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REVIEW: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4×07 “Deals With Our Devils”

After a lengthy hiatus, nearly a month after Coulson, Robbie, and Fitz seemingly vanished into thin air, we finally found out what exactly Eli Morrow did at Momentum Labs.

Spoilers ahead!

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While we have had to endure three weeks with things up-in-the-air, the characters themselves have not. “Deal With Our Devils,” picks up exactly where episode 6 left off, with May and Mack charging back into the labs to discover that Fitz and Coulson have disappeared. While May, Mack, and the Director are ready to carve the gang’s names on tombstones, Daisy makes the pretty decent point that the team has gotten out of way weirder/deadly predicaments before.

Honestly, vanishing into thin air ranks relatively low on the list of terrible things these S.H.I.E.L.D. agents have had to deal with.

One thing they do know is that Eli Morrow is definitely still around, with a few deadly upgrades that leave four S.H.I.E.L.D. agents dead.

Elsewhere, we finally find out where Jemma was whisked away to last episode. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Simmons was taken to the site where Senator Nadeer’s brother is now being kept whilst still in his terrigenesis cocoon. Evidently, the mysterious rendezvous between Nadeer and Mace had a little something to do with figuring out just what this yet-to-be-revealed Inhuman will be capable of. And who better to hypothesize and analyze than Jemma Simmons?

Which she does while sprinkling in a bit of friendly chatter, something that apparently was the only thing necessary for this cocoon to crack. But just when we get a glimpse of the man beneath the rock, yet another bag is thrown over Jemma’s head and she’s yanked away before she can offer little Nadeer some of her infamous gluten-free biscuits.

Unfortunately, being in a secret location with no phone means that Director Mace can’t get in touch with Jemma to tell her about the vanishing agents (mostly Fitz) like he promised Daisy, Mack, and May he would.

Speaking of vanishing agents…

Turns out our boys aren’t dead, but are getting closer to being so with each moment they’re stuck between dimensions… which is where they are. Evidently, Morrow’s device altered their physical states and trapped the trio between their normal world and another. And while they can see (and mostly hear) everything going on in the real world, none of their team members are aware of their existence.

Which is rather inconvenient when they’re the only ones who realize that the Ghost Rider hasn’t been trapped with Robbie and actually flew his way into Mack’s body to get vengeance on Eli and the gang that first stole the mysterious Momentum boxes.

Yikes.

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Luckily Daisy hops into the driver’s seat of the Hell Charger and chases MackRider to a classic-to-S.H.I.E.L.D. abandoned warehouse. Less lucky? When she finds him he’s more Rider than Mack.

After a tense moment where it looks like Daisy will have to deal with the a fiery skull in a body of steel, Robbie offers to make a new deal with the Rider in exchange for him leaving Mack and saving him from hell.

While all this is going down, May and Radcliffe realize that, while the Darkhold would destroy any human brain, Aida is more than capable of reading the text in order to find a way to bring Fitz, Coulson, and Robbie back to the proper dimension. And boy does she! Just in the knick of time too as the other world had just begun sucking Coulson away when Aida’s android magic managed to open a portal and successfully bring the trio home.

This of course led to a long overdue FitzSimmons reunion, a heavily-hinted chat between May and Coulson, and a pretty ominous final scene with Aida using her newfound knowledge to build herself a brain.

Not a scarecrow I’d want to cross.

This was a solid return for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. that managed to remain entertaining from start to finish despite not providing a whole lot of story-moving plot. Granted, where S.H.I.E.L.D. is concerned one often doesn’t realize how plot-heavy an episode is until all of the ends come together down the line, but this episode felt more like a fun one-off meant to allow the cast and crew to play with the multiple-dimension trope.

Honestly, I’m surprised it took 4 seasons for S.H.I.E.L.D. to bring in an episode like this.

While filler on the sense that it felt like a standalone more than a driving force for the seasonal arc, “Deals With Our Devils,” packed a punch and thoroughly entertained. And though there were car chases, multiple dimensions, and a decent amount of action, the characters themselves were the biggest strength this week as each character dealt with the emotional fallout of losing half their team.

As far as the rest of the season is concerned, particularly 4A which concludes next week, it seems that all things are pointing to Eli Morrow. Based on Robbie’s new deal with the Rider, as well as the promo for the winter finale, it appears that taking out Morrow will be S.H.I.E.L.D’s primary concern.

Episode Grade: B

Episode Highs:

  • While the fallout will no doubt be awful, it was pretty cool seeing someone already as physically intimidating as Mack turn into the Ghost Rider.
  • The sepia color tone and auditory muting to distinguish dimensions was a cool effect that made it easy to immediately know where we (and the characters) were.

Episode Lows:

  • While S.H.I.E.L.D. managed it better than most, I never love episodes/films that show the same scenes on repeat from different perspectives. Not sure how successful it would have been, but an increased number of the fused Dimension A/Dimension B scenes rather than Dimension A, Dimension B scenes might have been preferable.

Additional Thoughts:

  • Are we thinking Mack had a kid at some point? Ex-wife? Something? Why so emotional?
  • Who will be the bigger mystery/focus in 4B: AIDA or the Nadeer family? More importantly… who will be the bigger bad? AIDA making herself a brain is giving me some major Ultron vibes… 

What did you think about the latest episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D? Let us know on Twitter or in the comments below!

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Silje Falck-Pedersen

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