Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD: ‘No Regrets’ Review
The Framework claims an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Warning: With some major developments in this SHIELD episode, of course there’ll be spoilers.
Things just keep getting scarier, more complex, and thrilling in The Framework. The tricky aspect as a viewer is deciding how exactly you should feel while watching this pod of season four. One of the running themes of The Framework storyline is deciding what’s real and not. Essentially, what we are seeing in The Framework is part of a virtual reality. It’s not real. At least, it’s not supposed to be. Yet, what happens to our characters while in the virtual world can carry some devastating consequences in reality. Also, to those who were forced into The Framework by Aida, everything in The Framework feels real. Only Daisy and Simmons truly know otherwise. Bottomline, Radcliffe should have never created this world, nor should he have allowed Aida access to working on it.
The craziest thing to think about is how our characters were so drastically affected based on one single regret that was taken away from them. Fitz by far is the most drastic and shocking. It was revealed that his downfall as a good person was caused by his regret of not having a better relationship with his father. Which is silly how he should carry that regret given that his father was at fault for their estrangement. Yet, being close to his father has turned him into a cold, sadistic, mad scientist. With each passing episode, we see him become more sinister and fall deeper in his villainy. It’s scary seeing how our lovable Fitz has that dark side in him. He has however become the most fascinating character in the story. One has to wonder if Simmons or anyone will be able to reach him and change him back to the good man he’s supposed to be. Also, if he gets out of The Framework, will he be affected by the atrocities he’s done in his altered state? Even though most of what he does in The Framework may not be real, his actions are still coming from his subconscious, which is what makes his arc scary. By the way, great job casting wonderful character actor David O’Hara as Papa Fitz.
It sure is a trip seeing BJ Britt return as Trip. I was kind of heart broken when they killed him off so suddenly in season two. But here he is, the same cool, witty Trip from before. The ability to feature past characters, especially those who’ve died, is a fun aspect of this arc. It’s nice seeing characters like Trip and Ward slide back into action, even if it’s temporally. The AOS cast is pretty much a family, and they act like it. As a fan, I love and appreciate that. Which makes seeing the return of some of these characters a bittersweet experience. Hell, it was even great seeing the return of Burrows working alongside Mace as a SHIELD agent. Makes you wonder who else will appear, hmm… Bobbi? Hunter? Hello? I have no doubt we’ll see the return of Lincoln, possibly as a strategic distraction for Daisy that’ll throw her off her game.
Unfortunately, while we get to enjoy deceased characters appear out of the blue, we have to fear for the lives of our currently living agents stuck in The Framework. Reminder, if they die in The Framework, they die in reality. Which makes me wonder how since what they are experiencing is a program and not physical. I guess it has to do with their heart rate possibly skyrocketing when put into a dangerous situation. Well, sadly, we saw our first, and hopefully last casualty, and that would be Jeffrey Mace. Yup, they killed The Patriot. While watching him get crushed after saving a room full of kids who were being conditioned Clockwork Orange style after a Hydra quinjet fired a missile into the building, I got very choked up. I liked Mace, which wasn’t always easy to do being that he wasn’t always trustworthy. Once it was revealed he wasn’t an actual inhuman in reality, but rather the government’s mascot shot up with a power boosting serum, I began to feel for him because he always wanted to be the hero he was talked up to being. In The Framework, he was a super powered hero, and he died a noble, heroic death. But what’s really sad about his death, besides the fact that I saw it coming when he finally told Simmons about his mysterious background, was in reality his death is tragically meaningless. To Mace in The Framework, in his mind and heart, saving those kids was real. But in the real world, he risked his life saving no one. Just programming. That’s what makes the death of Jason O’Mara’s character even more tragic.
May has officially been woke, and she’s ready to break her allegiance to Hydra. Her turn around is rather sudden. Maybe a little too sudden, because she was in deep as a high ranking Hydra operative. However, even with her high level of clearance, Hydra didn’t tell her about the kids in the detention centers, which came as a shock to her. Mace literally knocked some sense into her during their epic fight. Being that he didn’t kill her and she saw him save all those kids, that is what is making her come around to reality. So apparently, Mace’s death had some meaning after all. Things are about to get really exciting now that May is pissed at Hydra and she gave Daisy back her powers through a modified terrigan crystal from the lab. I’m wondering though if Daisy will gain back her Quake powers or a new set of powers. One things probably for sure, after getting tortured, getting her powers back, and with the knowledge of Radcliffe’s backdoor out of The Framework, Daisy, along with May, is gonna wreck sh*t.
Oh, you know, this was just another one of those awesome episodes AOS keeps pumping out every week. The Framework pod has been a compelling piece of storytelling so far. There have been a lot of ideas explored, and each one of them has worked. I like how Simmons is trying to approach her surroundings logically, telling herself none of what’s in The Framework is real. But considering the actions in the virtual world can affect the characters in the real world, it’s probably best to act as if she’s in the real world. The writers have done such a grand job on an arc that is so ambitious. The cast has been phenomenal bringing out all the emotions necessary to effectively tell this story. I anxiously await to see the fallout from exiting and shutting down The Framework. I’m keeping an eye on Mack. He’s the one who’ll suffer the biggest loss if he leaves The Framework because he’ll have to say goodbye to his daughter, Hope. I wonder if Aida and the Russian have been trying to get more people in the real world plugged into The Framework. We really need a peek in the real world soon. There’s just so much that is yet to be explained and revealed, but I eagerly await each next episode of this brilliant show that is showing no signs of losing its momentum.