Agents of SHIELD S04E03: Uprising
There were huge status quo changes present in this weeks Agents of SHIELD which restored the series back to being about the actual Agents of SHIELD instead of the bureaucracy of spy work. Even though this episode felt very ‘problem of the week’, it did end up moving the narrative further along.
The episode starts with a very simple problem, members of what seems to be an Inhuman led rebellion have started to blackout cities world wide, under the guise of fearing registration. This single episode has more to do with the Civil War comic arc than the movie did, and it is nice to see the issues of privacy and government overreach touched on, instead of long winded speeches on the responsibilities of Inhumans.
One of the first cities to be hit by the blackout is Miami, where Yo-Yo is celebrating a bachelorette party. Director Mace sends out the newly minted field team of Mack Coulson and Fitz to find the solution to the blackout problems.
Unfortunately it turns out that no Inhumans were behind the attack, just the now globalized Watch Dogs looking to change public opinion on the Inhuman problem. The local Miami Watch Dogs end up at the hotel Yo-Yo was celebrating with her friends at in an effort to kill her. Somehow the Watch Dogs have the ability to track Inhumans, but it is never made clear as to how they are doing this. I am sure this plot point will be explored later in the season of course.
After saving Yo-Yo and discovering the Watch Dogs were behind the assault, Fitz uses basic science to triangular the location of the EMP device causing the blackout. It is refreshing to see Yo-Yo working with the team throughout all of this, as it makes the schtick of last season’s lack luster implementation of the Secret Warriors seem warranted. I hope she sticks around for the remainder of the season. Once Coulson tells the Director the solution to the blackouts, SHIELD finally goes public after they were destroyed in The Winter Soldier.
One of the B-Line stories this week dealt with Simmons and Dr. Radcliffe trying to save Agent May from whatever possession or haunting occurred in the pilot, leading to a human tech support moment of killing her and then reviving her to reset her brain activity. Of course, this is timed with a power blackout form the Watch Dogs in DC, adding drama, almost leading Simmons to discover Dr. Radcliffe’s LMD project. After May is revived though, the episode wraps up pretty quickly, so who knows if the ‘treatment’ was indeed effective in removing the cursed spirit or not.
On the Ghost Rider and Daisy side of things, we are finally introduced to Gabe, Robbie’s younger and wheel chaired bound brother. After the rolling blackouts strike LA, Gabe and Daisy hole up together while Robbie goes off and does his Vengeance thing to looters and the like. Gabe doesn’t take too kindly to Daisy helping Robbie out, and knows that she is Quake. He demands she leaves Robbie alone, and accomplishes his goal by blackmailing her with her identity. We do get to learn a little about Ellis Morrow, the Uncle of the Reyes brothers, and the version of Ghost Rider that haunts Reyes in the comics, but it seems like most major revelations concerning Ghost Rider will be coming in next weeks episode.
Watch it! The story is moving along and settling into its pace for Season 4. While Ghost Rider has been the bright spot in the previous episodes, having Coulson back in the field and SHIELD back in the public moves things forward in a meaningful way. I am curious to see if there will be any repercussions to SHIELD going public in the film side of MCU, but those probably won’t manifest themselves until at least Spider-Man Homecoming.