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May 02 2017

(SPOILER) Discuss Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4x20 "Farewell, Cruel World!". The episode was written by Brent Fletcher and directed by Vincent Misiano.

Oh, thank the gods I'm in here. I feel like I'm living in the Framework! I also beat Dusk here!
The most heart wrenching episode yet?

Also think the tag is a movie clip Canada didn't see.
I was very sick last week and couldn't watch the episode live.I watched last week's episode over the weekend.Really liked it.

I'm still not feeling great but will be watching live tonight.
Only 10 days huh?
So tonight's episode will all be about who gets to their goal first.
So quinjets don't have Stark reactor tech?
Retroactive thank you to Tripp.
Simmons is not OK.
Ooooh Mack is going to be FURIOUS.
Well that was obvious.
How does Alistair have no security?
Seriously... that's how Hydra's chief of security answers his door?
OT: Wonder Woman ad!
Maybe Alistair does have security, but Jemma is a crack SHIELD agent, so she knows how to break security.

Also, yeah... I've been waiting for a Wonder Woman movie since the 1960's.

[ edited by Nebula1400 on 2017-05-03 03:15 ]
The whole immortality-via-another-body thing seemed very Dollhouse-esque to me.
So out of the loop on the ads here in Canadaland.

So disappointed in his other self poor Tripp.
I don't think you can talk him down anymore Jemma...
Nope. Stupid.
Either Fitz, Simmons or both are not getting out of this season alive.
You know, I could have done with a little more of the real world team doing stuff...
Apparently the base blowing up made the news. Fitzbot, Macebot, Mackbot and the Daisy Army coud still be problems.
I'm trying to pack for a 5 a.m. departure but had to stop for this. I can see the wrenching stuff coming, ugh.
The floor is lava?
Guessing the molten steel is just an illusion. And Radcliffe is plotting something.
The way they keep saying backdoor put my mind in the gutter...
Wasn't Daisy a genius hacker once upon a time? Can't she just Matrix a goddamn exit??? (I say, just slightly frustrated with the damn Alt-Earth.)
What the hell? My cable just went out...
One good thing about the move to 10 pm is that I can watch both iZombie and AoS live this year. Yay! (both are killing it tonight)

[ edited by JDL on 2017-05-03 03:43 ]
She hacked them into it in the first place. Can't hack it when she's technically digital too I suppose.
How would Daisy do that in a world designed by Aida, NYPinTA?
Neo didn't make the Matrix.
They construct her injured, and her body dies of its injuries.
May has a reason to jump now... go go go go!
What happened between the time they found the portal and Coulson jumped in? My cable was out.
Is Ivonov off trying to shoot the plane so he's missing this?

Coulson got shot 3 times. The world went digitally wonky so Mack knows it's not real. May jumped in and woke up. Coulson is going for Aida while she's in the Framework. Fitz bust in with a gun pointed at Simmons.

[ edited by Dusk on 2017-05-03 03:44 ]
Hydra agents came in and started shooting, they all got separated a bit. Coulson got shot, May ran out to get him but he asked her to jump with him instead. She was reluctant. He fell in, on purpose. They rest all saw digital waves and realized it was all true what Daisy and Simmons were saying. Coulson woke up on the other side, and May followed after. Back in Alt-World, Fitz just walked up to Simmons before she could jump.
Oh, God, this is horrible.
Oh thank fuck!
He's not going to be his old self again.
I am very happily surprised with Radcliffe right now.
Radcliffe wanted to be their friend but things went wrong when he glimpsed the Darkhold trying to save Coulson, Fitz and Robbie. Doesn't absolve but it explains it.
Or angry awful Fitz wakes up and sees Coulson with a knife to the thing he thinks is his girlfriend...
Did she just Gordon-teleport?!!!
Props to Mallory Jansen in what is technically her 5th role.

[ edited by Dusk on 2017-05-03 03:56 ]
More Marvel? A GOTG2 preview?
I assume so since Canada didn't get it earlier.

Now what happened to Fitz and Aida?

I was hoping we'd get another John Garrett moment with the villain getting blown away in the middle of his Evil Speech of Evil.

[ edited by AndrewCrossett on 2017-05-03 04:00 ]
The fateful season finale?
Fitz realized he killed Agnes and Mace (so did May) and it felt natural. He think he's a bad person. When over to the human Ophelia and she teleported them away before May could shoot.

