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September 21 2016

(SPOILER) Discuss Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4x01 "The Ghost". The episode was written by Maurissa Tancharoen and Jed Whedon. It was directed by Billy Gierhart. The cast will be having a live chat on Facebook at 9:30 Eastern tonight.

Welcome back for Season 4! The show airs an hour later this season (10 pm Eastern).

And two hours early if you are in Canada! Mwhahaha I just saw it!

Let's see:

The New Director sounds like an ass but objectively I can't really fault him.

Fitz still owns acronyms.

Stupid rainbow spectrum!

I can see why they said darker...
What! How dare you, Canada. The nerve.
The crazy part is I can eatch it three times in a row, CTV Toronto at 8:00, CTV Regina at 9:00 and then the ABC feed at 10:00...
It's good to be Canadian!
It's gonna be fun reading reactions and knowing what's coming next!
LOL, Dusk, we're all going to be screaming and you'll be sitting back with your feet up :)
Oh the show will earn those screams tonight...dun dun DUN!

Funny thing is tommorrow I have like 5 shows and I'll be up to like 1:00 AM to watch them all that night lol.
OK. Need to be Canadian. Must divorce my husband and find a willing sucker.

In the meantime, we have to keep Dusk quiet-ish!
10 p.m. means gratuitous woman underwear butt?
I was wondering how my Canadian tweeps were reacting to the episode at 8!
Are they hunting Daisy?
Simmons dancing with a that leprechaun in the musical number was...oops. That was a dream I had. Quiet-ish yes.
That looks a little bit like the Winchesters car Baby.
Agent Piper! <3
Maybe she'll join the team on the bus!
I forget who Agent Piper is.
So Daisy's plan to stop the "Watch Dogs" who are anti-Inhuman fanatics is to run around destroying things and being so obvious about it she's in the news enough to get a moniker? That doesn't seem... wise...
Nice to see all of you again.
Agent Piper joined them (along with a bunch of other SHIELD agents) when they tried to take the town that Hive had, and she was just fun and memorable. For me.
Daisy is not super good at big picture defensive thinking.
Piper was one of the newbie agents all excited to go after Hive last year.
And maybe....Daisy knows that but still does it for....reasons.
Agent Piper: the Redshirt Who Lived.
It is see everyone here, again!

Thanks for the reminder, NYPinTA.
So very Bond, Mac.
Did she get her van back or is this a new one?
I was thinking that Fitz was now Q, NYPinTA.
Seems being Q feels like a downgrade for him...
Oopsy. Pygmalion.
I loved Mallory Jansen in Galavant, and I'm happy to see she's a LMD here.
I already hate the new director.
So what do we think Simmons is *actually* up to?
Q is a dowgrade for him. Hopefully that will not be his designated role this season.
I think the band will eventually get back together...
Radcliffe be careful, learn from Warren Mears-for what not to do I mean.
If we're going to spend the entire season dealing with the Sokovia accords and Extreme Bureaucracy .... aaagh.

Yo-yo is the BEST, especially outlaw Yo-yo.
Why is Gemma more trusted by the mystery director than May?
You'll hear soon enough Nebula.
I don't like Ghost Rider.
I give this new Director till X-mas and then pfftt !
If it's Ward, I'm quitting!
Pretty sure it's not Ward.
Oh no no no... no secret planning and tinkering with the robot girl, Fitz!
No Tallbot just told the government about the base and everything.
Oh, poor FitzSimmons - even in the same place they can't be in the same place.
@Nebula1400 IIRC Coulson had to show Talbot that base they're on last season when they were going after Hive. Talbot must have told the President and it went on an official list.
Wait. Now I don't know what the question is.
Did they buy the Arc of the Covenant?
I don't know the history of Ghost Rider, but he seems a bit Lash like. The burning skull guy being a separate person.
Not exactly like Lash...it is mystical though.

How does everyone like nihilistic Quake?
Nihilistic Quake is as she should be.
Watching with you guys made me catch the Asian gang are Watchdogs so thanks!
Great episode tonight.Love all the various setups for the season.
Ugh! We still don't know after waiting 4 months?
Know what Nebula? The Director? Its been out for a while actually just not in show yet.
Oh. OK. I've actually been so busy over the summer, I've kind of let this stuff fall by the wayside.
Actually, I know who has been cast as the director. I just don't know who the character is. Is that out in spoilers, or is that still a mystery for everyone else, too?

[ edited by Nebula1400 on 2016-09-21 04:15 ]
Still a mystery, just that he's a comic character associated with the past I believe.

