Radcliffe and Aida struggle to keep may trapped in their idealizes framework.
While inside the Framework, we see the moments leading up to May’s capture by Aida. She struggles to free herself from the restraints that keep her hidden in Radcliffe’s home. She breaks out and fights her way past Aida. However, when she beats her, Aida reveals that the entire encounter has happened inside Radcliffe’s framework.
Coulson, Talbot and Mace are now all on the same page…kind of. Now that Mace’s secret is out, Coulson and his original team are ostensibly back running SHIELD. As an act of good will they plan to have their newest super powered agent, Daisy Johnson, sign the Sakovia Accords. However, they’re still having to deal with the issue that Senator Nadeer is a dangerous enemy. Daisy and Mace end up going before a hearing committee that Nadeer sits on, while Coulson and YoYo take the opportunity to dig search the Senator’s office. While Nadeer grills Daisy about her activities while “under cover”, Coulson and YoYo end up walking into a trap set by Nadeer. Her men capture Coulson and YoYo and parade them in front of the committee and cameras and accuses SHIELD of being a criminal organization.
As usual, Talbot and Coulson are butting heads over how to proceed with their operations. Talbot didn’t want to go in on the operation to begin with and, now that Nadeer was a step ahead of them, Coulson suspects Talbot of leaking it. The threat of having a leak, ends up uncovering a bunch of different issues. Simmons believes that Fitz continuing to fiddle with Aida may have been the source of the leak. The May LMD believes that she may have been the source of the leak and storms off to Radcliffe’s to find out what he did to her. That’s when Radcliffe confirms that she is an LMD. He also tells her that she can’t reveal what she is. He also encourages her to get what she wants, Coulson. Just then, a SHIELD team bursts into Radcliffe’s home. Fitz wasn’t trying to fix Aida, he was investigating Radcliffe’s involvement in Aida’s recent actions. He uncovered that Radcliffe had been behind the entire thing.
When the team returns to the base, Fitz discovers that the Radcliffe they took into custody is actually another LMD. He shoots the decoy in the head to shut it down. It turns out that Radcliffe was the one who ratted out SHIELD to Nadeer. Having been compromised by his ambitions, Radcliffe decided to throw in with Nadeer and her crew. He’s now being taken in to meet with the Superior. Meanwhile, he and Aida have moved May and the Framework to another location. They’ve also updated the programming so that May isn’t just fighting, she’s living a life where an event that she would like to forget has been changed. Inside the Framework, she’s back in Bahrain but, this time, she’s able to save the girl.
- I’m glad that YoYo makes it clear “Turtle Man” is her nickname for Mack and not his penis.
- Everyone believes Coulson and May want each other. Radcliffe believes it, YoYo believes it. Apparently, everyone except Coulson and May believe it.
- Hope, the word that the Ghost Rider mentioned and the word we saw on the back of the photo Mack was looking at, is revealed. After he and YoYo sleep together, Mack rushes out of the base for a personal day. Later he reveals to YoYo that he left to go help his ex-wife deal with an emotional day, the anniversary of their daughter’s death. Mack’s daughter, Hope, was born and died 4 days later. His ex-wife has a hard time dealing with the anniversary of the event.
There was a lot of relationship stuff in this episode, both working and romantic. The obvious stuff was the romantic relationships. The Aida investigation was putting a strain on the Fitz-Simmons relationship, but that was put to bed pretty quickly once Fitz revealed what he was really doing. The show is also going out of its way to plant the seeds of a relationship between Coulson and May. Of course, that is complicated by the fact that this is an LMD and not the real May. The most surprising out of the group was Mack’s reveal that he had a daughter who passed away. It was surprising in part because it’s an issue that seems uncharacteristically heavy, kind of like Lincoln’s bout with alcoholism. The other reason is that it seems odd that Mack’s been around for two seasons of the show and this has never come up before. I suspect that this may be a result of Mack’s character needing to be more filled out. Either that, or it’s because this particular fact is going to become important for Mack this season.
The other relationship issues had to do with working and friend relationships. Coulson and Talbot in particular had their tumultuous working relationship put on display. For perhaps the first time, it was Coulson who proved to be in the wrong when those two had a dispute. In previous seasons, Talbot’s been portrayed as a bit of a neanderthal when it comes to the spy game. So, it’s very surprising to see him all of a sudden have an appropriate insight into what SHIELD should be doing. Coulson realized that he was in the wrong, so I suspect we’ll see some changes come in the way that he and Talbot interact. As Talbot pointed out, he’s a big part of the reason that SHIELD even exists as it is in the first place.
The final relationship that we saw delved into was the relationship between Fitz and Radcliffe. Earlier in the season it’d been shown that Fitz and Radcliffe had become pretty good friends. Radcliffe has already had a bit of a mentoring relationship with Fitz and treats him a bit like a son. Even so, he’s clearly more interested in the Darkhold than in maintaining his relationship with anyone at SHIELD. Despite that, I do believe that he still cares for Fitz, he just feels like going after that book is more important. Now that feeling has driven him to the other side and to intensify the prison that May is trapped in. I really don’t think that Radcliffe he realizes how much of a bad guy he’s become.