All I can say is, I’m glad this wasn’t the season finale because I have questions and they need answers! I also have major concerns that I need fixed. Like everything else in the Framework, this episode was an emotional rollercoaster. Here’s why.
Remember months ago when Daisy and Simmons plugged into the Framework while on their plane and left YoYo in charge? In Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. time, it was only 10 days ago. Since then, the plane and its tiny crew have had to shut down more and more systems to continue powering the Framework connection. Eventually, YoYo gives the order to removing their cloaking, which is how Ivanov’s crew was able to locate them. If Daisy and Simmons don’t wake up soon, the whole plane is going to be shot down.
Waking up is number one on Daisy and Simmons’ list, but they’re not in agreement about who needs to come with them. Believing Fitz is in too deep, Daisy advocates for leaving him for now and rescuing him once they get themselves out. Of course, Simmons won’t stand for that. As soon as she learns from May that Fitz’s father is alive in the Framework, she pays daddy dearest a visit. She holds him at gunpoint and demands he get Fitz to come to them alone. But on the phone, Father Fitz tells his son the “fugitive” is with him and then tackles Simmons to the ground and tries to choke her. Jemma Simmons is long past the point where any man gets the best of her. She regains control of her gun and shoots Fitz’s dad while Fitz listens on the phone.
Daisy gathers the rest of her friends for a mission to the exit point and anxiously holds their departure until Simmons arrives. Mack was reluctant to tag along but Daisy convinced him. May doesn’t yet believe the Framework is fake but she does seem to believe in Coulson. When a shocked Simmons finally comes aboard, Daisy reassures her they’ll find a way to save Fitz.
But Fitz may truly be lost to them. Although he had been on the way to intercept everyone at the Framework exit point, he rerouted his plane to check on his father. Radcliffe is along for the journey. Fitz promised him he could use the Darkhold machine to create a new body for himself in the other/real world so Radcliffe caved and revealed the exit location. In the face of his father’s dead body, Fitz nearly has a breakdown. He swears to Radcliffe that he’s going to kill Simmons himself.
Still black and blue and somehow alive, Madame Hydra is clearly worried Fitz will wake up if he encounters Simmons. She orders him to return but he ignores her. So she initiates the machine they built and begins the creation of a real body for herself in the real world.
Everyone rushes to the exit location. It’s meant to be a fountain but of course, Aida reprogrammed it to be a pool of molten steel in a factory because that’s how she is. Simmons despairs that this means Aida has won but Coulson, always the heart of the team, won’t give up so easily. His faith helps Daisy realize she can quake the pool and reveal the portal. It works and Coulson volunteers to leap first. As he goes to do so, Hydra agents arrive and shoot him.
As he once again bleeds out from a chest wound, May dispatches her former comrades and holds Coulson in her arms. He insists the only way to survive is by going to the other side. He even asks her to jump with him though she protests. He falls into the portal and wakes up on the submarine. After a long minute, May wakes up too, having decided to follow him. As they await the others, Coulson grabs a scalpel and “kills” Aida.
Things are a little more complicated in the Framework. Fitz holds Simmons at gunpoint and even shoots her in the leg to make her kneel before him. He wants to kill her to avenge his father. But Radcliffe finally, FINALLY, shows he’s not totally devoid of feeling. His compliance was only a ruse to get Fitz to the portal. He forces Fitz to the edge, apologizes for the pain he’s caused and tells the younger man not to blame himself. Then he pushes him in.
But poor Fitz is overwhelmed by the horrible things he did in the Framework. He isn’t able to accept reality versus fiction and believes he must truly be a bad person no matter how much May and Coulson say otherwise. When Aida walks in with her newly human body, Fitz even calls her “Ophelia.” He won’t give May a clear shot and that lets Aida grab him and teleport them both away using Darkhold powers.
All that’s left is Daisy and Mack. He knows the Framework isn’t real but he can’t bear to leave his daughter. Daisy is forced to leave him behind, something YoYo is equally upset about when Daisy wakes on the plane.
I suppose we’re saving the Philinda kiss for the finale. But I was DYING with all of the moments it could’ve happened. Come ON already!
Poor FitzSimmons and their fans. This story arc has been exceptionally cruel.
Trip being miffed he didn’t date Daisy, Simmons, or May in the other world is everything I could’ve ever wanted.
Coulson: “I was a little squirrelly on the other side.”
May: “It was kinda cute.”
Trip, reacting to an adorable hug from Daisy: “Hey, person I don’t know.” And then he follows it up with, “You can finish hugging me later.”
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