Dec 6, 2016

Marvel vs Capcom Infinite: Everything We Know, Everything We Want


Two Trailers: Cinematic and Gameplay

MvCI
This past weekend was the 3rd annual PlayStation Experience in Anaheim, CA, and Sony came out swinging with announcements. Among the biggest and most pleasant surprises was the announcement of Marvel vs Capcom Infinite. A shiny cinematic trailer was shown with X and Ryu, from Mega Man X and Street Fighter, facing off against Iron Man and Captain Marvel. During the rebroadcast of the Capcom Cup on ESPN2, both Morrigan from DarkStalkers and Captain America were also confirmed.

Both Ryu and Captain Marvel were each wielding Infinity Stone to help their side in battle. This wasn't just for show though, as later in the evening during the game play reveal, these items were used as power ups mid-battle. They seem to be following the color scheme of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so in addition to the Green Time Stone and Purple Power Stone shown, so expect the Red Reality Stone and Yellow Mind Stone to make appearances in the final game as well.
Power Stone
The biggest departure from the three previous installments is that Infinite is returning to the series 2v2 roots established in Marvel vs Capcom instead of the 3v3 formula from Marvel vs Capcom 2. Because of the addition of the Infinity Stones, I don't expect the Guest Partner system from MvC to return.

Here Comes a New Challenger

Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 has 48 characters, and MvC2 has 56, so I would expect the final roster to be at least a solid 44 characters. The trailer and gameplay footage already showed off two new characters to the franchise, X and Captain Marvel (X was an alternate DLC skin for Zero in UMvC3), so there are bound to be more new additions. Sadly, because of the blacklisting of the X-Men and Fantastic Four by Marvel, series staples like Storm, Sentinel, Magneto and Dr. Doom, probably won't be making any appearances, but that doesn't mean there aren't great new characters to look forward to. The list below is just speculation and a wish list of characters I hope to see.

Brand Spanking New

Ms. Marvel

Kamala Khan has been making huge splashes in the comics community since her debut in 2014, and her embiggen and stretchy powers could make for some fun mechanics to throw into the fighting genre. Plus, the call back lines you could have if she was paired with or against Captain Marvel would be a great treat to fans.

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Spider-Gwen/Silk

I would settle for either one of these web swinging ladies showing up alongside the heroes of the Marvel 'verse. They could fill the X-23 sized gap of a super fast closer character with attitude to spare. I foresee the Marvel side of the roster leaning heavily on the Avengers, so having a non-Avenger thrown into the mix would be great.

Protoman/Blues

While X will be representing his own side of the Mega Man universe, the 200x side of Mega Man needs some love too. His shield and projectile based gameplay could give him a move set that has all the mix-ups of Captain America and the long range punishment of his blue helmeted brother.

Scrooge McDuck

Hear me out on this one. Capcom made the legendary platformer Duck Tales for the NES and oversaw the HD Remaster that came out in 2013. His high jump abilities lend themselves very well to the super juggling nature of the MvC franchise, so one could hope.

Likely Rookies

Some new characters are pretty easy to predict, especially given the momentum and strength of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

latestStar Lord

This is a no brainer, especially with the success of the Guardians of the Galaxy movie and a sequel coming out the same year as Infinite. The all-singing all-dancing space pirate should not be a shock to anyone when he is eventually added to the roster.

Winter Soldier

I feel that Bucky will be in Infinite only if Chris Redfield from Resident Evil is not. I imagine Bucky having a very similar moveset based on knives, grenades, and general badassery. Plus, I could yell "Bucky NO!" at the game every time he dies.

Black Panther

T'Challa is on the upswing right now. After being introduced in Civil War and the fantastic ongoing series by Ta-Nehisi Coates, getting him into a fighting video game shouldn't be that hard of a hurdle to jump.

Leon Kennedy/Claire Redfield

Both Chris and Jill have already been in a MvC title, so we should give the other lead characters their chance to shine in combat. Leon could lean heavily on Resident Evil 4, and summon the super fast Los Ganados while Claire could rely on makeshift weaponry similar to Resident Evil: Revelations.