[ edited by Dusk on 2016-09-21 04:17 ]
He has "roots in the 1940's", whatever that means.
Possibly a Captain America centric character I suppose.
The problem is, with SHIELD back to being a legit government agency, they're back to the same problem they had in season 1... they ARE the authority rather than being in conflict with authority. Coulson can't just go rogue like that and not expect there to be serious consequences.

But, since the movies are apparently done with SHIELD, I guess they can do just about anything they want with it.
Not bad - as mentioned above they did a nice job quickly laying out the primary plot threads for the weeks to come. Ghost Rider actually looked pretty legit, and I was surprised how evident the move to a later timeslot was in the general amping of the blood n' sex quotient

And yeah - that lady robot? That's not gonna end well for anyone involved. At all.
@AndrewCrossett They haven't used SHIELD in the movies since The Winter Soldier and ino there is little chance they will do so in
the foreseeable future. Frankly none of the movies before Infinity Wars has any use for them.
Wait, I thought we were declaring war on Canada? Dang it, late to the party again!!
I enjoyed this episode a lot. It was confident and hit the ground running. Also Ghostrider looked amazing.
So, my thoughts (for what it's worth):

1) Am I the only one who felt Daisy-butt was a tad gratuitous? Don't get me wrong, I will always appreciate Chloe Bennet's half-nekkid body, but was that absolutely necessary? I mean YAY, 10:00p time slot, woooo, didn't we get that across with the blood splatter, and have an actual plot-relevant reason for it? Nudity for plot reasons, totally cool. Nudity for . . . suit up scene? I'm just reminded of opening scene Bat-butt and Bat-nipples from the '90s, and it makes me not smile.

2) By contrast . . . YAY 10:00P TIME SLOT! Dark and violent intro is dark and violent! Also, BADASS BURNING CAR FLIP!! My insistence that he needs a motorcycle is rescinded. Still prefer it, but the flaming car works fine.

3) Aaaannnd Ghost Rider is redeemed. All is forgiven. Let not Nick Cage be named again in his context. All hail Ghost Rider.

4) I think Marvel missed an opportunity with this "new director." I know the actor (Jason O'Mara), and the character is supposed to be old-school established Marvel, but regardless, he's a new character to the MCU, which means he's just not going to have as much "oh, THAT guy!" impact. Who they shoulda got? Everett Ross, Martin Freeman's character from CA: Civil War. Would have caught everyone off guard, would have fit the narrative as a State Department official taking over SHIELD, would have tied in nicely with the movies, would explain why no one trusts him since he was both involved with the UN/Sokovia Accords AND hunting down Cap, and his MCU characterization is relatively unknown to the audience as well so we would also have that "don't trust him" pathos with our heroes, PLUS could have used AoS to set up his future dealings with Wakanda, possibly even leading to a Black Panther guest appearance in the future, etc, etc . . . . And since they're already setting up the character as "I hide in my office and don't see anyone," he would even be affordable since they could use him sparingly, like two or three scenes a half-season. Just feels like it would have been a better tie-in all around. But of course, I'm not a TV exec. *chuckles*

5) I'm liking all the new team dynamics. Particularly Simmons as the SADIST. Also, LOL.

6) I'm NOT liking the Aida arc. Just don't feel at all invested yet. Seems tacked on. Hope they sell it better down the road. *shrugs*

7) And do we HAVE to go through this same tired BS sci-fi "character is now infected/possessed but hiding it from everyone" plot YET AGAIN?? This is the third time IN THIS SERIES! (For the record, Coulson with Kree blood, and Andrew with Lash)

8) Hoping they don't turn Quake/Ghost Rider into yet another Daisy Romantic Plot Tumor.

But all told, PHENOMENAL episode! Can't WAIT for more!
Nitpicks:
The name ay-da is spelled Ada. Aida is eye-ee-da. I know it's derived from an abbreviation like all computer/robot names, but it's annoying.

An "unidentified Asian female" wouldn't be Daisy since she doesn't show that part of her genetics in her features or complexion, ditto the African part, so why would the agents even think that?
7) And do we HAVE to go through this same tired BS sci-fi "character is now infected/possessed but hiding it from everyone" plot YET AGAIN?? This is the third time IN THIS SERIES! (For the record, Coulson with Kree blood, and Andrew with Lash)

That, and the "we're high-level agents for a super-secret government spy organization, and I've just started a long-term relationship with my soulmate. Let's hide the fact that we have an unauthorized sexy female robot in our closet, and drink beer and watch football. That can't possibly end badly on any level."

