Top positive review
The best AOS season so far!!
5 July 2018
Unlike a lot of people, I've enjoyed Agents of SHIELD from the very beginning, even the much maligned season 1. However it is true to say that each season has built upon the last and improved in quality. Season 4 is no exception and is definitely the strongest year yet for the series.
This 22 episode season has been constructed as three mini-arcs, each one cleverly heralded by a change in the title sequence, and bound together by the overall story of the "Darkhold", a mysterious book that drives much of the narrative. The first chapter is about classic Marvel character Ghost Rider and the reintegration of Daisy Johnson into SHIELD after going rogue last season. The special effects for Ghost Rider himself, although used sparingly for budgetary reasons, are excellent and on a par with the visuals seen in the two poor Nicholas Cage movies.
The second chapter involves the threat of "Life Model Decoys", or "LMD's", a familiar concept to anyone who's read a SHIELD-themed comic. It's another excellent arc that includes some interesting ideas about what defines a 'soul', and segues nicely into the final chapter.
This final arc is entitled "Agents of Hydra" and is definitely the strongest batch of episodes this year. It sees our heroes thrust into a virtual reality "Framework" where their world is flipped upside down. Hydra is in control, good guys become bad guys and a few surprise characters return. There's also some nice, not so subtle commentary about the state of American politics at the moment, and even a few scarily prescient scenes depicting people (including children) locked in literal cages at "re-education centres".
I have yet to see Season 5 (I prefer to watch box sets rather than television broadcasts riddled with adverts) and I do hope we don't have to wait as long for that Blu Ray release as we did for this one. The good news is that AOS has been renewed for a sixth season, albeit truncated to 13 episodes. But, as Season 5 had a budget cut imposed on it, that might not be a bad thing. Meanwhile, Season 4 is another excellent season for a show that goes from strength to strength and I can't recommend it highly enough, especially to viewers who might have dropped out afer being disappointed with the opening year.