Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD: The Return Recap

Synopsis 4×21: The team must work together to stop Aida and the Inhuman abilities that she now possesses. 

Rating:
Deep beneath the ocean surface, the Russian (I honestly can’t remember his name), snarkily comments that he is “tired of talking to himself.” Get it? Because there are multiples of his body? And with that, he moves into the room where Coulson and May are awakening from the Framework and watching Inhuman ability wielding Aida teleport away with Fitz.

The two manage to slice their way away from this particular body of the Russian, and Coulson rehashes everything that occurred while May was trapped in the Framework. And being faced with a multitude of Russians, they are forced to fight their way through the base to ensure that it is not destroyed and Mack’s physical form remains safe.

Onboard the SHIELD ship, Daisy and Jemma work to fix the power on the ship in order to regain control of the guns so that the attractive SHIELD agents (you remember them, right?) can destroy the enemy fighters and fly the team to safety. And after surviving the ordeal, Daisy reveals that Mack stayed in the Framework for Hope. So many emotions wrapped into that moment, as Yo-Yo threatens to enter the Framework herself in order to bring him out.

On a beach, Aida embraces her new physical and real existence, while trying to explain to Fitz why his behaviors within the Framework do not make him evil, and that she, herself, was trapped within the Framework as well. At the house she prepared for her and Fitz, he tries to bring emotions out of her, including empathy. 

Returning to the chaotic situation before the team was trapped in the Framework, the agents are now apparently wanted, once again, by the government for their part in the destruction of the SHIELD headquarters.

Daisy and Jemma arrive with Yo-Yo just in time to save May and Coulson, but are unable to save Mack. As the tension builds and the waters rise, Aida appears with a literal splash just in time to save Mack. Unfortunately for her, Jemma will not allow one good deed to right all the wrongs she committed in the Framework. Nor will she easily forgive Fitz, who she locks with Aida in a containment room. 

In perhaps the best performance of the season, Aida shifts through emotions from unconditional love to aggression and jealousy. With an extreme show of power befitting her extreme emotions, Aida breaks from the containment room and begins attacking those in the base, both the attractive SHIELD agents and those who are trying to get to the bottom of what happened. Unfortunately, one of the attractive agents doesn’t make it out alive. They made us care, and then they killed them. 

The final several cut scenes, as is common for AoS, move between Aida, who violently kills one of the Russian’s bodies while he made advances towards her, a tender and emotional scene between Fitz and Jemma (Iain’s acting really is superior to the others), and Yo-Yo who awakens within the Framework, trapped.

The title of this episode is an interesting one, alluding to two returns. The regular team has obviously returned to this world, but one where they struggle against the government and must prove their legitimacy in saving lives.

The second is an unexplained one. As excited as I am for Ghostrider to return, his end scene seems ill-set up. He simply walks out of a portal in the destroyed base, with no explanation of why the machinery came back on or what brought him. I suppose we’ll find out in the finale.