This past week saw the Season 4 finale of #AgentsofShIELD and it had everything any fan could ask for and more. After numerous twists and turns, the situation with Aida was resolved and Aida defeated, mainly because the team had a plan in place to stop her.
Warning: The following section contains spoilers for the Season 4 finale of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
The plan was to get Aida close enough to Ghost Rider so he'd be able to burn her to ashes, but that wasn't possible after Aida learned Robbie Reyes/Ghost Rider could hurt her newly crafted body. So, the S.H.I.E.L.D. team concocted a plan to get close to Aida without needing #RobbieReyes. And the solution turned out to be a clever one—one that none of us saw coming.
When the S.H.I.E.L.D. team finally closed in on Aida, she appeared to have Coulson at her mercy—right before he flamed on and revealed that he'd temporarily taken the Spirit of Vengeance from Robbie Reyes, turning him into the #GhostRider for a short period of time. Coulson then burnt Aida's body to a crisp, permanently placing her out of commission. Soon after, Coulson returned the spirit to Robbie Reyes.
Did Coulson Sell His Soul To Become Ghost Rider?
Apart from how entertaining it was to see Coulson become Ghost Rider—albeit for a brief period of time, his time as Ghost Rider likely had more significance than we realized. There's a good chance Coulson becoming Ghost Rider had some unintended side effects.
In the last few minutes of the finale, Reyes and #PhilCoulson are discussing something, to which Reyes slyly hints at telling the S.H.I.E.L.D. team the truth. Coulson asks Robbie to keep it to himself, but it was fairly clear the secret was about the deal Coulson made to command the Spirit of Vengeance. So that topic will eventually have to be broached as it implies Coulson's trip to Hell is imminent. Ghost Rider's comic origins add evidence to the reality of Coulson selling his soul to become Ghost Rider.
In the Ghost Rider mythos of the #Marvel comic book universe, any host to Ghost Rider has to sell their soul to take on the Rider's power; there's no other way to get around it. We don't know if these factors are consistent in the #MCU, but if they are, then Coulson will have to address the matter of selling his soul sooner or later—it's a rather huge plot thread to leave unaddressed.
Of course that's not the only side effect of Coulson becoming Ghost Rider. In addition to selling his soul, becoming Ghost Rider might have actually done something good for Coulson. It's possible that the Ghost Rider's regenerative abilities caused Coulson's hand to regrow itself.
We've seen Robbie Reyes' body heal wounds after becoming Ghost Rider which means that ability was likely passed on to Coulson when he became the Rider. Some could argue that Ghost Rider's regenerative abilities are limited, but we've seen Robbie's body riddled with bullets and yet he regenerated, all thanks to the Spirit of Vengeance. That said, there's a good chance Coulson's hand regenerated itself after becoming Ghost Rider.
Did Coulson's Hand Grow Back After Becoming Ghost Rider?
An amputated body part is no different from a wound and the Ghost Rider's abilities don't discriminate. It heals the host's body after any injury which means Coulson's hand might have inadvertently grown back during the transformation into Ghost Rider. But there was yet another clue that Coulson's hand grew back in the Season 4 finale.
After Coulson eliminated Aida and reunited with the whole S.H.I.E.L.D. team, his entrance was accompanied with him awkwardly removing the glove on his left hand—the robotic one. What was significant about this moment was that Coulson flexed his hand right after taking off the glove, standard movie and TV trope for either "I hurt my hand" or "I'm testing out my newly-healed hand." It's reasonable to believe the robotic hand was likely burned off during Coulson's brief period as Ghost Rider, followed by his amputated hand growing back. Although we won't know if this is true until #AgentsOfSHIELDSeason5 premieres later this year.
What do you think? Do you think Coulson sold his soul to become Ghost Rider? And do you think the transformation inadvertently lead to Coulson's amputated hand growing back? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns for Season 5 this fall.