‘Agents of SHIELD’ S4: E04 ‘Let Me Stand Next to Your Fire’ Review

Photo Credit: Marvel/ABC

The storylines of the season begin to collide as Robbie Reyes (Gabriel Luna) comes faces to face with Agents Coulson (Clark Gregg) and Mack (Henry Simmons) while Daisy (Chloe Bennet) comes to Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) for help. We also see the return of a familiar face from last season.


**Spoiler Alert**

This review contains spoilers for S4E04 of Agents of SHIELD. If you haven’t yet watched, read at your own risk.


The Good

Jemma and Fitz want to move in together. Things are going so well for these two that they aren’t just spending nights together on the SHIELD base, but actively want to try being domestic in a home of their own. It’s one of the bright lights amidst all the darkness in the show that these two are finally getting a chance at happiness after everything the show has put them through. Obviously, as is the nature of dramatic television, there will be hurdles, but it’s nice while we get to see it happening.

Jemma is not happy with Daisy. Not only does she snap at Daisy for luring her to an apartment after disappearing for so long, but she continues to snap at her throughout their time working together. Her anger is palpable and Elizabeth Henstridge’s delivery of sarcasm, concern, hurt, and anger is fantastic. She hates that Daisy abandoned the team and that she’s still pushing them away, even though she’s not operating well on her own, and she isn’t afraid to let her show it. I love getting to see Jemma speak her mind since so often on the show she’s had an (unwarranted) view from the fans of her being a people pleaser. Yes, she follows rules and tries to keep the peace, but we’ve never seen her hesitate to call someone out when they make her angry. She’s a force to be reckoned with. (Maybe her anger here has something to do with this being her only day off from supervising all the SHIELD scientists. She just wanted to find a cute apartment and she gets dragged into vigilante drama, Watchdogs hunting Inhumans, and an explosion. Just a thought.)

Daisy is proud of Jemma’s promotion. Everyone else noticed that little smirk when Jemma revealed she’s now the boss, right? Daisy might have been expecting timid Jemma Simmons who couldn’t lie to save her life, but she had no idea that Jemma Simmons is now laying down the law with SHIELD employees. I guess her tracking Jemma’s internet activity didn’t tell her that.


Robbie and Coulson finally cross paths. I like what the show has been doing with Robbie so far, and though I definitely find the Jemma-Daisy storyline more interesting in this episode, I’m glad that it only took four episodes before Robbie crossed paths with Coulson. They have a fun dynamic that I’m looking forward to seeing explored, and it’s so interesting to see Coulson back to his field agent persona around Robbie. It feels very season-one-like when they’re onscreen together.

The return of James. After the events of the season three finale, what happened to James wasn’t very clear, but we get some answers here. SHIELD tried to help him move on from his “addiction” to Hive, but they weren’t exactly successful and James is now a ball of self loathing that hates Inhumans in general. His turn in the episode didn’t make me happy (more on that later), but seeing he and Robbie Reyes throw down? That was fun.

Daisy and Robbie might just be SHIELD… consultants? The duo are no longer a duo, preferring to work alone, but SHIELD needs their help as all three of them are hunting down the same paths. The writers have done a great job at bringing most of the story threads together to converge here, on the search for the Darkhold, which we heard mention of in episode two. Whether or not the Darkhold will provide a larger crossover with Doctor Strange remains to be seen.

Jemma sees AIDA for what she is. Fitz has been working hard to keep AIDA hidden from Jemma so she doesn’t have to report the android during her lie detector tests, but unlike Coulson and May, Jemma recognizes her immediately. Fitz really needs to get better lying skills if he wants to stay in the spy business, but their back and forth as Jemma gets him to admit it was cute. Of course, with Jemma having been in the field with Daisy and now knowing what Radcliffe has been working on, she has a lot to keep hidden during her next session, and I can’t wait to see her try to beat it.


The Bad

No one told May she died? We don’t know exactly how long it’s been since she was “killed,” but I find it hard to believe that Jemma didn’t tell her exactly what happened to her right after she was revived consider Jemma was crying and hugging her.

Fitz is not a bio-chemist. Last I checked, his specialties involved physics and engineering. Why exactly is Fitz tasked with finding a chemical way to take care of their “ghostly” problem? Shouldn’t something like this actually be Jemma’s job? I understand that this is meant to be his excuse for going to Radcliffe’s, but it’s flimsy, and frankly, no one, least of all Simmons, should buy it.

James has been helping the Watchdogs. As soon as it was made clear that James was an Inhuman that Daisy couldn’t warn, I had my suspicions about him being involved, but his reasoning wasn’t all that great. He wants to get rid of all Inhumans because of his experience with Hive? This from the guy whose deepest wish was to get his Inhuman abilities last year? I just don’t think the writers knew exactly how they wanted to bring him back, but they didn’t want to drop his storyline. More could have been done with him.



The Marvel-ous Links

The episode title. Not a Marvel link here, but a nod to the song “Fire” by Jimi Hendrix. The song, though it has plenty of sexual overtones, actually got its inspiration when Hendrix was spending a cold night with the family of Noel Redding, the bass player for the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Hendrix had been invited over for New Year's Eve since he was away from his other friends and family for a gig in England. When Hendrix moved to stand next to the fireplace to warm up, the dog was in the way. It all sounds innocent enough, but it boils down to wanting to be with the people you care about when you’re lonely. Sound like anyone else on the show you know?

Eli Morrow. I already told you who he was last week, so I won’t run through his comic book history again. But the nods to his backstory - him wanting revenge, his car going to Robbie - are fantastic.

“It’s not easy to find your colleagues are back from the dead.” We all see what you did there, Coulson.

“I get his car now, right? That’s how this works.” Coulson’s quip after his Lola goes up against the Hell Charger is a nice nod to the many race sequences filmed in the same spot. Not a Marvel reference, but everyone recognizes that stretch of road. Grease is probably the most famous instance of its use where they raced for “pinks, pinks you punk, ownership papers,” but it’s appeared in many a movie.

Robbie taking James’ chain of fire. James AKA Hellfire does swing around a chain made of fire in the comics, but Robbie is a fan of that particular weapon in the comics as well. Funnily enough, Hellfire is actually the grandson of another Ghost Rider on the page - Carter Slade.


The Questions

Will Jemma pass that lie detector test? Since the mandatory lie detector tests were introduced this season, I’ve been waiting to get to see one. I want to know if they’re anything like Koenig’s chair from season two, and if Jemma can manage to use her knowledge of biology to fool it.

Will AIDA learn to lie? Lying was a nice theme this episode as Fitz lied to May, James lied to SHIELD, Daisy lied to everyone, and AIDA just wanted to understand why lying was going on since she wasn’t programmed to be able to do it.

What’s Elena up to? Last week, she was at the center of the action, but this week, she’s not with the group. She lost a good friend because she’s an Inhuman and she was already targeted by the Watchdogs once. Is she okay?


Grading the episode: This episode was a lot of fun in terms of the Ghost Rider story, but it was really the Jemma and Daisy show. I didn’t realize how much I’d missed seeing them interact until tonight. I hope this is a sign of things to come as I’d prefer less of the lone wolf act and more of the team dynamics. B