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REVIEW: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×02 “Meet the New Boss”

Unsurprisingly, “Meet the New Boss,” revolved a great deal around the introduction of the mysterious new Director that was first teased in last season’s finale. Ironically, the man who has replaced Coulson as S.H.I.E.L.D.’s HBIC has one very specific motto: A team that trusts is a team that triumphs.

So… I wouldn’t expect to see too many triumphs in the near future because, where this team is concerned, nobody trusts anyone.

Spoilers ahead!

Other than the whole, “S.H.I.E.L.D’s got a new Director,” plotline, much of, “Meet the New Boss,” focused on the demonic ghosts that are haunting everyone from hapless house-husbands in the suburbs to Melinda May herself.

The crazies from last episode seem to be dropping left and right, reaching peak insanity and trying to kill themselves in S.H.I.E.L.D. quarantine, while the mysterious spirits haunting various locations are mentioning a lot of vague people and even more vague incidents that caused their predicament. Each of the mystery cubes seem to posses a different ghost, all of whom need to find a book so that they can reverse whatever it is that’s been done to them.

Elsewhere, Daisy has tracked down Robbie and pokes him with her verbal stick just long enough that he flips out and goes all flame-head on her. Evidently mentioning his younger brother will immediately cause the shift from Robbie to Ghost Rider, and Daisy learns this the hard way… with a firm punch to the face. After the worst heart-to-heart that has ever taken place, Daisy mentions the very lab that those pesky ghosts are haunting… which makes Robbie flip out and immediately head there himself.

Who else is headed to Momentum Labs? Fitz and Mack.

fitz402 s.h.i.e.l.d.

Uhoh.

Except… not?

As it turns out, Ghost Rider can stop these ghosts and actually manages to prevent one from taking out Mack and Fitz before snatching a photograph and peacing out.

Unfortunately, what starts off as a pretty noice mini-reunion between Daisy, Mack, and Fitz ends with some emotional reveals that seem to turn everyone a bit blue. Mack figures out that YoYo has been in contact with Daisy the whole time and Fitz accuses her of turning her back on them at the worst time ever.

It’s a bit rough but… not as rough as May being carted off of the base in a straight-jacket after reaching new levels of crazy and being knocked out by the new face of S.H.I.E.L.D.

And that’s that.

The introduction of Jeffrey (as played by Jason O’Mara) immediately made me wary and, despite the fact that he’s apparently the government’s next Steve Rogers, I’m still putting him in the, “one to watch,” category.

Viewers of S.H.I.E.L.D. know that, no matter how affable an individual may first seem, they can’t really be trusted until they do something drastic to prove that they truly are on the side of good.

What set my alarm bells off about Jeff is the fact that, from what we’ve seen so far, he seems to be the antithesis of last season’s Rosalind Price. Price was essentially 3A’s version of this season’s bringing in of new management, and she was far more of a no-nonsense, strictly business, character than this new Direcror seems to be. Price of course ended up being on the side of good, her dodginess being a red-herring, which makes me think that Jeffrey’s can-do, yay team, attitude might be equally misleading.

s.h.i.e.l.d. director

Considering I wasn’t even really certain of Rosalind’s loyalties until Ward put a bullet in her throat, it’s likely that viewers won’t be able to reach a definitive conclusion about the new Director for some time.

S.H.I.E.L.D. loves giving viewers one-sided teases of conversations, and often seems to revel in the ensuing chaos that comes from audience speculation. This means that everything we see or hear should be taken with a grain of salt, as the true nature of these new characters likely won’t be known for certain until they either kill a good guy or get killed by a bad guy. Jeff may be the new, Inhuman, face of S.H.I.E.L.D. but I’m not convinced that the persona we’ve seen so far is as genuine as we’re meant to believe.

Which brings us to…

What the hell is the deal with Robbie Reyes?

He’s certainly not someone I would describe as likeable, but his kill code does make him seem marginally less terrible than some of the confirmed villains that have previously crossed paths with S.H.I.E.L.D. It’s hard to say that anyone deserves to have their spine ripped from their body, but are Robbie’s actions truly worse than Hydra’s years of mass-killing innocent people or Hive’s uncaring slaughtering of anyone who didn’t share his Inhuman vision?

I think what makes Ghost Rider seem more vicious than villains past is that his actions aren’t dulled by a fade-to-black cutaway. We’re actually seeing what he’s doing rather than just hearing about the horrors in the aftermath- as was common when Hydra/Ward/and Hive were the central foes.

Though… Daisy might put an end to Robbie’s vicious streak.

It’s hard to remember that Daisy  did in fact have a life prior to joining S.H.I.E.L.D, and it seems that her recent departure from the organization has now allowed the show to give us a glimpse of what living this former life entailed. Though arguably at a personal low, as a character Daisy seems to have reached a new peak. The past two episodes have allowed viewers to see a side of her that was only vaguely teased in the past. She’s hardened by her past, and uncaring enough about her own well-being that she’s willing to go into the proverbial underbelly to get things done.

While a few began throwing the term, “badass,” around in connection to Daisy upon her transition to field agent, and many more hopped on the bandwagon once she acquired her admittedly awesome powers, this “new” version of Daisy reaffirms that she was actually pretty badass even before joining Coulson’s team. She’s basically a super-sleuth extraordinaire this week, using the hacking skills that many people seem to have forgotten she has to get her first real upper hand over Robbie.

s.h.i.e.l.d.

I loved this sequence in particular because it showed that Daisy’s powers are most certainly not her only asset. Though Simmons is the go-to woman when thinking of intelligence as a character trait, Daisy is enormously savvy in her own right… something that fell to the wayside when she became S.H.I.E.L.D’s predominant field agent but seems to once again becoming a focus. Daisy felt more threatening and powerful to me in the one minute of casually listing Robbie’s personal information than she did in many of her physical confrontations. Girl’s got street-smarts and tech skills that I’m happy seem to be an equal, if not greater, asset to her than whatever gifts the Terrigen mist provided.

Episode Grade: B

Episode Highs:

  • “You’re an engineer Mack… and a small tank.” -Fitz referencing Mack’s intellect and physicality.
  • The scene with Daisy jumping onto the hood of Robbie’s charger as it sped down the streets of LA was pretty awesome. I love VFX shots but there’s something way cool about watching actual actors performing stunts as epic as this one.
  • The shotgun-axe made another appearance!!!!
  • “There was an incident, blood everywhere, not a great time.” We didn’t get much Jemma this week but what we did get was great… as always. (Give this character more screen time writers!)

Episode Lows:

  • I’m sure I will at some point, but at this point I really don’t care about these ghosts… meaning, in my opinion, they got way more screen time than I would have liked. They’re currently more annoying and boring than they are intriguing so… hopefully whatever their connection with Robbie is will make their storyline more interesting.

Additional Comments:

  • Anyone else hear those Punisher/S.H.I.E.L.D. crossover rumors?!?!? I’d be pretty damn psyched to see this because, so far, Robbie very much feels like the Frank Castle of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Both do admittedly horrible things, seemingly with very little remorse, but said things are done to those that both men feel genuinely deserve it.

What did you think of the latest episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and… if the rumors are true, would you be interested in seeing the Punisher? Sound off on Twitter or in the comments below! 

About the author

Silje Falck-Pedersen

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