The Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 4 finale is almost here, and EP Jeff Bell teases FitzSimmons, death, and Ghost Rider’s return.

Bell wrote the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 4 finale, which is rather ominously titled “World’s End.” The episode will find most of our intrepid agents recovering from the ravages of the Framework, while Elena dives into the virtual world to rescue Mack.

With a spurned Aida bent on destruction and Ghost Rider finally emerging from darkness, Bell promises that the finale will leave fans with… well, let’s say a lot of feelings.

Interview with Jeff Bell

The season finale is titled “World’s End” — that’s pretty heavy! What is Aida’s specific goal, besides general domination and evil?

Well, total domination and evil are two different things! I don’t think she views herself as evil at all. She views herself as a creature who’s been a slave to the whims and wants of other people, and finally has an opportunity to behave as she wishes. And sadly, that coincides with her heart being crushed, and her not having the emotional experience to weather that.

So you know, we saw how Yo-Yo ended up in the Framework at the end of [last week’s episode], that doesn’t look very promising. And Aida at the end with the Russian seems pretty intent on making people feel as badly as she feels. So get ready for good times for all!

It looks like several major romances will come to a head in the finale. What can you tease about FitzSimmons, Coulson and May, and the rest?

We’re just embracing ABC, that’s really what this is. We said, you know what? Let’s just embrace the romance!

Seriously, we’ve never built our stories, no one has been defined by who they’re with, or who they love, but we’ve known these characters for four years and it feels like ways to take our characters into deeper stories. And so Fitz and Simmons have been, gone through the worst, and they’ve really gone through it terribly now with what Fitz is going through, coming out of the Framework.

And Coulson and May have been friends for years, there’s always been something unspoken underneath there, and allowing Robot May, who is programmed with some of the subconscious thoughts of real May, allowing some of that to leak to the surface, for us it was really fun. And to watch a character who traditionally is never displaying emotions, to have that leak out has been fun for [Min-Na] to play and fun for us to write it as story.

And then for Aida, who’s never felt this before and fell big time for Fitz, and to realize that he loves somebody else, well, I think we’ve all had that at some point. It’s just, to give that to the most powerful person that we’ve ever had makes that really exciting.

Focusing on FitzSimmons a little more, how will they be dealing with the fallout of the Framework and their dark reunion?

Well you know, we heard and Simmons saw Fitz express his undying love.

Again! Poor Fitz.

[laughs] Again, poor Fitz. So I think they will always love each other. But I do think there are obstacles. I don’t think people can bounce back from that kind of trauma, even if he were… you know, there’s being forgiven by others and then there’s forgiving yourself. So I think there’s lots of story to be played with them, I think it’s clear to everyone who watches that they love each other.

Whether that means they end up also being together is to be determined, but I think there’s satisfaction in knowing that they have a forever love.

With the return of Ghost Rider, it seems like all of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 4 is going to tie back into the finale. What do you think is the main thing fans should be looking for?

The thing that’s been underneath, quietly, all of these stories, is the Darkhold, which is something we really couldn’t have leaned on until after Doctor Strange came out, and some of the dimensional stuff and magic-coding of those movies were introduced into the Marvel Universe.

And the Darkhold is what created, drove Robbie’s uncle to madness, and it was the Darkhold that really created Robbie into Ghost Rider. And it was the Darkhold that really allowed Aida to become smarter and corrupt Radcliffe, and let us [develop] the Framework. So for us, the Darkhold has been the underlying, I’ll say McGuffin, but it’s been the emphasis behind everything.

[With] Aida being back with all these powers, and the fact that she comes from this, she is made of stuff from the place the Darkhold is from, [it] made sense for Robbie and Ghost Rider to come back and try to wrap this thing up with our team.

Think fast: Is someone going to die?

Well, people die all the time! You know, we lost the Patriot in the Framework and that was horrible, and the fact that it effected him here as well. So I’m not saying that we’re going to get out unscathed, we do have a history of people not making it. But I think to say anything more than that would be cheating!

Okay, fair enough. How do you think fans will feel when those final credits role on season 4?

Hopefully satisfied, thrilled, wanting more. Feeling like they need to watch it at 10:00 on Tuesdays, live! [laughs] But I think we had a good roller coaster of a season, and hopefully we’ll bring it all home in a way that people are as excited about it as we were to tell the story.

The Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 4 finale, “World’s End,” airs Tuesday, May 16 at 10:00 p.m. on ABC.

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