Bad news, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. fans: beloved characters Grant Ward and Antoine “Trip” Triplett won’t be coming back to the show anytime soon. Though Season 4 introduced a device that would have allowed the characters to make the jump from the Framework to the real world, executive producer Jed Wheon says those characters won’t return.
However, that doesn’t mean the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. team didn’t try to get them back. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Whedon said they couldn’t bring any characters back for many reasons, including “scheduling, or personal issues, or other shows that take our people away.” As such, it seems Ward and Trip will stay dead, for practical reasons as opposed to story reasons.
In Season 4, Simmons and Trip discovered that Aida was building a machine from the Darkhold. Earlier in the season, Eli Morrow had used the same machine to create matter from nothing; Aida, on the other hand, used it to create living tissue. Aida went on to use the machine to build herself a body. With a human body, Aida was no longer be beholden to her protocols to protect life and the Framework, and so she was able to wreak havoc on the beleaguered S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. With a little help from Ghost Rider, the team was able to destroy her once and for all, and the machine was demolished in the process.
According to executive producer Jeff Bell, the fact the machine came from the Darkhold means that Ward and Trip wouldn’t exactly have been human if they had used it to leave the Framework, anyway. “Aida rebuilt her body out of dark stuff from a dark, terrible universe, so she wasn’t exactly human,” he explained. “There was a Darkhold filter through which she came, so it seemed that anyone who came back that way was not, in fact, really themselves, but some corrupted version of themselves.”
As it were, the agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. may be a little too busy to deal with supernatural threats when the show returns for Season 5. The Season 4 finale closed with Coulson gazing into the abyss of space, suggesting that he’s no longer on the planet. However, it’s unclear if the rest of his team is with him, or if he’s flying solo.
Returning January 2018 on ABC, “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D” stars Clark Gregg as Agent Phil Coulson, Chloe Bennet as Daisy “Quake” Johnson, Ming-Na Wen as Melinda May, Iain De Caestecker as Leo Fitz, Elizabeth Henstridge as Jemma Simmons, Henry Simmons as Alphonso “Mack” Mackenzie and more.