Survive Cancellation

DeadpoolFrom the Capcom side of things I want Okami, Viewtiful Joe, Frank West, and Phoenix Wright to stick around. They were all a little goofy, but they all brought way more than the standard fireball affair to the game. As far as returning Marvel characters, I would love to see Rocket get a rework more in line with his MCU counterpart (although I will miss the British accent), Hawkeye, Ghost Rider, and Shuma-Gorath.

Of course I would love for all of the X-Men and Fantastic Four characters to return, but that seems incredibly unlikely. I want Cyclops to make a comeback, as he was sorely missed from both iterations of MvC3. Super Skrull brought some great abilities to the table, while Dr. Doom and Wolverine were staples of the series. Having them absent is going to sting a bit. The only hope I have is that because Deadpool is such a valuable property that Marvel won't drop the ball, but I am not holding my breath on that.

This post originally appeared on RoguesPortal.com.

Nov 14, 2016

Everything you need to know about Pokémon Sun and Moon

Pokémon Sun and Moon are finally releasing on November 18th. Unlike Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire which were released in 2014, these titles are the first foray into the seventh generation of Pokémon. As with the previous generational shifts, Sun and Moon bring a bevy of new features to the franchise.


Welcome to the Alola Region!

Pokémon_Alola_Region.jpgAs tradition, Sun and Moon allow players to tackle a brand new region of the Pokémon Mythos, the Alola Region. Alola takes all of its design cues from the beautiful island state Hawaii. Many of the new Pokémon are influences by Hawaiian Culture, such as Comfey, a Pokémon the resembles a sentient lei, or Pikipek a bird type based on the local Red-crested Cardinal. This is also the first Pokémon game to feature different forms of older Pokémon that are region based, dubbed Alolan Forms, like an ice based version of Sandshrew.

Another huge difference from previous iterations of Pokémon is the removal of Gyms. Each of the four main islands will instead host a new trail for the player to tackle, culminating in a battle against a totem Pokémon. They are even bringing back a much requested feature: the ability to battle legacy gym leaders from previous generations.


New Starters: Litten, Rowlett, and Popplio

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The newest trio of starting Pokémon are already blowing up social media, because let's face it, they are all incredibly cute. Picking between the three starters have always been a tough choice, but I am genuinely torn as to who I will be picking once I boot up the game.



Z-Moves and Mega Evolutions

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Each of the 17 Pokémon types will get their own unique Z-Move in Sun and Moon, working in a similar way to Mega Evolutions from X and Y. Like Mega Evolutions, you only get to use Z-Moves once per battle, but they have greater effects than regular moves. Mega Evolutions from the sixth generation of games are also returning, but since both Z-Moves and Mega Evolutions are controlled by held items, each player will have to chose what power they want out of their Pokémon.


Pokémon Red, Blue and Yellow

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Earlier this year, to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Pokémon, Nintendo re-released Pokémon Red Blue and Yellow on the 3DS Virtual Console. They did make a couple changes to game though, allowing for local wireless trade like you would have with the original games. But the biggest addition to these games the effects Sun and Moon is that you can transfer your Pokémon from Red, Blue and Yellow into Sun and Moon using Pokémon Bank, the Cloud Based Pokémon storage system. What will be fun about this is seeing what Pokémon come through as their Alolan forms, or if they do at all. This could potentially be the only way to get a fire Vulpix instead of the native Alolan Ice Vulpix.


One Game to Rule Them All

This will be the first Pokémon game to be release in Traditional and Simplified Chinese, bringing the total languages available to nine. And that is all for the price of one cartridge.


In addition to all of this there are many returning features and faces, like Professor Oak’s cousin, the ability to customize your Trainer and a Pokémon Snap like picture system. Pokémon Sun and Moon bring the total of all Pokémon close to 800. November 18th cannot come soon enough.

