Plot Lines of Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD: Season 4, Episode 21 “The Return”

By: Casey Johnston (@DarthHockey)

WARNING: There are spoilers ahead for the latest episode of Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD.

Written By

Maurissa Tancharoen

Jed Whedon

A Plot: Aida’s Wild Ride

In this episode, Aida ran the gamut from love to hate before stopping at revenge. It was also revealed that all that Inhuman experimentation within the Framework was to give Aida special powers, and that little twist really works for me. At the beginning of the “LMD” arc, I was worried that this whole story would just be a rehashed version of Age of Ultron but only with a much smaller budget. Everything that’s happened since the beginning of the “Agents of Hydra” arc has worked to set those fears aside. This episode, making Aida human while giving her Inhuman powers, totally killed those fears. What began as a derivative story of artificial intelligence wreaking havoc on the team of good guys turned into a live-action action telling of a Marvel “What If?” comic (the first episode in this arc even shared that title). I’m excited to see how everything comes together next week in the season finale. Ghost Rider, the Darkhold, and Aida should all factor into the final showdown of what has been a tremendous season.

B Plot: Talbot Comes Storming In

Bringing the story back to the real world meant the return of General Talbot. I have to say, I really missed this guy and was disappointed he didn’t end up in the Framework. I would have loved to see him played as a Hydra true believer while still using the one-liners we’ve all come to enjoy. Because this was the penultimate episode, there wasn’t much time to develop his story further before the finale, but that’s alright. Talbot’s stories are using fairly simple. He’s chasing bad guys and usually needs the help of Coulson. It’s a shame his story this week didn’t end with him learning the truth about Coulson but I guess that’ll come next week.

C Plot: Yo-Yo’s Unfortunate Decision

I know we wouldn’t have a very interesting story to watch if every character made the smart decision every time, but can’t it happen every once in a while? Yo-Yo went into the Framework to save Mack and I’m worried that’s going to drag next week’s finale down. I’d be less worried if we were getting the traditional two-hour finale but that’s not the case this year. Now the writers have to wrap up Aida, the Darkhold, Ghost Rider, and now Yo-Yo and Mack in an hour. That’s a tall order when a quarter of those stories is something I’m not interested in. This has a been a great season but this one development has the potential to be a big misstep in the end.

Thanks for reading!