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Recap / Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S4 E4 "Let Me Stand Next to Your Fire"

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Daisy recruits Simmons to help her find out who has been leaking the Inhuman registry, while Robbie teams up with Coulson and Mack to find out the secret behind the ghosts.

Tropes in this episode:

  • Adaptational Heroism: Of course, Uncle Elias Morrow is still a criminal, but his crime was aggravated manslaughter, and he seems to have truly cared about his coworkers who died. Contrast this from the Satanist Evil Uncle and Superpowered Evil Side he is in All-New Ghost Rider.
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  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Coulson still refuses to believe in any kind of magic, although he admits it's mainly due to a lifetime of alien encounters.
  • Bait-and-Switch: When Jemma initially figures out why Fitz has been visiting Radcliffe so frequently, she makes it sound as if Fitz's reason was because Aida is attractive. Then she comments on design elements, and Fitz realizes that Jemma knows what Aida is.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: James was so eager to undergo Terrigenesis....and now he hates being an Inhuman, though this seems to be at least partially due to withdrawal from Hive's powers.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Just when James has cornered a wounded Daisy and a winded Jemma and is whipping his flaming chain back to kill them, Robbie appears to grab it and stop it, allowing them to escape.
  • Blatant Lies: Fitz's attempt to keep up the Aida lie even after Simmons has figured it out:
    Simmons: She's so real — her conversational responses, her range of motion!
    Fitz: ...those are weird things to say about a person.
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  • Boomerang Bigot: Free from Hive's thrall (but suffering withdrawal from it) and now under S.H.I.E.L.D.'s surveillance, James no longer likes being an Inhuman. He contacts the Watchdogs and gives them access to his watch so they can use S.H.I.E.L.D.'s registry of Inhumans to hunt them all down. He later tips them off to ambush Daisy and Jemma.
  • Break the Haughty: James has been emotionally broken by his ordeal and just wants to die.
  • The Bus Came Back: James a.k.a. Hellfire returns after being absent since the end of Season 3.
  • Busman's Holiday: Jemma's apartment-hunting day trip turns out to be a (well-intentioned) trap set by Daisy, who needs her help.
  • Cannot Tell a Lie: One of Aida's core tenets is an inability to lie, as programmed by Radcliffe. He is able to convince her to fudge the truth a little bit for the greater good.
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  • Chain Pain: James once more picks up a chain and charges it as a weapon. Unfortunately, the character he stole that trick from, Ghost Rider, is part of the show now, so he's quickly relieved of it. Robbie likes it enough to keep it after winning.
  • Chase Scene: Between Lola and the Hell Charger. The Hell Charger's got Lola beat for speed, but Coulson cheats by having a cloaked Quinjet park in Robbie's path.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: James is a guy with fire powers going up against Ghost Rider, a man who wields literal hellfire. It'd be like trying to overpower a fire hose with a squirt gun. James is quickly overpowered, and his last-ditch attempt at escape ends with him suffering nasty burns while Robbie is completely unharmed.
  • Cutting the Knot: Daisy comes up with an intricate plan involving Jemma stealing another S.H.I.E.L.D. agent's ID, cloning it to make a fake one for herself, using it to sneak into a secure facility and to secretly plug a USB key into the server. Jemma simply gives the agent the key and tells her to plug it in herself, giving her a simple cover lie to explain it. As she points out to Daisy, as a special advisor to the Director, Jemma is technically the agent's boss.
  • Death Seeker: James is so unhappy being an Inhuman that he's willing to let the Watchdogs kill him... after they've killed all the other Inhumans first, of course.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Coulson notes that of course the guy who controls fire and the guy with the flaming skull are going to fall into a warehouse full of fireworks.
  • Down L.A. Drain: There's a Chase Scene in L.A. If they hadn't ended up here, it would have been shocking. The conditions favor Robbie, as his Charger is much faster than Lola, but Coulson saw that coming and parked a cloaked Quinjet further down so Robbie would crash into it.
  • Exact Words:
    • Simmons points out that, being subject to regular lie detector tests, she can't "voluntarily" help a wanted vigilante. Daisy comes up with a rather simple solution: She picks up Simmons' gun and tells her that she won't be helping voluntarily.
    • Aida manages to talk herself around the fact that she is an android in her conversation with Coulson without actually lying. He thinks she's an amputee with high tech hands like himself, but Simmons figures it out.
  • Flat-Earth Atheist: Averted; Coulson isn't immediately dismissive of Robbie's claim about having made a Deal with the Devil to gain his power. While talking with Mack he at least considers the possibility, although he notes that in his experience most "deities" have been Sufficiently Advanced Aliens.
  • Heroic RRoD: Once again, Daisy is still suffering continuous damage from her powers. In this episode, she has trouble walking, she's in incredible pain, and she can't produce even the smallest vibration without wincing. Her entire arm is a horrific mass of bruises that looks like it's been broken in multiple places, and it breaks even further when she unleashes a shockwave to drive off the Watchdogs. The worst part is that here it's revealed that she's had the gauntlets Simmons made for her all along, she just refuses to use them. She claims it's because they're too distinctive, but it's implied it's part of her effort to run away from S.H.I.E.L.D. and everything associated with it.
  • I Want Them Alive: On Coulson's request, Robbie stops short of killing James, though a dive into a warehouse full of fireworks (not his fault) makes it a close call.
