In the final minutes of last season, we discovered that Daisy was off on her own, now in the guise of Quake and that Coulson had been replaced by another director. We’ve waited months to find out what the status of the team was, and now, we finally have some idea with the Season 4 Premiere entitled “The Ghost.”
It’s night in Los Angeles but hardly a peaceful one. A ragtag group armed to the teeth swerves back and forth along the highway. While their identities are unbeknownst, the fact that we see Quake (Chloe Bennet) dressing and readying for the night in syncopation with shots of the gang makes it clear that they’re not going to be the heroes of tonight’s episode.
“It’s coming!” One shouts in alarm. After coming to a screeching halt, the group opens fire.
Quake appears poised to fight, but to her confusion her target sinks to his knees before her. “He got me,” he informs her. “He’ll kill us all.”
Looking down at her hands in confusion, Quake sees blood. And then, just like that, we, along with Daisy and the group on the highway, get our first glimpse at Ghost Rider (Gabriel Luna).
As expected, Season 4 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. got off to an explosive start. After that, the episode got us up to speed on the changes that have taken place and what story arcs will be unfolding this season.
Quake has been busy trying to fight the Watchdog terrorist organization. Tracking down villains had her pursuing this gang of skinheads that was helping a group of Chinese terrorists bring smuggle what turned out to be a ghostly weapon.
Her work has been taking a toll on her. Later in the episode, she covertly met with Yo-yo (Natalia Cordova-Buckley), and it was revealed that every time she uses her powers, she’s causing damage to her bones. Refusing Yo-yo’s help to catch Ghost Rider, who she believed to be a serial killer, Quake used the make and model of the car she spotted in the street to track down the mystery man.
In the end, she faced off against him. When he had her pinned to the ground, Quake urged Ghost Rider to kill her, saying she deserved it; however in the end, he let her live. Undeterred, Quake took to following Robbie Reyes, looking on as he helped his brother into his wheelchair toward the end of the episode.
Meanwhile, Agent Coulson (Clark Grefg) and Mack (Henry Simmons) are using every opportunity to try and find Daisy. After receiving a tip from Agent May (Ming-Ba Wen) that Quake may be in Los Angeles, the pair headed to the city, using a check-in with Yo-yo as an excuse for the trip. Despite being forbidden from pursuing Quake, the two followed clues to where they believed Daisy might be.
I had thought May might be the new director, but my hunch was wrong. It turns out she is leading a strike force. At the end of the episode, her unit is called in to bring Coulson and Mack back. Her group makes quick work of fighting the Chinese smugglers at the warehouse, but only after we get a momentary sign that the specter released is having some kind of an effect on May.
And I haven’t forgotten about FitzSimmons. In hopes of keeping her eye on the Director, Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) has managed to get quite the promotion. She is now Special Advisor to the Director in Science and Technology or as Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) calls it “SADIST.” Although she clearly finds the red tape and over-zealous monitoring of the agents in the field to be unnecessary, she is doing her best to play the system.
Fitz is working alongside Holden Radcliffe (John Hannah), developing new technologies together, but apparently Fitz wasn’t aware of all of his new partner’s projects. When the two were meant to be watching a soccer game, a very naked AIDA walked in on the pair.
At first, Fitz was shocked. Then, he was nervous about the Radcliffe’s motivations for creating the woman. After speaking with the cyborg himself and hearing that her programming is meant to protect SHIELD agents from danger, he agreed to help complete her, though he insisted that Simmons not know.
So–the TL;DR version–Fitz is keeping a scarily realistic robotic woman a secret from Simmons. May is seeing creepy ghosts, and Quake is stalking one of Marvel’s most famed characters with a demonic presence inside of him. Season 4 is set up to be a wild and rather dark ride.