Doesn’t it feel like season four has been decades long? We started out so long ago with vigilante Daisy and Ghost Rider and then moved on to Aida and the LMD threat. We even took a detour into an alternate world. It’s not hard to see why season four has been one of the absolute best ever for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. And now we come to the end, where everything ties together and we’re left, as usual, eagerly awaiting what comes next.
First we have to make it through this season. At least Ghost Rider is back to help out. Robbie heads straight for Aida and the Darkhold and his firepower makes easy work of her robot lackeys. He can even hurt Aida permanently. Because she and Ghost Rider are “made” from the same dark material, the wounds he inflicts she’s unable to heal. That’s good news since we’re looking to kill her once and for all. It’s only by using her teleportation powers that Aida is able to escape.
S.H.I.E.L.D. tracks Robbie’s location and picks him up. He explains he was able to get out of the dimension he was in because Aida made a body for herself. Apparently, that was a step too far for Ghost Rider because as soon as she did it, a portal opened up and Robbie was immediately drawn to her.
In trying to figure out Aida’s ultimate plan, Coulson realizes she’s placed an LMD at the inquest Talbot has called regarding S.H.I.E.L.D. One of the Russian clones is trying to persuade everyone the Darkhold is the answer to the question, “How do you solve a problem like S.H.I.E.L.D.?” That’s when a Daisy LMD storms in and shoots Talbot in the head. He somehow survives and the real Daisy along with her team arrives on the scene to secure the Darkhold. Quake and Ghost Rider make a fantastic team yet again as they destroy all of the androids on site.
Surveillance footage of a Daisy bot shooting a general is pretty damaging to S.H.I.E.L.D.’s reputation and Aida knows it. She’s trying to create the same fascist regime from the Framework, using this incident in place of the Cambridge one. Ghost Rider is pretty desperate to get ahold of Aida but every time she sees him, she teleports away. That gives Coulson an idea and orders they return to HQ.
The true root of Aida’s emotional turmoil is FitzSimmons and their undying love for one another. So she teleports in on them and holds Simmons at knife point (actually I think it’s a screwdriver but you know). Fitz begs for Aida to tap into that momentary good side of hers and then promises he’ll go away with her and/or lead her to the Darkhold; just don’t hurt Simmons. But Aida is 1000% done with being manipulated. She electrocutes Simmons to death and teleports away to find Coulson and the Darkhold.
He’s repairing the Darkhold portal when she finds him. She hardly has time to sneer at him before the real Jemma Simmons unloads several bullets into Aida. It has no lasting effect but Simmons has been wanting to do it for ages and it was super satisfying. Only Ghost Rider can harm Aida properly and Robbie isn’t around. But that doesn’t mean the Rider isn’t. Coulson transforms in Ghost Rider, chaining Aida up and clinging to her as she tries to teleport away. They land back where they started and he burns her to ashes for good.
Of course, Aida was not the only pressing problem for our team. YoYo has gone into the Framework to save Mack and she has no exit plan or plan at all really. And the Framework is starting to shut down. From the other side, Daisy, Fitz, and Simmons are doing everything they can to help, including leading Radcliffe to YoYo. Although he takes her to Mack and warns her that Mack doesn’t know her in this world, YoYo is still crushed when her love doesn’t immediately snap to.
Mack is organizing a mass exodus but there’s really nowhere for them to go. He eventually takes Hope home. Only them, YoYo and Radcliffe are left in the Framework and only because of Daisy’s computer skills on the other side. She places a door right there for them but Mack doesn’t want to leave his daughter. YoYo decides not to leave Mack. When Hope also vanishes, she’s there to hold him as he cries and then to bring him home properly. They tearfully awake to an equally tearful Daisy.
The team regroups and says goodbye to Robbie again. He can now create his own portals and does so to take the Darkhold somewhere safe. Before he leaves he reminds Coulson’s there’s a price for having bonded with the Rider, which the other man acknowledges but neither say what it is. The government closing in on them, Fitz volunteers to shoulder the blame for Aida and everything else solo. No one agrees to that and Daisy uses her own experience trying to do just that to explain why it won’t work and convinces Fitz to stick with the team.
They go out for a team meal but before they get to dessert, agents surround them. A device freezes the team in place and next we know, Coulson wakes up in outer space. Who’s ready for a space adventure?
After being a major thorn in S.H.I.E.L.D.’s side for much of his run, Radcliffe finishes by being a hero and a help and meets his end sitting on a beach in the Framework as it disappears around him.
Robbie coming back for one episode made me wish even more that he would become a regular part of the crew. They need a man of his particular skills.
Coulson and May agree to take a few steps back after this mission and then re-evaluate their relationship. They both admit the feelings he felt when he was drinking their Scotch with LMD May were based in truth. So I guess that’s something. But would it have killed them to just kiss already??
Coulson to May: “We’re gonna need another bottle to explain what happened with that bottle.”