It’s Time for “Identity and Change” On This Week’s Agents of SHIELD

Credit: Eric McCandless/ABC

We’ve only spent two weeks in the Framework and things have somehow gone from bad to much, much worse already. We aren’t wasting any time, are we?

At least Coulson is on our side once again. He’s actually relieved to find out HYDRA is full of lies and his world isn’t real. In order to get out of this world, they need a new exit strategy. After learning Radcliffe is actually alive in the Framework, Daisy and Simmons decide to track him down. Daisy risks going back to HYDRA to look up Radcliffe. She and Ward are on their way out when May calls her back in. So Daisy sends Ward on alone with the information.

He is able to get Coulson and Simmons a meeting with the leader of the Resistance and Director of SHIELD, Jeffery Mace. Thanks to Ward’s vouching, Mace agrees to send the trio to retrieve Radcliffe but the op isn’t as simple as it should’ve been. Radcliffe is living with Agnes on an island but he’s fully aware they’re in the Framework and doesn’t want to leave because he also knows he and Agnes are really dead. Life in the Framework is all they have.

Last week, AIDA had taken extra precautions to keep any image of Simmons away from Fitz. This week he’s insistent on knowing about the “subversive” so she hesitantly shows him Simmons’ photo. Fitz is unfazed. He’s been brainwashed completely, even telling AIDA he’d “cross the universe” for her. She also tells him Simmons is from “the other side,” another world where HYDRA lost and everything was awful. AIDA claims she was kept as a slave in that world and escaped to this new one. Fitz totally believes her. They make out again and it’s even more unsettling than the first time.

We also finally meet Mack, who is living with his tech genius daughter, Hope. But there’s always the threat of HYDRA lurking at every bus stop where they make people line up for random inspections. Though Mack and Hope aren’t picked up then, they’re brought in not long after on Madame Hydra’s specific orders. Daisy tags along as they raid Mack’s house and snatch him and his daughter.

When she gets into the room alone with Mack, he confesses he knows who she really is. Daisy is overjoyed… only to learn a moment later it’s all a ploy to get her to confess. She fights her way out of HYDRA and is nearly free when agents grab and brutally beat her. Mack and Hope see her being dragged back in.

For what it’s worth, Radcliffe does tell Simmons where their bodies are being kept in the real world. But getting to them is going to be a challenge since every escape route Radcliffe programmed in has been cut off by AIDA. She’s also always watching him so it’s not long until HYDRA arrives. As Ward, Simmons, and Coulson hide in the trees nearby, AIDA, Fitz, and Radcliffe argue. See, AIDA was so sick of being treated as less than a person, that she created a world she can completely control where she essentially is a person. Radcliffe protests her puppet master lifestyle but when Fitz pulls a gun on Agnes he turns to pleading.

Seeing an opportunity to take out the infamous Doctor, Ward aims a sniper rifle at Fitz. Simmons begs him not to, telling Ward she loves Fitz and he’s been brainwashed and would never hurt an innocent woman. Except the former outweighs the latter. Despite Radcliffe’s pleas and reminders about their relationship, Fitz is convinced Agnes is from “the other side.” He murders her in cold blood. Simmons leaps out and screams his name and for a moment Fitz locks eyes with her. Then a firefight breaks out and the SHIELD threesome has to leg it back to the jet.

Not content with murdering a woman, Fitz goes back to HQ and tortures Radcliffe a while. Then it’s Daisy’s turn. No amount of pleading can wake Fitz up. There is one bright spot. After being horrified what his cooperation with HYDRA resulted in for Daisy, Mack has joined the Resistance. Will he get a shotgun ax in the Framework too?


Field Notes

  • Mack and his daughter are a new kind of pain. I can’t decide if I’m hoping he won’t remember her at all when he wakes up or if he’ll remember the good times they had.
  • He also calls her “spark plug.” <3<3<3
  • Simmons, with more sarcasm than I thought was possible for one person: “Thank goodness for Grant Ward.”
Stephanie Coats