What is this, Weird Science?

What bothers me most is that Fitz is willing to lie to Jemma for this new science buddy that he just met, who was a villain until like six months ago. You're blowing it, dude.

Here we have a bunch of government secret agents who are still acting like freelancers. Every single one of them are actively disobeying orders and working against the chain of command, and Jemma is the only one who's even bothering to pretend she's not. That can't last long. They worked a lot better when they were the A-Team.
I was only surprised by May's snark towards Simmons. Because they've known each other too long for her to revert to thinking of Simmons as some goodie-two-shoes that's only interested in making the boss happy.

I have all sorts of issues with SHIELD being a legit agency again, because I'm guessing that the general public isn't aware of them (again) and after what Cap had to do in Winter Soldier, I don't think they'd be too pleased. Yet it's people that had no choice in getting some super power that need to be registered? M'kay. Sure.
Daisy-butt felt way too much like a perfume ad. I kept thinking: Is this really the Whedonverse?
Let's not forget, more recently than CA: Winter Soldier, SHIELD did save the day in Sokovia, so people do know SHIELD is still around.
@Andrew Crossett: SHIELD has always been either authority, or trying to be the authority. Even when they were not government-run, they went around making important decision affecting the fate of the world. Including that time last season when Coulson's personal vendetta ended up bringing an apocalyptic threat back to Earth. Oops.

I loved most things about this episode, particularly the fact it focused on Daisy, Ghost Rider, and Simmons with her new plot (she's the best when she's Silk Hiding Steel). But the way the team keeps talking about the new SHIELD rules and the new Director is ridiculous.

Yeah, the WIMP joke was fun, but why are they acting like the new Director is unreasonable for wanting members of a powerful government-run spy organization to be closely monitored for possible infiltration? Or that he doesn't have a very good point when he reminded them what happened when it turned out that about half of SHIELD was actually Hydra? And even without any infiltration, they should all be monitored, rather than left free to act out on their own whims and make important decisions on personal feelings, pursue their personal vendettas and fuck things up, as Coulson and co. have been doing for the last two seasons. I'm not sure if the show actually wants me to share their own myopic view that their own little makeshift family unit is the most important thing out there. Sure, it's cute, but they're a spy organization with a whole lot of power and responsibility.

My biggest fear going into season 4 was that they would make the new Director a bad guy in order to try to make Coulson look like the bestest and most irreplaceable leader, and I still don't know if that's where they're going or not. I'm slightly more hopeful they're not, because all the protagonists already hate him and constantly criticize their new arrangements, even though those new arrangements seem perfectly reasonable, so maybe he'll turned out to be an OK guy, to subvert expectations? But who knows.

[ edited by TimeTravellingBunny on 2016-09-22 02:17 ]
@Nebula1400 @Batman1600 With the Daisy butt-shot and nude Aida, and the lack of anything remotely equivalent on the male side, it looks like the sexualization/objectification on this show is now swinging strongly to the female side of the cast. I guess that's what you get as a combination of the move to 10 pm slot and Brett Dalton being off the show.

Or maybe they'll have Henry Simmons shirtless soon or something to balance things out a bit.

But I was actually more bothered by the fact that Fitz and Simmons were lying in bed dressed in pyjamas, like an old married couple. Seriously? This is a young couple that just got together a few months ago. So why do you have nudity with Aida but pyjamas for FitzSimmons together?
Pajamas are visual shorthand for comfortable domesticity. It fits how they're setting up where these two are in their relationship. Honestly, when I saw that scene my immediate reaction was, "Are they getting married soon?"

As for realism, it depends on the person. Some people insist on nudity in bed and will continue to do that when they're in their 80s. Others really like comfy pajamas and snuggling under thick sheets with the AC turned up, and they'll do that no matter how young and frisky they are.

As for the Daisy butt scene, I'm on the same page as everyone else. I'm guessing that in the writer's head that was a bad-ass scene of her getting set to go do her mission. Then the director thought, "How can we make this visually interesting?" and decided to focus on bare skin.
Well, in a cast with several beautiful women past and present, this was only the second underwear scene they've had with any of them in 3+ seasons, unless I'm forgetting something. I don't think it's in any danger of turning into a T&A show, its rotten ratings notwithstanding.
Speaking of ratings it did a 1.1 in the demo. 3.58 million overall.

[ edited by JDL on 2016-09-22 11:00 ]
@JDL: I have no idea what 1.1 in the demo means, but 3.58 million seems about expected, not bad but not great either.

