MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. – “All The Madame’s Men”

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Review: Aida’s Twisted Endgame

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. certainly wasted no time in re-introducing Sunil Bakshi, who died way back in Season 2.

In my previous review, I wondered if Daisy’s powers would be the same after Terrigenesis. Well, after a truly kickass escape sequence she used her sonic abilities to launch Madame Hydra out the window. Of course, there are little inconsistencies we’ve just got to go with. Like Hydra May not being killed by the Terrigen Mist, as Trip was when Daisy was first reborn. How about Madame Hydra being unaware that Daisy had her powers back? You’d think that having created The Framework, Aida would be fully aware of every bit of code or at the very least changes/glitches in her code, no? Even if Daisy/Jemma hacked their way in. Either way, the scene was spectacular and set up the action-packed hour brilliantly.

MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. – “All The Madame’s Men”
Courtesy of ABC
In the real world, we learned Aida didn’t die as poor Mace did last week. Which Bakshi gloated over on his news show. That guy’s a dick in any reality, isn’t he? Instead, she was “recalibrating” as she explained to Anton Ivanov/The Superior, whom we haven’t seen in quite a few episodes. This was our first sign that Aida was planning to somehow merge the Framework with the real world. The machine! I love that Ivanov questions Aida at every step, yet she’s placed restrictions on his new body so he can’t harm our heroes. A bit convenient sure, but at least they explained why she simply doesn’t do away with those pesky S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. She was originally programmed to protect human life. However, if they become a threat inside the Framework those rules don’t apply. This little bit of exposition helped answer some lingering questions.

With The Doctor/Fitz as the new head of Hydra, it’s becoming clear he will be the main holdout when it’s time to leave the Framework. The character is so far gone, I’m not sure how Jemma or any of the others can convince him the Framework isn’t real. All I know for sure is, if the writers kill Fitz off fans will riot… myself included. Hey, wasn’t that shot from outside the Triskelion zooming into Fitz at the window phenomenal? I’ve consistently marveled through the years at Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s VFX. This show really is like a mini-movie each week, despite its TV budget.

MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. – “All The Madame’s Men”
Courtesy of ABC
Coulson placing his hand on Ward’s chest was a subtle reminder of where their relationship ended up. I didn’t realize how much I missed Brett Dalton, until they managed to redeem him in this virtual world. That is something I doubt anyone saw coming. Do you think this version of Ward could be downloaded into an LMD in the real world? That certainly would be one way of keeping the character around, without compromising his original storyline. Victoria Hand bringing Ward to S.H.I.E.L.D. was perfect. It’s doubtful Aida will succeed in transferring her consciousness into a real body, but what about Ward? Hmmm… I’m ridiculously impressed with the writers this season. The series MUST be renewed.

When Daisy said, “We need wheels” I couldn’t help think of Ghost Rider’s car. Would she and May hop in Robbie Reyes’ muscle car? Not so much, but I keep hoping the two storylines meet up. If Robbie Reyes’ violent arc was the reason Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was moved to 10|9c impacting the ratings, and he’s not brought back, it’s a wasted opportunity. The show should then return to 9|8c next season, and I bet the lost viewers would start tuning-in LIVE again.

Ultimately, Jemma/Trip figured out that “Project Looking Glass” is being built in the real world and the resistance saved Daisy/May. Coulson trusting Hydra May was an important moment, everything started coming together and building toward an explosive finale. Wasn’t it heartbreaking to hear Ward accept there’s no future for he and Skye? Yeah, he called her Daisy and my eyes watered up. Will those crazy kids get their happy ending this time around? I don’t know about you, but I’m really hoping Ward makes it out of the Framework.

MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. – “All The Madame’s Men”
Courtesy of ABC
With Daisy already knowing Radcliffe’s “safeguard” secret, he’s become pretty dispensable at this point. Still, watching Fitz’s evil dad beating the crap out of him was rough. There’s no way the doctor could have imagined what his creation would become courtesy of the Darkhold. Anyway, Coulson’s idea of using Bakshi News to disprove “alternative facts” seems to have worked as the next installment is titled “Farewell, Cruel World!” With only three episodes left this season, you can feel a massive cliffhanger coming. Who won’t make it out of the Framework? Will Aida become human? Does Ward cross over into the real world?

Closing Thoughts…

I feel like a broken record, but these have been some of the best episodes of the entire series. Talk about breathing new life into a show, right? I am so on board with whatever the writers have in store for us. Naturally, I hope certain characters survive the Framework, but even if they don’t Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 4 will go down as one of the most well-written of all the current batch of superhero shows. The CW’s DC shows have let me down a bit this year, especially Arrow and The Flash. Yet, S.H.I.E.L.D’s writers hit on an arc that truly transformed their show, making it completely unpredictable and engaging. It’s been one hell of a season and a real shame the ratings don’t reflect it. #RenewAgentsOfSHIELD

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs Tuesdays at 10/9c on ABC.

  • Kerry Amburgy-Dickson

    On the issue of the terrigen crystals not killing May, the crystals Daisy was turned with were impure crystals and the impurities are what kill normal humans. This was mentioned *very* briefly in a previous episode. The crystals that Radcliffe, May and the others are using are purified crystals that Radcliffe grew. They don’t have the impurities and thus do not kill normal humans as evidenced in the episode where the Watch Dog agent tried to cause Senator Nadine to go thru terrigenesis by smashing the crystal in her office. None of the normal humans in that room were killed by the crystal, they were killed when the agent went thru terrigenesis and subsequently blew up.

    • You’re so right! I forgot Radcliffe grew those crystals. That helps clear that one up. Thanks! How do you feel about this latest arc?

  • Rico Muscatel

    This spring chapter has been their best yet. I’m expecting Ward will die a hero like Mace, leaving his former team with a different view of him. The one thing they don’t have to force in is a tie-in to a movie, which frees them to do this incredible story.