#AgentsofSHIELD are finally home! S4E21 Review: The Return

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: The Return

Original air date: May 9th, 2017

Warning: Spoilers

Robbie Reyes is back! Whoop-whoop! Sure, it was for only the last couple of seconds, but he is making his return just in time for next week’s finale. I don’t know about you, but I love, I mean love, this version of Ghost Rider—maybe it’s the car.

As for the rest of the show, I am frustrated. Not at the show (well maybe a little), but for the characters. “Can we get a break please? Can we get one break?” asked Coulson, and I’m with him.  Our agents are always put through the ringer. For each step forward, there are two steps back. They escape the Framework (minus Mack) and find an upgraded Aida and Anton Ivanov waiting for them. Oh, and there is the whole trapped underneath the oil rigger in a secret Russian lab. To top it off, the Government thinks they are still androids and that Daisy killed Mace.  Also add Yo-Yo plugging into the Framework to get Mack, only to wake up tied to a gurney in the middle of a destroyed hospital or lab. I hope they get a lot of vacation days with S.H.I.E.L.D.– they need them.

Aida/Ophelia/Madame Hydra is no longer an android– she is flesh and blood, she is organic, but I wouldn’t say she is human. She now has feelings, but they just aren’t productive ones. Her going all Fatal Attraction on Fitz shows that her mental health leaves something to be desired. If the Framework taught us anything, it’s that one needn’t be inhuman or robotic to be a monster.  Aida saved Mack, but only for Fitz. I don’t think she truly has empathy for others; I’m not sure she has love for Fitz, more like obsession– and a  shit-ton of inhuman powers. She can teleport, regenerate, manipulate energy and who knows what else. I think if Yo-Yo and Daisy took her on, they could defeat her, but I think this task will be up to Ghost Rider.

I don’t think Yo-Yo will be out of the Framework in time, though I can’t say I blame her for going. She loves Mack; why should her love for him be different or less important than say Fitz and Simmons? Or even Daisy and Mack as friends? I understand Mack wanting to stay, but if he was my partner or friend or boyfriend—I would do like Yo-Yo said: break his legs, knock him out, drag him kicking and screaming, but I would bring him home. Again, Mack is remembering only one version of events. His choice isn’t completely informed. But that’s me—and apparently, Yo-Yo, too.

What frustrates me most about the show are the villains. First, let me say, I like that the show does deal with the villains on deck and moves on to another story. I am not one for long drawn out villains, lurking in the shadows only to be revealed in season 23. What I feel keeps happening (after season one), is the villain is who you expect and that villains are always outrageously powerful. I get the stakes need to be raised, and the need for there to be danger that not all our agents will come away unscathed. However, we just had Hive last season, how much more interesting would it have been if Aida was truly remorseful and wanting to atone for her conduct in the framework? The finale could be  more about the aftermath of the Framework and how our agents have changed.

Grant, (we know how I feel) got his redemption story, but (and I can’t believe I’m saying this) would that story been better served if it had been given to Aida? I feel the whole “woman scorned” plot has been done so much. I get she has feelings, she never had them before, and she can’t control them. What if she had all those, and she had combined all these inhumane attributes and together they created the She-Hulk! From android to Madame Hydra to She-Hulk, could have been awesome. Missed opportunity—just saying.

Aida isn’t the only villain still at large. Anton Ivanov’s head is somewhere controlling countless Anton bodies, and his goal seems to be to expand the Framework or to merge the two worlds. That point isn’t super clear to me. I know I some issues with the villains, but the Agent Smith-ness of Anton is cool.

Well, only one episode left—let’s see how it ends.

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