SHIELD Showrunner Says ‘Framework’ Characters Won’t Return

Many fans of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. were hoping that some favorite characters who returned for season four of the show might have a way to come back permanently. If you were among those fans, well, we have some bad news: the Framework arc is over and done, and according to showrunner Jed Whedon, so are the characters who showed up again briefly for those episodes.

Photo courtesy ScreenRant

As viewers will remember, the third and final ‘pod’ of the fourth season took place in the Framework, an alternate Matrix-style universe created by Radcliffe and Aida. This allowed the deceased Tripp (B.J. Britt) and Ward (Brett Dalton) to return to the show, along with the villainous Bakshi (Simon Kassianides). Fans started to speculate whether Aida’s creation of Project Looking Glass, a machine that allowed the replication of someone from the Framework in the real world, would allow people like Ward or Tripp to cross over as well.

When a fan asked Jed Whedon this question in EW‘s latest Spoiler Room special, ScreenRant reports that the showrunner gave a response that seems pretty clear-cut. He said that scheduling conflicts for the actors are major obstacles to another return, and that Ward, Tripp, and Bakshi will not be back. I was particularly thrilled to get the chance to see Tripp again, so that’s a bummer. But not particularly surprising, since Aida shut down the Framework in the season four finale. At least Tripp was awesome inside the Framework (of course), and even Ward got to be a “real” good guy in the end.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 5 will air starting in January of 2018 on ABC. As it stands, it’ll be the first season of the show that will take place completely without Grant Ward.