REVIEW: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S4E21 – The Return

Last week might have been a pretty wild ride, but this week’s ep was even more intense. Which is fitting for the penultimate outing in a season.

Maybe you shouldn’t have reminded him about his shield arm, Russian robot dude.

Let’s start with this week’s obvious star: Mallory Jansen as the newly-born “human” (Inhuman?) Ophelia. Wow. Jansen continues to amaze with her range. I had thought Ophelia was going to be selfishly evil right from the start – but to have her begin from a place of innocence and joy makes her storyline one hundred percent more interesting. (But of course the show wouldn’t go the easy route, since this was written by Maurissa Tancharoen and Jed Whedon). And now we get to anticipate what heartbroken, crazy, terrifying, emotionally-a-baby Ophelia does to get her revenge. It’s not going to be pretty.

Fitz was also amazing. He’s always been pretty empathetic, and that was a very good thing for Mack and the rest of the team this week. Of course, his empathy failed juuuust a little bit when he started to talk to Ophelia about Jemma. Will he be able to remind her how good “the best moment in [her] life” felt, when she saved Mack? Will it make a difference? Seems a bit unlikely. I do wonder just how many Inhuman powers – and which ones – she has.

My heart broke for Jemma, watching Fitz and Ophelia’s interactions after knocking them both out. Oh, Jemma. Also the scene before that was terrific and powerful, when she’s talking to the whole team about the Framework vs. reality. But of course, my favorite scene was her taking Fitz into her arms as they both cried. They both really, really needed that.

Now for May and Coulson. I know I’ve said it before, but I just love them. May on epinephrine, fighting the Russian(s), was pretty darn badass. I’m glad Coulson at least started to tell her about everything she missed while she was gone, too. That’s going to continue to be awkward. I loved the return of the SHIELD shield, which is definitely not only good for hiding behind. I also loved Coulson railing, “She has Inhuman powers now? Can we get a break, please?!” Sorry, Phil – no break yet, apparently. At least not until the end of the episode.

General Talbot continues to have spectacular(ly bad) timing. I mean, we can all see things from his POV and understand why he’s doing them, but you’d think he’d learn that his world is bigger than he can easily comprehend. Oh well. Loved the Daisy/Talbot faceoff, though.

Surprise! Guess who’s back.

It was nice to see more of Elena this week, and good that she understood why Mack didn’t come back. But Yo-Yo, the Framework sure doesn’t look like it’s improved any since most everyone else real left. No idea how she’s going to get out of that.

And now for that ending: so glad Ghost Rider is back! Not a moment too soon. After all, Aida/Ophelia has a soul now, and she needs to pay for her sins. Also, I kind of hope he can get rid of the Darkhold, and maybe the Superior, too. Maybe there are other Capitalized Things he could take out while he’s at it.

See you all next week for the finale – and let’s all cross our fingers for a season five announcement soon!