shallowness: Black and white close up of Natasha's tilted face (Natasha Avengers intensity)
[personal profile] shallowness
Agents of SHIELD 4.21 Farewell, Cruel World!

An enjoyable episode, although I think they held back on a few things that I expected to play out biger to set up the last few clashes in the real world. It felt weird to go into the hacked Agents of SHIELD/Agents of HYDRA logo after hanging out with Yo-Yo and the other SHIELD agents, of whom only the short-haired woman has made any impression, and that doesn’t include her name. Anyway, their danger added a countdown to events in the Framework, even if nobody there knew it.

I was all ‘aww’ at Daisy hugging Tripp! Who was amused but confused. Nice referencing to whatever did go on between him and Simmons and Skye, as she was back then – yep, I didn’t get it either, Antoine. I liked Tripp holding a sleeping Hope, making me wonder if there is Tripp and kid fic out there (I’ve barely scratched the surface with Agents of SHIELD fic), and providing a different version of Framework!Ward’s realisation that he has no place in the real world. I like them giving him the role of being Framework!Patriot.

I liked the moment where Daisy tried to boss May and got nowhere with it.

(She wasn’t the boss of Simmons when it came to a potential way of rescuing Fitz either, which she shouldn’t have tried to be.)

I was most unimpressed with Daisy for not just knocking Mack out and pushing him over into the exit and dealing with the consequences later as, say, May would have done. As Radcliffe did with Fitz! Mack clearly wasn’t in a point to give up Hope, she’d promised Yo-Yo, plus there’s her own feelings for Mack (whatever they may be; the issue of not finding another half of a consistent OTP for Daisy since what happened with Ward is problematic). And then I dared to hope they were writing him off, because surely the Framework will implode now that AIDA is done with it, but I’m not so sure of that after the end of the episode. But still, talking it out and giving him agency when he was brainwashed, essentially? No, Daisy, this is not a time for giving him the choice, make it for him.

Simmons’s realisation that Fitz’s father was the worm in the apple finally arrived and she had lots of feelings about it. I was always dubious that she’d overmatch Alistair, but I was also expecting Quake to have to rescue her from strangulation, and she didn’t need it. That cheered me.

But killing Daddy Fitz over the phone line led to its own problems. Now fatherless Fitz slipped out of Ophelia’s control (ha, which was down to her programming) and stomped after Jemma for revenge.

I actually enjoyed how the father issues played out here, because just as we were suspicious of Radcliffe, he became The Good Father that Alistair wasn’t, brought Fitz to the exit, and made sure he got through it, while deciding to reject the creepy immortality on offer to him.

Fitz’s reaction to the return, of confusion and remorse (and for all that the older men tried to tell him what he’d done hadn’t been his fault, but Agnes’s consciousness and Mace’s life had been destroyed because of him, and he should carry that) allowed them to take another step in the story. Because I’d clocked that AIDA/Ophelia would be vulnerable in flesh and blood form (I am glad the CGI didn’t get much more graphic, because that would have been gross), and I thought the sooner they attacked her the better. I <3 May for thinking along the same lines, but Fitz was in the way, and then we saw that the Darkhold enabled AIDA/Ophelia to teleport (that’s my working assumption) and cause the battered, depleted team another headache and a new mission.

That AIDA/Ophelia has clearly imprinted on Fitz without understanding him is going to cause her all sorts of heartache.

I thought that what Coulson and May had to do was slightly low-key, but satisfying, especially when they left the Framework and got back their memories properly. He bride-carried her and I will take that as a nod to her having been in the Framework so very much longer, which I’m glad they acknowledged.

In it, of course, she found a way to help Framework!SHIELD and of course she was dubious about the ‘other world’ claims BUT then took the leap of faith as urged by Coulson. I wish he hadn’t mentioned the soap, self-depracatingly or not, it’s a limping gag. On the other hand, his being seen as the leader he is was nice. Another nice moment was Mack-in-the-Framework realising he could shoot like a trained operative before he had the undeniable proof that Simmons and Daisy were telling the truth.

I dearly hope I get through to the season finale unspoiled – I saw a suggestive headline about season 5 and I don’t want to know anything about that yet!

I then gave Fearless a try, and Helen McCrory is certainly compelling as Emma the Lawyer. I have a feeling that there is no way it will all come together in a way that makes sense at the end of the series, though. When Michael Gambon eventually turned up, I could make ‘never underestimate Narcissa Malfoy, Dumbledoer’ jokes, but, more seriously, it was a bit discombobulating to see John Bishop playing Emma’s boyfriend.

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