Marvel's Agents of SHIELD: 4.06 The Good Samaritan
An episode that takes the long way round to get us where we need to be with a few fun moments and some spectacular special effects.
Plenty of flashbacks this episode reveal critical information about Robbie and his uncle Eli. The Momentum team fall easily into the bad scientists with good intentions trope. Cut to the present day and again the Momentum labs have been broken into. Momentum is the key here as it's a fast paced opening that skips over how quickly Lucy and Eli have been able to set up a new lab and tries to keep things moving fast enough for you never to question it.
Mace is on the warpath and ready to go up against Coulson who has been operating in the shadows, a hangover from the way SHIELD used to do things. Thankfully, Mace doesn't just come across as a tedious bureaucrat here - he actually has a point to make... but so does Coulson. There are some fun exchanges - the writer's do like their pop culture references - and the dialogue is punchy and smart. A great example of how the writers use character to hide exposition comes later in the episode as Fitz updates Mack on Lucy's whereabouts, tying the events of this show into the gone too soon Agent Carter.
But it all feels like a way to delay until the action packed ending and the reveal that Eli Morrow is not the victim that Robbie thought he was. However the reveal that Eli is the real big bad of this story pod somehow made the death of Lucy seem anti-climactic and I didn't quite buy the attempt to suddenly paint her slightly more sympathetically.
The episode ends on a cliffhanger - we didn't even get a tag scene - and one that promises to change the direction of the last few episodes of this story. Again these shorter arcs are giving Agents of SHIELD a real sense of energy and drive.
The real core of this episode though was Robbie and Gabriel's relationship and how Robbie and the spirit of Vengeance became entwined. It's a stunning sequence with some spectacular special effects and brilliantly, the spirit of vengeance appears to have been passed on by none other than Johnny Blaze himself. It's never explicitly stated but it is heavily implied and it's a really cool moment. Robbie and Gabriel have some of the most important moments here as Robbie reveals the truth. It's the sort of brilliant stuff that this show is capable of delivering so it's a shame that the rest of the episode isn't quite as spectacular.