AOS Season IV – Ep. 2 “Meet The New Boss”: A Review

Posted: 10/03/2016 in Uncategorized

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Another pretty stellar run. We continue the supernatural journey with Robbie Reyes/Ghost Rider (Gabriel Luna) as Daisy/Quake (Chloe Bennett) gives chase. More politics come into play as we finally meet the new director of S.H.I.E.L.D. Jeffrey Mace (Jason O’Mara). The director’s own back story stands to be as colorful and interesting as any character this show has thus far introduced.  If his back story even remotely reflects the MCU written lore, his tale might be downright “Patriot-ic”. With Mace, there is a pretty epic later reveal. Overall, Ep 2, “Meet the New Boss” maintains the path initiated from the season premiere.

Last week’s ‘infestation’ aspect seemed headed for a purely scientific explanation, despite the clearly corrupting effects of the ghost like presence show thus far. Fitz (Ian DeCaestecker) and Simmons (Elisabeth Hentsridge) work on analyzing the box that contained the ‘presence’ that made a group of criminals completely unhinged. That May (Ming-Na Wen) is exposed adds to the gravity of the storyline. The scientific duo analyzes the containment as of possible ‘inter-dimensional’ origin. I grew concerned they would cop out of a full on mystical explanation by taking a path already visited in seasons past. I need not have feared as Marvel/ABC has opted to go big… very, very big with this season.  The very mention of the “Darkhold” as the source of the non-corporeal state of a group of scientists elevates the series to big screen level fare.

Daisy’s casing out Reyes, pestering him at his place of work played well. Her using her abilities to undo whatever repairs he made to her vehicle and threats to expose him as ‘Ghost Rider’ was a fairly risky play. His eventual hard line approach to her machinations allowed the two to connect as he calls her out on her desire for death and guilt. She pushes him to admit he is an inhuman that she might generate empathy. He tells her he is not, and references the soul selling deal that brought Johnny Blaze, the original Rider so much power and sorrow.  As he searches her belongings, he tells her he has not found anything that would earn her the fate of those the Ghost Rider has thus far taken.

The new director initially seems a blatant tool, but as we learn that Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) endorsed him we know this to be a feint. He seems overly affable. He glosses over Coulson and Mac’s  (Henry Simmons) insubordination via their off the books hunt for Daisy, opting to move forward. He seems genuine but his use of buzz terms like “classified” and “trust” gives the viewer pause. His presenting a public face to garner the world’s trust after the events of “Civil War” includes making Coulson a tour guide for senators and power players. This too is troubling.

When May falls into full blown psychosis, however, he ably demonstrates that there is more to him and his selection as director. May’s battle sequences, particularly while crazed were as always spectacular. Her taking down numerous opponents with ease illustrates her value on the team. Coulson being unable to reach her show how far gone she presently is. Her fate at the ep’s end is troubling, particularly as those who accompany her are an unknown variable.

Story lines intersect as Mac and Fitz track the mystery box’s origin to a company called “Momentum”.  The head “ghost” is a woman named Lucy (Lilli Birdsell). We learn she gained access to the Darkhold and it ,along with whoever is in charge of the company, led to their current states. The effects are low key and work magnificently, particularly with one of their group only able to shout muffled screams while expressing outrage. For all intents and purposes they appear to be ghosts. Lucy and another member, however, are able to become tangible to some degree. Contact with them, however, leads to madness. Fitz and Mac’s encounter is tension laden as they need to avoid a foe that can touch them but they cannot touch.

The intercession of GR and Quake lead to a straight out of the books “spirit of vengeance” moment. The reconnection between Mac, Fitz and Daisy is brief. Mac is hurt, feeling betrayed as he makes the connection as to how Daisy has been staying ahead of them via Yo Yo/Elena (Natalia Corodova-Buckley). Fitz accuses Daisy of abandoning her friends who have always stood by one another in times of crisis. The performances are solid and the notion of who to root for becomes even more convoluted.  The end sequence meeting of Daisy and Reyes promises to bring the series to an even greater high point.

Season IV ep 2 maintains the meteoric reach and scope set by ep. 1. If they can maintain this level of creativity throughout the season, particularly with the promised tie in with the big screen introduction to Dr. Strange, AOS will easily maintain its standard as simply outstanding and well worth your time.

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