(WARNING: SPOILERS for Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 4 winter finale follow)
The most recent episode of Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. was almost too much too take in. For a winter finale, #AgentsOfSHIELD went above and beyond, pulling out all the stops in what was probably one of the best episodes in the entire series so far.
Between #RobbieReyes absorbing his uncle Eli, and director Mace becoming a full S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, the winter finale was definitely an episode worth watching. And while those moments were some of the highlights of the episode, there was much more hidden within the subtext of what took place in "The Laws Of Inferno Dynamics."
For example, after Robbie Reyes absorbs Eli Morrow, the two disappear. It doesn't look like they're dead but they're gone for now. Robbie and Eli are likely to return as one #GhostRider, similar to the comic book origins of Robbie Reyes's Ghost Rider.
Coulson Is Well Informed Of Past Ghost Riders, Including Johnny Blaze
After the mission, Coulson speaks to Daisy about Robbie and is almost certain that Robbie will make it back, eventually. Daisy inquires as to how Coulson could be so certain, to which Coulson then responds by noting how a "previous" Ghost Rider made it back from a similar situation.
Blaze was teased in "The Good Samaritan," wherein Robbie Reyes explains how he and the Ghost Rider became one. During the story, Robbie's description of the person who turned him into the Ghost Rider matches up exactly with Johnny Blaze.
Nods To Johnny Blaze Have Been Increasing, When Will He Make A Featured Appearance?
Adding to Johnny Blaze's singular appearance, Blaze was also hinted at in the prior episode when Lucy Bower went looking for the Darkhold in Blaze's former residence. In the basement, a part of Blaze's motorcycle and a leather jacket can be seen. It's unclear why Johnny Blaze left those things behind, but Coulson's words could explain why Blaze would abandon his belongings.
According to Coulson, the original Ghost Rider (Johnny Blaze) made it back from a similar trip, which implies that Robbie Reyes isn't gone, he's just somewhere else. More importantly, Coulson knows where Johnny Blaze (and by extension Robbie Reyes) went. So, where did they actually go?
The answer is simple: Hell. Well, not like the Hell you're thinking of, but the MCU's version of Hell, which is another dimension. Multidimensional travel was featured in Doctor Strange and finally became canon on Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. during the episode "Deals With Our Devils."
In "Deals With Our Devils," Coulson, Fitz, and Robbie become trapped between dimensions but are able to escape with Aida's help, who creates an interdimensional portal for Coulson, Fitz, and Robbie to jump through.
With that in mind, Coulson probably understands how Johnny Blaze was able to return from his trip to Hell and predicts that Robbie could do the same.
Now That Johnny Blaze Is Back, When Will His First Featured Appearance Be?
Apart from speculating on who could've helped Johnny Blaze out of Hell, he's out now and it's the perfect time for Johnny Blaze to rise up in the MCU, seeing as how Robbie Reyes is absent (for the time being). Blaze could appear at any moment, especially now that Agent Coulson has acknowledged Blaze's presence within the Marvel universe.
Johnny Blaze hasn't had a central role in the MCU or the MarvelTV universe yet, but when we account for Coulson more than teasing Johnny Blaze's presence, it's very likely that the next supernatural character to join Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. will be Johnny Blaze, the Ghost Rider.
When do you think Johnny Blaze will make his first real appearance — the next half of Season 4 or in Season 5? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.