Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Farewell, Cruel World!
May 3, 2017 7:15 AM - Season 4, Episode 20 - Subscribe

It’s a race to the finish line as AIDA tries to escape her robot body and S.H.I.E.L.D. tries to escape the Framework

The end is in sight now for the SHIELD agents in the Framework. A little bit of real world tension amps up the pressure while also foreshadowing the end. Everyone's rushing for the door, either to get through it, get others through it, or to stop them. It's time to put beliefs to the test.

Coulson steps up, and would have gone whether he was shot or not. May, who's been in the Framework the longest, chose to follow Coulson more than she chose to believe the real world story. Mack makes the only decision I'd accept from his character, and to her (and the show's) credit Daisy lets him stay behind.

Fitz... boy, he can't catch a break in any season, can he? He's crushed multiple ways here. He finally gets his father's love and approval only to have him die, shoots the woman he truly loves, and then is thrown into the real world to deal with the consequences of everything that's happened.

As for the avatars, Trip has some great scenes that remind me how much I miss this character (and actor) on the show. And ShinyNuWard is... oddly absent.

AIDA/Ophelia not only achieves human form, but Darkhold-infused human form. And that sets us up for what promises to be an excellent end of a consistently good season.

AV Club: Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. ups the intensity with a startling ending and another goodbye

EW Recap
posted by GhostintheMachine (10 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Not only can they 3D-print a human body and infuse it with consciousness, but they can make it Nightcrawler without having to be blue!

Oh sorry, no mutants. Um.... they can make a teleporting inhuman body that still has eyes? I'd look it up and use the character's name here but c'mon, as if anyone would remember.

So much fun, and so much more promise. Mack's decision to stay was perfectly understandable (at least to me as a parent; his instant "nope, staying" was exactly how I'd choose if presented with that situation myself) and I'm sincerely hoping it's used as the hook to continue to explore the question of how real those simulated folks actually are. I'll be really disappointed if they keep the focus exclusively on Hope.
posted by phearlez at 12:58 PM on May 3, 2017 [1 favorite]

And having now read that AV Club piece, I have to say that as someone really invested in the idea of them plumbing this "real person" well, I disagree strongly with the assertion that they were working that angle too hard. If you view it as exclusively about them trying to convince us, the audience, okay. But I think they made a neat inverted arc for our two flesh and blood rescuers compared to the flesh and blood prisoners. Johnson palling around with Hope shows her change in perception of the simulated people, as does Simmons' genuine reluctance and regret about killing Fitz the elder. The fact that every one of them has reacted to this other world thing in very different ways was part of what made it fun to me.
posted by phearlez at 1:10 PM on May 3, 2017 [3 favorites]

The multiple "wait, so you told him/her about the other world?" lines were a fun way to get the characters all on the same page. The blue soap gag continues to delight.
posted by klarck at 1:17 PM on May 3, 2017

Oh sorry, no mutants. Um.... they can make a teleporting inhuman body that still has eyes? I'd look it up and use the character's name here but c'mon, as if anyone would remember.

Gordon. But I'm assuming Aida's using Darkhold powers, not Inhuman ones - she's read some significant amount of evil magic, some of it involving extradimensional transportation. (I mean, that's how she got started using the grimoire in the first place.)

Lots of thoughts about this one, but I'll have to elaborate later.
posted by mordax at 1:23 PM on May 3, 2017

The teleport made me think they are still not out, it's still a fake world. They did make a big deal out of Ada getting to the exit area first and Radcliffe can't be trusted.

But then I think... nooo that would be too cliché.
posted by girlhacker at 7:32 PM on May 3, 2017

The soap gag keeps making me crack up.

I can't figure out what they're going to do with Fitz. He's shattered and he clearly still has feelings for Ophelia, and now he's thinking he's a bad person. This can't end well.

I loved the redemption of Radcliffe and Mack's decision to stay. I'm hoping, however, that Mack's decision to stay leads to him having to do something inside the Framework that saves them all.

For just a minute Aida looked like Agnes as she came into the room in her bathrobe. It was startling, in a great way.

(Was I the only one looking at Coulson and May as he was about to dive into the portal that was going "Kiss! Kiss!" How about when she came out of the Framework? Just me?)
posted by rednikki at 7:50 PM on May 4, 2017 [2 favorites]

Fitz has only one path to redemption, and that's personally dropping the knife on Aida. It'd be interesting if he didn't, and became the new bad-Ward for a season or two.
posted by klarck at 5:51 AM on May 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

Some of the elements of the opera Aida are at play in MAoS. Could be coincidence, but probably not.

From Wikipedia: "The Egyptians have captured and enslaved Aida, a Nubian princess. An Egyptian military commander, Radamès, struggles to choose between his love for her and his loyalty to the Pharaoh. To complicate the story further, the Pharaoh's daughter Amneris is in love with Radamès, although he does not return her feelings."

I wonder how much more of that story will be emulated in the show. I hope the ending is not!

It's a little harder to figure the relationship with Hamlet (her name in the Framework is Ophelia), but maybe Fitz will resent Coulson as a surrogate father-figure and stab him behind an arras, and Ophelia will drown. They did show Ivanov's oil rig sinking....

We'd just need a group of entertainers to come and put on a show about secret government operatives. Which could be fun, a la Wormhole X-Treme!

But it better not be Rosenfitz and Simmonstern Are Dead.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 9:47 AM on May 5, 2017 [1 favorite]

I keep hoping that the good dead characters in the Framework leap through the hole and become real like Aida.

I am not surprised Mack stayed, that's the obvious parent choice. But if you want him back, I think I might have lied and said Hope was fine in the real world.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:21 PM on July 4, 2017

I can't believe they decided to bring back Ward and Trip but not Hunter and Bobbi.
posted by sleeping bear at 8:30 AM on July 19, 2017

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