Inside the virtual world of the Framework, Hydra has defeated SHIELD, and Inhumans are being hunted while the rest of the world cowers under the new leadership. Daisy Johnson and Gemma Simmons have made their way inside in order to locate and save their fellow agents captured by Aida, the Life Model Decoy created by Holden Radcliffe. Daisy and Simmons discovered the Framework version of Grant Ward is working with the Resistance, the remnants of SHIELD with Jeffrey Mace in command. Coulson and Mack also found their way to their cause despite not fully recalling their lives outside while Fitz and May are immersed in the darkness of Hydra. Daisy has now been captured by Hydra, and it’s not clear what the Resistance will do to free her.
Warning: There will be spoilers for Season 4, Episode 18 of Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD, “No Regrets,” below.
Simmons Talks To Ward And Mack
Ward and Mace aren’t quite sure what to make of Simmons and her talk of the outside world. Grant asks her how she knows which world is real. Simmons insists she knows because Fitz would never kill someone in cold blood, as the Framework version did last episode. Mace makes his case by describing his past and mentions all the friends and colleagues that have died fighting this cause. Later she is surprised to see Mack and his daughter, Hope who died shortly after her birth in the real world. Seeing his interaction with her makes her tell Ward not to use him in a field op. Grant asks if it’s because of the “fake dad” and his “fake daughter,” but Simmons simply says it’s for his safety since what happens to someone in the Framework also happens in the real world.
Mace, Coulson, And A Familiar Face
Mace and Coulson manage to liberate a Hydra bus headed to a Hydra re-education prison camp. They had hopes Daisy would be on board, and Mace decides to launch another mission to rescue another agent with vital intel. Inside the camp, they find Antoine Triplett. He was surprised when Coulson immediately called him by his old high school nickname, Trip. Trip died in the real world when Daisy underwent Terrigenesis (Season 2, Episode 10), and was working undercover to find out about the secret weapon Hydra was working on.
What One Regret Turned Fitz Evil?
After Daisy is interrogated by Fitz and Madame Hydra (Aida), she discovers Radcliffe is being held in the room next to hers. Radcliffe is still in anguish over the death of Agnes, the woman Aida was modeled after, and Daisy shows little sympathy for him. She tries to understand how one thing could turn Fitz evil, and Radcliffe says one sentence is all that’s needed to change someone.
In the Framework, Fitz’s dad is by his side. Fitz tells him he’s not sure if the woman he killed had to die. Mentioning several “What if..?” scenarios, his father immediately shuts down that line of thinking, saying that’s the way his mother thought. It’s clear having his father around resulted in Fitz to go down a dark, less compassionate path.
Mace Vs. May
May is consumed by her guilt over the Cambridge Incident which caused the death of 279 people. When Madame Hydra mentions a new weapon being worked on, May volunteers to use it to go after Jeffrey Mace, the Patriot. The weapon turns out to be an augmented strength serum (with ingredients very similar to the formula used by Daisy’s father, Calvin Zabo). Arriving at the Hydra prison, the two have a brutal fight. As the serum begins to wear off, Mace gets the upper hand, refusing to end her since he’s not the evil terrorist she claims he is.
Coulson discovered a former student that was removed from his class was being “re-educated” in a building on the base. When Mace heads over to meet Coulson and Trip along with Simmons and Ward inside the building, May is given the order by Fitz to use the quinjet they arrived in to fire upon the building. Wanting to be certain of Mace’s death, May enters the building and is surprised to find children running out. May arrives as Coulson’s student is about to get smashed from a cave-in, and Mace jumps down to shield him. Holding up a support beam, Mace is actually holding up the remains of that section of the building and orders everyone out. Simmons tries getting him to leave, but there is no other way. Giving him a nod of respect, May leaves without shooting him, and the entire building collapses. Madame Hydra later exits the Framework and disengages Mace since his vitals have flatlined.
May Visits Daisy
Daisy is still recovering from her various beatings. May asks her if it’s true she’s an Inhuman. Daisy says, “Yeah. Powerful enough to bring this whole place down.” May then pulls out a Terrigen crystal and says she hopes that’s true. Throwing the crystal down, the Terrigen Mist envelops Daisy, creating a cocoon around her.
It was another action-packed episode as another cast member bites the dust. Mace really believed in the world inside the Framework. It was a noble sacrifice that shouldn’t have been necessary. It’s never easy to see characters killed off, but it does add to the threat of the mission. It’s been said over and over that if they die in the Framework, they die in the real world. Mace was the unfortunate example to fully drive that point home.
A big question is: What happens when they finally escape? Radcliffe told Daisy there is a backdoor out that Aida isn’t able to destroy. Fitz will have to deal with the evil deeds he committed, and Simmons might find it hard to forget them. Mack will be devastated to lose his daughter again, especially after having the false memories of their life together. Ward found out his outside-world version was pretty evil, and there can’t be a way for him to leave the Framework despite all his good he’s done, right? The same holds for Trip.
Another questions is: How did May hold the Terrigen Crystal without petrifying? Perhaps it’s because they’re in the Framework. It’ll be fun to see how the Terregenesis process works on Daisy when she emerges from her cocoon.