Agents of SHIELD 4.21: “The Return”
They awake to major problems, especially someone who wants to kill Coulson, and Aida 3.0 hoping to build a new life with the man who helped build her.
Mack is still in the Framework, but what will Elena do about it?
This week, we see everyone trying to put their lives back together after being in the virtual world for so long. That also includes Aida 3.0 (Mallory Jansen), who is not only flesh and blood, but also has Inhuman teleportation skills. That’s how she got Fitz alone with her on a beach, then at an apartment. She really enjoys being alive because she can experience real feelings, including love.
She expects Fitz to be part of that life, although he’s rather reluctant. He’s still upset he was so evil in the Framework, and so was she. “I was ruthless to win the heart of the man I love,” she says, “the man you grew to be.” Thing is, it meant being just like Grant Ward thanks to being raised by a cruel father. Even if it was in a virtual world Aida influenced, that really hurts Fitz inside.
However, he tries to teach her about empathy and doing the right thing. When he learns Ivanov (Zach McGowan) has become an LMD, or rather an army of LMDs controlled by his brain, he convinces her to get Coulson, May and Mack out of the oil rig which Ivanov was about to blow up. What she gets for her trouble is an ICER bullet from Simmons, and so does Fitz.
When she and Fitz are imprisoned together (a bad idea, but needed in the plot), Aida thinks she has a chance to win Fitz’s heart, which is what Simmons is afraid of. As she watches from an iPad, Fitz talks about how Simmons and the team may never forgive him for what he did in the Framework, including killing Agnes and being responsible for Jeffrey Mace’s death. Aida thinks that she can be there to heal him…until he admits his love for Simmons will never die.
That upsets Aida, which is actually an understatement. She is furious she worked so hard to be her own woman, to have a choice. She expected Fitz would be happy to be her choice.
Once she learned that wasn’t going to happen, she goes ballistic. With teleportation skills and laser beams from her palms, she’s the most heartbroken and deadliest creature around.
Considering that Aida is someone who is experiencing real emotions for the first time, it’s easy for her to go extreme very quickly. Actually, so would a lot of 16 year olds who had expectations that didn’t pan out. The only difference is that Aida can teleport, kill with no regrets, and is, also, bulletproof.
It’s not long before she takes a swig of vodka with Ivanov, and tells him she wants him to help her “feel something else,” which looks like it’s going to be violent sex, until she bashes his head in on the floor. (!?!) However, there’s a few more like him, and they all want to use the Darkhold to create a new world.
Meanwhile, May especially has a tough time trying to deal with being replaced by LMayD for much of season four. At least the fake May was programmed to be the real thing, but she was also ordered by Radcliffe to get the Darkhold. May was a bit upset it took so long for Coulson to know the difference, especially when it and he shared that bottle of Haig.
They also find out Talbot (Adrian Pasdar) thinks SHIELD has been taken over by LMD’s and that Daisy killed Mace. It’s why the Zephyr crew hasn’t been able to refuel, while also trying to hide from Ivanov’s men. It takes a very complicated explanation by Coulson to set him straight, but Daisy reminding Talbot about her powers really convinces him. Sadly, so does Aida killing three of his men.
Elena (Natalia Cordova-Buckley) is upset Daisy didn’t get Mack out of the Framework, until she’s told his daughter Hope is still alive there. She still wants to get him out, but when she enters the Framework, , she’s strapped to a table, unable to move and everything around her is in shambles. Definitely not what she was expecting. At least one more visit to the Framework will reveal if Ward finds “Skye” and whether HYDRA has fallen.
Then Simmons shows up. She doesn’t need words. Her embrace is enough. The Fitz she knows never existed in the Framework. The Fitz she loves is right beside her, and he sees that, too.
To their credit, the agents are reluctant to kill Aida right now. At least May is, because she had enough death in the Framework. It may also be due to her feeling guilty about what she did as part of HYDRA. It’s safe to say, that reluctance will fade quickly the deadlier Aida gets.
So, how can the Agents of SHIELD deal with Aida, Ivanov and the Darkhold?
Well, they may get some help from a guy with a burning chain.
Robbie Reyes, The Ghost Rider, is back, but what can he do?