Presenting OTP Tuesday! Each Tuesday I will introduce you to a new One True Pairing! Tune in each week to find out which fictional couple you need to agonize/squee over next. This week I’m back on my bullshit with QuakeRider.
Who Are QuakeRider?
Yep, shockingly, I’m back with another Agents of SHIELD ship (I haven’t even gotten to my main ships yet, sorry not sorry). QuakeRider is the ship name for Daisy Johnson and Robbie Reyes. The name is based on their (anti)heroic personas. Daisy is the Inhuman vigilante Quake, and Robbie is the MCU’s newest Ghost Rider.
Originally known as the hacker Skye, Daisy Johnson has become one of the most prominent characters in AoS. She is an agent of SHIELD who also happens to be one of the most famous Inhumans. So, basically, she’s a spy and a superhero all at once.
Skye joined SHIELD as a contractor when Phil Coulson noticed her talents for hacking. Over time, she developed a deep connection with her team and decides to sign up. She has a rough road, getting to full agent status just as Hydra takes over SHIELD. She’s dedicated and loyal, however, and helps Coulson’s team stay afloat.
Later, Skye is exposed to Terrigen crystals and emerges as an Inhuman with power over vibrations. She goes to Afterlife to learn about her powers, where she meets several important people, including her mother. However, her mother turns out to be messed up, and Skye must choose between her found family or her Inhuman community.
Always focused on the greater good, she chooses SHIELD and fights to protect the world. She also takes on the name Daisy, as it was her birth name. Daisy tries to do the most good she can, but still struggles at times. Luckily, her team always has her back. She also falls in love with Lincoln, another Inhuman from Afterlife, who joins SHIELD for Daisy’s sake.
When Lincoln sacrifices himself on a mission to save Daisy, it destroys her world. She leaves SHIELD and goes rogue as the vigilante Quake. She wants to make a difference but fears hurting others with her presence. Eventually, Daisy finds her way back to her family, but it was a long and dark road.
While out as Quake, Daisy made the acquaintance of another vigilante: Robbie Reyes. Robbie is a mechanic from LA who was dealt some bad luck. When Robbie’s uncle Eli angered some bad people, Robbie and his brother Gabe caught the backlash. Out for a street race, Robbie and Gabe are targeted by a gang in a drive-by shooting.
As a result of the shooting, Robbie died. However, he sought for a way to protect Gabe. He was given the choice to come back to life and protect his brother, but it meant selling his soul to the devil. That’s when Robbie became the Ghost Rider.
Since the shooting, Robbie has been living a double life. He takes care of Gabe since their uncle eventually went to jail. He goes to work at an auto yard and seems normal. At night, however, he hunts down the gangsters who hurt him and Gabe — and anyone else the Ghost Rider deems guilty of spilling innocent blood.
When Daisy runs afoul of the Rider, she tracks down Robbie. They clash; both may be vigilantes seeking to do the right thing, but their methods are wildly different. However, when SHIELD comes knocking, they work together to stop a group of scientists from destroying the world with the Darkhold book. Daisy and Robbie form a reluctant alliance but work together well.
Robbie learns that his uncle is using the Darkhold, and works to stop him. He disappears into another dimension, and it seems he has died. Never one to leave a job unfinished, though, Robbie comes back to dispose of the Darkhold once and for all. Although he leaves again, there’s nothing stopping him from coming back. Fingers crossed for season 6!
Why is QuakeRider OTP?
I know, I know, I just wrote about Daisy in another ship. However, I was clear that I never intended to ship StaticQuake, and QuakeRider is the reason for that. Even before I started catching up on Agents of SHIELD, I was interested in their portrayal of Ghost Rider. I’d seen murmurs of QuakeRider online, and I gotta say it captured my attention.
Actually watching it, though, I just love QuakeRider. These two people are so good but so dark. They want to save people and make the world a better place. Plus, the way they fight is high key amazing. So while StaticQuake unexpectedly captured my attention, QuakeRider is OTP for me. Plus, they are both super hot, and watching them fight together is good.
The beauty (or tragedy) of QuakeRider is how good these two individuals are. Both Daisy and Robbie just want to make the world a better place. They want to look out for those who need protecting. They never wanted to hurt anyone. And yet that’s exactly what happened.
