Aida Learns To Handle Human Emotions With Mixed Results In Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s “The Return”

Credit: Jennifer Clasen/ABC

If you thought things were going to slow down once we got back to the real world, think again. If possible, things are even crazier out of the Framework than in it. For one thing, Aida now has human emotions to go with her human body. And boy is she in for some major mood swings. 

Coulson and May are left alone to fight off an apparently unending horde of Ivanov’s android clones. They barricade themselves in the Framework room and Coulson admits to very few and not all the important details of his interaction with May’s android duplicate. He also updates her on the end to the Ghost Rider situation (good God, the real May was gone for a long time!) and everything’s that happened since.

After evading Ivanov’s men in the air, the crew aboard the Zephyr head to pick up the rest of their team. Along the way, YoYo argues with Daisy about why she didn’t force Mack to return to the real world. When Daisy tells her that Hope is alive in the Framework, YoYo sadly concedes. But she’s determined to enter the Framework herself and convince Mack to come back.

Fitz is having a very different “define the relationship” moment with Aida (yep, still calling her that even if she’s now “Ophelia”). While she’s over the moon at feeling everything for the first time, he’s still overwhelmed by his actions in the Framework. She tells him they were both acting on programming but he rightfully points out she manipulated him. In learning what human emotions are actually like, Aida shares Fitz’s panic upon realizing she’d promised Ivanov he could kill the agents once she was human. Fitz helps Aida understand compassion and urges her to use her newfound free will to make some right choices for a change.

Now would be a good time to try that out. Although May and Coulson deftly handle all of the Ivanovs, two torpedos are tearing the rig apart. They’re forced to leave Mack hooked into the Framework and head to the surface. The Zephyr has just landed and YoYo wants to go back down to rescue Mack, but it’s too late. That’s when Aida teleports herself, Fitz, and Mack aboard the Zephyr. Simmons immediately stuns them and gathers the rest of her team on board.

The Zephyr lands at HQ, which is in ruins from robot!May’s bomb, and Fitz and Aida are put into a containment module that will prevent her from teleporting. The team discusses whether Aida’s heroics mean she has changed and only Simmons is opposed. But, as YoYo points out, it’s really her fear that Fitz is still in love with Aida that’s clouding her judgment. She watches the pair on the video feed. Fitz likens himself to Ward, which only makes him dissolve further into guilt and self-loathing for his behavior in the digital world.

He believes Simmons will never forgive him and Aida takes that as a cue to make her move. Then Fitz says he only has room in his heart for one woman… and it’s always going to be Jemma Simmons. Hell yeah it is! Aida goes berserk. Everything she’s done was to make herself real and to feel love and now Fitz is telling her he loves another woman. Simmons tries to get Fitz out ASAP but General Talbot arrives with some soldiers demanding answers. Coulson provides them and May’s task force is able to rescue Fitz while Aida displays some electric powers to escape the module. She kills everyone on the task force and some of Talbot’s men before Fitz and Piper are able to warn the rest of the team and the Zephyr safely takes off.

It seems Hydra’s experiments on Inhumans in the Framework weren’t just for evil kicks. They were picking out powers for Aida to have in the real world. According to Fitz, she can’t be stopped. Neither can Simmons’ love for him. Alone in the containment module, she holds him as he cries.

In all the confusion and panic, no one noticed YoYo plug herself into the Framework and now it’s too late. She’s in and she wakes up strapped to a table in a burning room. Speaking of burning, as Talbot’s men leave the destroyed S.H.I.E.L.D. facility, Ghost Rider steps through the Darkhold portal.

Field Notes

Phil Coulson’s panic face is even more beautiful than I ever imagined.

May was pissed he drank their Scotch? Oh just you wait, Melinda…

Why are FitzSimmons always crying? Can we get some sustainable happiness please?!

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Stephanie Coats

Stephanie Coats is the Lead Events Editor at 4 Your Excitement. She has a B.A. from Hope International University and an undying passion for all things geeky. In addition to 4YE, she also writes for, and works full-time as a communications coordinator.

You can follow her on Twitter for nerdy posts about Doctor Who, Agent Carter, Agents of SHIELD, Harry Potter and more.
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