Agents of SHIELD Recap

S.H.I.E.L.D. Recap: Aida Gets Emotional, While May Gets Caught Up on Season 4

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”?




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  1. laurelnev says:

    SHIELD was on FIRE tonight! Props to the actress who plays Aida/Ophelia. She really went through the whole gamut of emotions tonight, and her performance rocked! But my heart broke for FitzSimmons! AND for YoYo! (I must admit, YoYo is my favorite cast addition since the show started. More May, and more YoYo, and next season will be fantastic!)

    It’s funny how every season seems to find our Scooby Gang trying to resurrect and/or wrest control of SHIELD from its ashes. Guess this season is no exception. (Loved the deadpanning Coulson/Talbot scene.) Tabbot seems more inclined to listen this time around though. Maybe he’s actually learning something. ;) Also loved Coulson trying to explain-but-not-explain how he KNEW May wasn’t May. (Sorry Shippers!)

    They are going to have a formidable enemy to fight, way worse than Hydra. Hopefully, Robbie brought back knowledge of the “Darkhold realm” to help our SHIELD agents win the fight. SO wondering if the framework in which Mack and YoYo are still occupying will be the world Aida and the Russian rebuild. And weather Robbie’s reappearance will help the gang use the powers of the Darkhold for good, rather than for evil and destruction.

    Can’t believe there’s only one more week until a too long hiatus! (And yes, I’m betting on hearing good news about renewal any second. With all the other Marvel shows popping up on other networks, it would behoove ABC to keep this stellar one around.)

    • Tiff says:

      I hope they get renew. Shield has really Turned It up.

      • SHIELD ALWAYS get better at the the end of the season, what should be a clear indication that they need to trim the episode count. It would make the show cheaper and better, they could play back-to-back seasons of Inhumans and SHIELD to occupy the fall slot.

    • Ben says:

      If they get a season 5, it’s really time they made Yo-Yo a season regular, since it seems fairly clear Radcliffe won’t be.

      • laurelnev says:

        You know I think that is WAY overdue. :) They need to get her on contract so they do not lose her…

    • Jayne L. says:

      Aida is played by Mallory Jansen who also played the psycho villain Madelena in Galavant.

  2. Staci says:

    That episode was wild from start to finish

  3. Callie says:

    still not really feeling Philinda but their scenes tonight were nice.

    FitzSimmons :(

    Mallory Jansen totally killed it in this episode!


    Ugh, I knew this whole arc was just a scheme to bring Ward back. DO NOT WANT.

    • ndixit says:

      What makes you think Ward is coming back? The machine must have been destroyed. He may appear in the framework in the finale to help Yo Yo but coming back seems unlikely at this point.

      • Stan says:

        The machine is clearly still running; Mac is in it and Yo Yo has joined him.

        • laurelnev says:

          I think he’s referring to the machine that makes Pinocchio a real boy, rather than the one that powers the framework. I hope that machine went down with the oil platform.

  4. Mary T says:

    I hadn’t thought about how May pretty much needs to binge watch the fourth season to catch up on what’s been going on.
    Aida seems to have Lincoln’s power over electrical energy, so he must have been included in the Framework. I do wonder what other Inhuman powers she might have acquired.

  5. Michael Summerset says:

    I would like to have seen more of the season taking place in the real world.

  6. fernando933 says:

    Unlike Once, next week Shield just doesn’t feel like the end, I’m hoping it gets a final season.

  7. Alichat says:

    That FitzSimmons scene tonight was just devastating. Her hesitancy to come into the pod. Him not being able to look at her. Fitz breaking down when she touches him. I just adore these two characters together.

    Not sure I understand Ghost Rider’s re-appearance. It just didn’t seem to fit the episode. Like it was shoehorned in at the last minute.

    • ottdmk says:

      Well, it was speculated back after Robbie vanished (by Coulson) that the Rider would probably find his way back eventually. This was the payoff.

      • Alichat says:

        Hmm…I missed that. But it just didn’t seem to fit with the episode. All that destruction around them, and somehow that piece of machinery is working. I mean storywise, what you and Jerry have said makes sense, so his appearance makes sense that with Aida going all crazypants, Robbie would return. I guess just visually it didn’t fit. And really I hadn’t thought much about the Darkhold because of Aida’s obsession with Fitz and what a dark work the Framework became. Even though they are related, I had forgotten the connection between Aida, the Darkhold, and Robbie.

    • Jerry says:

      Ghost Rider did not appreciate Robbie’s uncle messing with matter thanks to the Darkholde and Aida has taken that way beyond what he was doing. I think Ghost Rider is here to clean this mess up

  8. James D says:

    So good! the back half of this season has been exceptional. Really great work from Mallory, Iain and Elizabeth tonight (Sorry FitzSimmons fans that had to be painful to watch). This show is just finding it’s legs ABC must renew it, and not only for one more season, but many more. It is by far the best show on ABC.

