Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD Season 4, Episode 7 Recap: Deals With Our Devils


After the fall break, we return to Agents of SHIELD to find a team divided. Not by choices of their own making this time, but by interdimensional shifting.

This week’s Agents of SHIELD picks up right where we left off, way back at the beginning of the month–in the lab, right after the explosion that has sucked away Fitz, Coulson and Reyes. Despite the rest of the team quickly putting together that Eli Morrow is now officially our season’s Big Bad until further notice, it seems to take a surprisingly long time for them to put together/accept the obvious: that our missing compatriots are just fine, just somehow once removed from our reality via the boxes. Part of this seems to be Mace, who does not seem to understand the impossible is merely par for the course around here. Still, he does come around quickly to bringing Simmons back to the fold to perhaps study said boxes, and attempt to bring them back.

"Fitz: Simmons! I’ve got to call her and tell her I’m in another dimension… that’s not going to work."

We don’t just start right where we left off at the beginning of the episode, though. We start there a second time at the beginning of the second act. This time round, we see the exact same events, but from the perspective of Fitz, Coulson and Reyes. Turns out they can see May and Mack, but May and Mack can’t see them, and are walking right through them the entire time. Note also that Eli Morrow also can’t see them. Interesting, that.

Image via ABC

The good news is we learn they’ve not been left behind in the lab when the quinjet took off–nor are they trapped in the boxes, as we assumed they might be. They’re right there, hanging out on the plane, with the rest of the team–just in another dimension. Should be easy for Simmons to bring them right back.

"Mack: My axe is plenty sharp…and a shotgun."

See, there’s just a little problem. Remember how at the beginning of the last episode, Simmons was dragged off with the hood over her head? Apparently she was a different part of the deal with Senator Nadeer. Mace didn’t just promise to take down the Ghost Rider and whatever else she wanted. He sent her Simmons to go deal with her still-in-the-middle-of-Terrigenesis brother. Yes, that brother we saw wasn’t dead in the shell. He’s been undergoing the metamorphosis….for seven months and counting. Simmons is supposed to figure out what he’s going to become.

Image via ABC

And Nadeer isn’t about to call off the deal and give her back just because Mace says so. We don’t learn that part though until we see things the second time through, from Fitz’s POV. We might have learned more too, but that’s about the time that the Ghost Rider decided he’s not hanging out in the body of a dude who’s in the wrong dimension. He’s got a Chinatown crew to track down. So he abandons Robbie Reyes’ body and transfers himself into Mack, and rides off. Daisy does the only sensible thing, grabbing Reyes’ keys and his Ghost Rider car to go after him. (Anyone who thought Reyes might die with the Ghost Rider abandoning his body is in for a disappointment. Reyes, now freed, jumps into the car and rides off with Daisy, the better to see someone else do the Flaming Skull for once.)

"Mace: With no helmet? Mack knows better."

Anyway, the point is, no Simmons. She’s off in the tent with the teregensising man, helping him through his final stages of shedding by not fearing him. (One wonders if Nadeer kept him shelled by sheer force of rage and hatred and Trumpism.) That means that Dr. Radcliffe–and more importantly, AIDA–are the ones trying to figure out the interdimensional boxes. Atask that the good Doctor admits is beyond him. May isn’t about to take that for an answer, and instead whips out the Darkhold, announcing she has “an instruction manual.” (That Mace totally doesn’t blink twice at the book or the insistence it is “an instruction manual” is damned odd, no? Maybe he’s just that distracted about getting back Simmons.)

Image via ABC

Shockingly, Radcliffe actually doesn’t want to read the Darkhold. After about a minute with it, he’s slamming it shut and running for the hills. Even he knows phenomenal cosmic powers cannot fit in the itty bitty living space inside his mind. But AIDA….she’s go an infinite computer mind. And she can just be rebooted right? RIGHT? May thinks this a splendid notion. One assumes Coulson is somewhere we can’t see next to her screaming at her not to do this. Except he’s not. In our second pass of the scene, he and Fitz are there, and Fitz is actually all for this plan, and is urging AIDA on to volunteer to do this.

"Radcliffe: “She’s as above board as a secret android could be!”"

We’re not sure if AIDA actually heard Fitz and that’s what caused her to volunteer her services as book reader, but no matter. Over at the other half of the adventure, we’ve learned Daisy *can* communicate with Robbie sorta, via the car. As can the Ghost Rider, though his ability is easier on everyone, since Ghost Rider-as-Mack is doing it face to face, and making a deal to bring down Eli.

Image via ABC

Over wherever Simmons is Mace interrupts her lovely moment with Nadeer’s emerging brother, without so much as a by-your-leave as the hood goes right back over her head and she’s whisked away. But it’s a good thing that Radcliffe and company didn’t wait for him to bring her back to the lab. Even as AIDA builds an interdimensional gateway in record time  to get Fitz and Coulson back, the room around them is getting darker, and Coulson is getting sucked into god knows what sort of interdimensional vortex that will presumably take him away forever, or at least ensure he won’t return for a good five years, and then come back crazed and bloody, much like Lucy and company.

"Coulson: It’s not my call."

Luckily AIDA is fast enough, and Fitz and Coulson are saved. (And Fitz is stopped from outing Mace’s deal with Nadeer by the timely delivery of Simmons.) Robbie, having chased down his devil demands he return, and remakes his deal to settle all the Ghost Rider’s scores, in exchange for taking down Eli and making this score right, leaving Mack alone to get back to his Mack-ness. Though he missed AIDA’s working of the gate, the Ghost Rider apparently doesn’t need it to bring Robbie back to the right dimension, so by the end of the hour, he’s back too.

Next: Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD Season 4, Episode 6 Recap: The Good Samaritan

And AIDA…. AIDA is not rebooted. Instead Darkhold-enhanced AIDA is back in Radcliffe’s lab…..doing god knows what, while he gets drunk. I’m sure whatever it is, it will be important down the line. But for now, we’ll have to look forward to next week’s winter finale, as Eli and Robbie meet face to face and the man who would be god confronts his nephew’s inner demon.