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Agents of SHIELD: All the Madame’s Men – Season 4 Episode 19

The true purpose of Aida’s activities in the framework is revealed.

Recap

After getting her powers back from a quick Terrigenesis, Daisy works with May to shoot their way out of HYDRA headquarters. Madame Hydra gets the jump on them, but she doesn’t know that Daisy has her powers back. Daisy uses the chance to blast her out of a very high window, causing her to fall and wake up back in the real world. Inside the Framework, Madame Hydra is unconscious with spine damage. This leaves Fitz as the new head of HYDRA while she recuperates.

Fitz’s first order of business is to make May and Daisy public enemy #1. This starts a race for May and Daisy to try to get back to the SHIELD hideout. While they’re running towards the hideout, Ward is trying to get to them and keep Daisy safe. While they’re on the run, May starts to piece together more and more things that don’t add up about life inside the Framework. Mack and Coulson stay behind at the base and are there when a mysterious call comes in from a SHIELD outpost. They go to check it out and find May and Daisy there.

Meanwhile, Trip and Simmons head out to follow up on an investigation of the information Trip stole from HYDRA. Simmons recognizes the designs as Darkhold technology. They head to the location of Ivanov’s resources, but it’s empty. At that point, Simmons realizes that the machine is being built in the real world. The point of Project Spyglass is to allow Aida to build herself a real human body and to free herself from her android one. While the hunt for May and Daisy is still on, Madame Hydra wakes up and tells Fitz to finish the project. As long as they can finish it, nothing that happens in the framework will matter. Needing to divert his attention, Fitz leaves the hunt to his father.

Once they get back to the base, Daisy lets Coulson know that he found Radcliffe’s way out of the Framework. However, it’s hard to get anyone to help with that when the fight with HYDRA is reaching its climax. So, Coulson decides to try to solve one problem to solve another. They break into the TV station in order to broadcast the body cam footage of the Patriot’s last stand. The plan is to distract HYDRA with the public unrest this will cause. After the broadcast goes out, Ward stays behind to stop HYDRA from being able to manually disconnect it. However, once the broadcast goes out, the station is surrounded by people wanting to help fight HYDRA.

Favorite/Other/Notable Moments

  • Aida’s primary directive requires her to protect people. The only way that she can bypass it is if these people present a direct threat to the Framework.
  • Going through Terrigenesis seems to have healed all of Daisy’s injuries. That’s convenient.
  • “To save ourselves, we need to save the world” – Coulson
  • “For what it’s worth, I didn’t totally understand him until I met you” – Daisy to Ward
  • “Alternative Facts” yet another political buzzword appears in this episode. It was also used in conjunction with the term “Patriots”.

Commentary

This episode was mostly about having to fight HYDRA inside the Framework in order to be able to get out of the Framework. Previously, Daisy and Simmons had just been trying to gather everyone and ignore what was going on in this world so they could get back to their own. It was Coulson who came up with the idea that by solving the HYDRA problem, they might also be able to solve their own problem. This set-up a great episode that saw Daisy and May on the run from HYDRA while Coulson basically sparked a revolution. They are successfully beating the Framework at its own game.

Even though Aida’s manipulating the Framework she doesn’t seem to be in control of it. She can stop them from leaving, but she can’t stop things from happening inside it (like her falling off of a building). I guess that goes back to her point from the earlier episodes when she says that she doesn’t really have free will. She’s just working the system to try to get real free will. Now we finally have an idea of how that’s going to happen. Aida’s using the Darkhold tech to build a machine that will synthesize an organic body that she can download her mind into. This is all very much comic-book science, but the pieces fit together pretty well based on what we’ve seen so far. We know that the Darkhold can teach people to generate organic matter. The Framework can migrate a human consciousness. So, if you already agree on those two things working it’s not a big logical leap to assume that Aida’s plan will work.

I still like what they’ve done with this whole “Agents of HYDRA” part of the season. Even though almost all of the characters have swung back into their original alignments, there’s still some big, tense moments going on. The whole opening scene where Daisy erupted from her cocoon and shot Madame HYDRA out of a window, was really fun and a little unexpected in the way they showed her hitting the ground. Coulson’s speech at the end was classic. I even warmed up a little to the idea of using this version of Ward to redeem the character a little bit. As Skye points out in the episode, he may not be our Ward, but he still shares his characteristics.

With HYDRA being pushed into a corner, and Madame Hydra down, it’s going to be interesting to see what Fitz does to stop his team. Maybe Aida will continue to keep him busy working on getting her body built, but it’d be fun to see a showdown between the “Doctor” and the SHIELD team.

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