This post originally appeared on RoguesPortal.com.

Nov 10, 2016

Boop!


Oct 12, 2016

The Flash: Paradox Recap

Last week, Barry discovered that resetting the timeline wasn't exactly a full reset, and this week is all about the fallout of that decision.
paradox

The biggest changes to the new prime timeline are mostly relationship based. Iris and Joe no longer talk, Cisco hates Barry, Diggle from Arrow has a son instead of a daughter, and Caitlin Snow may have her Killer Frost power set. The biggest change to Barry himself is that he now has a partner in crime solving. This partner comes in the form of Tom Felton, playing Julian Albert, Central City's main CSI for Metahuman activity. He takes his job very seriously and doesn't really get along well with Barry Allen's more fluid approach to crime solving. It is a wonderful addition to the cast, and finally provides someone as an opponent for Barry Allen and not the Flash.

Barry continues to be a character with the absolute worst judgment, and tries to force everything into being like it once was. After a humorous scene of going back and forth between Joe and Iris to plan a dinner with the intention of getting everyone in the same room, no body seems to care about Barry trying to force things on others. Iris still hates Joe for not telling her about her mother, Cisco still blames Barry for not going back in time to save his brother from a drunk driver, and Barry seems frustrated that he isn't getting his way. In his infinite wisdom and logic, Barry decides to try and reset the timeline once again, but Jay Garrick pulls him out of the speed force and sets him straight.

The best part about Garrick telling Barry to stop being selfish is that he doesn't beat around the bush. He tells Barry how it is, and although Barry is dismissive of the warnings about time travel at first, Jay eventually gets through to him. Hopefully, this will be the absolute last time Barry has to learn this lesson, but it probably won't be. I just don't understand how or why Barry keeps making these trips back in time and intentionally changing things with the hopes of a perfect outcome. It's like he doesn't remember anything from past seasons at all! Or has ever seen any time travel story ever!

Taking Jay's warning to heart, Barry gathers everyone together and tells them about the Flashpoint (season 1, episode 3). But the important thing here is he gives each member of the team the choice to ask him about their alternate lives. Even though Barry made the stupid move of trying to reset everything again, he allows all of the supporting cast to steer their own moral compass without his influence. It is truly a heroic moment that shows that even though Barry did something incredibly selfish, he is still comfortable with holding that burden by himself.

Minor gripes of logic aside, Flash still shines while facing off with weekly villain, The Rival. His speedster powers have been activated by the mysterious Dr. Alchemy and he remembers everything from the Flashpoint timeline, including that there were two Flashes instead of the one. As Barry is getting pummeled by the Rival, Cisco reaches deep and forgives Barry, showing up in full Vibe mode. This gives us a great team-up moment as the pair work in conjunction to defeat the Rival. It took about a half season too long, but having Vibe show off his hero side is great. It really helps bring home the themes of Barry being strong because of others.

I am glad to see The Flash back, but it is as frustrating as ever. Turn your brain off before you start the episode and you will have a great time. Barry does some frustrating and selfish things that warrant facepalms throughout the episode, but a great speech from Jay Garrick and the long overdo Vibe team-up can't help but bring smiles to your face.

This recap originally appeared on RoguesPortal.com.

Agents of SHIELD: Uprising Recap



The episode starts with a very simple problem, members of what seems to be an Inhuman led rebellion have started to blackout cities worldwide, under the guise of fearing registration. This single episode has more to do with the Civil War comic arc than the movie did, and it is nice to see the issues of privacy and government overreach touched on, instead of long winded speeches on the responsibilities of Inhumans.

There were huge status quo changes present in this week's Agents of SHIELD which restored the series back to being about the actual Agents of SHIELD instead of the bureaucracy of spy work. Even though this episode felt very 'problem of the week', it did end up moving the narrative further along.

One of the first cities to be hit by the blackout is Miami, where Yo-Yo is celebrating a bachelorette party. Director Mace sends out the newly minted field team of Mack Coulson and Fitz to find the solution to the blackout problems.