If she has past Inhuman powers that might include Jiaying's healing factor too which complicates a lot of things.
Great episode tonight.I figured Mack would choose to stay but still that really played out well.As did Fitz's reaction upon returning to the real world.
What happened after Mack hugged Hope? All I saw were random commercials.
If Fitz and Aida are back in F-land, is it possible Mac will still return? Or if they are somewhere else, can it please not all be on a submarine?
@AndrewCrossett Ya know that would be a good entry for a clip show of similar speeches. I would call it Final Diatribe.
Don't think they went back to the Framework, Aida said they can make "this world" whatever they want.
They played a preview of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Dusk.
Two more to go.
Thanks Nebula.
So now Madame Hydra is the omnipotent shadow government and Fitz is her front puppet in the real world.

I have a sinking feeling that Aida is basically the walking Darkhold now.
It wasn't Aida, but the Darkhold, wanting to become a real person. That's really creepy that the world is going to be taken over by a walking book.
@AndrewCrossett, Oh, is that what it is? Because I don't get how she could make herself a human body, but oh hey let's throw in some magic powers! The Darkhold is getting a whole lot too hand-wavy for me, personally.
This is all very Marvel.
@Nebula1400 Obviously someone read the Latin in front of it...
Did you see Doctor Strange, NYPinTA?
NYPinTA wins the Internet for today.
@Nebula1400 I did! His cloak was my favorite character.
@Grack21, thanks! Does this mean I control all the cat videos till midnight? What I could do with that kind of POWAH!
The cloak was my favorite character, too, but if those forbidden books could walk, they could be the sisters, brothers, and non-binary siblings of the Darkhold.
My guess: Ghost Rider is going to end Aida.
@Nebula1400 Oh what I wouldn't give for a bored looking Cumberbatch & agitated Wong to show up and tsk tsk them all for messing with things they don't understand... hahaha! And then BC folds up Aida like an unruly map (those are paper things us old folks used before GPS, kids) and off they go with a swirl.
That would seem kind of deus ex machina... even though Robbie has cause, due to his uncle and his brother. And if Aida really does have the full power of the Darkhold, Ghost Rider may be the only one with the power to harm her.
@Nebula1400, I wonder if it wasn't the Darkhold that drew the Ghost Rider to this dimension in the first place. I mean... he showed up and offered someone a deal that was related to someone that was using the Darkhold. Wouldn't be that much of a stretch that it was on the trail of the book itself originally. Got a little sidetracked, but now that the Darkhold is in a much more delicate form the Ghost'll be back with a vengeance...? Or something.

[ edited by NYPinTA on 2017-05-03 04:31 ]
AndrewCrossett and NYPinTA - For all the reasons both of you mentioned, I think he's going to destroy the Darkhold, and thus Aida/Madame Hydra.
A lot of people were wondering about the angst that was going to set in post-escape when, if both Fitz and Simmons survive, how was Simmons ever going to look at him the same or trust him or believe he's a good person.

I love how the show answered that: Simmons is UNWAVERING that all his "evil" is part of the simulation, and she will have NO problem accepting him or loving him. It's FITZ who's going to have a nightmare adjustment period.

But, in writing it that way, they give us all a hope spot for an actual happy ending. Because if Simmons silently hates Fitz, the relationship slowly crumbles, breaks, and dies. If Fitz silently hates himself, Simmons will keep trying to save him from himself, and eventually bring him back to his old self. Rough ride, but stronger in the end.

And I think they pulled it off REALLY well, writing AND acting. Iain and Elizabeth are KILLING IT this season!
Decent effort. I liked almost everything that happened, but felt no emotional connection to the events.
The one thing I didn't like was Yo-Yo coming back and almost instantly starting to fuck things up. First of all, I don't get how someone, who's been with S.H.I.E.L.D. for about five minutes, gets to be in charge of that plane. She obviously has no idea what she's doing: She doesn't know what kind of combat-capabilities the plane has and she thinks getting rid of the cloak is preferable to her having to chip in for gas... It's actually rather annoying. I get wanting to put your core cast in prominent positions - that's why people like Ward and Tripp are back and it doesn't bother me -but it has to make some sort of sense. S.H.I.E.L.D. is a big organisation with a hierarchy and training, expert knowledge and - atleast in theory - a lot of capable people. You shouldn't take someone in from the street and put them in positions, they're not qualified to handle, just because you're fond of them.
It's a similar deal with Daisy, although I think it has been more of a slow built with her and she has proven herself to be capable in various regards on several occassions. In contrast to Yo-Yo I also like her, so I'm not going to pretend there isn't some bias involved.