    • Lisa says:

      “This show is just finding it’s legs”

      I think the show found its legs way back in season 2, after it had to ‘reboot’ and started giving us less ‘case-of-the-week’ storylines.

      Man, remember when poor Fitz had brain damage and couldn’t use his hand? In this episode, he actually was massaging his ‘bad’ hand when he was nervous. AoS doesn’t forget about things it puts its characters through.

  9. Rick Katze says:

    Great episode. Now we hold our breath and hope ABC doe the right thing.

  10. Sheila says:

    This episode was fantastic! I am glad Robbie is back to help. The team needs him because AIDA is a demon. Yoyo doesn’t know what she got herself into. I cannot wait for this next episode. This season has been extraordinary, and I hope the show gets renewed. If not, they are certainly going out with a bang. I paused to cheer when Simmons shot (tranq) Aida and Fitz. What a horrible thing Ivan and Aida did to Mace’s remains. May was the only one who would heed Fitz’s warning because of their framework life. Wow! AoS surely entertained tonight. Bravo!

  11. abz says:

    FitzSimmons is seriously messing with my heart right now. And I think the actress who plays Ada definitely deserves an honourable mention for performer of the week. She was amazing tonight. This Framework arc has been great.

    Can anyone remind me why that woman is nicknamed Yo-yo? I know Mac gave her that nickname last season, but for the life of me I can’t remember why?

  12. Hipper says:

    Wow. Mallory Jansen has been incredible this season essentially playing 4 characters. She might even be MVP for me this season. Odd considering so many other actors on the show had tremendous moments of brilliance.

    • kiki says:

      I remembered she was in Young and Hungry as a spoilt brat princess, and had to go back there and re-watch an episode. She is Brilliant!

  13. Lisa says:

    Mallory and Iain steal the show every time their on screen. No, they /own/ it.

  14. Walkie says:

    Best episode in years.

  15. Gloria says:

    I screamed when Ghost rider appeared.Fitzsimmons emotional hug literally killed me. Coulson for president!This show is insanely good.The writer of this season has an A in my book.ABC has to renew this awesome show

  16. Jimmy says:

    Why can’t SHIELD be like this all the time? These last few episodes have been the best of what has been, until recently, an utterly mediocre season. If this series gets a shot at season 5 they need to consider a shorter episode-count to keep the storytelling tighter.

  17. Joey Padron says:

    New episode was really good, intense, and emotional. Glad Mack is ok. Good Coulson told May on what’s been going while she was away. Not good Aida have inhuman powers and went crazy when Fitz rejected her. Not good about Yo-Yo. Happy Robbie/Ghost Rider is back! Can’t wait to see the season finale next week!

  18. Dominique says:

    man agents of shield just keeps them coming this season, it’s been brilliant al the way!
    it was a thing of beauty to watch aida go through all these new emotions, mallory did an amazing job with all of them. just a little anticlimactic that aida can’t die now either. were those lincoln’s powers she used btw, to get out of that holding cell at shield? it sure seemed like it, and we know lincoln is also dead in the framework.
    i take it ward and trip etc won’t be able to come back from the framework now? the oilrig has been destroyed, and the looking glass device along with it. that sucks :(
    i might be in the minority, but yo-yo is getting on my nerves. i know she and mack had a thing, but somehow i never saw as this huge “love-conquers-all” thing where yo-yo risks everything for him. i just didn’t think they were there yet. maybe i’m wrong?
    i’m glad mack survived tho (so far at least). i was really worried for a second that he would drown.
    i don’t understand why the russian had to break all of mace’s bones with a hammer to make it look like daisy did it (??). i mean, he said he used a hammer, so wouldn’t that create a lot of wounds as well, not to mention leave very distinctive marks on his body? and the seawater would only have made those marks more visible. wouldn’t any sane SHIELD person take one look at that body and realize this wasn’t daisy’s doing?
    so excited to see robbie again! i didn’t expect him to make his return at the end of this episode already that was definitely a nice surprise!

  19. Carlos Lee says:

    Aida was hilarious when she went postal after Fitz said she was not the one for him in the Real World.

  20. Flick says:

    That was one of the most incredible hours of TV ever. There was so much happening, it was like blink too long and you would have missed something! The scene where Aida flipped out at Fitz is like scene of the week. Iain and Elizabeth were amazing as usual with their scene in the pod. Can we also have honourable mentions for the incredible banter between Coulson and the real May? That was just pure brilliant writing and acting.

    ABC – please hear us fans when we say, RENEW THE DAMN SHOW ALREADY WILL YA. I’m losing hair over this.

  21. Cynthia says:

    I want 4 more seasons of SHIELD! I just love this show and can’t wait for next episodes.
    Mallory and Ian’s performances!!! Wow. So good.
    I read that they were told to do a season finale not a series conclusion. So that gives me great hope 😊

  22. pjanep says:

    This season has been epic – please please please don’t cancel this gem of a show!