One episode to go!
Our episode starts deep underwater, at the abandoned Soviet submarine docking station under the Russian drilling platform where the team is being held. A bored LMD android of the Superior reads a log and talks to himself, when he sees the finale of last week’s episode play out: Aida grabs Fitz and teleports away.
In the room, Coulson complains that Aida has Inhuman powers now and May notes that she likely got them from HYDRA’s experiments on Inhumans. They talk about how they are having difficulty sifting what is real and what is from their “other life”, when the Superiorbot enters. He says that he had restrictions towards killing Coulson, but those have been lifted. May shoots him, but he doesn’t feel it and grabs Coulson, mocking him for no longer having a S.H.I.E.L.D. to hide behind. Coulson summons his holographic shield from his cybernetic arm, severing the android’s face, and remarks that they are good for more than just hiding behind. May is surprised that androids are a common thing now, when two more Superior androids appear. Coulson closes the door.
Aboard the S.H.I.E.L.D. jet Zephyr One, the crew is taking fire from the Superior, having sustained three hits. Prince and Piper tell Daisy, Yo-Yo and Simmons that they are running low of fuel and Daisy tells the pilot Davis to take evasive maneuvers while Simmons has Piper man the weapons. The rest of the team heads to the avionics bay to re-patch the weapons system, while Yo-Yo asked why Daisy didn’t save Mack. They make it to the bay onto to find it up in flames: There’s no repairing it now. Daisy asks who is firing at them.
Underwater, Coulson brings May up to speed on who the Superior is and how May was replaced as an android. She asks if he noticed she was an android, and he points out she is often robotic. She asks how long it took for him to notice, and is mock hurt when he doesn’t respond. He avoids the question saying a series of things led to him realizing, and she asks if things got messy. Messy is a relative term. She asks how things went with Eli and Robbie, and he explains how Robbie pulled him into hell with his flaming chain. May says after this, they are definitely drinking that bottle of Haig.
Coulson says that in order to keep Mack alive, they just have to keep him plugged in. Luckily, help is on the way.
In the air, Yo-Yo is extinguishing the fire and gets the cable Simmons instructed her to get for repairing the weapons. And they try to plug in the cable, Davis and Piper see the Superior flying right at them, kamikaze-style. Right before the plane hits, the system is back online and Piper is able to shoot the plane out of the sky. Everyone breathes a sign of relief, and they give Davis the coordinates. Simmons thinks of how Fitz must feel, waking from a nightmare where he was the monster.
On a beach, Fitz watches as Aida stands in the tide. She could never understand the feeling of the water or the warm sand, just emulate it. Fitz is sick to his stomach, and she convinces him that he did what he had to do, but it was just an illusion. He says that she was alongside him the whole time, encouraging him to carry out horrific actions in her name. She says that she had no choice, she just did what Radcliffe programmed. He accuses her of manipulating him. She said all she did was improve the relationship with his dad and introducing herself the first day of class in the academy. But she never after felt anything until today, and her heart is bursting. She gets to make her own choices, and chooses Fitz. She grabs him and teleports away.
Aboard the Zephyr, Daisy and Yo-Yo are arguing. Yo-Yo accuses Daisy of only bringing back the people that mattered to herself, not the ones that mattered to her friends. Daisy is offended, saying she knew Mack longer. She said that Mack refused to come back, but Yo-Yo doesn’t accept that answer – break his legs and throw him through the portal. Daisy screams that he didn’t want to leave Hope. Yo-Yo is shocked, because Hope is dead. Daisy says that in the Framework she’s ten, and bright, and adorable. Mack wouldn’t leave her for the world. Not even Yo-Yo, who he doesn’t remember. Yo-Yo resolves to go into the Framework to make him remember, but Daisy convinces her that is the worst idea ever.
Looking out the porthole, Coulson deduces exactly where they are somehow. May looks through the supplies and finds an emergency dose of epinephrine. Coulson doesn’t want her to take it, saying she will be unconscious after, but she says she to make amends for killing Mace and wants to take out the Superiors. She makes a joke about mouth-to-mouth, and Coulson is uncomfortable. She asks what happened with her android. Did she make a move on Coulson? You know, try to… kill him?
Yep. Kill him. That was it. It was messed up.
Aboard the Zephyr, Simmons asks why they didn’t touch down and refuel at any point. They show her the news, where good old Glenn Talbot is answering questions regarding a sabotage at S.H.I.E.L.D. and Director Jeffrey Mace’s death. They had no definite safe ground to return to.