Anyway. The second thing I didn't like was Mack and Hope. Him staying back was exactly what I had been championing all along, so I'm down with that. What I am not down with is that look on his face and the fact that there are still 'Two to Go' (heh!). I don't trust this. I don't trust this at all!

I really liked that visual effect of Ophelia and Fitz disappearing. I was hoping AIDA would give herself an enhanced body, because everything else would've been pretty stupid.

Also, Fitz shouldn't worry so much. Everybody has the capability to do terrible things, should life lead them in that direction. No big deal. The fact, that you're horrified by what that variation of you did, tells you everything you need to know about yourself and the question whether or not you're a "good" person.

It makes all the sense in the world to keep her, because the actress has been great, but do we know why AIDA/Ophelia/possibly-the-Darkhold appears to be emotionally attached to Agnes' appearance? With her being able to rewrite the Framework, her position as Madam Hydra should be save even if she changed the way she looked. So... is it about Fitz and about how he might still remember and feel the feelings the felt for her - which are obviously strongly attached to Agnes' face? Is it about habit and choosing a different (looking) body never even crossed her mind? Or is it about something else, some sort of deeper connection to the way she looks and appears to the world?

[ edited by Sahjhan on 2017-05-03 13:24 ]
@Sahjhan, Seemed to me Yo Yo was in charge because there wasn't anyone else. Just before Simmons and Daisy went into the Framework, they discovered that Aida had created LMDs of several people and they had to evacuate the base and none of them trusted anyone else because none of them could know if Aida made any other LMDs elsewhere. That's why they were so reluctant to land to refuel and why that crew was the ones manning that ship. They were the only one's Daisy and Simmons knew for a fact were human and knew for a fact about the LMDs. Yo Yo had one job: keep them in the air until they woke up, and that's what they were all doing.
Well, there were atleast three(?) more people on the plane (ignoring those Aurora-wannabes). I'll admit to barely remember them from before, so maybe they're all Inhumans and even greener than Yo-Yo is; but if they're not, and if atleast one of them has been with S.H.I.E.L.D. for quite a while, there's a decent chance, he or she should have a higher rank and therefore be in charge.

I get what the job was. However, it's kinda hard staying in the air when you're being shot down - which wasn't a surprising turn of events at all. If you don't know who you can trust, go land your invisible(!) plane far away from any S.H.I.E.L.D.-base and steal some power and some rocket fuel (or what ever these things run on). Refueling might not have been without risk, but it sure beats the alternative of doing everything short of outright calling your mortal enemies on the phone to tell them where they might find you.
Like I said somewhere up-thread, I would have liked to have seen more of what they were doing while Daisy and Simmons slept and we could have gotten a better sense of who was really calling the shots, who those other agents are, etc. I just figured they decided a moving target was the safest play... and plus the writers needed everyone to be running out of room as they all sprinted towards the end of the story, for tension and stuff. For me it was more, "oh yeah, these guys are in danger too!" being suddenly shoved in that annoyed me.
Agreed. I think an episode dedicated wholly to the (awake) people on the plane would've been beneficial to...well...pretty much everybody. Provided it had been done right, it could've been a nice singular story (but still embeded into the greater arc, of course), caught everyone up on what's been going on outside the VR and most importantly been a chance to get to know Yo-Yo (and the rest of those agents) a bit better. In my opinion, episodes focused primarily on a singular person or a small group of people are often a great tool in making these characters more important and getting them over with the audience. "LOST" was awesome at this and I always like to point out two Season 1 "The Leftovers"-episodes about the priest resp. his sister. One (tremendous) episode each and I cared more about those characters than many I've seen for 100+ episodes on other shows.
So... Why didn't Daisy just lie to Mack? "Yep, we gotta go, Mack. You're real daughter is waiting for you on the other side." It makes more sense, and could potentially make for good drama when Mack wakes up on the other side and reunites with Daisy.

