agents of s.h.i.e.l.d.

Last week on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., fans got our first taste of the Framework and a reality where Hydra is in control. Mack and Mace appeared this week after being absent last week. Here’s all that went down on episode 17, “Identity and Change”:

Mack and Hope

In the Framework, Mack’s daughter Hope is alive and intelligent. She builds a drone that almost gets them in trouble when there’s a Hydra check. Luckily for them, a person in line freaks out and runs, taking the attention away from the others. Their luck doesn’t last long though. Hydra sends a team including May and Daisy after them. In custody, May quickly realizes Mack will do anything for his daughter.

Coulson’s Back…Kind Of

Daisy convinces Coulson that Hydra is the enemy and they’re in a fake reality. Jemma and Daisy get him to safety after Ward calls warning them Hydra is coming for Coulson. While Daisy goes back to Hydra to find Radcliffe, the others go to the Resistance. The resistance is S.H.I.E.L.D. led by Jeffrey Mace. Their forces are few and the base isn’t that great. Coulson, Jemma, and Ward agree to go after Radcliffe without S.H.I.E.L.D.’s back up. They do allow the trio to use one of the few quinjets they have.

When they find the doctor, he remembers them. He wants to protect himself and Agnes from Hydra. He is aware of the fact that he is dead in the real world. He also warns them that AIDA must know Jemma is in the Framework if their exit doesn’t work. AIDA aka Madame Hydra, Fitz, and a team of armed Hydra agents arrive mid-conversation.

Back at Hydra, May has Mack pretend to recognize Daisy in order to get her to confess that she’s one of the agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Daisy, of course, plays right into the trap. Mack reunites with his daughter and even drops a Hail Hydra.

Fitz and the Madame

AIDA finally allows Fitz to see Jemma’s photo. She wants to head the hunt for Jemma, but he wants in. She explains that Jemma crossed over from the other side, which neither believed to be possible. AIDA explains that on the other side S.H.I.E.L.D. won the war and that they treated her as less than human.

When the pair arrives on the island, they confront Radcliffe and have their team search for the subversives. AIDA gets very upset when Radcliffe refers to her as AIDA and not Madame Hydra. To save Agnes from being killed, Radcliffe tries to convince Fitz that he’s not a bad person and in the other world they are friends. He even mentions that Fitz and Jemma were in love. Instead of accepting the doctor’s pleas, Fitz shots Agnes.

Jemma stops Ward from taking a shot on Fitz. But, when she witnesses the murder of Agnes she screams, giving away their position. The agents open fire on them and they must flee. Before he’s led away, Fitz seems to freeze when he sees and hears Jemma.

When they arrive back at the S.H.I.E.L.D. base, Mace yells at Jemma for stopping Ward from shooting Fitz. In her frustration, she shouts that everything is fake. Before they can question her, Mack arrives and tells them that Hydra used him to capture an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. named Daisy Johnson. He feels guilty and wants to redeem himself for his daughter.

The episode ends with Fitz torturing Radcliffe and having Daisy brought from her cell. She tries to convince him that they’re friends. He claims that she must not know him at all.

Final Thoughts on last night’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Daisy and Jemma really need to stop thinking their friends are going to easily realize they’re in the Framework and not the real world. It’s that desperation to have them back that led to Daisy being captured. It sucks big time that she doesn’t have her powers in the Framework, despite having the Inhuman gene. Shoutout to Elizabeth Henstridge for another emotional performance. The cast has done an amazing job playing different versions of their characters. It’s been weird seeing Fitz be evil. It’s worse to see him kiss AIDA. May’s been in the Framework for the longest so I’m not surprised to see her very immersed in the reality. Here’s to hoping Ward and the few agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. the resistance has can save Daisy or she finds a way out on her own.

I’m giving last night’s episode a 9/10. Solid writing and great performances all around. Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs Tuesdays at 10 PM EST on ABC.

Kira McCall covers entertainment for MFST. Follow her on Twitter at cocovanilla45 and @kiramira_.

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