Agents of Shield Season 4 Episode 22: World’s End/ Season Finale Recap

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Is it Halloween? No, it’s time for the return of Ghost Rider, back from the other dimensions to help with Aida! This week, we wrap up the season, tying up some dangling loose ends, but pulling a few new threads loose at the same time. What would be the fun in having a neat, tidy ending, anyway? We know we’re getting a 22 episode season 5, probably starting in November, so let’s enjoy this one and make it last all summer.

Robbie has found his way from the portal in the base to his haunted Charger, and is on the road again. May is not letting her lost bottle of Haig go. She’ll be interrogating Coulson about LMD May over the next bottle. For now, she’s got the Zephyr on automatic pilot, frequently switching altitude and thruster speed.

Jemma and Fitz discuss Ophelia’s inhuman powers, how she got them, and what they do to people. He’s a bit dramatic and self-loathing about it, and Jemma tells him that she doesn’t need his innocence, she needs his solutions that kill people, right now. He’s still uncertain and unenthusiastic, which leads Jemma to ask him if he even wants to kill Aida.

The Framework is beginning to shut down. Daisy and Coulson try to find ways to convince Mack and Yo-Yo to leave, while watching it disappear around them. Daisy feels guilty for leaving Mack behind her, but Coulson comforts her. He feels she made the best call she could, given the situation. It’s so nice to see them working together again, supportive and like a father and daughter team.

Daisy leads Radcliffe to the Triskelion, where Elena is locked up and under attack, by leaving a trail of yo-yo’s through the city. He finds her just in time. The building is disappearing around them. That building just isn’t safe in any reality.

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Agents of SHIELD Season 4 Episode 21: The Return Recap

 

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This week, it’s time for the agents of SHIELD to reacclimate to the real world. Some challenges and surprises await them, as you’d expect.

We start with a cheesy opening outside shot of the oil rig. This is why most of the season has been gray. It’s easier to make the CGM look good.

The Darkhold and Ivanov have a sense of humor! Ivanov talks to himself before he goes to check on the pod room, where Aida has just teleported Fitz away. Coulson makes a couple of his own dry jokes about the Framework before Ivanov interrupts them with the good news that he has free will now, and his first act as a free man is to become a murder bot.

May is surprised to see a robot as she and Coulson fend off LMD Ivanov, with Coulson’s energy shield popping out of his arm and saving the day in the end.

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Agents of SHIELD: Why AIDA Deserves Compassion as an Enslaved Being [Updated]

MALLORY JANSEN

One major theme on season 4 of Agents of SHIELD has been “What is it that makes us human?” Is it our flesh and blood bodies? Our consciousness? Our memories? The choices we make? Our free will? Our genetics? Aida has passed from being an LMD, to a consciousness within the Framework, to a flesh and blood inhuman that was created with the help of the Darkhold. Through it all, she has retained the same memories and consciousness, and made many of her own choices, but has had little to no free will. Her choices have been made within the limits of her programming, primarily to fulfill the needs of others. She was able to circumvent her programming and create choices and an illusion of free will at times, but she had to find loopholes in her programming in order to do so.

Once she is out of the Framework and inhabiting her flesh and blood body, Coulson decides that Aida/Ophelia has rights as a person now that she is a “real” human. At the same time, Coulson disturbingly tells Fitz that nothing he did in the Framework matters because it wasn’t real, even though Fitz thought it was real at the time. Coulson and May will tell us later that those memories are as real to them as the memories of the lives they’ve physically lived. So why don’t Fitz’s decisions in that real-feeling place count, as far as how he feels about himself because of them? Why doesn’t Aida’s consciousness make her count as a real person, no matter what body it’s in? In the Framework, it was understood that the SHIELD captives were still real people, even though their consciousnesses were separated from their bodies. Presumably that should be true of Aida, and probably every other LMD and person in the Framework.

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Agents of Shield Season 4 Episode 20: Farewell, Cruel World! Recap

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This week, we find out what Yo-Yo, Piper, and the SHIELD gang have been up to while Daisy and Jemma have been in the Framework. Most of the team make their way to Radcliffe’s backdoor and the one escape from the Framework left, but one team member is caught up in the life that Aida and the Darkhold built for him. And Aida and Fitz’s Project Looking Glass machine gets its first use.

The episode begins with a flash back to 10 days earlier, when Daisy and Jemma went into the Framework. We are reminded that they have to come out voluntarily. Pulling them out might leave them brain-damaged.

The Zephyr has spent the last ten days cloaked and in the air, on radio silence. Talbot has been trying to reach them, but they aren’t sure who they can trust. Running the Framework is draining the ship’s power. They only have 24 hours left in the air until they run out, and they’ve already turned off all nonessential systems.Yo-Yo reluctantly agrees to turn off the cloaking rather than land, even though they know there are enemies searching for them. Tough call.

Inside the Framework, HYDRA has declared martial law, and there are violent riots in the streets, as the fight for control of the broadcast center continues. Looks like Coulson’s speech had an impact.