The way they did it seems illogical for characters, and like they're trying to artificially draw out the stakes of the framework for me, the audience.
@Agent: Probably because Mack would never have forgiven Daisy for doing that. It was his decision to make, and I'm sure he's aware of the possible consequences of it.
Not to mention the fact that Mack had yelled at Daisy like 15 minutes before for lying to him just to get him there.
Andrew said:
"I was hoping we'd get another John Garrett moment with the villain getting blown away in the middle of his Evil Speech of Evil."

There was a nod to that character (and a tribute to Bill Paxton, I assume) in the Bakshi News headquarters last episode. A picture of Garrett was shown on a few screens and something about an anniversary memorial or something along those lines. There may've been some print about why he was regarded as a hero in the Framework as well. I was REALLY happy to see that they included this, mostly because of the recent death of Bill Paxton, but also because Garrett/The Clairvoyant was such an important character in this show's first season and to Ward's arc (speaking of whom, I doubt we've seen the last of -- wouldn't be surprised if some characters went back into The Framework to maybe save Mack and we encountered Ward once felt empty that he wasn't in this ep).

All Radcliffe had to say to Fitz to stop or at least have a CHANCE at stopping his must-kill-Simmons rampage was "Your father's alive in the other world!" (wrote that before seeing the rest of the episode). Ah, okay, now I get it. Smart. Awfully convenient for Radcliffe that there was only one Hydra bodyguard near Fitz when he had to take control of the situation, rescue Simmons, and drag Fitz by the scruff of his neck to the portal.

Still, they shouldn't waste that actor and the bang-on family resemblance and mannerisms casting -- go find your dad in the real world, Fitz ! :)

Wasn't spelled out in the episode, but the back door exit from the Framework wasn't just blocked/concealed, it was put in a spot where if you DID decide to try and jump through it, the molten steel would kill your avatar/alternate self and kill YOU while plugged in to them. No-win/no-chance situation. You would have to have the vat removed, which our heroes didn't have time for...which now that I've finished the episode, I see Daisy DID find a workaround for.

Argh ! Daisy, just knock Mack out and drag him with you !!! Idiocy ! No need to lie to him again or have ANY conversation about why you're doing what you're doing -- just get him through ! That felt artificial, the set-up there. But fine, this way we can have Yo-yo go in and get him or do more heart-wrenching stuff with him losing Hope a second time.

With this body-printing technology, they could resurrect so many dead characters...Mack could come back to live with a synthetic Hope. Tripp (albeit an alternate version of him) could as well. They could "save" all these people from The Framework, should the unplugging of it cause its alternate reality to cease to exist. Then again, having read the theory that AIDA's human body (and perhaps her burgeoning self-awareness and sentience even while a robot, but post-readin-the-book in the Ghost Rider arc), I'm not sure we could trust any synthoid from The Framework to NOT be an extension of the Darkhold. So then screw it -- keep them outta the real world.

Sooo...does Framework-Skye disappear, or respawn elsewhere...? Or is dead and dissolved in the molten vat once Daisy's consciousness left her body. Grim, if these Framework avatars are actually real people in an alternate world. Ditto Hydra-May, teacher-Coulson, "The Doctor", and dead-Simmons (does she go back in to the mass grave as a lifeless corpse?).

[ edited by Kris on 2017-05-04 04:23 ]
@AndrewCrossett I don't buy it. I 100% believe that Daisy would lie to him and risk him hating her forever to save him.
Another awesome episode! The Framework arc has been the best one this show has had to date.

I have a couple of questions. First, why did Fitz and Radcliffe say that the Framework would be shut down through Simmons' and Daisy's actions? Does that mean that it would stop existing if all the 'real' people (i.e. people who had a consciousness not created by the Darkhold/programme) got out? But Radcliffe is also a real person, even if he doesn't have a body in the real world - so surely the Framework should continue at least as long as he is in it?

Either way, I'm sure that Daisy never thought the Framework world would stop existing if they got out - she was very sincere in her conversations with FrameWard and FrameTrip, and she had no reason to lie to them about some of the things she said (including telling Trip he could be the next Patriot, and telling Ward that she hopes Skye would come back to him), it's not like they were even expecting her to say some of these things.

