Welcome back, True Believers! After a month hiatus Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has returned! I truly hope you managed to keep up with your weekly fix of CGI fire and whining Inhumans somehow. When we last saw the agents, Fitz, Coulson and Robbie had disappeared and Eli Morrow had successfully given himself powers and everyone was basically screwed. In the episode “Deals With Our Devils,” they don’t do much to get unscrewed.
The episode starts off with May and Mack running around the lab looking for any sign of the missing agents. They do however find Eli Morrow who takes out some of the agents who we don’t really care about. Eli now has this ability to create carbon out of nothing but lacks little imagination so he just creates deadly spikes that kill everyone, which I will say, is at least efficient. The team is already about to give up on finding Fitz, Coulson and Robbie but for once it’s Daisy who is thinking positively and even suggests that if it was that kind of explosion that turned the scientists into ghosts, maybe it did the same to the agents? Everyone thinks that Jemma should be told what happened to Fitz and Director Mace assures everyone he will get in contact with her even though we know she was taken somewhere mysterious last episode.
Where did Simmons go? Turns out she was brought to a lab/warehouse (location not important) to study Senator Nadeer’s brother who has been stuck in the terragenesis process for seven months. While investigating the Inhuman shell, Jemma does find a heartbeat and asks everyone to leave the facility so she can speak to it alone. But because episodes only have 48 min and this is the C storyline, the shell already starts crumbling apart. What’s inside? YOU’LL HAVE TO WAIT UNTIL THE END OF THE RECAP.
So because Daisy is being the logical character for once, I guess that means another character has to take her place this episode. That would be May. She wants to use the Darkhold to find the agents even though she has seen how dangerous it can be. They also still have to stop Eli Morrow and they believe if S.H.I.E.L.D. can interrogate the Chinese gang from the beginning of the season, perhaps they can find him. As for the rest of the gang, Mace unconvincingly says he talked to Jemma, Gabe is upset about finding out about his brother’s turn-into-the-Spirit-of-Vengeance thing, and Daisy is still being a surprising beacon of positivity. All of these moments are outshined though by Mack saying, “My axe is plenty sharp… and a shotgun” when talking about going after Eli – which might be the best line in the entire series. But also, Mack spontaneously gets on a motorcycle and drives away alone for some reason that we might just figure out in the next paragraph.
So Daisy was right: Coulson, Fitz and Robbie were all turned into ghosts and are trapped in the sepia-filtered world. I can’t say for certain, but this may be one of the multiple planes of existence that is discussed in the film Doctor Strange. Normally Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. always acknowledges the Marvel cinematic universe with a tie-in episode and I guess this is it? Even though Doctor Strange came out nearly a month ago. We get to see all of the stuff we just watched happen again but this time from the ghost perspective as Coulson and Fitz try and talk to Mack and May to no avail. Robbie is even there to watch his uncle kill everyone and he is powerless to stop it. Fitz believes they are caught in-between dimensions and that they are more ghostly than the scientist ghosts because they can’t even be seen or heard. While on the ship, Ghost Fitz overhears Mace on the phone with Senator Nadeer requesting to have Simmons back which results in her hanging up on him and Mace having to lie to everyone else about it. Ghost Coulson is upset watching May meltdown but is even more upset that she is considering using the Darkhold. But Robbie has it the worse because since they aren’t in the plane of the living and they are slowly getting pulled into the darkness, the spirit of Ghost Rider doesn’t want to stick around. So much so, that he leaves Robbie’s body and flies into Mack’s, which explains the sudden burst of badassery. Daisy grabs Robbie’s car and drives after him and we get a cool car chase with sparks and everything. But honestly this episode should be called “Mack on a Motorcycle” and should just be a continuous loop of Mack on a motorcycle. He’s doing badass shotgun/axe flips like he’s in Terminator and he’s got the fiery eyeballs going on. Daisy shows up and follows the trail of dead bodies to find Mack who goes full-on Ghost Rider.
Back on the ship, Mace is pissed he can’t get Simmons back and instead calls Dr. Radcliffe and Aida to help figure out the ghost problem. Radcliffe tries to read from the Darkhold but can’t even bear to keep it open. Aida volunteers to read it which forces Radcliffe to tell May that Aida is actually a robot and how she shouldn’t be affected by the dark magic since she is not actually human. In the ghost world, it turns out it was Ghost Fitz telling Aida to volunteer to read the Darkhold and Ghost Coulson also learns that Aida isn’t human in this moment as well. A small detail that shouldn’t go unnoticed is that the Darkhold is in binary for Aida because its language depends on the reader. So very good job on that writers.
The three storylines converge as Aida now possesses the intelligence to build a machine that can pull the ghosts agents back to their normal reality. Which is good because Ghost Coulson is getting sucked into the dark dimension and Ghost Fitz is the only thing he’s holding onto. Ghost Robbie confronts Ghost Rider Mack and makes a deal with the spirit that if the spirit helps Robbie get his vengeance on Eli, Robbie will help the spirit with his vengeance – which I’m sure there is a lot of. Aida’s gateway machine works and Coulson and Fitz emerge from the portal de-ghosted and back to normal. Fitz immediately goes after Mace for lying about Simmons but before he can really dig in, Jemma shows up safe and sound. The Inhuman emerged from terragenesis and she was blindfolded and taken back to base before she or even us the audience, could learn anything about the Inhuman and what he can do. Mack is still pretty shaken up after being Ghost Rider and is staring at a photo with “Hope” and a date written across it just as Robbie emerges through the portal. Robbie asks Mack if he’ll help him settle his last score.
Now that Mack has gone through the same harrowing process, I like the idea of these two working together now since Mack was Robbie’s biggest critic. The episode ends with Aida secretly using the future technology she developed with help of the Darkhold to design a digital brain. This could be her creating her own artificial intelligence which we’ve seen go wrong in Age of Ultron but we are definitely getting a little Westworld in here, baby. Until next time, True Believers!