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Tonight's episode of Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D., "Uprising," went off as expected. The global blackout that took the lives of 17 Inhumans resulted in the reemergence of S.H.I.E.L.D. to the public. Those Inhuman losses will be mourned, but now that the organization is once again re-legitimized — and Jeffrey Mace a.k.a. The Patriot has become the public symbol of S.H.I.E.L.D. — Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. as a series can return to its roots: hunting down criminals and extremists for the sake of (In)humanity.
Beyond what tonight's episode had to offer, next week's episode is of much more intrigue: Episode 4, "Let Me Stand Next To Your Fire."
Since the synopsis for next week's episode "Let Me Stand Next To Your Fire" was released quite early on, with the cast list, speculations have arisen as to what it could mean for the rest of Season 4:
"As Ghost Rider’s quest for vengeance brings him into an explosive confrontation with S.H.I.E.L.D., Coulson and Mack must rely on an unlikely ally in their time of desperate need; and Daisy reunites with a familiar face to stop the Watchdogs."
The synopsis included a buried reference to "Jose Zuniga as Eli Morrow." And after hearing Robbie Reyes speaking in Episode 3 somewhat fondly of his dear old uncle, Eli Morrow, it's safe to say Episode 4 will see Robbie Reyes reunited with his Uncle Eli. We could already have a clear picture of how Eli Morrow will have a pivotal role in the following episodes this season.
Wait, How Is This The Same Eli Morrow From Marvel Comics?
Jose Zuniga, the actor playing Morrow, is best known for his roles in The Event and CSI. It'll be quite interesting to see how Zuniga depicts the character, seeing as how in Marvel Comics, Morrow is merely seen as the ghostly manifestation that possesses Robbie Reyes's body when he becomes the Ghost Rider. Morrow never possess a body of his own, which drives the question of why Jose Zuniga was recruited for the role of a ghost?
Morrow never possess a body of his own, which drives the question of why Jose Zuniga was recruited for the role of a ghost?
In Marvel comics, Eli Morrow is the ghost of a serial killer who poses as the Spirit Of Vengeance and manipulates Robbie Reyes into taking hold of the Ghost Rider possession. Morrow is able to convince Robbie that if he allows Morrow to posses his body and use him as a vessel for the Spirit Of Vengeance, Robbie's bad slate will be wiped clean — but that's very untrue.
Unlike the Spirit Of Vengeance that possesses the Johnny Blaze iteration of Ghost Rider, Eli Morrow executes his own style of justice on the guilty souls he comes into contact with. It doesn't come up until later in the comics, where Robbie Reyes eventually figures out the Spirit Of Vengeance isn't who he says he is — when, in fact, the Ghost Rider possessing him is none other than serial killer Eli Morrow.
'Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.' Will Go In Its Own Direction With The Character
As to how the comics will relate to Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. may be difficult to understand — again, in the comics, Eli Morrow's presence is only implied, as he is merely a ghost in possession of Robbie Reyes's body; Morrow himself is never seen as having a physical body to inhabit.
However, with Robbie's dialogue mentioning "Uncle Eli," it means that the Eli Morrow depicted on Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. won't simply be a ghost; he'll have a physical body in the likeness of actor, Jose Zuniga. Robbie's words from last night's episode indicate that Morrow is currently in prison.
And it just so happens that an image from next week's episode depicts Agent Coulson going to visit someone in prison. Could Coulson be taking a trip to see Eli Morrow for help?
Let's take a look at the segment in the episode synopsis which alludes to Agent Coulson:
As Ghost Rider’s quest for vengeance brings him into an explosive confrontation with S.H.I.E.L.D., Coulson and Mack must rely on an unlikely ally in their time of desperate need...
An unlikely ally who could turn out to be a prisoner — oh, say, Eli Morrow?
Still unconfirmed at the moment, but if Robbie's words in "Uprising" do prove that his uncle Eli will make an appearance soon, Morrow could be sitting center stage in next week's episode, once Agent Phil Coulson pays him a visit in prison.
Will Eli Morrow Team Up With Coulson To Take On The Ghost Rider?
The episode synopsis also indicates that S.H.I.E.L.D., namely Mack and Coulson, will clash with Ghost Rider — so they'll need this "unlikely ally" to survive. If it is Morrow, he'll probably jump at the opportunity to get out of jail, even if it is with a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent like Coulson.
It's very possible that Eli Morrow will share ties closer to Robbie Reyes than simple blood relation; Morrow could also share a connection with the Ghost Rider. For all we know, Morrow could be the one responsible for giving Robbie the Ghost Rider possession in the first place. If that does happen to be true, Morrow might be keeping his own Ghost Rider possession a secret up until the point that he ignites in a Ghost Rider flame of his own and takes Robbie Reyes down a peg or two.
In the comics, there have been multiple iterations of the Ghost Rider existing at one time, so it wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility for two Ghost Riders to appear on Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.