Second question: do you guys think she was sincere when she told Simmons she only killed "a bunch of 1s and 0s" when she killed Alistair, or was it just to make Simmons feel better? What she says there doesn't fit with how she acted when she talked to Trip and Ward. Or is it a case of choosing to think of things in a certain way when it suits you - so people in the FW are just 1s and 0s when it's about Jemma killing Fitz' dad, but when she talks to Ward or Trip, she can't help seeing them as real people?
@Agent: "So... Why didn't Daisy just lie to Mack? "Yep, we gotta go, Mack. You're real daughter is waiting for you on the other side."

Because she's a good person and respects Mack and his agency and wishes and choices, rather than deceiving him in a terrible way to get him to do what she wants?

I despise it when characters (and people in real world) lie to, deceive, manipulate and force their loved ones "for their own good" and make decisions for them (because I Know What's Best For You, and screw your agency!). If she had lied to him, or even worse, forced him to come, I don't see how that would have been any better than when Ward kidnapped her and took her to Hydra headquarters against her wishes in order to meet her father. And Mack would absolutely have had the right to be furious at her and never forgive her if she had done that.
@Kris: The probable reason why Ward wasn't in this episode was scheduling.

I think that Brett Dalton went back to continue filming that movie "Bend in the Road" he signed onto a few months ago. I don't know this for sure, but I think that's the case because he was filming it earlier in the year before he started shooting AoS season 4, and he had an awful military haircut that doesn't seem like something he normally wears. Then at Wondercon a month ago, he had that haircut again. I thought that maybe he had finished his work on AoS and gone back to film the movie. That's probably why he and Daisy had their closure/goodbye scene in episode 19.

He was at the wrap up party for AoS and had normal hair again, so he may have gone back to film something else for the finale... or not. I'm sure he'd be at the wrap-up party either way.
I would like to point out, to everyone that believes they could resurrect Tripp and Ward and Hope and any other IRL dead character from the Framework using AIDA's body-building regimen, that technically, as the ENTIRE FRAMEWORK is an artificial construct, they could conceivably resurrect ANYONE EVER, including Mace and Agnes, by simply "programming" new versions of them into the Framework. Which essentially makes life REALLY cheap.

I SINCERELY hope the writers understand that and utilize it in the last two episodes. Like, there's some sort of incompatibility between digital versions and the real world, like maybe the artificial bodies are unstable or their minds can't actually process the IRL sensory data. Bonus points for this factor being what ultimately brings down AIDA.

Because otherwise, even saving Mack is irrelevant. We can just program a version of our old Mack, and print him out. No consequences for ANYTHING!!
@Batman1016: Exactly why they really, really shouldn't go down that route.
@TimeTravellingBunny: Daisy's reaction to Mack staying: "It's not real, you saw it with your own eyes!" Plus the fact the 1 and 0's revealed themselves for a moment seem to indicate she honestly doesn't see the Framework as real. She has some empathy for FrameWard and didn't know if he'd get Skye back either way. I see her words to FrameTripp as an indirect acknowledgment that he was a hero, she couldn't exactly say: "Thank you for dying while trying to protect me."

Coulson also says it wasn't real and Fitz seems to acknowledge that except for Mace and Agnes.

(Though even if Fitz comes around he'll still have the feeling of his father finally saying he loves him then hearing Jemma kill him which is another trauma).

Fitz will carry the most guilt, May will carry some for helping kill Mace but this could let her put Bahrain behind her. Simmons and Fitz have a lot to work through. Daisy and Coulson got out in comparatively good shape.
@Dusk: If she actually believed that none of it is real at all, then none of the people she meets there - other than Coulson, May, Mack, Mace, Fitz and Radcliffe - are real, either. Why would she have sympathy or care how they feel, if she didn't think they feel anything? Why would she need to tell Trip anything about him being a hero, if she doesn't think he's anything but 1s and 0s in a video game? Why have heart-to-heart confessions about the Ward in the real world and whether there was goodness in him all along? She wouldn't need to do or tell any of the Framework people anything beyond what gets them to do things that are useful to her, and she clearly went beyond that. She talked to them like they were real people.

