EXCLUSIVE: 'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' Star Gabriel Luna Previews Ghost Rider's Fiery Encounter With Coulson and
By Meredith B. Kile
Ghost Rider is crossing paths with the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on Tuesday’s all-new episode.
While S.H.I.E.L.D.’s fourth season has so far been tracking two interweaving storylines -- Daisy (Chloe Bennet), on the lam after suffering another tragic loss at the end of season three, meets up with Ghost Rider Robbie Reyes (Gabriel Luna) in Los Angeles while the rest of the team continues to work under new director Jeffrey Mace (Jason O'Mara) back at S.H.I.E.L.D. HQ -- it seems those two worlds are about to collide.
“You’ve seen [Robbie] on his own turf in Hillrock Heights -- he’s the legend of Hillrock Heights -- and he’s tried to keep himself in his little pocket of the world, because he’s probably just afraid of what he could unleash,” Luna explains to ET. “He’s got his own life to try and live. He’s somehow been able to maintain some semblance of his previous life, enough so that he can continue to care for his brother.”
However, in Tuesday’s episode, titled “Let Me Stand Next to Your Fire,” the Ghost Rider comes into contact with Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) and the rest of the S.H.I.E.L.D. crew, by way of an epic car chase between Coulson’s beloved Lola and “Lucy the Hell Charger,” Robbie’s supercharged Dodge speedster which is imbued with the same supernatural powers as the demonic vigilante.
“[The name’s] not canon, but perhaps it will be,” Luna notes with a laugh. “Maybe Felipe [Smith, who is penning Marvel’s new Ghost Rider series, debuting next month] will throw that in there.”
But this race is about more than just the cars.
“They can’t turn a blind eye for too long,” the 33-year-old star adds. “When you have someone as powerful as the Ghost Rider out there, eventually Agent Coulson and the team are gonna have to step in.”
Two of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s finest, Mack (Henry Simmons) and Fitz (Iain De Caestecker), have already had a brief encounter with the Ghost Rider earlier this season, when he helped dispatch one of the apparitions that attacked them at Momentum Labs. As the team continues to unravel the mystery behind the ghostly figures and their use of the Darkhold, it seems they may need more help from Robbie.
“Phil Coulson’s a smart guy, and when you’ve discovered a secret weapon that can do something like that, perhaps you might want to incorporate it into your plans,” Luna hints. “We’ll have to wait and see if it does indeed happen, but Ghost Rider ain’t afraid of no ghosts.”
This potential team-up would almost certainly bring Robbie back into contact with Daisy, despite the fact that his younger brother, Gabe (Lorenzo James Henrie), warned her to stay away, revealing that he knew her secret identity as Quake.
“We got to see what they’re capable of together -- and that’s without the Ghost Rider even coming out,” Luna recalls, referencing the fight in episode three, where the two teamed up to take out some street thugs during an L.A. blackout. “But Gabe has his reasons for trying to protect him… We all have our own path and sometimes they interweave and sometimes they deviate.”
Daisy’s first encounter with Robbie devolved into a knock-down, drag-out battle between the metahuman and Ghost Rider, but their relationship has seemingly evolved into a begrudging acceptance of one another, even as they both continue to somewhat stubbornly fight their own battles.
“They’re both like, this is my problem, let me deal with it. I got this,” Luna explains. “I think it was that, and the respect for that they see in each other, that kind of drew them together.”
Whether that respect evolves into something deeper, however, remains to be seen.
“I love the dynamic between Daisy and [Robbie], you know, a lot of people are speculating about a romantic relationship -- people either really want that or they don’t,” Luna says candidly. “In the end, what I really love about them is this kinship, this almost like, sibling thing between them. Their acknowledgement of each other, and what they are.”
“As it stands right now,” he adds, “we’re two peas in the pod, who just fell out of the pod, and now we’re rolling around on the floor somewhere.”
Some of that bond between the characters, Luna notes, originates in the Marvel source material, where Daisy’s father, Calvin Zabo, aka Mister Hyde (Kyle MacLachlan, in S.H.I.E.L.D.’s second season), plays a pivotal role in Ghost Rider’s origin story.
“It’s kind of neat that we’re these two branches of the same weird family tree,” he marvels. “I think that’s really cool, and I can’t wait for everyone to see how the rest of the story plays out.”
As for seeing more of Robbie’s Ghost Rider origin story, Luna admits that he can’t spoil much, but would “love to see it” play out on the show.
"It would be a shame if we found out just through a bunch of people yapping about it,” he says with a laugh. “So, why not see it?”
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.