Unfortunately it turns out that no Inhumans were behind the attack, just the now globalized Watch Dogs looking to change public opinion on the Inhuman problem. The local Miami Watch Dogs end up at the hotel Yo-Yo was celebrating with her friends at in an effort to kill her. Somehow the Watchdogs have the ability to track Inhumans, but it is never made clear as to how they are doing this. I am sure this plot point will be explored later in the season of course.

After saving Yo-Yo and discovering the Watch Dogs were behind the assault, Fitz uses basic science to triangular the location of the EMP device causing the blackout. It is refreshing to see Yo-Yo working with the team throughout all of this, as it makes the schtick of last season's lackluster implementation of the Secret Warriors seem warranted. I hope she sticks around for the remainder of the season. Once Coulson tells the Director the solution to the blackouts, SHIELD finally goes public after they were destroyed in The Winter Soldier.

One of the B-Line stories this week dealt with Simmons and Dr. Radcliffe trying to save Agent May from whatever possession or haunting occurred in the pilot, leading to a human tech support moment of killing her and then reviving her to reset her brain activity. Of course, this is timed with a power blackout form the Watch Dogs in DC, adding drama, almost leading Simmons to discover Dr. Radcliffe's LMD project. After May is revived though, the episode wraps up pretty quickly, so who knows if the 'treatment' was indeed effective in removing the cursed spirit or not.

On the Ghost Rider and Daisy side of things, we are finally introduced to Gabe, Robbie's younger and wheel chaired bound brother. After the rolling blackouts strike LA, Gabe and Daisy hole up together while Robbie goes off and does his Vengeance thing to looters and the like. Gabe doesn't take too kindly to Daisy helping Robbie out, and knows that she is Quake. He demands she leaves Robbie alone, and accomplishes his goal by blackmailing her with her identity. We do get to learn a little about Ellis Morrow, the Uncle of the Reyes brothers, and the version of Ghost Rider that haunts Reyes in the comics, but it seems like most major revelations concerning Ghost Rider will be coming in next week's episode.


The story is moving along and settling into its pace for Season 4. While Ghost Rider has been the bright spot in the previous episodes, having Coulson back in the field and SHIELD back in the public moves things forward in a meaningful way. I am curious to see if there will be any repercussions to SHIELD going public in the film side of MCU, but those probably won't manifest themselves until at least Spider-Man Homecoming.


This post originally appeared on RoguesPortal.com.

Oct 10, 2016

Luke Cage Season 1 Review

The Marvel/Netflix TV shows have all been incredibly well received. Luke Cage doesn't buck that trend, and brings a fresh and unique vision to, not only Marvel's TV projects, but comic book inspired TV in general.

Spoilers to follow!


Luke Cage
Sadly, you cannot talk about Luke Cage without comparing it to Jessica Jones and Daredevil. They are all intertwined together, so while this may be season 1 of Luke Cage, it is really the 4th season of build up for the forthcoming The Defenders. Which is honestly unfortunate. These comparisons and connections are nice, and they shape Luke Cage as a character, but comparing all of these shows to one another does a grand disservice to all involved.

Luke Cage has the advantage over the other Netflix shows because he was introduced in last years fantastic Jessica Jones. In Jessica Jones he was a man defined by his guilt and rage from the death of his wife. Luke Cage shows us a man working through closure and trying to define who he is in the absence of his muse. And what better place to find oneself than in the streets of Harlem?

While Luke Cage isn't the first African-American superhero to be put on screen in a starring role, let's not forget Steel and the Blade Trilogy, it is the first one to feel defined by African-American culture. Of course, setting the show in Harlem doesn't hurt, but there are also subtle nods to the history and story of African-Americans as a whole. From Crispus Attucks and Malcom X, to Lebron James and Trayvon Martin, no stone is left upturned. For further reading I recommend Black Nerd Problem's Tara Betts curated list of literature mentioned throughout the show.

