The Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 4 Finale Delivers Big Time

Photo Credit: ABC

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 4 Finale Plot Summary:

Ghost Rider (Gabriel Luna) returns to help the team defeat Aida (Mallory Jansen). Meanwhile, Yo-Yo (Natalia Cordova-Buckley) makes a last-ditch effort to save Mack (Henry Simmons) from the doomed Framework.

Call Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. the comeback kid, because it’s made a complete turnaround. On the brink of cancellation, the show managed to squeak by and get renewed by ABC. And to make the victory even sweeter, the show is as good as it’s ever been. I’ve said before that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. had never quite stuck the landings with its season finales, but that streak is over. “World’s End” is easily the best finale the series has ever had.

Bringing back Ghost Rider could have felt shoehorned, but the finale ties it to Aida using the Darkhold, so it’s all good. Speaking of Aida, she’s still suffering from emotional overload in this episode. Everything I said about her last week still applies. She’s a menacing villainess. Her brutality made my jaw drop. But surprise! The team switches Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) with an LMD. I’m assuming it was somewhere on the base so it could take the real Simmons’ place. And surprise #2! Coulson (Clark Gregg) is carrying the Spirit of Vengeance. Despite her brutality, it was terrifying to see the Spirit burn Aida away.

While Ghost Rider and Aida provide the bulk of the action, most of the emotion doesn’t revolve around Aida. Mack and Hope (Jordan Rivera) fill that role this week. Watching Hope learn the truth killed me inside, as did seeing her disappear. The finale wisely shelves everything about the totalitarian state and focuses on an eerie apocalypse scenario. It’s like watching the rapture. In the end, Radcliffe (John Hannah) is left to wallow in sorrow on the beach, only to be cut off midsentence. It’s the perfect way to bring the Framework arc to a close.

We’re fortunate that this isn’t the series finale, because it would’ve been a major bummer to see our heroes locked away in a space prison, or wherever they are. It’s quite the ingenious plan by Aida, framing them and all. Who knows what will happen next? It seems that Coulson will have to eventually join Ghost Rider, since he apparently makes a deal with the Spirit.

“World’s End” gives us the most closure we’ve ever gotten in a finale. I feel satisfied with almost all of the plot points. It does try to cover Daisy (Chloe Bennet) going rogue at the last minute and I admit that’s one thing that was never fleshed out enough. It’s too late now. But hey, not only does the finale give the Aida storyline a proper finish, it also gives Robbie Reyes a better sendoff than before.

ABC is moving Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. to Fridays next season, which all but guarantees that the fifth season will be the last. Here’s hoping we get a good sendoff for the series as a whole.

RATING: 9.5 OUT OF 10 (AMAZING)

Aaron Sarnecky is The Pop Break’s Television Editor and covers Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., among other things. He is a TV/Film grad of Rowan University and the fraternal twin of staff writer Josh Sarnecky. He probably remembers that show you forgot existed.