AGENTS OF SHIELD Season 4 Episode 17 Review: Identity and Change

Part of me is intrigued by what’s going on in this pod of episodes. The rest of me wonders why things aren’t moving faster already. Now that we know where everyone stands in the “mirror universe” so to speak, the fun of the reveal is over. It’s time to get the story moving quickly because as long as our heroes are stuck in the Framework, nothing can actually happen. 

That said, the Framework is based on the psychology and deepest desires of our characters. Coulson wanted a quiet life, May wanted to be free of guilt, Mack wanted his daughter back, and so on. We even got Mace as a man of honor as the true Patriot. So while the plot can’t exactly move, we can learn plenty about what lies beneath the surface of our characters. 

Coulson managed to put together more pieces of his previous life and was at least willing to hear Daisy and Simmons out about what was going on. So far though, it seems that no one else has the ability to understand what’s going on. This is what I mean when it feels like the plot is already starting to drag. We should have at least gotten on more person remembering their true selves before the end of the episode. We were teased a little when it seemed like Mack was starting to remember things, but alas we were faked out. 

The more interesting part of the episode had to do with Radcliffe. It didn’t take him long to see that his plan had gone wildly out of control. Everything he had been trying to accomplish crashed and burned in the worst possible way. It doesn’t grant him any sympathy, but it does open up the possibility that he’ll turn on Aida in order to help his friends escape. 

Speaking of Aida, she probably got the most character development. We learned why she created the Framework in the image she did and how she’s really thought of Fitz this whole time. It’s interesting that the one thing she wanted more than freedom was Fitz. There wasn’t a whole lot foreshadowing of that in the real world, so I hope they delve into that in future episodes. 

Looping back around to my point about learning about the deeper desires of our characters, I wonder how Simmons will view Fitz once everything it settled. The fact that his deepest desires involve being ruthless and performing heinous experiments probably won’t sit well with anyone, Simmons especially, by the end of it. This at the very least, is a great source of conflict and development because out of everyone in the Framework, Fitz has under gone the greatest change. Even though May is technically “EVIL”, she’s just the May we met from the first season more or less. 

Anyways, let’s get to the good stuff finally. We’ve established the baseline of where everyone is now in the mirror universe, so it’s time to get the ball rolling. If my math is correct (and it probably isn’t), we’ve got four episodes left in this pod, and the season overall. With no word on a renewal yet, I wonder where the season will be left off.

Written by Peter Freeman, TV & Animation Beat Writer -- Click to read Peter's posts

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