Luke Cage

Through and through, Luke Cage is an excellent crime drama about two people and their search for self. As mentioned above, Luke Cage is trying to find who he is after the loss of his wife Reva. The second character searching for herself is Mariah Dillard, known in the comics as Black Mariah. Mariah is played by Alfre Woodard as she makes the transition from knowing bystander to full on criminal mastermind throughout the season. Sure there are other minor players that help turn the gears for both characters, but they are the stars of the show. Especially Mariah Dillard.

The first four episodes of Luke Cage are an absolute masterwork, overseen by the careful hand of show runner Cheo Hodari Coker. The foundation laid out is nearly perfect, even if the death of the beloved Pop's comes entirely too soon to have any impact. I would have loved to see Frankie Faison continue to play a true mentor to Cage, instead of a plot point used to get the ball rolling.

Most of the characters are introduced in the first episode, and even the most minor of characters are given full arcs. The series main big bad is Mariah Dillard of course, but there are stellar performances by Mahershala Ali as Cornell ‘Cottonmouth’ Stokes and Theo Rossi as a gangster known as Shades, a surrogate for a mysterious gangster known as Diamondback. Together Cottonmouth and Shades run Harlem’s Paradise, the club with questionable intent.

In the pilot, Cottonmouth brokers a deal with Diamondback for some Justin Hammer weapons, but an inside job turns everything on its head. A lot of money has gone missing, dangerous weapons are on the street, and loyalties are tested. Detective Mercedes ‘Misty’ Knight starts her investigation into the botched gun deal, and starts putting all the pieces together. Simone Missick plays her role well, but it was a far cry from the ass kicking Misty from the comics I was hoping for. Still waiting for her to lose that arm too. After she identifies one of the victims from the shootout as one of Cottonmouths low level thugs, the dominos start to fall throughout Harlem.

Luke Cage

Enter Mariah Dillard. Her rise to power is one hell of a ride. While the trailers and first handful of episodes set the tone and show the power distribution throughout Harlem, Dillard cautiously observes her cousin Cottonmouth as he makes mistake after mistake in trying to secure his throne as the King of Harlem. He has truly great moments and I was ready to watch him all season. And then out of nowhere, he is brutally murdered by the boiling rage of Mariah.

We are then haphazardly introduced to Luke Cage's half-brother, Willis 'Diamondback' Stryker, played by Erik LaRay Harvey, to serve as the muscle for the second half of the season. Through his gang connections he has acquired bullets made from Chitauri metal strong enough to pierce Luke Cage's skin. After taking a Judas Bullet to the stomach, the show slows to a near halt, and Claire Temple from Daredevil/Jessica Jones is reintroduced. The big difference is Rosario Dawson is given so much more to do, and her character really begins to shine through as the connective tissue for the Netflix side of the MCU.

Once Luke Cage is back to fighting fresh form though, the show turns right back around into greatness. There is a very out-of-the-way cameo by Method Man, but it resets the tone of the series as it steers towards the final showdown between Diamondback and Luke Cage. The finale is a beat down brawl between these two super powers through all of Harlem and is unlike anything seen in the MCU before. The brawl moves throughout the city with purpose, and you feel the emotional tension between the pair with each blow.

The final episode is all over the place, even as it aims to tie up every single loose end. Luke Cage is taken back to Seagate after being exposed by Diamondback and Mariah, and Mariah takes her place as the queen of Harlem on the throne of Harlem’s Paradise. You can’t help but feel that both Luke and Mariah have grown leaps and bounds. Luke has shed the skin of his former identity of Carl Lucas completely and Mariah has blossomed into a criminal politician. Even the secondary characters see growth. Claire Temple decides to learn some self defense classes from Colleen Wing, who will be in next years Iron Fist, and Misty Knight is questioning the effectiveness of the NYPD to actually get things done.