  • Irony: James killed Lash, an Inhuman Hunter of His Own Kind, only to later himself become an Inhuman hunter of his own kind.
  • Literal-Minded: When May asks where Aida is from, she replies "Most of me is Chinese." Fitz spins it by claiming she's Canadian, which May seems to buy considering there is a sizable Asian population in Canada.
  • Loophole Abuse: Simmons can't voluntarily help Daisy, who is a fugitive vigilante, but if she is 'forced' to do so....
  • Lured into a Trap: James tricks Jemma and Daisy into thinking he wants to help Daisy fight the Watchdogs, only to lead them into an ambush at a storage facility.
  • Made in Country X: Aida claims that most of her was made in China.
  • Made of Indestructium: Since the Hell Charger is invulnerable due to being infused with hellfire, when Robbie gets into a full-speed, head-on collision with a Quinjet, his car doesn't have a mark to show for it. The Quinjet, on the other hand, gets a sizable dent in its nose. Mack is openly jealous of that superpower.
  • Metaphorically True: After Aida has been convinced that the occasional white lie can be beneficial, she's able to bluff her way past saying that Radcliffe made her hands by claiming she was born without them. Since she was technically born before ever having a body, it's true in a sense.
  • Noodle Incident: The group of scientists who found the Darkhold. They managed to find it when the Red Skull, Daniel Whitehall, and Nick Fury—very intelligent men with extensive resources and networks—could not. So how did they do it?
  • No-Sell: Robbie is able to catch James' flaming chain and use it himself. Then James throws an exploding ball in his face. All that does is prompt the flaming skull.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    • Fitz quietly freaks out when he sees Radcliffe testing Aida's conversational skills on May, and again when Jemma instantly figures out that Aida is an android.
    • Mack and Coulson have a few moments to appreciate that two guys with fire powers fighting in a fireworks shop was inevitably going to lead to an explosion before running like hell with Jemma and Daisy.
    • James when Robbie catches his flame chain, when his explosive has no effect, and again when the Rider appears.
    • Jemma has a moment of consternation when she realizes that Daisy being back and Aida being an android are both guarded truths she has to address in her next mandatory lie detector test.
  • Outrun the Fireball: Mack, Coulson, Jemma, and Daisy run out of the fireworks shop just as it explodes.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Daisy is willing to fight the Watchdogs in more violent ways now, as she was planning to pack up explosives.
  • Power Copying: When James is about to attack Daisy and Jemma with a flaming chain, Robbie grabs it in mid-swing. He's impressed enough with the idea of a chain weapon that he uses it against James and keeps it for himself.
  • Putting the Band Back Together: Unofficially, since Director Mace is unaware of Daisy working with S.H.I.E.L.D..
  • Reality Ensues: Robbie's car may be indestructible through his powers, but crashing into the much larger Quinjet brings it to a full stop and makes Robbie smack his head against the wheel, which knocks him out.
  • Rhetorical Question Blunder: Jemma asks Fitz if they can put a price on the perfect home. He says they can, and did.
  • Sadistic Choice: Coulson offers Robbie two doors. Door number 1 is helping them investigate Momentum Labs which he finds distasteful because I Work Alone. Door number 2 is the literal door out of the Zephyr, which is currently in-flight. Robbie goes with door number 1.
  • Shout-Out:
    • James says several lines of dialogue similar to those of the character Junkrat from Overwatch. Like Junkrat, James is an explosives-loving Aussie.
    • After a Chase Scene that ends up Down L.A. Drain, Coulson references the most famous race filmed in that setting, from Grease.
      Coulson: I get his car now, right? Isn't that how this works?
  • Stockholm Syndrome: James says that if he could choose between his current life and being back under Hive's thrall, he'd rejoin Hive in a heartbeat.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Two guys with fire-based superpowers duking it out next door to a fireworks warehouse. Yeah, that's ALWAYS a good idea.
  • Tempting Fate: Mack boasts that the containment module had held things more powerful than Robbie. Robbie takes that as a dare, but fortunately for everyone Coulson decides to be diplomatic.
    • Daisy, Mack, and Coulson all at various points remark on how there's an inevitable result of putting a guy who generates fire in a fireworks warehouse. Sure enough...
  • Three Laws-Compliant: Aida mentions that she's programmed to never harm humans.
  • Tome of Eldritch Lore: The Darkhold, also known as the Book of Sins; apparently the Red Skull, Whitehall, and even Nick Fury searched for it without success. Robbie's uncle says it is evil.
  • Too Good to Be True: Jemma notes this of the apartment offer that was sent to her by e-mail, since it fits everything she and Fitz were looking for. She's right; Daisy found it and used it to lure Jemma, though she also actually got the apartment for them. Rent-controlled, even.
  • Turing Test: Aida was able to successfully pass for human in front of May and Coulson, though the more tech-literate Simmons figures out that she's a robot immediately.
  • We ARE Struggling Together: At the end, Coulson is able to convince Daisy and Robbie that they need to drop their I Work Alone attitude and join (or rejoin in Daisy's case) S.H.I.E.L.D., since the threats they face require everyone to work together to keep everyone safe.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Jemma, although happy to see Daisy, still calls her out on selfishly leaving the team only to come back when see needs help.
    • Downplayed with Daisy's reunion with Coulson. She fully expects him to give her the same speech, but he says he's just glad she's okay. The downplayed part comes in with the cold shoulder treatment; he stands in front of her and says nothing while she wallows in guilt.


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