The current season of Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. continues to outdo itself with every new episode. Season 4 was expected to explore Robbie Reyes's Ghost Rider in-depth and it's doing just that in the best possible way.
Reyes is finding his place on Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. as his own plot thread is being weaved into the existing story. Along with that, he has already had confrontations with Daisy and some of the Watchdogs, and he'll be confronted by S.H.I.E.L.D. as well in the upcoming episode, "Let Me Stand Next To Your Fire," which will see his story connected to the rest of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
The newest clip for "Let Me Stand Next To Your Fire" depicts Reyes racing to ditch Agent Coulson and Mach as they attempt to detain him:
Is Robbie Reyes In Control Of The Ghost Rider? Or Is It The Other Way Around?
After viewing the clip, it's very obvious that Robbie Reyes has some level of control over the Ghost Rider spirit within him, seeing as how he doesn't burst into flames during the pursuit by Agent Coulson and Mack. Most would expect Robbie to use any means necessary to escape capture, but Robbie doesn't resort to transforming into his supernatural counterpart in order to do so.
In most Marvel Comics incarnations, Ghost Rider is unpredictable and reveals himself whenever provoked by danger — but that's not part of who Robbie Reyes is on Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. Robbie's other half would be able to ditch anyone in pursuit of him, but Robbie chooses not to use the Rider, despite his abilities being useful in the situation at hand. All this says about Robbie Reyes is that he's in control over the Ghost Rider within him ... but that may not be the case for too much longer.
Despite Robbie not breaking a sweat when confronted, his level of control will be brought into question during "Lockup."
Will The Ghost Rider Take Control In The Next Episode?
The synopsis for "Lockup" was released early on and specifically indicates that Robbie will be unable to contain the Ghost Rider forever:
"As Robbie Reyes struggles to control The Ghost Rider, S.H.I.E.L.D. infiltrates a high-security prison to unravel the secrets that haunt them all."
The indication of Robbie having trouble with Ghost Rider is quite surprising since he's exhibited a strong level of control in every scene he's appeared in so far this season. However, the sudden change in Episode 5 could be due to something happening to Reyes during Episode 4, the synopsis of which may add some context:
"As Ghost Rider’s quest for vengeance brings him into an explosive confrontation with S.H.I.E.L.D., Coulson and Mack must rely on an unlikely ally in their time of desperate need; and Daisy reunites with a familiar face to stop the Watchdogs."
From the sound of what's going to take place in Episode 4, Ghost Rider is going to create a problem for Robbie when they find S.H.I.E.L.D.; Robbie might have his own reasons for confronting S.H.I.E.L.D. but it could be Ghost Rider who forces Robbie into throwing a full assault. And it's at this point where the two minds that inhabit Robbie Reyes's body may clash with one another, resulting in Robbie losing control over the Ghost Rider spirit inside of him.
Could Reyes's Comic Origins Explain Why He's Losing Control Over The Ghost Rider?
We can take a look at Marvel Comics for some insight into what might be the cause of Robbie struggling to control the Ghost Rider. In the comics, the Ghost Rider spirit that inhabited his body was slightly different from past iterations of Ghost Rider; it wasn't a "fallen angel" Spirit Of Vengeance like the Ghost Rider that possessed Carter Slade or Johnny Blaze. It's actually the spirit of Eli Morrow, a serial killer who winds up in hell and masquerades as a Spirit Of Vengeance, offering Robbie Reyes a contract that would see him become the Ghost Rider; Robbie agrees and allows Morrow's spirit to inhabit his body.
At first, Robbie believes the spirit inhabiting his body is the Spirit of Vengeance, as he goes out passing judgement on a variety of criminals and sadists — like a Ghost Rider would — but when a specific event forces Robbie to venture to hell, he discovers the truth: his body is actually inhabited by the spirit of serial killer, not the Spirit of Vengeance. Although Reyes can wield supernatural abilities similar to that of Ghost Rider, he's not a Ghost Rider within the context of the Marvel Universe.
How Do Robbie Reyes's Comic Origins Relate To Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.?
Reyes's comic origins make one thing very clear: his Ghost Rider isn't like previous Ghost Riders. His body is inhabited by a crazed serial killer who could snap at any moment, and that aspect of Reyes's origins may very well translate over to Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. He might have to reconsider his cooperation with the spirit that inhabits his body.
Jose Zuniga has been cast in the role of Eli Morrow for "Let Me Stand Next To Your Fire," and Morrow is now Robbie’s uncle. Robbie believes he sold his soul to the devil in exchange for another opportunity at life — but if it was really his uncle Eli, Robbie would probably object to cooperating with him once learning of his true identity.
Soon thereafter, an internal conflict would ensue between the two for control over Robbie's body. And it may be that internal conflict which explains Robbie’s struggle with the Ghost Rider in episode five “Lockup,” evident by the episode synopsis.
What do you think is happening to Robbie Reyes? Is the Ghost Rider taking over? Will Eli Morrow use Robbie's body for all kinds of villainy? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below!
Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs Tuesdays on ABC at its new time of 10 p.m.