Also, Fitz didn't say that there's nothing wrong in him killing digital people. He just replied "Agnes was real. And Mace" when Coulson tried to comfort him by saying "They were not real" (the people he killed). Again, Coulson, like Daisy, brings up the "they're not real, so it doesn't matter" argument only when he needs to comfort a friend about committing murder. Of course they'd want to think "they're not real" on that occasion. If they really believed that 100%, they could have, say, just randomly started killing people, no matter who they are, in the Framework, just so they wouldn't be a nuisance.

[ edited by TimeTravellingBunny on 2017-05-04 02:33 ]
@TimeTravellingBunny: She had unresolved grief for how Tripp died. Why did Andrew play along with First-Warren or Faith let First-Mayor get under her skin? Emotions overriding the logic. Mack is the ultimate example of this.

FrameworkWard forced her to partly reevaluate her opinion of the man she knew and she couldn't ignore his or anyone else's questions once Jemma started babbling about the real world. They still needed help of others to get out and even Daisy admitted it'd be easy to get sucked into the illusion, she tried to look up Lincoln and such.
@Agent: I don't buy it. I 100% believe that Daisy would lie to him and risk him hating her forever to save him.

If it were a matter of "Mack has to get out now or he's going to die," then maybe that would be a different story. But it's not at that point yet. Framework Mack is (reasonably) safe in SHIELD headquarters, and they now have control of his real body. It looks like the decision might have to be made next episode, when the ocean appears to be flooding the undersea lab and threatening to drown Mack.

@TimeTravellingBunny: First, why did Fitz and Radcliffe say that the Framework would be shut down through Simmons' and Daisy's actions? Does that mean that it would stop existing if all the 'real' people (i.e. people who had a consciousness not created by the Darkhold/programme) got out?

Very possibly. Without any real, sentient people in it, the Framework reality would have no reason to run in real time. What would be the point of ones and zeroes talking to each other with nobody there to see? To conserve processing power, the Framework probably only exists as an actual "experience" when there is a real person there to see it. Otherwise, the program probably just calculates what would have happened and advances the story to the next point where it interacts with a real person.

Since the Framework originally only had Agnes inside it, and she was already dead, then it should function even for people without bodies in the real world, such as Radcliffe. But considering how he feels about the Framework with Agnes gone, I doubt he plans to stick around for long after the others escaped.
@Dusk: I'm not saying that it's not emotions overriding the logic - but it shows that the characters are certainly not being consistent with the view that "none of this is real and doesn't matter". And you can just as well say that Daisy telling Jemma that Alistair was just 1s and 0s and killing him didn't matter, or Coulson telling Fitz that the people he killed didn't matter because they weren't real, was also about emotions, or rather trying to appeal to emotions: they were saying exactly the things that could comfort Jemma/Fitz. That was a situation when it was most convenient to choose to think "none of this is real, killing those people doesn't matter".

Daisy's second conversation with Ward in episode 19 went far beyond what she had to tell him because he was asking questions. He had already decided he was going to hold the position and that he would help them, and he was content to make sure she didn't think he was bad like her world's Grant Ward. She had absolutely no reason to tell him how he made her understand that Ward better or that she now thought "there was some good in him all along", nor to wish that his Skye would come back - especially if she didn't think this digital person had any feelings. And with Trip, she even went as far to try to convince him he should be the new face of the Resistance, the new Patriot. Why does she even care what he goes on to do, or what happens in that world once she leaves?
@AndrewCrossett: The Framework actually already had May before Agnes. However, Radcliffe's idea was to create a digital paradise where people could live happily ever after even after their bodies are dead - so, the Framework should have been devised to be able to function even if the 'real' people in it don't have living bodies in the real world, or else it would be often in danger of shutting down.

I rewatched the scene, and it's Fitz who brings it up. After Radcliffe says "Soon Daisy and the rest of them will escape this wretched reality" and Fitz replies: "But if that's true, she'll destroy this world, killing you along with it." I don't see how that makes sense, but Framework Fitz doesn't really know the true nature of the Framework (he thinks his reality and the other reality are just different dimensions, none of them inferior/dependent on the other), so he wouldn't know how things work anyway. He was most likely just going along with the "fake world" idea, which he doesn't believe in, in order to threaten Radcliffe before offering him "rebirth" in the other world. But Radcliffe acts as if he think it's true, saying "better dead than alive in this miserable place". However, he may have just been pretending and going along with it - what would be the point of disagreeing, anyway.
Re: forcing Mack out

"Because she's a good person and respects Mack and his agency and wishes and choices, rather than deceiving him in a terrible way to get him to do what she wants?"

