In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, magic is just science we don't understand yet, and that rule seems to apply to "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s" own Ghost Rider. Speaking to IGN, executive producers Jed Whedon and Jeffrey Bell explained how Ghost Rider is, in fact, based in science rather than magic.
“The Marvel rule is that magic is science we don't understand, but when we are trapped between [dimensions] in [Episode 7], we're in the quantum energy fields between dimensions. The Ghost Rider very clearly says, ‘That's where I came from. I know where you're being dragged down and I don't want to go back,’" Whedon revealed.
"One of the things that it allows us, and 'Doctor Strange' allowed us, to do is to have something you would call a ‘hell demon’ on our show because we're opening holes between worlds and between universes," he continued. "Any time there's something that on another show would be a wave of the wand magic thing, we can chalk it up to, oh, it's from another dimension. There's another set of physics rules in that world and so it's allowed us to put it all under the science umbrella. The word ‘dimensions’ is sort of covering a lot of ground there.”
"In ['Guardians of the Galaxy'], if some of these aliens showed up, they might look like a hell demon. It might be named Larry in his world and there might be a lot of other guys with flaming heads going, ‘Good morning, Larry,’ ‘Good morning Frank,’ and it would be normal,” Bell added. Here, he is referring to Ghost Rider's signature look: a flaming skull.
Though the show has wrapped its ongoing Ghost Rider storyline, "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." got to play with the notion for a solid eight episodes. In them, Ghost Rider was treated like an entity separate from Robbie Reyes, his host; in fact, the Ghost Rider jumped into Mack's body for an episode in order to escape being dragged into the void which Whedon referred to as another dimension.
In “The Laws of Inferno Dynamics,” Eli Morrow — Robbie Reyes’ nefarious uncle — went nuclear in an attempt to stop Ghost Rider, who has been working with Daisy Johnson and her S.H.I.E.L.D. team all season. As a result, both Ghost Rider and Morrow disappeared into thin air, and they didn’t resurface before the episode drew to a close. If the show is playing with other dimensions in the same vein as "Doctor Strange," then the two could have easily fallen into one of these alternate realities.
Airing Tuesdays at 10 pm ET/PT on ABC, “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” stars Clark Gregg as Agent Phil Coulson, Chloe Bennet as Daisy “Quake” Johnson, Ming-Na Wen as Melinda May, Iain De Caestecker as Leo Fitz, Elizabeth Henstridge as Jemma Simmons, Henry Simmons as Alphonso “Mack” Mackenzie and more.