This week on the penultimate Season 4 episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Aida/Ophelia got so emotional, baby, Yo-Yo wanted her Mack back and May was hilarious debriefed on (some of) the events of Season 4B.
Having returned from the Framework inside the oil rig’s hidden base, and after watching Aida whisk Fitz away Inhuman-style, Coulson and May came face-to-face with “The Russian.” He proves a solid adversary, until Coulson wields his mighty holo-shield and slices the goon’s mug right off. ‘Cept, that was but one of many android dupes made of Ivanov. Afterward, May cues Coulson to get her up to speed on all that happened while she was “away,” first KO’d in Radcliffe’s house/replaced with a robot, and then as a Hydra honcho in the Framework. (This is where I wished I had rewatched the 4B finale, to remember what all May doesn’t know/wasn’t around for — because it was a lot!) Phil schools her on the LMDs, Robbie Reyes’ grand exit, and how quickly (or not) he gleaned that RoboMay was not the real deal. (Oops, he already drank the Haig!) But when all is said and done, May comes away thinking that the “weird”-est things got between the two of them was an attempt on his life.
Meanwhile, at the beach (?!)…. Whilst feeling the tide wash over her human-ish tootsies, Aida tried to convince Fitz that the Framework was Radcliffe’s handiwork, that she was but a slave forced to fit into it. She explains how every decision Fitz made there was his own, that the only thing she altered was their introduction. Ever since then, and especially now, she is overwhelmed with feelings of “love, wonder, joy.” As a “human” she can choose things, and the first thing she choo-choo-chooses… is him!
Aboard the Zephyr, Daisy juggles persistent questions from Yo-Yo about Mack (“He didn’t want to come back!”/”It was a videogame!”) with helping the fuel- and power-depleted aircraft elude attack from the Russian’s jet. When Jemma asks why Piper & Co. didn’t at some point touch down to refuel, they realize/remember that Talbot believes S.H.I.E.L.D. to be infested with lookalike “C3POs,” given 1) the destroyed base and carnage and 2) Mace’s recently discovered, shattered corpse. Luckily, the ladies find a way to power the jet up enough to take down the Russian bogey.
Soon after the teacher in Coulson deduces where they are, he and May (taking one, as in an adrenaline boost, for the team) battle a couple more Ivanov robots, eventually besting them using electricity and a good ol’ hammer. The real Ivanov meanwhile has left via submarine, and now is firing torpedoes at the base, causing a flood. Coulson and May make it topside just as the Zephyr team arrives, but Yo-Yo is resolved to rescuing Mack’s plugged-in self. That doesn’t seem possible, alas, as the elevator chamber is engulfed in flames.
Luckily, Fitz was able to convince Aida/Ophelia to focus her newfound emotions on “empathy, not fear,” and use her teleportation powers to save Mack, which she does. Only to get immediately iced by Jemma, who also has a “bullet” with Fitz’s name on it. Aida and Fitz are locked up in a power-zapping pod, where they hash out their feelings for each other, as a heartbroken Jemma listens in. Fitz, though, proceeds to note how his heart only has room for one woman… meaning Jemma. At which point Aida flips the eff out, feeling her first rushes of jealousy and heartbreak. This all goes down just as Talbot and his troops arrive at the wrecked S.H.I.E.L.D. base, to get an earful from Coulson on what exactly has been going on.
Aida uses one of her other “imprinted” Inhuman powers to escape the pod and disappear to the Russian’s sub, where Ivanov suggests they proceed with the plan to rebuild the world she is accustomed to, where Inhumans are hunted. Sucking down vodka, Aida argues that idea is “too clean,” that she wants to make Fitz and friends suffer. She then aims to feel “something else” and starts to give Ivanov a rough rogering, before turning the tables to bash his head in. He was, however, yet another dupe, the real Russian (or at least his head) secreted away somewhere.
As the episode draws to a close, Jemma consoles Fitz, while Yo-Yo has gone “missing,” having secretly plugged herself into the Framework to find Mack. But what she first finds upon “arriving” is what appears to be a dystopian world, where she is strapped down to a chair…. Meanwhile at the S.H.I.E.L.D. base, after Talbot and his troops clear out, Ghost Rider materializes, returning from… wherever the heck he was, fire chain at the ready.
What did you think of the episode “The Return”?