Thursday, September 22, 2016

What I’m Watching: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Season Premiere)

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D: Season 4, Episode 1 “The Ghost” (B)

The new fall shows are upon us, and with that comes a handful of returning series. This is the first one out of the gate, back on Tuesday nights but at a later time, 10pm, which seems to bring with it a darker world. There was plenty of possession with all the inhuman stuff last season, and now we have what seems to be a haunted spirit lurking around and affecting the likes of random villains and esteemed agents such as May. I much prefer people with powers than all of this supernatural stuff. Additionally, I know absolutely nothing about the character of Ghost Rider, and while I wasn’t initially impressed, the sight of his flaming head and the revelation that he has a wheelchair-bound younger brother who he cares for makes him considerably more layered and a fitting successor to Andrew/Lash. It’s strange to see Coulson demoted to the rank of agent with some mysterious new boss in charge, and for Simmons to outrank May and tell her she needs to follow orders. I hadn’t expected John Hannah’s Dr. Radcliffe to be a full-fledged member of the cast now, but it is fun to have him since he’s an entertaining personality, especially since he’s now officially one of the good guys. It’s immensely disconcerting to see that Fitz’s secondary reaction after disapproving of Radcliffe’s human robot was to tell him that they had to perfect it before reading Simmons in, a plan that has never worked for anyone. It’s affirming to see that Mac has become such a strong central character after he joined the show late, and that recurring players like Yo-Yo are still around. And Skye, fresh with extra eyeliner, seems to be evading capture from both bad guys and good guys at the moment, still moving to the beat of her own drum. This season is off to a ferocious start, and there’s much ground to be covered.

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