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The Return Recap

Beneath the Superior's oil rig in the Baltic, the Superior is reading the Darkhold when he hears Aida arrive. He goes in and listens as Aida teleports away with Fitz. Coulson and Melinda realize that Aida has Inhuman powers now, and try to process their real lives with their lives in the Framework. The Superior tells them that they're only alive because he had restrictions on him, and the restrictions have just been lifted. Melinda shoots the Superior, but the bullet has no effect and he quickly disarms her and knocks her to floor. The Superior then pins Coulson to the wall, and he summons his force shield and slices off the Superior's head, revealing that he's an LMD. Two more Superiors are in the next room, and Coulson quickly seals the door to keep them out.

Yo-Yo and her team in the Zephyr tell Jemma and Daisy that they've taken three hits, and they had to pull the plug on everything to keep the Framework running for them. The Superior's fighters continue firing, and Yo-Yo goes with Jemma to the avionics bay. Yo-Yo demands to know what happened to Mack, and they come to a fire cutting them off.

Coulson tells Melinda what's been going on, including the fact that she was replaced by an LMD. Melinda is offended when she realizes that Coulson took a while to figure out the LMD was a LMD. He seals the door and says that Mack has to stay put and they can't wake him up. They figure that they have to take control of the base, and Coulson figures that help is on the way.

On the Zephyr, Yo-Yo speeds in, puts out the fire, and gets the power cable Jemma needs. They discover that the cable won't quite reach, and meanwhile Davis at the controls spot a fighter coming in at them. Jemma hooks up the power just in time, acting the defensive fields, and the fighter blows up against them, They then set course for the oil rig, and Jemma figures that Fitz is in the worst shape of all of them.

Fitz finds himself and Aida on a beach. She enjoys the ocean and the sand on her feet, and then apologizes to Fitz for what he's going through. Aida tells him that he did what he had to do to survive the Framework, but assures him that it was a simulation created by Holden. Fitz remembers that Aida was in the Framework and she claims that she was a slave programmed to make the adjustment that Holden required. He insists that she manipulated him, but Aida tells him that the only changes she made in Fitz's life was reintroducing him to Alistair and putting herself in his life. She met him at the academy in the Framework, but didn't feel anything until she gained her human body. Aida takes Fitz's hand, says that she chooses him, and teleports them both away.

The Zephyr flies to the oil rig, and Daisy tells Yo-Yo that Mack didn't want to leave Hope. Yo-Yo knows about Hope and says that she's dead, and Daisy explains that in the Framework Hope is still alive. She points out that Mack didn't remember Yo-Yo, and Yo-Yo prepares to go into the Framework after Mack. Daisy insists that they need Yo-Yo there making sure that Mack stays alive.

Coulson works out where they are from his memories of the Framework. Melinda looks at the medical supplies, including epinephrine, and figures that it would give her enough adrenaline to take on the Superior LMDs. Coulson refuses to let Melinda endanger herself, but Melinda says that Jeffrey died and she has to take one for the team. When Melinda jokingly says that Coulson can give her mouth-to-mouth if she passes out, Coulson reacts and she wonders what's up. Coulson finally claims that the LMD tried to kill him, and Melinda tells him to keep her alive.

The agents tell Jemma that they can't go any faster, and shows her and Daisy Talbot on the news, saying that SHIELD headquarters were blown up and Daisy may have been responsible. Talbot tells the reporters that they're still hunting for the LMDs and find out who is responsible.

Aida takes Fitz to Holden's penthouse, which was her penthouse in the Framework. She suggests that they decorate it together, then admits that it was a bad idea and she's overwhelmed by her new feelings. Aida starts to touch Fitz's shoulder, and Fitz asks her if she has empathy. She says that she does, and Fitz tells her that her actions could be perceived as ruthless. Aida tells him that she was ruthless to acquire the man she loved. She realizes that she made a mistake bringing Alistair into Fitz's Framework existence, and says that she was programmed to make them all happy. Fitz wonders who else was on the list, and what the Superior has planned for his friends.

The Superior LMDs break into the medbay, and Melinda and Coulson attack them. Melinda adrenaline boost lets her match their strength, Coulson fights another one and hits it with a steel bar, but it shrugs off the blows and disarms him. When the LMD steps into a puddle of water, Coulson tosses a power cable into the water and short circuits it. Meanwhile, Melinda defeats her opponent and then collapses. They both figure that the LMDs were stalling.

The Superior tells his men to launch the submarine and then fire its torpedoes at the rig, destroying it.

Coulson drags Melinda along trying to find a way to the surface, and admits that he wasn't honest with her about what happened. The torpedo hits and water floods in, and Coulson tells Melinda that they'll get to the surface and then he'll come back for Mack.

Aida is overwhelmed by the information, and Fitz says that they have to rescue his friends. She remembers Melinda threatening her with a gun, and says that she's afraid to die. Aida wonders if she can be loved, and Fitz tells her to make her own choice now and do the right thing. She focuses on empathy, not fear, and Fitz begs her to save the others.

Water floods into the medbay, rising up around the comatose Mack.

A door closes, sealing Coulson and Mack in.