@Andrew Crossett @Jason_M_Bryant Oh, I have no problem with a little bit of objectification, if it doesn't get too blatant and intrusive, and as long as it's equal opportunity objectification. I'm sure it went just as you say, the director said "let's add a bit of bare skin to this scene to make it more fun". There was, for instance, a scene in season 3 where Ward was changing his shirt while prepping for the mission and talking to Malick, because why not.

I think that it's more that people are concerned that the move to 10 pm and the advertised "darker, edgier and sexier" feel may mean "a lot more T&A". It's a bit early to say that though, and it's really unlikely it will get ridiculously male gazey as in Game of Thrones, where you get things like entire scenes written just to showcase naked women, an executive producer demanding from a director that a random naked woman sit in a (clothed) man's lap during a scene, and seduction scenes consisting of the classic "woman takes her clothes off and lets it drop to the ground, then stands naked in front of a clothed man". It's not HBO...
(Although there was that scene in season 3 where Daisy is in the middle of a conversation with Lincoln about Inhumans and powers, and just suddenly takes off her sports bra (even though it's network TV, so you don't see much) and kisses him and then go on to have sex. That kind of thing makes me laugh. Does anyone ever actually do that in real life? "I want to have sex with this guy, so I'll take off my bra and then kiss him"?)

[ edited by TimeTravellingBunny on 2016-09-22 14:39 ]
A 1.1 is not great to begin with, and when put in context with last season's premiere number of 1.7 it appears the ship is taking on water. They're going to get to the syndication numbers - close to 100 episodes by season end, but I think with the new ABC regime it's hard to envision this thing going more than another year at most - although as noted there may be a myriad of behind the scene stuff that makes it more valuable. I'm just saying a 50% drop off year-to-year is never a good thing

And yes, the girlfriend taking off the bra and kissing the guy does work. Always. :)
I don't think people are making the argument that this scene turns the show into T&A. I just don't think it was a well made scene.

It wasn't clear or emotionally consistent. It wasn't until I saw the gloves that I got what the point of the scene was. The focus on her body wasn't conveying the message of her getting ready to go fight.
Anyway, I like their version of Ghost Rider, especially the effects for his head. That was a lot better than I expected. Going with a very stylized skull instead of a realistic human skull worked very well.
The episode honestly didn't leave me wanting more. Before, I found AoS balanced out by Agent Carter and now... if feel something is missing. Maybe it's just that the band is broken up, and are making mistakes left and right (except Simmons in a way). Or maybe because there was a big jump from where we left off and it feels plot holey, time will tell.
"Maybe it's just that the band ... are making mistakes left and right"

That's new?

"Or maybe because there was a big jump from where we left off "

If you mean a time jump, there was a 6 months one after every season, and a 3 months one between midseasons in seasons 2 and 3. Season 1 is the only one that didn't have a timejump right in the middle.
So I finished the episode last night. I have mixed feelings. But I usually do. I do not like the 10pm start time. I can't stay up that late most weeks. It's just too brutal the next day. What I enjoyed most about the show was live chatting with all of you and I feel like that might be off the table. We shall see.

I'm not a fan of Ghost Rider. I know he's in the comics but I feel like he was wedged into my show about spies, superheroes, villains, weird geology, aliens and angst. He's an interesting character but I still don't know why he's involved at all.


Daisy butt was beyond stupid.

I don't mind how the Director is playing out. Coulson was not the most organized leader and the team kind of did stuff on their own. I am not hating that this guy is trying to get the team under control. I'm looking forward to meeting him.

I did love all the scenes that had Coulson and Mac. And I liked the bus ride scene with Daisy and Elena.

Also, how did Coulson and Mac find that truck? I somehow missed that bit of information.

Unfortunately, I finished the Gotham season premiere right before watching Shield and it just was not as tightly plotted and written as Gotham.

Overall thought it was still fun and I will be watching. I will probably be DVRing. When I can watch live, I will.
"Ada" in an AI or computer science context isn't an abbreviation. It's a tribute to Ada Lovelace, as is the name of the Ada programming language (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ada_Lovelace).
In this context AIDA is "Artificial Intelligence Data Analyzer." She exists in the comics but only as a computer program, not as a naked lady.
Finally saw it just now. Had no idea it is on at 8:00 here in Canada. Might watch it live next week. The butt scene worked for me because it looked like gratuitous almost nudity until you caught glimpses of badly bruised skin. I've never needed a lot of battle scenes so that didn't excite me and what was with that stupid older woman who walks into a battle scene at the beginning, Daisy rescues her and then she just disappears. That is lazy writing.

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