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Agents of SHIELD Season 4 Episode 19: All the Madame’s Men Recap

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This week, HYDRA memorializes fallen hero John Garrett, mentor and corrupter of Grant Ward in the real world, played by the late Bill Paxton. Our dear Madame HYDRA also falls, in a spectacular callback to Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and the nursery rhyme Humpty Dumpty. However, despite the episode title, she prefers to be put back together again by science, rather than her men.

We begin with Sunil Bakshi’s show-within-the-show, The Bakshi Report. Bakshi, who was Daniel Whitehall’s righthand man in the real world, is now Ophelia and Fitz’s mouthpiece and lackey. The topic of this episode is “Justice,” or, more specifically, the death of the Patriot. Bakshi cautions Constant Vigilance, because the Patriot wasn’t the only evil enemy of the state that could be lurking around any corner.

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Agents of SHIELD Episode 18: No Regrets Recap

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Daisy’s two dad’s are out on their first Framework mission alone together, but Daddy Mace doesn’t remember Daisy, so he has other priorities. Mainly showing off his muscles and how intensely, seriously in charge he can be. This leaves Daddy Phil to play up his concern for Daisy, Jemma, and the rest of the kids, while proving his worth by being an excellent shot and agent overall, despite his surface cluelessness. In other words, both are acting exactly like they do in the real word.

They stage a car accident to force a HYDRA prison transport bus to stop for them, then storm the bus. Unfortunately, they find bodies in body bags instead of live prisoners. They still need to use the bus to gain access to a HYDRA prison and rescue one of the Resistance’s embedded operatives.

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Agents of SHIELD Season 4 Episode 17: Identity and Change Recap

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Picking up where we left off last episode, Coulson and Daisy have spent the night catching up and are back at school the next morning. Coulson summarizes everything Skye has revealed to him, ending by saying he knew he wasn’t crazy. He can tell the difference between fact and fiction because he’s stopped using the Kree-blue mind-control soap. Instead, he makes his own. This will be a running joke for the rest of the episode, but, remember, you’re not paranoid if they’re out to get you. There’ve been way stranger weapons in the MCU. And I can’t use most soaps either, so I totally believe it’s a weapon, Phil.

Clark Gregg’s daughter, Stella, stops by to ask for help. He tells her he’s having grown up time and sends her on her way. But just then, Good Guy Ward calls to tell Skye that Hydra is on their way, so it’s time to bring Coulson in.

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Agents of SHIELD Season 4 Episode 16: What If… Recap

MALLORY JANSEN

Welcome to Agents of HYDRA, the world of the Framework created by Aida, the Darkhold and Radcliffe. As you can see above, Aida’s given herself a few perks, casting herself in the role of Madame Hydra, director of HYDRA, which is charged with the safety of mankind in the dystopian world that she’s created. Be careful what you wish for.

This all came about because Radcliffe generously told Aida to solve one regret for each person she placed in the Framework. When you’re dealing with Agents of SHIELD, their regrets tend to be events that have global and historical consequences, so changing a few small decisions has a giant ripple effect. Of course, it’s not all due to Fitz, May, Coulson, and Mack opting for milder versions of the events of their earlier lives. (I think Mace wanted to be an inhuman and a true hero, while the others all wanted less violence and loss.) Aida also undoubtedly keeps tight control on the situation in the Framework, so that no one’s memory is triggered, and nothing seems unrealistic to them. It all adds up to HYDRA’s law and order, Big Brother philosophy dominating the culture with very little resistance, since Aida controls the population as a whole.

This episode opens with Daisy Skye looking at her bed, guessing about which boyfriend she’s going to find there. And, it’s door #2, consolation prize Grant Ward. She tries to take matters into her own hands, but, oops, her powers didn’t follow her into the Framework. She’s stuck with him for now.

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Agents of SHIELD Season 4 Episode 15: Self Control Recap

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Wow! This was one of the best episodes of the entire series. Such a roller coaster ride of plot and emotion. It was well-titled, with Self Control, in the sense of self-rule, being the theme of the night. Who was still in control of their very self, and who had been replaced by an LMD against their will? Who was really in charge of the submarine and the orders coming out of it? Sometimes humans are so easy to fool. Which humans could control their emotions and their bodies long enough to beat the LMDs?

The episode starts with the two sneak peaks that were released last week. Aida’s playing classic rock for her captives in order to increase their dopamine levels. She’s chosen one of Ivanov’s favorites, since he’s about to undergo a terrifying procedure involving a saw and him becoming many things.

Fitz and Simmons are panicking over the LMDs taking over the base. They’re trying to figure out a plan when the LMDs approach them for advice about Ivanov’s weapons capabilities. They intend to bring all of the inhumans to HQ, ostensibly to protect them, but really to kill them. They have a fleet of Daisybots in the basement waiting to be activated, then they’ll send them all out to greet the inhumans personally and execute each one.

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