“The Return” Plot Summary:
Ivanov (Zach McGowan) makes a new effort to enact his vengeance on Coulson (Clark Gregg) while Aida (Mallory Jansen) comes to grips with her human emotions.
Aida isn’t the only emotional one this week. Man, “The Return” draws out some really sad feelings. I have to give the writers credit. There didn’t seem like a lot of room for growth once Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) and Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) got together. That sure isn’t the case.
We’re seeing a reversal of sorts of Jemma’s romance with the astronaut last season, except it goes further than that. Not only does Fitz have to grapple with his relationship with Aida, but also the choices he made in the Framework. It’s heartbreaking to see him to realize he’s just like Ward (Brett Dalton). Don’t forget that Fitz was mentally damaged for a time because of him.
Aida is going through even more though. Can you imagine what it would be like to all of a sudden have all the emotions we take for granted? We’re taught to manage them as we mature, so it would definitely be traumatic. And Radcliffe (John Hannah) didn’t exactly give Aida a lot of good moral guidance. Mallory Jansen is going to have tons of material for her résumé when her time on the show is over. We’ve seen her detached, overwhelmed, frightening, etc. And I do mean frightening. Her blow-up on Fitz is intense.
Something that I realized when watching this episode is that I don’t remember who any of the minor characters are. We spent so many episodes in the Framework that I forgot what exactly the situation was beforehand. There was also that sizable hiatus. It doesn’t matter. It’s more an observation. Of course, we aren’t done with the Framework, since Yo-Yo (Natalia Cordova-Buckley) is in now. I’m a little hesitant on what’s going to happen inside, but that’s for next week.
Even with the all the heavy stuff, this episode finds time for some humor. I enjoyed how Coulson explained what happened while May (Ming-Na Wen) was captive. It seems like a humorous throwaway conversation, but it turns out it’s not. Ghost Rider (Gabriel Luna) is back! They’re really pulling out all the stops for this finale.
It might already be sacrilegious to say it, but this episode ties “Self Control” as the best episode of the series. Strap in, because next week’s finale is going to be epic.