Fitz is shocked to see their room from the Framework, and realizes that Aida designed it to ease the transition. She offers to decorate it together. She admits that sentimental value was hard for her to understand, but she gets it now. She says that she is excited to feel Fitz’s touch the way he felt it. He asks if she has empathy now, and can imagine how she made others feel and how her actions could be perceived. She claims she was only ruthless to win the heart of Fitz. She thought Alistair’s presence was what Fitz wanted, she was only programmed to make them all happy. Fitz asks who, and Aida realizes in horror this means the Superior too. Fitz asks what’s waiting for his friends when they got back.
The Superior androids override the door lock and make their way into the Framework chamber, where May and Coulson kick their asses. It’s great. Coulson electrocutes his Superior while May destroys her with a claw hammer before almost passing out. Coulson asks why they didn’t just flood the place – were they stalling?
Aboard the submarine, the Superior and his men finish loading things on board and he tells them to detach the submarine and launch the torpedoes.
Coulson and May try to find their way to the surface as May is struggling to stay awake, and Coulson admits he drank the bottle of Haig. May calls him a “piece of” before the torpedoes hit and water starts to rush in. May refuses to leave Mack, but Coulson says they need to get to the surface. They’ll come back for him.
In their room, Aida is having a panic attack. She is afraid that May and Coulson are in danger, but May was going to kill her and she’s afraid to die. Fitz calms her down and asks her to help.
As Mack stays strapped to the Framework, the chamber slowly fills up with water.
Aida teleports to the submarine and asks the Superior to call off his men. She said she realizes her error and demands he stops. He remarks that she finally learned irony, and points out that she doesn’t control him anymore. She watched as he took a hammer to the bones of the Patriot, and she says she couldn’t feel this then. He tells her that she doesn’t always get what she wants, and she still hasn’t experienced the thrill of killing. She threatens to kill him and he says his body is “designed only for killing” and tells her to go ahead – his real head is elsewhere and this body isn’t real.
A Superior android body designed only for killing piloted by a head? Where have I heard that before?
The torpedo fires, and Aida teleports back to their room, grabs Fitz, and teleports away.
Coulson and May make it to the top of the drilling platform to find the Zephyr team landing, and Yo-Yo asks where Mack is. Coulson says he is still down below and opens the elevator only to be hit with a blastback from the explosion. Simmons says the stairs are destroyed too and orders them off the platform now. Yo-Yo refuses to leave with Mack.
The water in Mack’s chamber rises past his head. Don’t do this Marvel.
As the team argue and try to hold Yo-Yo back, Aida teleports onto the Zephyr with Mack still strapped to the Framework. Fitz and Aida are ecstatic, but Simmons shoots Aida with an ICER. She then shoots Fitz and orders the team to get on board. They have Mack and they’re going home.
Aboard the Zephyr, Yo-Yo sadly observes Mack in the Framework. May is horrified to see the destroyed hangar of the Playground and asked who did it. Simmons said that LMD May did to stop LMD Coulson from coming after them. They make their way through the exploded base and find the containment room mostly in tact. They lock Fitz and Aida inside.
Coulson said they shouldn’t have come, it’s too easily detected. Simmons points out that they had to refuel and no other room could contain Aida’s teleportation because of Fitz’s power dampeners from Season 2.
They ask what to do about Aida, and Yo-Yo offers to chop off her head. Coulson tells her to slow down, Sweeney Todd. She’s human now and she saved Mack. No more killing. They ask what to do with Fitz. Simmons asks what they remember about their Framework lives, and they remember everything. She asks if it’s like a dream, and they said no – it’s like waking up from a life. Simmons leaves in tears. Daisy assesses that she’s afraid that he’s still who he was in the Framework. Yo-Yo corrects her: She’s afraid she loves someone else.
Fitz wakes up and sees Aida. He tells her that she did a good thing saving Mack, and Aida agrees that it was the best moment of her life. She wonders if they will ever forgive her, but Fitz says it’s him they will never forgive – and they shouldn’t. He wasn’t another man or a decoy, he actually did these terrible things. He was “programmed” to by a father figure; he’s just like Ward. As Simmons listens in, he wonders how Simmons can even look him in the eye. Fitz and Simmons both tear up as Fitz remembers the horrible memory of him shooting Agnes. Aida admits that she wanted to get closer to Fitz in the first place to understand why Fitz and Simmons loved each other – what they felt. Fitz concurs: Felt, past tense. Watching the monitor, Simmons breaks down crying as Fitz says that any future he had with Simmons is dead. Aida consoles Fitz and he tells her there isn’t room in his heart for two people. She says it’s sad but beautiful, and he is glad that she understands that his love will never fade.
