Agents of SHIELD Season 4, Episode 17 “Identity and Change” Recap

Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD has taken the characters into an upside-down, alternate world. When Dr. Holden Radcliffe created a Life Model Decoy and the virtual world known as the Framework, he never imagined things would go this far. Aida, the LMD has taken over his directive to protect humanity by killing him and placing his mind inside the Framework. Other SHIELD agents have also been imprisoned inside the false world. It was up to Daisy Johnson and Jemma Simmons to enter the Framework in order to locate and rescue their friends. What they discovered was a world where SHIELD has fallen and Hydra is now in control, hunting down Inhumans. Simmons was killed and Daisy was a Hydra agent in a relationship with Grant Ward.

Warning: There will be spoilers for Season 4, Episode 17 of Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD, “Identity and Change,” below.

Daisy Gets a New Mission

Phil Coulson now has some recollection of the world outside the Framework. As he and Daisy discuss what’s going on, Ward calls her with a warning that Hydra is on their way to bring Coulson in. They meet Simmons at her apartment and the decision is made to locate Radcliffe and force him to help them leave the Framework. Daisy goes to Hydra headquarters to access her computer to find out where Radcliffe is. As she gets the information, May arrives and tells her she’s needed for a briefing and was specifically asked to be on the next mission by Madame Hydra. Daisy gives Radcliffe’s location to Ward. In the briefing, Simmons is designated as a terrorist. They are to hunt her down, using lethal force, if necessary.

The Leader of the Inhuman Resistance

Ward arranges for Simmons and Coulson to meet the leader of the Resistance. It turns out to be Jeffrey Mace, the Patriot. They were taken to the old SHIELD headquarters, which is in shambles. The base is being used to house Inhuman potentials that are in hiding from Hydra. The information Daisy passed to Ward had Radcliffe’s coordinates along with the word Ogygia. The coordinates are off the coast of Bermuda where there shouldn’t be anything. Lacking the manpower to help them retrieve Radcliffe, Ward agrees to pilot them to the location.

Mack and His Daughter

Mack is trying to raise his daughter Hope and avoid being on Hydra’s radar. Hope found a fallen Hydra drone and used parts from it to build her own. Mack says they need to take the parts back to ensure they don’t get into trouble.

When the Hydra mission Daisy is on leads them Mack’s house, she’s surprised to see him as he and daughter are brought into headquarters. May interrogates Mack as Daisy tries to reassure Hope. Daisy later sneaks in to talk to Mack. He recognizes her as “Daisy Johnson” and says they’re both SHIELD agents. Relieved, she tells him that Coulson and Simmons are there as well with Yo Yo on the outside. Mack then confesses he doesn’t know any of them. He only said what May told him to say in order to protect his daughter. Daisy tries escaping but is eventually caught and beaten by Hydra agents.

Coulson, Simmons, and Ward

Radcliffe is found on his island paradise prison. He’s surprised to see the Framework version of Ward since he only knew him when Hive had control of Ward’s body. Radcliffe tells Simmons that Aida killed him, and he’s living there with Agnes, the woman he based Aida off of. He tells them about Aida’s twisted plan and that she killed him and placed his mind in the Framework. He says there may be a way to escape in an old Russian base just as Hydra arrives on the island.

Fitz Makes a Decision

Earlier Fitz confronted Madame Hydra (Aida) about the subversive they were after. Aida is reluctant to tell him but finally shows him Simmons’ file. Observing his reaction, she tells him that Simmons is plotting against her. When he later discovered the terrorist in question is supposed to be dead, Aida explains Simmons crossed over from the “other side.” She hasn’t talked about her time there in detail with Fitz. She explains to him that, over there, SHIELD won and she was treated as less than human.

On Radcliffe’s island, the Hydra soldiers and Fitz find Agnes as Aida and Radcliffe talk. Holding a gun on Agnes, Fitz orders Radcliffe to convince him she’s not a threat. Simmons, Coulson, and Ward watch in hiding. Ward is prepared to shoot Fitz with a sniper rifle when Simmons begs him to stop. She says she loves him and will lose him forever if he shoots. Radcliffe tells Fitz how he knows him in the other world. Fitz and Simmons were in love and he almost died for her. Fitz refuses to accept this, saying he knows who he is as he shoots Agnes.



What’s going on with Fitz? The fact that he and Aida are in a relationship in the Framework is a little creepy. When Coulson and Mack were placed in serious situations, they fell back on traits from their real selves. Coulson was able to remember who Daisy was. Mack decided to track down the Resistance to help Daisy when he saw Hydra beat her. Despite seeing Simmons’ image and everything Radcliffe told him about her, Fitz remained loyal to Aida. Shooting an innocent woman is the last thing he would do. It was only after he shot her and Simmons cried out that Fitz might’ve had a moment of recognition. Either way, things are going to be pretty awkward when they eventually escape the Framework. Daisy is about to get tortured by Fitz now that he knows she is an Inhuman. It looks like he’s slipping further and further into this darker Framework version.

It seems strange that Mack is so protective and cautious about his daughter and Hydra. It could be that, deep down, he knows Hydra is evil. It almost seems that Hope might be an Inhuman potential, which would explain his desire to stay off their radar.

  • In an unrelated note, it was interesting that they used “Ogygia” as the location where Radcliffe was. That was also the name of the premiere episode of the new Prison Break season.

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