Never did I think Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. would give me an episode with bickering ghosts, and yet here we are. Season 4 has really taken an unexpected turn, though it all connects to Marvel comics and the upcoming Doctor Strange film. What is the Darkhold on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. ? A spectral cohort name-dropped this terrifying concept from the ABC series' source material and it definitely does not bode well for the future.
As Tuesday's episode explained, the Darkhold is a book of evil magic. To put this in Harry Potter terms, it would almost certainly be found deep in the Restricted Section of the Hogwarts library. It was written by an Elder God named Chthon and sometimes called "The Book of Sins." Also, most of the people who use it end up possessed by Chthon himself and losing their souls, so that's a problem. At one point in the comics, a group called the Darkhold Redeemers (which is connected to other occult-adjacent groups called The Nine and the Midnight Sons) started collecting pages of the book. Oh, and also the Darkhold was once owned by Stephen Strange. No big deal.
How does this connect to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.? I'm not an expert on the magical side of Marvel comic lore so I'm not sure yet, but the group of ghosts who mentioned the Darkhold are certainly an interesting bunch. They all used to work together, and were all affected by the book in different ways. The lady who escaped from the box in the premiere, named Lucy, hacked a computer like Ghostwriter and then released her friends from similar boxes. Someone named Joseph is missing, there's someone else from their past that they should not have trusted, but Lucy seems confident that the Darkhold can fix them. They're also not against destroying their lab and killing people to preserve their secrets. It's a dubious bunch. Fortunately, Daisy and Ghostrider showed up to save the day.
This is a completely different type of adventure for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and I'm excited about it. There's no angst-ridden family connection. It's not related to Hydra... though I realize that I'm jinxing the possibility by just putting that thought in the universe. We're definitely going to meet some Hydra ghosts now. Kidding aside, this is a a pretty simple mystery and quest. Whatever happens next with the Darkhold, these scientists, and Robbie Reyes could make this season the finest yet.
Image: Jennifer Clasen/ABC