She says that she fully understands that there is only room in his heart for…
Simmons cries tears of joy as Aida recoils at the word. He tells her that in the Framework she was his whole world, but… she screams at him saying that she clawed her way through that world to have emotions and starts beating Fitz.
Simmons runs to Coulson and says they need to extract Fitz, when Talbot stops them with a legion of army goons and orders them to stop their “robot C-3PO selves”.
Aida screams that she chose Fitz, and they will build a life together whether he wants to or not. She tries to teleport away and realizes she can’t. Fitz escapes and locks the door and Aida starts throwing a tantrum. Piper and Davis rescue Fitz and say that he’s lucky she can’t escape. Fitz tells them that that isn’t her only power. In the containment room, Aida angrily destroys the teleportation-dampeners with Lincoln’s electricity powers and teleports out of the room.
Well. That’s not good.
Coulson is failing to convince Talbot that he is not a robot. Talbot orders his men to take down the team if they so much as blink, and Coulson asks if that’s necessary. Not only is it necessary, it’s essential. He asks Coulson to explain why he found Mace washed up on shore, bones Quaked apart days after he found the base destroyed with robot bodies inside. Coulson says he can try.
Fitz tries to get everyone to leave the base and leave him alone when Talbot’s men enter and tell them to freeze Aida teleports in and kills a soldier, and Piper tells them that that was not them and not a friendly.
As Coulson finishes telling the story (which Talbot does not believe), they hear Talbot’s men being killed on the radio. One screams “She’s everywhere”, which Talbot thinks means Yo-Yo. May realizes Aida got out.
Prince drags Fitz to a room where he thinks they will be safe, but Fitz reiterates that Aida will find them. She teleports in and kills Prince. Piper shoots Aida and Davis enters, shooting Aida several times. Piper takes Fitz in the containment module to the hangar, as Fitz screams for him to stop; he can’t stop Aida. In the hangar, Fitz tells May to take off: As long as Aida can find them, she will never stop. Piper says that Davis had her down, but Fitz explains once again that you can’t stop her. He asks May for assistance, saying she is the only one who knows the full extent of the powers they tested at HYDRA. He tells Piper that Davis is already dead. Down below, Aida regenerates her many bullet wounds and kills Davis.
Rest in peace, Agent Davis. You were my favorite redshirt. Season one to present.
Talbot gets in a staring contest with Daisy, but they tell him that the Zephyr is leaving with or without him. They stand down. Talbot orders them to search the base for other bodies.
Simmons enters the containment module where Fitz is sitting sadly. He looks away from her, trying not to cry. She puts her hand on his shoulder and he breaks down crying. She begins to cry too. So do I. No one’s having fun. Luckily, the scene is over.
Aboard the Zephyr, Coulson wonders where Yo-Yo was during the standoff. A wave of realization washes over Daisy. They run to the Framework chamber to find her strapped next to Mack in the Framework.
An Inhuman in the Framework, that’s not a fun time.
The Superior is consoling Aida with alcohol and stubborn Russian sensibility. She can’t stand losing Fitz. He offers to make her feel something else. He offers to use the Darkhold to rebuild the world from the Framework, a world where Inhumans are hunted. She says his plan is flawed – she wants them to suffer. She starts to kiss him, demanding he make her feel something else. She climbs on top of him and starts bashing his head into the ground. Another Superior watches and asks if she feels better.
At the destroyed Playground, Talbot’s men give the all-clear. They leave. As we pan over the rubble, the sling-ring portal machine Aida wove from so long ago is still undamaged. Within warning, it fires up.
What’s this about?
Ghost Rider steps out of the portal and whips his flaming chain around himself, cracks his neck and walks away.
YEAH! YEAH! Aida, get ready to pay for your sins! Feel the fires of HELL! Oh, the team now stands a chance. This got cool.
In the Framework, Yo-Yo wakes up and finds herself strapped to a gurney in what appears to be the middle of a riot. That didn’t work out. She screams.
What an episode. It felt more like a collection of scenes than a cohesive story, but they were a cool collection of scenes and set up for the endgame next episode. I give it an 8/10 – 7.5 for formatting but 8.5 for Ghost Rider so we balance out.
Prepare for the finale next week before we head into the (newly announced) Season 5!