Ophelia learns to handle her emotions, and May gets caught up on what she’s missed, while fighting off Russian Terminators.
Returning from their second life in the Framework, the agents are thrust into the dangers of the real world. Up in the air, Simmons, Daisy, and Yo-Yo try to get the Zephyr combat ready to survive the Russian’s air strike. Down below the sea, May and Coulson fight off wave after wave of Anton Ivanov’s LMD terminators, while catching May up on everything that has happened since she was first taken by Radcliffe and Aida.
Using her new Inhuman abilities given to her new body from her study in the Framework, Ophelia teleports herself and Fittz to a quiet location to talk. While experiencing life as only a living human could, Fittz does his best to guide her new emotions to find empathy. Seeing the pain she caused everyone under Radcliffe’s programming, Ophelia helps to save the rest of the agents from their current perils, including Mack, still connected to the Framework, and bringing them all aboard the Zephyr. Returning to a destroyed base to refuel and gather their bearings, Ophelia becomes distraught to learn that Fittz still loves Simmons, despite their time in the Framework. The control of her emotions still in its infancy, this sends her into a murderous outrage, using the full range of her new powers.
Since they’ve been gone, Gen. Talbot has investigated the remains of the SHIELD base, as well as discovering the discarded body of Director Mace. Finally confronting Coulson in his usual style, at gunpoint, he begins to get the answers he’s been looking for before Ophelia earns his attention. Warned by Fittz that she can’t be stopped, Coulson and the agents escape aboard the Zephyr, leaving Talbot to secure the base. Enraged at her rejection, Ophelia rejoins Ivanov and begins her plan to make SHIELD suffer.
Where to begin reviewing the action and revelation packed episode of “The Return?” Having the real May back in action, though slightly atrophied, and fighting alongside the real Coulson, is the first sign that, though in danger, things are getting back to normal after the Framework. Their natural chemistry as partners feels more natural than the “Philinda” romance that was blossoming, Barely awake and already focused on getting back into the fight, and not their unrequited romance, that more and more seems to be an assumption from Radcliffe rather than anything real.
But, their return to the real world doesn’t take away the feeling of being back in the beginning that we had during their time in the Framework. Their current predicament harkens back to season one, with talbot hunting them, and no safe harbor. With Ophelia stronger than ever, even if the receive assistance from old allies, what will be the state of SHIELD at the end of this fight?