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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. cast tease epic showdown in finale

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Eric McCandless/ABC

The fate of the world literally rests on the shoulders of Team S.H.I.E.L.D. during the upcoming Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. finale  — and not everyone will make it out alive.

In the wake of becoming human and subsequently getting her heart broken, Aida (Mallory Janssen) is determined to transform our world into the oppressed, Inhuman-hating world of the Framework. Therefore, Coulson (Clark Gregg) and the team will do everything possible to prevent that bleak future.

“It’s a big showdown,” Ming-Na Wen tells EW of the finale. “The biggest thing for Team S.H.I.E.L.D. now is to figure out how to take her down, how to stop her, and if she is such a threat, whether she’s human or she’s an LMD, I think we have to make the ultimate sacrifice, like May had to do or any other one of us have at some point had to make really tough decisions between life and death.”

Suffice it to say, Aida won’t go quietly, especially considering she’s become more and more unhinged as the season has gone along. “This character has developed so much throughout the season, and it’s going to hit a peak,” Janssen says, describing the finale as both epic and emotional. “I can’t say too much about that, but I think it is going to shock a lot of people what happens.”

“Mallory’s done such a good job with taking this character from just Aida, then Aida 2.0, and then Agnes, and then Ophelia, and then human Aida, and then the heartbroken Aida,” Chloe Bennet effuses. “She’s played so many versions of herself and she’s done such a good job. Team S.H.I.E.L.D. versus Aida is going to be trickier than everyone thinks because she’s come out of the Framework and given herself powers from Inhumans, so she’s the ultimate villain, ultimate weapon and is obviously more powerful than Daisy, so we’re going to need a little help from the Rider.”

That’s right, Ghost Rider (Gabriel Luna) is back because, while there is an actual physical showdown in the finale, there is also a metaphorical one, as the show’s three pods of storytelling — Ghost Rider, LMD, and Agents of HYRDA — collide. “The final showdown is really a final showdown for the writers — Jed Whedon, Mo Tancharoen, and Jeff Bell — for the finale to bring all those things together so that they can combine to make a really uniquely spectacular finale that resolves all these different [pods] we’ve done in one season,” Gregg says. “That’s going to make a showdown with Aida that has some real fireworks.”

Ghost Rider’s return provides the extra help the team will need in order to take Aida down. “It’s the moment everyone’s been waiting for all season, Daisy and Ghost Rider teaming up,” Bennet says. “They have this camaraderie that other people don’t have. They understand the level of darkness and sadness that they both can talk to each other about without actually having to say anything.”

With that said, Aida certainly isn’t the only one who has gone through a big change this year, which will be prevalent in the season ender. “Daisy has this moment in the end of the finale where she really I think grows as a leader,” Bennet says. “She had her Avril Lavigne moment at the beginning of the season, which was a real eye-opener and a game-changer for her. She steps into her own as a leader. We have a moment of that with her and Fitz. Fitz has a lot of resentment about the sh— he did in the Framework and Daisy has a moment where she connects with him, and we see all the work that Coulson has done, nurturing her and guiding her. I think fans will be happy and pleasantly surprised. There’s a sense of happiness and a sense of I know for sure this is where I’m supposed to be, this is my family, this is why I was put here.”

The Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. finale will air Tuesday at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.