This week on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., an Inhuman-powered Aida plans to enact revenge against Fitz and the agents. Lucky for them, they have a Spirit of Vengeance in their corner!
Right off the top, this has been the best season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. In fact, this is probably Marvel’s best season of the television show ever. With the exception of Legion, they haven’t had such a strong season of television like this season for their first MCU television show. It had distinctive story arcs (Ghost Rider, LMD, Agents of Hydra) that followed through all the way to the end, and opened the door for next season’s possibilities.
The episode opens with Robbie Reyes making his triumphant return. Based on the stinger at the end of last week’s episode, we knew that Ghost Rider was going to come back after he disappeared into another dimension fighting his uncle who used the Darkhold to give himself superpowers. Once he makes it through the portal, both Ivanov and Aida are caught by surprise. Robbie wants to get the Darkhold back and does battle with them. Robbie easily dispatches the robot copies of Ivanov. As he fights with Aida, his hellfire burns her arm. This is surprising to her since her Inhuman powers include regeneration. She has a weakness, and it’s the supernatural abilities of Ghost Rider. Aida quickly teleports out of there as she has finally met her match.
Meanwhile, Yo-Yo made it to The Framework in the hopes of rescuing Mack, who opted to stay there with his virtual daughter Hope. The big problem is that The Framework is collapsing. Remember in Matrix Revolutions, when Agent Smith took over The Matrix and the entire system was crashing? That’s pretty much what is happening in The Framework. With Aida gone, the entire system is crashing and all the virtual beings are flickering away. Those from the real world connected to The Framework will also die if they don’t find a way out of it. Yo-Yo find a way out of her confines and eventually runs into Radcliffe, who takes her to the S.H.I.E.L.D. base n the virtual world where she runs into Mack. Just as before, Mack doesn’t remember anything of his life in the real world and as a result, he doesn’t remember her.
Because of the carnage Aida left, S.H.I.E.L.D. is under the microscope and General Talbot requires Coulson’s presence at a meeting to explain S.H.I.E.L.D.’s actions (primarily the LMD infiltration, Mace’s death, and Aida’s rampage). Coulson knows that with Aida out there, he and his team need to be concentrating on stopping her. However, once they reunite with Ghost Rider, he reveals a new face in the LMD line. As they do a facial recognition scan of the robot’s face, they realize that the LMD will be at the briefing. Not knowing what Aida’s plan is, they race there to try to stop her.
At the meeting, another LMD Ivanov is there along with the new LMD pretending to be officials representing Russia’s interests at the meeting. They pitch using the Darkhold to stop S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Inhumans. Coulson and team show up there, but are too late as an LMD copy of Daisy shows up and shoots Talbot in the head. Although Ghost Rider and the agents manage to destroy the robots, the image of Daisy (real or not) is going to once again make them an enemy of the state. The team references that Aida has in effect, made her own “Cambridge incident” in the real world turning the public against both S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Inhumans. Lucky for them, they now how the Darkhold, which means they have an advantage over Aida.
Meanwhile, Fitz and Simmons are trying to figure out a way to bring Yo-Yo and Mack back from The Framework before it collapses. Aida teleported away from Ghost Rider out of fear and instead finds the two agents in the server room. Aida positions herself behind Simmons as Fitz pleads his former lover not to kill his true love. Remember, Aida’s recent rampage is a result of her being rejected by Fitz in the real world and being unable to wrestle with her human emotions. As Fitz pleads with her, she ends up stabbing Simmons through the chest and then electrocuting her dead.
After killing Simmons, Aida runs into Coulson, who then reveals to her that she has been played as well. Turns out “Simmons” was a reprogrammed LMD. The real Simmons unloads her machine gun on Aida, to no effect, but it felt good for her to do it. Meanwhile, Coulson faces off against Aida. That normally would be very one sided. However, she’s not just facing Coulson, she’s facing Coulson possessed by the Ghost Rider spirit. The flamed skeletal demon grabs her so that if she tries to teleport, he goes with her. Their struggle comes to a close when Ghost Rider uses his hellfire to burn her into ashes. Aida is no more a problem!
In The Framework, even with everything crumbling all around them, Mack still doesn’t want to leave Hope behind. Yo-Yo pleads with him, declaring her love for him as well. Mack doesn’t budge and opts to instead remain in The Framework and die along with Hope. Fitz and Simmons managed to protect them so that they don’t die as quickly as the rest of the world. They head back to Mack’s house where he decides to stay. To his surprise, Yo-Yo then decided to remain with him. As Mack holds onto his daughter, she simply disappears as her zeroes and ones have been deleted. Yo-Yo wakes back up in the real world and after a few moments, a heartbroken Mack also wakes up. Yo-Yo apologizes to him for forcing him to come back. Now that he has all his memories, remarks that his time with Hope gave him a new appreciation for life and family, and he wants to start a family with Yo-Yo in the real world. Back in The Framework, with everything dying all around, Radcliffe opts to have one last drink before he vanishes as well.
Because of all the events of this season, there’s going to be a huge fallout for S.H.I.E.LD. Fitz decides to fall on his sword and take all the blame. After all, he created Aida, which caused many of the events of this season. His fellow agents will not let him take the blame and decide that they will all fall on their swords together as a team. Before they do, they go to a diner for a bite to eat. At a local diner, they are all sitting and enjoying a meal, much like in the ending of Avengers. When the power goes out, the jig is up and they are to be arrested. The “man in black” who arrests him speaks about the “window” being open for a few more minutes and they all leave. Coulson later wakes up in a cell. He then presses a button, to supposedly roll down a window. He then sees that his view is of outer space. It’s very reminiscent of “Prison 42,” a supermax prison in the Negative Zone from the comics. He then says “All right Phil, get back to work.”
That’s one hell of a way to end the season. Where are they? Are they in the Negative Zone? Are they on the Blue Side of the Moon? Will their current predicament be associated with Marvel’s upcoming Inhumans TV show premiering this fall? The show has been renewed for a 5th season, so luckily this wasn’t an agonizing series finale cliffhanger and we'll see more of our favorite agents in a completely new setting. Overall, this season has been one hell of a ride for the show and elevated the TV show to the same quality in regards to writing, acting, and special effect we expect from their Marvel movies. Can’t wait to see what they do next!