This article contains spoilers for the Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD episode – The Return
The last episode for the finale had two things to do, set up the conflict that will pull together all three segments of the season. Ghost Rider, the Darkhold, LMD’s and the Framework. And it did a pretty good job for the most part. The most of the team come out of the Framework to find that Aida / Ophelia / Madame Hydra has gotten herself a real body and emotions plus a few added perks like teleportation. She is in love with Leo Fitz and immediately takes off with him. This leaves Melinda May and Phil Coulson in an underwater bases filled with multiple versions of The Russian and Mac’s body as he refused to leave his daughter. Jemma Simmons and Daisy Johnson return to Zephyr 1 where they are being attacked. And General Talbot has declared the team hostile and fugitives because he thinks they’re all robots. And they go from there.
A lot of the episode has to do with relationships. Fitz trying to deal with his actions while in the Framework, but also for his feelings for both Jemma and Ophelia. Jemma is unsure if Fitz will still love her… oh and she shoots him with an Icer round. Coulson is dealing with May who has been gone the longest while he processes what happened between him and the LMD version of May. And Yo-Yo is devastated to learn that Mac stayed inside until she learns that his daughter, Hope, is alive in the Framework. I can only imagine what a psychologist would say trying to help these guys deal with memories and feelings from two separate lives.
Just because there was a lot about relationships, doesn’t mean the episode was short on action. May and Coulson fight a few Ivanovs. My favorite move being Coulson using the energy shield in his fake hand to slice the fact off the robot. I forget that shield is there and love it every time they use it. And Fitz is able to convince Ophelia to help rescue his friends, getting Mac out before he drowned. But then Fitz had to break up with her and she handled it perfectly well… turning into a rampaging killing machine that can also fire off lightning bolts. Turns out the “It’s not you, it’s me” line doesn’t work in the MCU either.
The team escape from Ophelia and the Army and are on the move. Jenna makes the first move towards Fitz and Yo-Yo decides to go in after Mac… which doesn’t look like it’s going well. And we see that Ophelia has gone full on crazy, killing another Invanov. I hope they got a bulk rate discount on those. And she still has the Darkhold, which can’t be a good thing. So it looks like we’re all set for the season finale.
Oh wait… I forgot one thing. And it almost felt like the writers did too. As the Army is clearing out of the old SHIELD headquarters, the portal device used to bring Coulson and Fitz back from the other side earlier this season… it suddenly lights up and Ghost Rider walks out like he’s exiting the subway. Wraps his chain around his chest and that’s it. No hints building up to the episode or even in the episode. Just Robbie Reyes entering on fire.
Next week is the finale and it seems like the writers are going to have their hands full with all of the dots they have to connect. They can leave some of the long term relationship and future questions open to be addressed in a fifth season if it’s renewed. But the season has been getting better and better with each episode and they’ll need to wrap things up tightly to continue that trend.
Here is the trailer for World’s End followed by some promotional images for next week from SpoilerTV.
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