Tuesday’s climactic Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. arc lost all “Self Control” over the LMD arc, ending with one whopper of a twist. Daisy and Simmons headed inside the mysterious “Framework,” revealed as a “What If”-type world with one major Winter Soldier tweak. The closing stinger also teased a major return from the series’ past, which producers now confirm for the final April episodes.

You’re warned of full spoilers for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s final LMD episode, “Self Control,” but it seems the third “pod” of Season 4 will fully commit to its depiction of Radcliffe’s “Framework” as an alternate reality wherein Hydra succeeded in its Winter Soldier uprising. Not only is May now an agent of the enemy, and Coulson a teacher educating against Inhumans, but Grant Ward is alive and well as Daisy (or Skye?)’s boyfriend.

The brief look at Daisy’s alternate reality only showed an obscure figure in bed, using a framed photo of Chloe Bennet and Brett Dalton to make the point, but Marvel now confirms the late Ward will be back for the final arc:

In addition to confirming the third segment of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 4 as a sort of “what if” reality for each character, executive producer and “Self Control” director Jed Whedon gave Entertainment Weekly some of the thinking behind Ward’s return:

We figured when you get dropped into an alternate reality, what better way to show that it might not be everything you imagined than the return of one of our most loved and most hated characters. Also, we wanted to have Brett back. We missed him.

Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. won’t resume until April or so, but check out the teaser again below, read our review of tonight’s latest, and stay tuned for more on Ward’s return.

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