Aida teleports into the sub and confronts the Superior. She tells him to leave the SHIELD agents alone and doesn't want to hurt anyone else. The Superior tells her that she's suffering from regret, and points out that she no longer controls him. He tells her that she's free to do whatever she wants, and he plans to do the same thing. The Superior reminds her that she stood by as he took a hammer to Jeffrey's corpse, and she can't process her new emotions. Aida slams him against the wall and threatens to kill him, and the Superior points out that she can destroy the body but his head is elsewhere and controlling his other bodies. After a moment, Aida teleports back to the penthouse, grabs Fitz, and then teleports away again.

Coulson reaches the surface and finds the others waiting. He hands Melinda over and then he, Yo-Yo, and Daisy go to the elevator. A fireball fills it, and Jemma warns that they have to get off the rig. Yo-Yo refuses to abandon Mac.

The water rises up over Mack's head. Aida finds him and teleports him and Fitz to the Zephyr. As Fitz tells her that she did it, Jemma knocks her out and then Fitz. She tells Coulson that they have Mack, and the trio on the rig escape in the containment module just as the rig goes down.

The team arrives at the base and find it blown up from when the Melinda LMD blew it up to stop them from coming after it. They land and go inside, and Jemma lowers I the containment module with the unconscious Fitz and Aida. Yo-Yo offers to cut off Aida's hand, and Coulson points out that she's real now. Jemma doesn't believe it, but Melinda insists that there's no more killing. They wonder what to do with Fitz, and Jemma asks Coulson and Melinda if they remember what happened to them in the Framework. Melinda says that they had full lives there, and Jemma wonders if it feels as real to them as their real lives. She walks off, and Daisy explains that Jemma is afraid Fitz will be the same person he was in the Framework. Yo-Yo figures that Jemma is afraid that Fitz loves someone else.

Fitz wakes up and finds Aida looking at a simulated view. She says that it's ironic now that she's alive and can tell the difference. Fitz thanks her for saving Mack, and Aida tells him that it was the best moment of her life. She wonders if they can ever forgive her, and Fitz tells her that they may forgive her but not him. Jemma watches on the monitor as Fitz says that he did the things in the Framework. He figures that he's just like Ward and sits down, despondent. He wonders how Jemma can stomach the memory of him shooting a woman. As Jemma watches and cries, Aida tells Fitz that she wanted to get closer to him to try and understand what Fitz and Jemma felt for each other. Now she understands, and Fitz says that his future with Jemma is dead. Aida says that she understands how deeply he loves Jemma, and it's sad but beautiful. She realizes that Fitz is talking about Jemma and screams at him that she clawed at the chance for freedom and love.

Jemma tells the others that she has to get Fitz out, just as the soldiers break in. Talbot arrives and figures that they're the LMDs.

Aida insists that Fitz must choose her and they'll build a life together. She tries to teleport out but discovers that the containment cell is warded against her powers.

Fitz ducks into the outer room and seals the door, and Davis and the others get her out. Fitz warns them that teleportation isn't Aida's only power, as she uses Lincoln's electrical powers to destroy the dampers and teleport away.

Coulson tells Talbot that they're not robots. Talbot doesn't believe them, and says that he found Jeffrey's body with his bones quaked apart. There are twelve SHIELD agents in critical and more dead. Coulson offers to try and explain it.

Fitz tells the agents to abandon him, warning that Aida can't be stopped. Some of Talbot's soldiers find them, and Aida teleports in and kills one with his own gun before teleporting away.

As Coulson tells Talbot what happened, the squad radios in saying that Aida is everywhere. Melinda realizes that Aida got out.

Agent Prince gets Fitz down a corridor, and Aida teleports in and kills him. Davis arrives and shoots Aida in the chest, and Piper drags Fitz into the containment module while Davis goes back after Aida. Fitz warns that Aida can't be stopped, and sees Melinda. He tells her about the other Inhumans they tested, and Melinda runs off. When the soldiers prepare to shoot her, Daisy threatens to quake them.

Fitz tells Piper that Davis is already dead.

Aida reactivates, heals her wounds, and attacks Davis.

Coulson and Daisy tell Talbot that they're leaving on the Zephyr. After a moment, Talbot orders his men to fall back. They go to the hanger where Melinda is lifting off in the Zephyr.

Jemma visits Fitz in the module and sits down next to him. She gently hugs him and he breaks into tears.

As Daisy and Coulson head for the hanger, Coulson wonders where Yo-Yo was. Daisy realizes what she's done and runs back to the medbay. Yo-Yo has hooked herself up into the Framework with Mack.

Aida teleports to the Superior, who says that she's suffering from heartbreak. He offers her some vodka, and she gulps it down. Aida then says that to be human is to suffer, and the Superior tells her that there are things beyond the universe and Aida may be one of them. Aida screams that she doesn't want the suffering, and the Superior can help her feel something else. He plans to rebuild the world to match the one in the Framework. Aida points out that his plan is flawed and takes another drink, and says that she wants them to suffer. She then tells the Superior to make her feel something else and kisses him. She throws him to the floor and then beats his skull in. Another Superior LMD arrives and asks if she feels better.

The soldiers tell Talbot that they lost three men and the place is empty. He orders them to clear out and leaves. Behind him, the portal machinery activates and Ghost Rider comes through.

Yo-Yo finds herself strapped to a chair in the middle of a devastated room, and screams in despair.

Written by Gadfly on May 10, 2017

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