Agents of SHIELD Season Four, Episode #5 "Lockup" Review
Lucy, the disembodied spirit, wakes her comatose husband, Joseph, in the hospital in order to find out where he hid the Darkhold. Coulson arrives to the hospital too late and Joseph dies from the ghostly infection. Coulson next plans to break Eli Morrow (Robbie Reyes’ uncle) out of prison to use his knowledge of the Darkhold to try and stop Lucy. Lucy infects several of the prisoners and staff and they attack Coulson, May, Mack, and Daisy. Daisy is left to fend for herself. With her injury not permitting her to use her powers, she has to reply on her fighting skills to battle a horde of attackers, nearly succumbing before Coulson and May rescue her.
Morrow is released from his cell and Robbie tells him to leave. Robbie confronts the leader of a Latino street gang who has knowledge of the shooters who paralyzed his brother. Despite the man’s pleas, Robbie transforms into Ghost Rider, incinerating the man in his cell. However, when they leave they find that Lucy has got to Morrow first and captured him.
Meanwhile Jeffrey Mace is dealing with the anti-Inhuman attacks from Senator Ellen Nadeer. In a surprising development Mace reveals to the world that he is also an Inhuman. Later, he meets privately with Nadeer who threatens to give video of Ghost Rider’s attack in the prison to the press.
Look…I love Ghost Rider and I like the supernatural aspect that he and the Darkhold bring to the series. Certainly there will be some sort of tie-in with Doctor Strange coming as well. But the fact is that “Lockup” was the lowest rated episode of the series yet. Part of the decline in ratings can certainly be traced to the timeslot change from 8pm to 10pm but Marvel/ABC still have to be concerned that adding Ghost Rider to the mix hasn’t been able to move the needle much.
The problem is that this current plot involving the Darkhold and these spirits simply isn’t all that interesting. We keep hearing about the great power of the Darkhold and how even Nick Fury was afraid of it, which is interesting since the guy has been involved with the Infinity Gems, but what’s the basis for the fear? Where is the backstory on the Darkhold and what secrets and powers lay within its pages?
Another problem is that the writers continue to cling to the Inhumans side story like sailors on a ship during a storm. Revealing Mace as an Inhuman only means that they are not going away anytime soon. This isn’t a positive development. It is likely too late to change direction how but season four of Agents of SHIELD is becoming viewing optional even for the biggest Marvel fans.