Daisy became an agent of SHIELD so that she could be the shield. She wanted to be the person who protects. Even when Inhumans were hunted and viewed as threats, she stood tall as an example of how heroic they could be. That makes it all the more heartbreaking when things went wrong with Hive in season 3.
Everything that Daisy wanted was undone. She hurt her team, who were her family. She helped Hive plot to destroy humanity. And Lincoln died because he loved Daisy too much to watch her suffer. Naturally, Daisy blames herself for all that happened. She hurt the people she loved and failed to be the shield. That’s why she goes rogue — to make up for her past.
If Daisy wanted to shield the world, Robbie just wanted to protect the one person who mattered to him. All that he wanted was to protect his little brother. They had a rough childhood, losing their parents. So Robbie was determined to do right by Gabe and make sure he had a happy and fulfilling life.
That love is what destroys Robbie. He sells his soul to the devil to save his brother. Robbie doesn’t want to be the Ghost Rider. He doesn’t enjoy killing people. But he knows he made a deal, and he’s going to stick with it. If he can protect Gabe at the same time, all the better. But he lost his future because of his love for his brother.
What makes QuakeRider so amazing, though, is not just the people in the ship. It’s the trajectory of the ship. Now, I love me some enemies to friends to lovers. It’s one of my favorite tropes (and AO3 tags). QuakeRider beautifully encompasses this storyline and shows real growth and development.
The first meeting between Daisy and Robbie did not go well. They fought in a junkyard, each showing their “talents.” Each held their own, though, and the Rider deemed Daisy not guilty. Although that doesn’t stop Robbie from being angry when she ambushes him later, it shows him that she’s not beyond redemption.
Later, as reluctant allies, there’s a lot of fun to be had. If Quake and the Ghost Rider can’t beat each other easily, watching them fight together is fantastic. They both are willing to do whatever necessary to stop the bad guys. They also both chafe a little at SHIELD’s involvement, though Daisy will eventually go back to them.
Finally, watching Daisy and Robbie become actual friends is great. These two can really understand the pain the other has felt and be supportive. Daisy steps up and tries to help Robbie when Gabe confronts him about the Rider. She knows how much Gabe means to Robbie, and doesn’t want to see that relationship fail.
While we haven’t quite reached the “lovers” part of the tag, there’s some hinting. Of course, it’s too soon for Daisy to move on, but there’s a noticeable attraction between her and Robbie. Given the last lingering look between them before Robbie leaves, I’m feeling like it’s open if the showrunners bring Robbie back. PS — Please bring Robbie back.
What’s Next for QuakeRider?
I don’t know! It’s pretty up in the air at the moment. As far as I know, Robbie does not show up at all in season 5. (I’m still catching up because season 5 doesn’t come on Netflix until June 17, and I’m dying waiting.) So as of right now, things were left with a lingering look and Daisy continuing her adventures while Robbie does who knows what.
However, Daisy is still kicking after season 5, and Agents of SHIELD has been renewed for a (shorter) sixth season. I would love it if they chose to bring Robbie back and give us more QuakeRider goodness. Granted, the AoS powers that be like to torture fans, so maybe I should be careful what I wish for.
There are also rumors that there may be a Ghost Rider standalone property. Given the success that Punisher has had on Netflix, I feel like there’s some viability to that. I, for one, would gladly watch an entire show centered around Robbie Reyes. Maybe Daisy could pop by every now and then? Or if AoS is set to end after season 6, why not a QuakeRider show??
Is QuakeRider Canon?
Sadly, QuakeRider is not canon. I was doing so well with canon ships for a while, too. So far Daisy’s only canon relationship has been with Lincoln, although that ended rather spectacularly. Robbie, as only a guest star, has not had a chance to have any romantic adventures.
There are definitely hints at an attraction, but that’s all there is at the moment. There aren’t even any romantic speeches or a single kiss to carry the ship. Not that that stops anyone; AO3 has a large and lively section of QuakeRider fics that I personally am enjoying.
But! QuakeRider could become canon at some point! The end is not here, and I will keep carrying a torch for this ship until there is no more potential (and even past that point, probably). Until season 6 arrives, we can only speculate what may come next. I hope it’s QuakeRider!