Luke Cage
All of this is peppered with the perfect soundtrack. Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Adrian Younge have crafted a playlist that blends classic and modern hip-hop, funk, and jazz. Every song is picked with purpose, and the moments when a live performance in Harlem’s Paradise are paired with a montage of Cottonmouth beating a turncoat to a pulp bring a texture to the show like no other. A playlist curated by Ali Shaheed Muhammad is available on Spotify and the soundtrack was recently put up on iTunes. It has been on constant repeat on my phone since shortly after finishing the pilot. Hell, even the obviously forced Bulletproof Love from Method Man is a great choice as Luke Cage returns to the streets of Harlem.

Luke Cage starts and finishes with a bang, while genuine moments and an amazing soundtrack save the show from mediocrity. Mike Colter is stern and stoic as Luke Cage, and Alfre Woodard steals every scene she is in as Black Mariah. When all of the chips are on the table, Luke Cage really shines. There are great moments through the entire season, like Misty Knight shooting hoops in Harlem for information, the stellar live performances in Harlem’s Paradise from the likes of hip-hop and jazz masters such as Jidenna and Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, discussions of how to be a role model for young black kids in the modern world, and the decision to move forward always. All of these little moments, peppered with fantastic editing choices, great cinematography and heartfelt performances make Luke Cage stand above most others.
This review originally appeared on RoguesPortal.com.

Oct 5, 2016

The Flash: Flashpoint Recap

Last night was the Season 3 premiere of The Flash, and while the show is back, it just left me wanting more.

Season 2 ended with Barry saving his mother's life from Reverse Flash, allowing a Back to the Future II type alternate timeline to spawn where Barry's family lived happily ever after. This minor change produced all sorts of problems for the status quo of Central City and it's denizens. Barry and Iris hardly know each other, Cisco has turned Star Labs into Ramon Industries and there is a new Flash in town. The entire world is lopsided for Barry, but it isn't without consequence.

For starters, even though Barry is happily living with his parents, they want him to grow up and stop living in fantasyland. Detective Joe West is hardly anywhere to be found, and when he finally does show up he is but a shell of the detective we have grown to love over the past two seasons. The world even has its own Flash, dubbed Kid Flash, in the form of a very enthusiastic Wally West. It is all very cute and fun to see this alternate take on things, but Barry starts to lose his memories from his old life.

And then the entire episode falls apart. Both Flash and Kid Flash team up to take down another speedster dubbed The Rival, but the team up is shortly lived. The episode teases all these great possible moments, but takes them all away just as quick as they are introduced. Not content with losing his own memories, Barry asks the Reverse-Flash to go back in time and kill his Mother yet again with hopes of putting Barry's world back together again. So the Reverse-Flash does, wiping away the episode and returning almost everything back to normal.

The episode takes its name straight from the pages of DC's 2011 event that lead to the creation of the New 52. Sadly, the only thing it borrows is the name, as the vast changes to the world aren't shown in the episode at all. This is in stark contrast to last seasons incredibly fun field trips to Earth-2 where we get mention of Atlantis and Barry Allen had Bruce Wayne on speed dial. This is very much a contained exploration of an alternate timeline, and it leaves much to be desired. I was hoping that the season would have lived within the world of Flashpoint for at least 3 episodes, instead of returning everything back to normal pretty much instantaneously. It reminds me that TV producers are scared to move outside their comfort zone and play with expectations too much.



Luckily, after the return from Flashpoint, there are hints of things to come, notably Dr. Polaris and the magic based villain the Alchemist. Some of the relationships were damaged in the return from Flashpoint too, with Joe and Iris having an issue in their past that results in the two of them not speaking to each other. It will probably put a strain on Barry as he tries to fix it and put everything back to his version of normal, so there is more mopey drama on the way to.

Overall, the episode itself is muddled, but there are truly great moments that pull at the strings of greatness. Expect to see more Kid Flash in the future, as I doubt they would make such an awesome costume to use for a single episode, and get ready for a great season that will hopefully dive into magic and mayhem. Even if the season premiere didn't jump off the finish line.

