Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD: ‘Farewell, Cruel World!’ Review
Our agents exit The Framework only to face new dangers in the real world.
Warning: You bet there will be some spoiling in this review.
Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD clearly knows how to assault the emotions, dropping the feels on us nearly every week, especially throughout the Framework pod. This week may have hit an emotional high point as all but one agent exited out of Aida’s virtual hell, only to face more brewing danger in the real world. With only two more episodes to go this season, all bets are off and no one is safe.
The urgency has never been greater for our heroes. Not only did we see our agents race against time to head towards Radcliffe’s exit out of The Framework, but we finally saw how dire the situation was with Yo-Yo and the other SHIELD agents onboard the Zephyr One. Their journey has been less than eventful, which is probably why we’re barely catching up with them now. Apparently, they’ve been up in the air for 10 days (is there a restroom onboard?), cloaked and undetected while Daisy and Simmons remained hooked up to The Framework. All of the power was being drained to keep them hooked up. In a last effort to keep the plane in the air, they had to turn off the cloaking device. That is how the Russians located them. Although this was a rather small subplot to the story, it was a tense and important one regardless. It’s a scary situation, having to survive in the air with no support while there was no way to communicate to their teammates or even know if they were going to make it out.
There was just a little bit of the fallout shown from last week’s uprising jump off. The civil unrest was only mildly touched on, as the main plot was to get every remaining live main player out of The Framework. Once the team found the right location, they were met with resistance, but it was nothing they couldn’t handle. The blockade Aida put into place over the exit (assuming it was her) was only a minor hiccup, as Daisy soon figured out that she could quake the molten steel pool open, exposing the exit. Their exit from The Framework wasn’t as difficult as I expected. It was however emotional for a number of reasons, and I think the writers were more concerned about emotional depth than a tense escape. Although I am happy most of our agents are officially out, I just feel like everything in The Framework was abruptly abandoned. I’m left wondering if we are truly done with The Framework and if it’ll be shut off or if it’ll remain online until they can bring back the one agent that chose to stay behind.
Dammit, Mack. I knew he’d be the one who wanted to stay in this virtual world because his daughter is alive, even though she’s not real. It wasn’t hard to predict that getting Mack to crossover was going to be too difficult. I was hoping in the end, he’d say goodbye to Hope and return to the real world, but I can’t blame him for not wanting to. He was put on the spot, and shown the gateway to another reality where his daughter was dead, all without warning. Perhaps if he were told the truth ahead of time, he could have prepared, and he’d be hugging Yo-Yo right now. I don’t want to accept that this is the last we’ll see of Mack. That he’ll eventually die living in a lie. Mack’s too good of a character to go out like that. Whatever the outcome, that was an emotional farewell scene between him and Daisy. I’d almost forgotten how close a friend and partner she saw him as.
Pretty much all of the events leading up to the exit out of The Framework were emotional. The acting was superb throughout. Elizabeth Henstridge and Iain De Caesteckler again brought out the best they had in a very tense scene with Simmons trying to snap Fitz out of his spell. However, with her killing his father in self defense earlier, he was so consumed by rage, the only way to get him through the exit was through force. That’s how Radcliffe used his one shot at redemption by saving Simmons and throwing Fitz into the exit. It’s made clear that everybody is aware of everything they did in The Framework, leaving Fitz the most traumatized. Despite being told that he should not feel at fault, he is in shock at all the evil things he did. Yet, when he see’s Aida/Ophelia in her new organic body, he is enticed be her. It’s possible the effects of The Framework affected him far more than anyone else. Then all of a sudden, Aida and Fitz teleport away. That totally caught me off guard. How did Aida get that kind of power, and what other powers did she gain?
“Farewell, Cruel World” was filled with so much raw emotion and suspense, it was nearly a perfect way to exit out of The Framework and get us prepared for the excitement to come in the real world. The Framework has been one of the greatest arcs this series has ever had. It should serve as a benchmark for other superhero TV shows currently running and upcoming. It was great seeing past characters like Grant Ward and Trip come back for a limited run. Witnessing alternate versions of our characters was also a lot of fun. There may still work to be done in the virtual world, but if not, it was a fun, often scary ride while it lasted
However, now it’s time to focus of fighting the evil forces that threaten SHIELD and the rest of the world. I for one am incredibly excited, but nervous as hell. Although I’ve been satisfied that AOS has refrained from killing off major veteran characters, the dangerous circumstances the team faces in the coming weeks can be deadly to any one of our heroes. And with Fitz being so messed up by the effects caused by Aida, who knows what will become of him? All I know is after such a great arc with The Framework, these final two episodes of the season have their work cut out for them.