Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 5 is heading toward its finale, so we discuss the possibility that Gabriel Luna might return as Ghost Rider. At the start of season 4, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. introduced Luna as Ghost Rider Robbie Reyes. Though Johnny Blaze is the most well known Ghost Rider from the Marvel Comics, Robbie is another popular incarnation of the character. Ghost Rider became a fan-favorite addition to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 4, though he hasn't been seen since the season 4 finale.
Still, the character has been referenced in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 5. In the show's 100th episode, Phil Coulson revealed he's dying from the injury he suffered in The Avengers. Of course, Coulson was revived using Kree technology under Project TAHITI, but he explained that his deal with Ghost Rider in season 4 - in which Coulson became Ghost Rider for a brief time - undid whatever brought him back to life. So, with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 5 heading toward a finale that could see the death of Coulson as a result of his deal with Ghost Rider, it makes sense for the Spirit of Vengeance to return - but will he?
There are a number of real world clues that point to the return of Ghost Rider for the season 5 finale. First off, Daisy Johnson actress Chloe Bennet posted an Instagram story on April 14 revealing that while the rest of the main cast had wrapped, she and a "secret other person" had one more double unit day to film. She offered no other clues as to who this secret person is, but we know it's not one of the show's main cast members. Further, Melinda May actress Ming-Na Wen posted photos on Instagram from the season wrap party, one of which includes her with Jake Busey - who plays Tony Caine in season 5 - and Gabriel Luna.
Of course, Luna has not been confirmed to return by anyone involved in the show. Nor has he appeared in the cast list for any of the remaining season 5 episodes - though ABC has not released the full cast lists for the final two episodes, "The Force of Gravity" and "The End." It's possible Luna attended the wrap party because season 5 could be the final season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. The series showrunners have, after all, said they prepared for "The End" to be the show's series finale.
With that said, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 5 has been a culmination of the show so far, incorporating villains and story elements from all previous seasons. Hydra, Gravitonium, LMDs, and more have been instrumental to the series' storyline this season. As such, it would make a great deal of sense for Ghost Rider to return as well. First, it makes sense since Coulson seems to be dying as a result of his deal with Ghost Rider. Plus, based on what we know about how the team can prevent the Earth's destruction, the fate of the world rests on whether they let Coulson die. Perhaps they call on Ghost Rider to help save Coulson.
No matter how Ghost Rider factors into the story, fans would no doubt appreciate his return. Luna's Robbie Reyes was a highlight of season 4 and Ghost Rider is one of Marvel's more popular characters. Fans were even hoping Luna's Ghost Rider could get a spinoff show. But, whether he returns remains to be seen. We should know more as Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. gets closer to its season 5 finale.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs Fridays at 9pm on ABC.