[Spoilers ahead for those not caught up on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.]
They may be out of the Framework, but the trouble is far from over for the heroes of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. All season long, S.H.I.E.L.D. has been building to its finale by introducing a number of comic book elements like the Darkhold and LMDs, alongside the creation of the Framework. In doing so, they've been able to explore alternate paths for our characters, bring back old friends and foes, and test the resolve of the various relationships that have built up over the years. With this week's episode ('Farewell, Cruel World!'), most of the agents finally escaped the virtual world, but they're still surrounded by threats.
Next week's episode, 'The Return' sees AIDA's master plan finally brought to light as the agents struggle to escape an underwater oil drilling platform, full of mercenaries and at least one killer robot. And if that weren't bad enough, they'll still have to watch over the body of Mack, who's staying inside the Framework for the time being. In between all of that chaos, there's still plenty of emotional loose ends to tie up, including the coupling of Phil Coulson and Melinda May.
Marvel/ABC have released a clip for next week's episode, teasing some of the tension between Phil and May as they try to figure out how to escape their watery prison. While their working relationship has always been strong, a romantic one has grown over the years. It finally began to blossom this season, but sadly most of Coulson's interactions have been with May's LMD. Of course, he doesn't seem keen on telling her that, judging by the clip.
Like Fitz and Simmons, S.H.I.E.L.D. seems determined to not let Coulson and May happily be in a relationship. The former pair, meanwhile, will undergo some trials of their own given Fitz's actions in the Framework. Only Bobbi and Hunter seemed to be able to make it work—when they weren't fighting, at least—but it doesn't seem as though they will be returning to S.H.I.E.L.D., anytime soon.
Whatever happens next week, the finale will finally lend our heroes a helping hand - as Ghost Rider makes his long-awaited return to the series. Given the abilities that AIDA gained from Project Looking Glass, the S.H.I.E.LD. team will certainly need all the help they can get. And if anyone knows how to combat the powers of the Darkhold, it's Ghost Rider.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. continues with ‘The Return’ May 9th on ABC.