The Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. have gone on winter vacation.
One hopes that Mack and Yo-Yo will find some time to go on some nice, relatively normal dates; that Simmons and Fitz will relax, unpack and decorate their new digs; and that Daisy will go to a shopping mall and buy some (preferably not Nineties grunge) new clothes without getting accosted by the authorities.
Sounds nice, right? However, for the rest of us, it's looking like a long bleak winter without Coulson and Company, who won't be back on our screens until January 10, 2017.
Well, it's really only a month, but it feels like a long time after a midseason finale that both satisfied fans and left us wanting more.
On Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 4 Episode 8, the Ghost Rider storyline came to a close, though not a firmly locked door close. More of a tentatively closed door that you've secretly left slightly open because you forgot your keys and don't want to get locked out in the rain.
Robbie Reyes seemingly disappeared in a burst of flame, sacrificing himself to have revenge on his evil Uncle Eli (and save the world, of course).
But considering the overwhelmingly positive reception the character – and Gabriel Luna's surprisingly sensitive and multifaceted portrayal – received, one images that Coulson is right. We haven't seen the last of him.
Eli: I can create a city out of nothing. I can cover it in volcanic rock. Robbie, I am becoming a god.
Robbie: You better be. Because the devil is coming for you.
In the meantime, the show has set up a new storyline for the new year, and surprise, surprise: It is related to Life Model Decoys. Specifically, our friend Aida, who is not really a friend at all.
Yes, unfortunately, Aida takes after her ancestor, Ultron, who received a shout-out from Director Mace in this episode that cracked me up. Mostly because no, no one really does remember Ultron. For good reason.
Okay, forget about the fact that I was mildly attracted to her. That totally goes against the Sekovia Accords. Doesn't anyone remember Ultron?Director Mace [on Aida]
Even though her entire storyline seemed like filler at the beginning of this season, I was actually growing to like Aida and her daffy, deadpan way of speaking; then again, I'm not fond of actual people, so it makes sense that I would welcome our android overlords with far too open of arms.
I'm disappointed that Aida's going to be using the powers of the Darkhold for bad, but not really surprised. The show has been foreshadowing Aida's inevitable turn to the dark side ever since she was first introduced.
It's all right, Agent Simmons, I won't bleed out. The synthetic blood is mostly for appearances' sake.Aida
Hopefully, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will handle the weird, grayish morality of L.M.D.s better than Avengers: Age of Ultron did. (Age of who now?)
Plus, now that Aida has seemingly created a L.M.D. May – I'm assuming that was the brain she was constructing at the end of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 4 Episode 7, and the person who was having a drink with Coulson at the end of this episode – then we all know what the next step is, right?
It's L.M.D. Grant Ward. He's coming back. I called it.
That's the most ridiculous idea I've heard all day, and I've had a long day.Mack
Two long-awaited events occurred on "The Laws of Inferno Dynamics." First, Mack finally admitted his feelings for Yo-Yo – and sealed his declaration with the kind of passionate kiss we all knew these two had in them.
Yo-Yo is possibly my favorite character on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.; I love the way she stands up for herself and she believes in, even if it is against S.H.I.E.L.D. policy. She's a fiery, strong woman without being a cliched "strong woman."
And she has great chemistry with Mack, who on the surface actually seems like the softer, more sensitive one of the two – even if he happens to carry a shotgun axe.
I'm hoping that Yo-Yo can help Mack work through the trauma of his experience as Ghost Rider and come out stronger. We'll just have to wait and see.
Director Mace: In case you haven't noticed, Phil, we're not a team that trusts. We're not a team at all.
Coulson: You may be right. But we better become one if we're going to stop Eli Morrow from blowing up half of Los Angeles.
The second event we'd all been waiting for was Daisy Johnson finally came in from the cold and rejoined S.H.I.E.L.D. No longer on the run from her tragedies of her past, she's back where she belongs – with her family.
One hopes that the show won't try to split up the team again in the spring. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is at its best when the characters we've grown to love are all working together, with all of the snarky banter, supportive comments and yes, occasional butting of heads that we've come to expect from them.
Coulson: When this is over, it's time. We're cracking that bottle.
May: You won't have to twist my arm.
Coulson: I wouldn't dare. You'd whip my ass.
So, what did you think of the midseason finale? How do you think Radcliffe will handle Aida's betrayal? When will the rest of the team discover that May is not what she seems? And how weirdly fine did Director Mace look in his S.H.I.E.L.D. supersuit?
Most importantly: Will you be missing Agent Carter this winter as much as I will be? It's not too late to get Hayley Atwell to shoot a few episodes to tide us over until Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns, is it?
Maybe a miniseries in which she and Sousa investigate a mystery while on a tropical honeymoon? On an island where Howard Stark happens to own a estate, which is currently being looked after by Edwin Jarvis? (Looks like I better reactivate my Fanfiction.net account...)
Remember, you can watch Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. online via TV Fanatic.
Lee Jutton was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She went into retirement in July of 2017. Follow her on Twitter.