I don't think Framework-Mack has enough of the full picture to make an informed decision. Respecting Mack's decision to stay with his daughter (who for all Daisy and the rest of us knows, is a digitized puppet acting out its programming with flawless conviction), completely disrespects the right of real-Mack to be saved from his vulnerable state in the real world. He could decide whether or not he wanted to be plugged back in AFTER he is woken up and is playing with a full deck again. They all seem to have woken up with full memory of each reality.

I agree on hating when other characters lie and take away the agency of others (in real life as well, yes). Sometimes it's legit dramatic storytelling, sometimes it's for plot expediency or due to lazy writing. I really don't think Daisy would have to apologize for pulling Mack out, though (although she would, out of compassion, because she would have just taken him away from an experience where his daughter had never died and he had gotten to have her and watch her grow, albeit in a nightmare Hydra-controlled reality).

"Sorry for waking you up from that comfy dream, but there's a whole lotta life to live in the real world and an ongoing crisis/potential threat to all of human existence with killer robots in the real world" ? Doesn't track. Daisy has NOTHING to apologize for, if she knocked Mack out and brought him with, to sort it all out later.

I like this storyline a lot as well, but if you gotta choose, with a gun pointed to your head and the clock ticking ? Our world first. Tribalism wins every time. This might not be a Superman scenario where he can have the best of every solution and save everyone. At the moment, as far as what's been proven on screen/in-scene, regardless of what Jed and company have said in interviews, The Framework is a wholly convincing fakery. I expect a twist on that, though, just to complicate everyone's lives in-show, and our debates here on the internet. >;)
I think it just didn't occur to Daisy to lie in that moment. She had already been caught in one and he was furious so his trust of her was tenuous at best and he'd know she was lying if she tried it again. Plus, she was ready to leave Fitz behind to come back for later because the priority was her and Simmons getting out so they could keep Aida from killing them all in the real world. I think it was simply a matter of her prioritizing, because wasting time fighting with him could have meant all of them dying. How that scene played out was a little awkward and I can see why others are upset she just left him there like that, but I always figured Mack would be the one staying behind so I wasn't that perplexed by how it happened.

As for Framework Fitz, I think it's possible that he was aware of how the Framework worked. Aida (as Orphelia) was keeping things from him at first but I think she did tell him everything by that point. And that was what he meant when he asked if he could "come with her" which was he wanted to go as Alt-Fitz to the real world. Which reinforces for me how the Framework really works, which is that the alternative time lines of everyone is not the consequences of their choices and the removal of one regret, but that everything was specifically manipulated by the Darkhold (via Aida) to achieve its/her goal: a new body in the real world. I've had issues with a lot of things in the Framework, (surprise!), but looking at it this way makes everything else make sense for me. For example, yes May regretted killing that girl in Bahrain and I can see how Hydra would have used her in a war to turn people against In-humans, but May falling in line with everything else Hydra did never felt true. Until Aida said to Ivanov that May “broke free from her narrative” after she saw Mace sacrificing himself to save those kids. It wasn’t until then that May was behaving like herself, even if she still wasn’t aware of her real world life. Taken with that view, suddenly all of them and where they were in the alternate-Earth had a purpose. Aida needed Fitz, so she created a narrative for him that removed his humanity but kept him close. Jemma didn’t happen to die, Aida made sure to keep the one person out of that world that could have any sway over Fitz. May was made to be a ruthless loyal Hydra agent for Aida’s protection. She kept Skye close, but gave her Ward to keep her happy instead of Lincoln because with Lincoln there was a chance she’d have discovered her In-human nature. The real reason Mack and Phil were given quiet lives wasn’t just because of what they wanted, but to keep them away from the conflict. And Mace was the perfect foil to keep everyone too busy to figure out what was really going on. He was just the distraction. Outside positioning them and “changing their narrative”(even to the point of altering their basic personality), they were free to go about their business. The best lie contains just enough truth to fell right, and that's what I think she really did.

