[SPOILERS for those not caught up on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. ahead.]
Five episodes into Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 4, it is clear that the series is continuing to take positive steps forward as it builds on the successes of prior seasons. As such, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has kept things fresh by introducing new characters, storylines, and threats. New additions this year include two very different Marvel Comics characters/superheroes: Robbie Reyes' Ghost Rider (Gabriel Luna) and Jeff Mace's Patriot (Jason O'Mara). It was revealed early in the season that Coulson's replacement as S.H.I.E.L.D. director was Jeffrey Mace, a hero, and, as it turns out, an Inhuman. The new dynamic at S.H.I.E.L.D. has caused a compartmentalization of information, all in an attempt to avoid running afoul of the new director.
Jemma Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge), now a special adviser to the director, has been subjected to periodic lie detector tests, forcing her longtime partner - and now, significant other - Leo Fitz (Iain De Caestecker), to keep from her information regarding Radcliffe's new Life Model Decoy, AIDA. More importantly, Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) has had to play things pretty close to the vest, especially when it concerns ex-S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, Daisy Johnson (Chloe Bennet), and her new ally, Robbie Reyes. Despite Coulson's attempt at secrecy, Mace learns at the end of 'Lockup' that S.H.I.E.L.D. is working with the fiery skull of vengeance.
It now appears that the former S.H.I.E.L.D. director, and his successor, will be in for some conflict. Marvel has released a new promo clip (above) for next week's episode, 'The Good Samaritan', which features Mace boarding Coulson's Jet in search of Ghost Rider and Daisy.
After some cheesy quips about geese, Mace sends his team on a search of the jet while Mack hurries to get the Reyes brothers and Daisy into a containment module and off the plane. Afterwards, Mace and Coulson talk a little Star Wars - a funny riff on the fact that Marvel and Star Wars are both Disney properties - and we learn that the two colleagues share a common lack of appreciation for Han Solo (blasphemy!). However, after their little Star Wars squabble, Mace reveals to Coulson that Reyes took a detour during last episode's prison break, and barbecued an inmate. And from the look of things, this is the first Coulson is hearing of this.
It will be interesting to see how Coulson moves forward with Reyes, as the former director likely will have some issues harboring a murderer. As Mace notes, the charcoaled inmate was convicted to prison not death. While Daisy has been causing some trouble for S.H.I.E.L.D., her indiscretions are rooted in an ideology that can be reconciled with the agency's goals. It may be harder for Coulson, and S.H.I.E.L.D., to accept the murder of criminals (whether they deserve it or not), especially when justice was served in a court of law. We will have to wait and see how this all plays out next week.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. continues with ‘The Good Samaritan’ on Tuesday, November 1 at 10pm on ABC.