The show is at its best when it plays with the sci-fi genre. Agents of SHIELD can go more in depth with plots based around really cool (and yes, really ridiculous) scientific concepts, than any of the Marvel movies. I, personally, love any episode where Fitz explains the science. Especially when he uses metaphors I can understand. The reason he had to explain science is that, unfortunately, he, Coulson, and Robbie were sucked into a different dimension that is out of sync with our reality. This does allow Fitz to spy on Mace and learn that he’s sent Simmons to help out Senator Nadeer’s brother who is in between terrigenesis. Coulson spends his time yelling to try to get people’s attention because that’s going to help. Meanwhile Robbie is undergoing a ton of pain as the Ghost Rider fights to get back to its reality.
I can’t believe I’m saying this but I actually agreed with Mace for most of this episode. May wanting to use the book is probably going to get them killed, and is also a fairly out of character move for her. You know when Radcliffe is saying that something is too risky, it’s an absolute psychotic idea. Mack wanting to go after Eli Morrow (who can make things, including spears of carbon, appear with his mind) is stupid to say the least. Although him actually taking action can be blamed on the Ghost Rider ditching the extra-dimensional Robbie and latching on to Mack instead.
Daisy’s car chase scene with Robbie being a backseat driver (albeit one that can’t be heard) is somehow adorable. And him telling Daisy to have fun while she beats the crap out of guys is also great. Robbie ended up saving Mack from the Ghost Rider by convincing it to come back to him, even though the Ghost Rider is terrified of being sucked into whatever it is that Coulson, Fitz, and Robbie are being sucked into. That part of the science was pretty iffy, and was mostly a metaphor for Hell. That’s fitting considering the theme of the season has been dealing with one’s inner demons. Including when those inner demons occasionally burn your face away and start fires.
Fitz managed to contact AIDA and convince her to read the Darkhold (which she does though it appears in binary code), which seems like an excellent compromise between opening the book which could screw with a human’s brain and not using the book and leaving Coulson, Fitz, and Robbie to perish. It seems nice, that is, until you realize you’ve given an android unlimited scientific knowledge and secrets far surpassing what even her creators know. Luckily for now she’s still on the good side, and she saves the day right before Coulson and Fitz are dragged to metaphorical Hell. Robbie returns later with the Ghost Rider once again a passenger in his body, hell-bent on revenge.
Fitz and Simmons have a lovely reunion after Simmons gets back from freeing Nadeer’s brother from the terrigenesis cocoon and Fitz gets done yelling at the director for sending her away. Coulson and May have somewhat of a heart to heart (as much as they ever do). Mack and Robbie decide to team up to get revenge on Eli.
Overall I loved the way this episode was shot. The scenes being repeated from the perspectives of Coulson, Fitz, and Robbie was really well done. They didn’t feel repetitive, and provided some touching moments between the characters that so badly wanted to reach out to each other, but couldn’t. The coloring of the extra-dimensional plane was also great, as was the decision to make it steadily darker throughout the episode as the characters run out of time. Overall, this was definitely one of the better episodes of the season.