As we reach the penultimate episode of the season, things continue to get intense on all fronts. So without further ado, let’s take a look and see how the SHIELD crew is getting on now that they’ve escaped from the Framework.
1. By Your Powers Combined
Well, this episode did indeed answer my “wait, what?” question from last week. Apparently AIDA managed to get a whole assortment of Inhuman powers with her new body, thanks to studying them in the Framework. I’m not going to question it too much, considering they’re only virtual simulations of Inhumans, and instead I’ll accept that reasoning.
More importantly, though, we see her shoot lightning at a point. You know what that means? Somewhere in that virtual reality, she killed Lincoln, dissected him, and figured out what makes him tick.
Yeah, the real Lincoln died in space to help kill Hive, but it’s still pretty dark to think about, virtual world or no.
2. I Almost Thought They’d do it
I admit, I was almost convinced they were going to kill Mack for a moment there. Everything started going in slow-motion on the show, the dramatic music was swelling, and it was cutting from character to character as we saw their reactions. I’ve seen the show send off enough characters to know what that usually means, but they played with that expectation to give us his sudden rescue.
Sure, rationally we knew they weren’t going to kill Mack off so anticlimactically after saying goodbye to Mace just a few episodes ago, but it was still getting set up to look like they were about to. So I’ve gotta give it to the show, they nearly had me there.
3. Fitz-Simmons Continues
After multiple seasons of the “will they/won’t they,” Fitz-Simmons is still going strong in spite of all obstacles. Sure, Simmons was worried that Fitz would still love “Ophelia,” and Fitz was certain Simmons would no longer love him after what he did in the Framework, but Agents of SHIELD is making sure not to give us the typical temporary breakup we’d normally see in this sort of show, and I can appreciate that.
Of course, since AIDA/Ophelia didn’t exactly see that coming, and was trying to put the moves on Fitz while he was possibly on the rebound, that leads us to our next point…
4. Yep, Ophelia is Crazy
Pinocchio’s strings have been cut, and AIDA is a real girl. She got her wish and gets to feel things, both physically and emotionally, but like a child unable to control their temper tantrums, she has no control over her emotions. Everything is raw and intense for her, including guilt, love, and anger.
My compliments to Mallory Jansen for her performance in this episode. She got to explore the full gamut of emotions, often times simultaneously; from joy to intense sorrow to an insane rage, all culminating in a downright disturbing booze-fueled murderous intercourse scene (a description I never thought I’d have to write).
Artificial intelligence or no, she’s still got some issues to work out, particularly in regards to empathy and dealing with rejection. But then, “Ophelia” is a name not typically associated with taking rejection well (or staying sane for long) so I’m glad they’re sticking with the literary allusion. Anyone want to bet they take it to the natural conclusion and have it end with a drowned Ophelia?
5. Look Who’s Back
We already knew from previous announcements that Ghost Rider would be returning for the finale, and all I can say is “thank goodness.” Ghost Rider’s half of the season was plenty fun, and provided some nice character moments, so it’s nice to have Robbie Reyes back, especially since the Darkhold is still sticking around and being used rather frequently.
Of course, a Penance Stare might do a fine job of taking care of AIDA/Ophelia, though maybe not the Robot Russians running around, and just glaring at her to death would make things too easy. But whatever they use him for, this is a return I will not complain about.
Next week is the season finale, so we’ll see how it all pays off. There’s plenty more to touch on, from Talbot generally messing things up to May learning that her robot doppelgänger drank the booze she was saving, so let’s keep the conversation going in the comments and see how next week goes.