This recap originally appeared on RoguesPortal.com.

Sep 28, 2016

Agents of SHIELD: Meet The New Boss Recap

Agents of SHIELD continued building its momentum from last week's Season 4 debut, shedding light on the new director and bringing more depth to Robbie Reyes and Ghost Rider.

The mysterious new director of SHIELD was first mentioned at the end of Season 3 after a time hop put Coulson back in the field and someone else in charge of the spy organization itself. With the sophomore episode of Season 4, we finally get to put a face to that nebulous director that broke up the ensemble of agents we know and love. The new director, known simply as Jeffery, is played by Jason O'Mara. There is a certain amount of mystery surrounding this new director and his motives, but he seems genuinely likeable, which is a giant red flag in the world of spies. Compared to everyone else in SHIELD's employ, his budding optimism and charm is definitely off putting.

While they don't say it out loud, the general consensus is that the director is an iteration of a former Captain America, Jeffrey Mace. Mace debuted way back in 1941 in Human Torch #4 under the Timely Comics imprint, aka Marvel Comics before the name change. Now since this is, allegedly, a modern version of the character, some things have changed. I doubt he will be Thaddeus Ross' uncle, for instance. As seen later in the episode, the director stands up to a probably possessed Agent May without flinching. He reveals himself to be Inhuman, and his goals are to bring SHIELD back into the eyes of the public as an official agency for the UN.

Speaking of Agent May, her visions of the people around her with burnt out eye sockets are continuing to haunt her. Coulson picks up on the fact that something is wrong with May, and tried to get her to see Simmons so they can figure out what is wrong with her. That's when May goes berserk and tries to fight her way out of SHIELD HQ, fearful of the demons haunting her mind. In the last episode, after a mysterious crate was opened, a spirit of some sort escaped and started driving people crazy with visions. Mack happens to get a picture of this spirit from security cameras, but only for a single frame, and Mack and Fitz track the origin of the box that contained the ghost to a energy plant in Pasadena.

As all of this is going on, Daisy is trying to find out more about Robbie Reyes. Reyes continues to be the anchor to each episode, with Daisy trying to figure him out and find out what he knows about the haunted box. Daisy faces Reyes in broad daylight, as to not incur the wrath of vengeance, and probes him about his abilities, even mistakenly taking him for an Inhuman. Shortly after a small tussle, Daisy is then interrogated by Reyes. This leads Reyes to find out that the haunted box, owned by the gangsters he was killing, was from the same energy plant Mack and Fitz decided to investigate.

The entire episode is sprinkled with moments of the ghost that cursed May freeing other tortured spirits from more haunted boxes. While it isn't revealed as to why there is a small contingent of ghosts just sitting in an energy plant, the ghosts do spout out some nebulous exposition about an accident and a book. This book is probably the Book of Sins, a relic from the mythic corner of Marvel Universe. If it is the Book of Sins, expect some elder god mumbo jumbo in upcoming episodes.

In the climax at the energy lab, Fitz is almost touched by one of the freed ghosts, until Ghost Rider shows up and vaporizes the ghost with a single touch. Ghost Rider then storms out of the building having saved Fitz and Mack, but not without ripping a picture off a cork board in the lab. Daisy urges Mack to not go after Ghost Rider, and she joins up with Reyes after she gets lectured by Mack for turning her back on SHIELD.

While not as explosive and brutal as last week's premiere, the story is progressing and moving into new territory for the MCU. With the coming slate of mystic based properties like Doctor Strange and Iron Fist on the horizon, I'm glad we're seeing the usually scientific grounded Agents of SHIELD start to mess with the ideas of magic before the episode that will tie-in with Doctor Strange. It's nice to see these ideas explored beyond a single episode that feels forced, and with the Book of Sins and more answers about what Ghost Rider is up to coming around the corner, it looks to be an engaging season of mystery and intrigue, but without SHIELD constantly getting in its own way.

This recap originally appeared on RoguesPortal.com.