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Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – The Return Review

"We have to talk about Fitz."

This season of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has been rocky at best, but they sure know how to wrap things up. This episode might have been called “The Return,” but it also served as a departure from the Framework . . . at least at first. Let’s get into it.

The beginning of the episode was all about the team transitioning back into the real world and some were doing better than others. May and Coulson were stuck on a submarine/oil rig with a bunch of Russian androids. Coulson caught May up on what happened while she was in the Framework (basically all of the season), although he had some trouble talking about how he definitely kissed her android impersonator. Talk about awkward. Daisy and Simmons woke up on the failing Zephyr, but managed to work together in time to land and save Coulson and May, but that left Mack still hooked up on a sinking oil rig. More on that in a minute.

Fitz and human Aida/Ophelia spent a lot of time together this episode. Fitz was coming to terms with who he really was and Ophelia was trying to deal with all of her overwhelming emotions now that she’s human. Being a human is a lot harder than it looks! Fitz convinced her to make sure the gang was okay, and in the process she teleported Mack out, still attached to the Framework. First crisis averted! They teleported to the S.H.I.E.L.D. base where they were quickly placed into one of those padded room chambers until the team could figure out what to do with them.

This was also the first time that the whole team has seen the complete devastation of their base. In all the excitement, I also forgot that it had happened. There was very little left of the base and Talbot took notice. He arrived up in arms, convinced that everyone was a robot. I don’t blame him. Eventually they got him to back down, just in time to save Fitz’s life, which brings us to the most powerful scene of the episode.

Fitz and Ophelia were talking in their containment pod and Simmons was watching them on a webcam. Fitz was completely distraught as he recollected what he did in the Framework. He worried that Simmons would never look at him again, let alone love him. He kept saying he only had room in his heart for one person. The former android thought Fitz was talking about herself, but then he said he would always love “her”, which was not the “you” Ophelia was hoping for. Ophelia wasn’t too happy about that. Just when I thought maybe she could just assimilate into society, she completely blew up with rage. She was close to killing Fitz, but he managed to escape. Of course Ophelia gave herself some extra powers so she went on a killing rampage.

At the very end, things got even crazier when A. Yo-Yo decided to go into the Framework to get Mack and B. the Ghost Rider randomly came out of the left behind portal rubble at the base. So I guess that’s the big return that the title of the episode teased. I was really hoping it would somehow be Ward.

Final Thoughts:

– Really strong episode, but there was a LOT going on.
– I get that Yo-Yo wants to save Mack, but she could have at least asked how to get out of the Framework or SOMETHING before just leaping into it.
– It’s understandable that they would want to bring Ghost Rider back, because that brings the season full circle, but it makes no sense to me how he just appeared.
– Give all the acting awards to Iain De Caestecker (Fitz) and Elizabeth Henstridge (Simmons). Their emotional faces and conversations all episode were heartbreaking, but so wonderfully portrayed.
– This episode ended with the indestructible Ophelia coming up with a plan to ruin Fitz’s life, so that should be fun next week for the season finale. Tune in to see what happens!

Rating
8.5
Pros
  • Action packed
  • Impressive acting by Iain De Caestecker, Elizabeth Henstridge and Mallory Jansen
Cons
  • Yo-Yo blindly going into the Framework
  • Ghost Rider appearing unexplained (this might be more clear next episode though)

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