely clear. He may be acting in the best interest in the agency, but in whose vision. Coulson is pulling as many strings as he can, but the endgame isn’t in sight. This is the spy game after all. Everyone is being played, but to what end?

I’m confident going into this next act of Agents of SHIELD. This winter finale didn’t so much wrap up the story lines as it put a pause on a few an opened the doors for several others. The team is definitely in a bubble of happiness that will likely be popped before the opening credits come January. Until then, lets all take a well deserved breather, because the blood and tears are on the way.

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