Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. : “What If” Recap and Review
We haven’t seen a new episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. since February, so last night’s episode was exciting since we left our agents on a cliffhanger. Episode 16, entitled “What If” picked up right where “Self Control” left us; Daisy and Jemma waking up in the Framework to save their friends. Much to her surprise, Grant Ward is alive and in Daisy’s bed. In the Framework, the pair is a couple working for Hydra. She also doesn’t have her powers. The Triskelion was also up and running with Hydra in control.
The last time we checked in on Jemma, we saw a tombstone. Last night, she climbed out a grave. It doesn’t take her long to recognize the ruins of the S.H.I.E.L.D. academy or to realize that the organization fell in this reality.
The scientist was lucky to get a ride from a passing car. Things quickly went from friendly to tense when her ride realized Jemma didn’t have an ID as they approached an Inhuman checkpoint. She panicked and kicked her out of the car. She also didn’t seem happy that Jemma could be one of the agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Later in a diner, Jemma fought off two Hydra agents and stole their car after they tried to take her in for looking suspicious and not having an ID.
We find Coulson in the Framework as a high school teacher. He’s a supporter of Hydra and shut down a student who tried to claim Hydra are Nazis. Hydra seemed to be rounding up Inhumans or anyone suspicious. They took a student from Coulson’s class like it was nothing. It seems that in the Framework May doesn’t kill the young girl on the Bahrain mission, but brings her back to the states. The girl lost control and killed a ton of people, justifying Hydra’s hunt on Inhumans.
At the Triskelion, Daisy and Ward sat through a briefing led by May before interrogating VJ Nadeer. Daisy tried to go easy on him, but May wasn’t having it. When May ordered her to take him to the doctor, she tried to convince him that she’s on his side, but he didn’t believe. He tried to escape. He’s captured and taken away. Fitz turns out to be the doctor everyone in Hydra keeps mentioning.
Jemma found Coulson using the stolen car’s laptop and goes to see him. She found him in his classroom and tried to convince him that he’s in a virtual reality. He doesn’t believe her. On her way out, she noticed the hula dancer figurine from Tahiti that seems to give him pause. After she leaves, Coulson called in the incident.
Back at the Triskelion, Daisy overheard May telling Fitz about the incident and goes after Jemma before Hydra can get to her. Ward appeared before they could get to safety. After some confusion and tense moment with guns pointed at each other, Ward revealed he’s not there to take Jemma in. It turns out that in this reality Ward is a double agent. Instead of being Hydra, he’s with the resistance this time around. He helped Jemma and Daisy escape before sending them off on their own.
When the pair settled in a hotel room, they decided to leave the Framework and come back with a better game plan. The device to exit the Framework failed because AIDA discovered their intrusion and changed the programming. It turns out that the LMD is Madame Hydra and Fitz is her lover. They even shared a cringe-worthy kiss.
Now stuck in the virtual reality, Jemma laid low while Daisy confronted Coulson and tried to get him to remember her. She told him that he was the only family she had left and that she would always come to him when things weren’t going well. The episode ended with Coulson saying her name as if he remembered her.
Final Thoughts on Last Night’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
There were definitely some political undertones involving immigration, propaganda, and discrimination that echoed current events. Seeing Coulson as a Hydra supporter was weird, but it seems that he may get his memories back sooner than some of the other characters. Watching Daisy and Jemma fumble around in the Framework was painful at times. They fought so hard in “Self Control” but went into the Framework completely unprepared. They were not low key at all so it’s not surprising that AIDA became aware of their presence and locked them in. As much as I dislike Ward, it was nice to see Brett Dalton again. Dr. Fitz was great. As usual, great performances by the entire cast. Next week’s promo showed Mace, Mack, and some of the other agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. within the Framework. It seems that they are “the resistance” mentioned.
What did you think of the virtual world of the Framework? How did you react to new roles and twists of “What If”?
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs Tuesdays at 10 PM EST on ABC.
Kira McCall covers entertainment for MFST. You can follow her on Twitter at cocovanilla45 and kiramira_.
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