TV Club: Ghost Rider’s origin is revealed as a new villain threatens Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Sometimes, Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. does the exact opposite of the old “show, don’t tell” rule of visual storytelling. Instead, it weirdly goes for the strategy of “tell, then show for good measure, just in case.” In the flashbacks that make up a decent portion of “The Good Samaritan,” a character in the present day (usually Eli) will say what transpired way back when, and then the show will cut to it, and depict what was just explained. It’s an odd way to reveal backstory, and the only reason I can imagine for the tactic is because the writer (good old reliable Jeffrey Bell, in this case) assumed that building to a twist would be a fun way to throw history out of whack, and disturb the audience’s assumption that they knew what was coming. It doesn’t quite land, but luckily, this …

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