I’ve been busy lately, so I didn’t get a chance to tell you all that ABC renewed SHIELD for a 5th season. Which is great news because that finale was… Well, let’s get into it.
Fitz and Simmons are in the lab, and Jemma is getting the rundown about how Aida is the way she is (the blasphemous book of evil called the Darkholde) and how she got her powers (Fitz’s Inhuman experiments within the Framework). Fitz admits that his tests proved fatal on familiar faces such as Lincoln and Gordon, which explains the abilities Aida has exhibited so far.
IRL, Coulson and Daisy monitor Yo-Yo’s body, while inside the Framework, Yo-Yo (who willingly plugged herself in to bring Mack out) is freed from the chair she was strapped into by Radcliffe and we learn that Aida is shutting down the Framework, so the clock is ticking.
Flash to Aida and the Russian in a warehouse talking about how the Darkholde will reshape the world. Enter Ghost Rider, who kicks some ass with his chain. Aida blasts him with electricity, burning Robbie into the Rider. He strikes back with the chain, but she ‘ports out.
Simmons tells Coulson that the Framework will cease to exist between 12-20 hours, and that there was no guarantee that Mack and Yo-Yo will survive to the end. Talbot calls to tell Coulson that he’s needed to represent at a hearing to report on the cluster f-bomb that SHIELD has become in the eyes of the public. Daisy shows up and advises that Robbie stole his Charger out of a SHIELD lock-up.
Daisy and Coulson visit Robbie who tells them that Aida’s new body is made of dark material, and that when her body was created, it tore a hole in the dark world and allowed Ghost Rider to return.
Aida and the Russian have a new ally, a new LMD, and Daisy vows to figure out who the new face is.
Inside the Framework, Yo-Yo comes face to face with Mack, who is evacuating the SHIELD base and commenting that people and supplies are going missing as the Framework randomly deletes things in its shut-down. Yo-Yo meets Hope and tells Radcliffe that when she meets Mack again, he will remember her.
Talbot at the meeting that Coulson couldn’t go to. Who does show up? The Russian. He tells the gathered assembly that the Darkholde can rid the world of the Inhumans and offers those present to be part of the new world order. When Talbot objects, someone who looks like Daisy walks in and shoots him in the head.
The real Daisy, Robbie, May and Coulson arrive to find the Russian and the new LMD still trying to persuade the group. Coulson shoots the LMDs, but they run off, leaving the Darkholde behind.
Daisy confronts Aida who reveals that the false Daisy was an LMD, and Aida wanted to see Daisy kill herself. Then Robbie melts the LMD with his chain.
Daisy and Ghost Rider make an amazing team as they take out the rest of the LMDs. Coulson cracks a joke.
The team realizes that Aida’s plan involves using the security footage of LMD Daisy killing Talbot in order to bring the reality of the Framework into the real world, using the collective fear of Inhumans to unite the people.
Coulson gets an idea to stop Aida when he realizes that she fears Ghost Rider.
Yo-Yo confronts Mack on a bus as they attempt to evacuate the city. She tells him who she is and forces the truth on him. People continue to disappear, and Mack seems willing to leave.
Daisy builds a backdoor into the Framework using her hacker skills, and while FitzSimmons are in the server room, Aida teleports in and threatens Simmons’ life.
Despite Fitz’s best efforts, Aida takes Simmons hostage, stabbing her slowly with a screwdriver. Fitz agrees to trade Simmons for the Darkholde, and Jemma tells Fitz that all of this was his fault, right before Aida electrocutes her, seemingly to her death. Aida tells him that she’s going to kill everyone that he loves in front of him.
She teleports to where Coulson is. He says he’s going to stop her, but she counters by saying only one person can do that (Ghost Rider) and he’s not there. Jemma shows up and shoots her with a machine gun, revealing that the dead Jemma was really an LMD decoy. Coulson steps up and grabs Aida by the arm. She says he can’t kill her, and Coulson agrees, saying, “But he can.” Then his face melts, replaced by the flaming skull.
After teleporting a few different places with Coulson as the Rider before teleporting back into the tunnel. Coulson fries her body, charring her to a husk.
Inside the Framework, Hope overhears Yo-Yo say that she isn’t real and that Mack is going to die if he stays. Mack says that he won’t return, that all he loves is in the Framework. Yo-Yo vows to stay, too, saying the same thing. Then Hope disappears, and Mack and Yo-Yo use Daisy’s backdoor to escape the machine.
Coulson tells Robbie that he’s glad the Rider held up his end of the deal and went back to Robbie. Robbie says that there was a reason the Rider made the deal and asked if Coulson would tell the others. Coulson said he would when it was time, that Robbie can’t tell them. Wonder what he’s hiding?
Robbie takes the Darkholde and opens a doorway to another world using his chain, saying he has to take the book somewhere it will be safe, then he tells Coulson that he doesn’t envy him.
Talbot is revealed to be alive, though in a coma.
Fitz decides that he’s going to take the blame, that everything — the LMDs, the Framework, Talbot getting shot, Aida — was all his fault. Daisy says that when she tried to do the same thing this time last year, it didn’t end well, and that the only way they make it is together. Coulson says that if the government is coming for them, they should get some food first.
Radcliffe, still in the Framework, sits down on the beach and watches the world end. As he goes to take a drink, he disappears and his glass drops into the sand.
The team is finishing a meal together in a diner when the power goes out. Soldiers and a mystery man in a suit, face hidden in shadows, bust in. The team surrenders, and the man pulls a device that freeze the heroes in place and he orders that they be taken.
The stinger scene reveals Coulson in what appears to be a detainment cell. He wakes up in bed, stands and crosses to a window that reveals he’s floating in space, and then says, “Enough sightseeing, time to get back to work,” grabs his jacket, and leaves the room.
Whew. That was tough. I’ve seen other sites do a recap like that before, and I did it as the episode aired to post immediately. It’s a deceptive amount of work.
Now, as for that stinger: Are we seeing SWORD?
SWORD is another comic book organization, much like SHIELD, but with a focus on space. Their base is in orbit. And while the taskforce is led by Abigail brand (who I think is part alien herself), it also employs other lifeforms.
It certainly does appear that the soldiers that took Coulson and crew were not the government agents they were expecting. Looks like the SHIELD agents have been taken into orbit and allowed to hideaway until all the craziness dies down.
Now, ABC announced today that The Inhumans would debut this September on Friday nights, air all 8 episodes, and then SHIELD’s fifth season would eventually claim its time slot (I can’t link to it, it was a press release). Perhaps the events of The Inhumans will tie directly into SHIELD’s 5th season? We do know that Attilan, the Inhumans home city, will not be on Earth in the show, and the comics have often featured the city on the moon.
I guess there is an argument to be made that the SHIELD agents, given the nature of their work with Inhumans and the public outcry mentioned of having an Inhuman attempt to assassinate a government official, have found sanctuary on Attilan itself. I don’t know how much stock to put into this theory, as the Inhuman showrunners have stated time and again that there are no plans to crossover between the shows at this time, but we have all been victims of smoke screens in the past.
I will say, I’m extremely disappointed not to have seen anything about Graviton in the latter part of the season. Of course, you may have seen a few months ago where Jed Whedon teased the villain’s appearance in the last few episodes of the season.
If you have thoughts, I’d love to hear them. Feel free to leave them in the comments below.