This does beg the question then of why Aida needed any of them in the first place. With the Darkhold and Framework, she could have used the duplicates of them all to achieve her ends without having to insert the real versions and deal with the chance they'd wake up inside the Framework and fight their assigned narratives, but then I remembered her programming. All of them were taken and replaced when Radcliffe was working for Ivanov and trying to achieve his goals. But once they were captured and inserted in the Framework, Aida’s “no kill” programming kicked in. So she, and the Darkhold, simply worked with what they had. But now that she has what she wants, Fitz and Radcliff are correct that there is no reason for her to keep the Framework up and running. However, and this is just a personal theory, that doesn’t mean that the Alt-Earth would actually disappear.

This is what I’m thinking: The Darkhold used the Framework to actually connect to an actual alternative Earth, but with the Framework technology, the consciousness of people in the Real World gets inserted into their counterparts. With Aida's programming, they don't realize it's happened and fall into whatever life they've been living. Without it, they overwrite their counterparts like Daisy and Simmons did. So if Aida shuts the Framework down, all that it would really do is cut off access between the Real World and this Alternative, but the duplicate Earth would just keep on going.
If you're going to print out a body, why print out a human body when you can print out an inhuman body? Makes sense.
@NYPinTA: No. Not only does it go against what we actually saw in the show, not only it makes LESS sense rather than more (Aida devises super complicated scenarios with infinite variables? Even though she doesn't even understand humans fully?), it would also make this an incredibly lame storyline and a total cop-out, where it would be all "oh, it was all just an evil robot programming everyone and it had absolutely nothing to do with their natures and choices!" That would make the people who dismiss this storyline as pointless right. Who would give a damn about a storyline that's nothing but a video game devised by an evil robot with the protagonists nothing but puppets? A storyline that would say absolutely nothing about any of the characters, other than Aida, and make all their interactions with the virtual people in the Framework completely meaningless? The show is not all about Aida.

[ edited by TimeTravellingBunny on 2017-05-04 17:55 ]
@TimeTravellingBunny: Because the audience needs to see Daisy's final thoughts on FrameWard and how this experience furthered her character. He obviously has had an effect on her and since she's not Elliot Alderson, the viewers don't know her inner thoughts until she says or acts on them. Same with her 'goodbye' to Tripp. They avoided an outright rehash/explanation of what happened to the one Daisy knew so you have to take all her words and actions towards him while accounting for how she felt about the Tripp she saw die.

The Real or Not Real Question seems to have put our main cast on the Not Real side, save Mace, Radcliffe and Agnes. One lingering thing is that if Not Real is the truth; then does Coulson share some of the blame for Mace's death if the kids weren't real or do they chalk it up to Framework influence as Coulson tried to say for Fitz when they woke up?
@Dusk: That's the Doylist reason. But the you're not giving me the Watsonian reason: since Daisy doesn't know she is a character in a TV show, "she is saying it so the audience would know her inner thoughts and feelings" is not a good enough explanation/motivation.

The characters may be going for "none of this is real" on the intellectual level, but they've still treated it as real and relevant on multiple occasions.
Yeah, don't tell me no. And Aida isn't just Aida anymore is she? Nothing in how any of them were acting makes any sense unless it was for a purpose, and that purpose was getting Aida a body. It gives them all an actual reason for how they were other then "cuz angst is fun" which without a reason is cheap an unearned.
@TimeTravellingBunny: She has nothing against this version of Ward. Since he had just figured the other version of himself died and Daisy likely hated him she gave him a few nice words and acknowledged that with a few differences her Ward might have had a shot of being a good person. Real or not the Framework played on her emotions which she has acknowledged.
@NYPinTA: I'm not following your reasoning. Does anything that happens in the show has to be devised by an all-knowing, all-powerful creature with a super complicated and rather baffling plan (how the hell does 80% of the things we saw in the Framework contribute to Aida getting a body?), or else it happens just "cuz angst is fun"? Or is maybe far *less* cheap and far *more* earned if things that happen are... wait for it... actually a reflection and result of our protagonists' personalities, desires and choices?
@Dusk: That's exactly what I've been saying? She talked to the Framework version of Ward, and the Framework version of Trip, as if they were real people with thoughts and feelings and a future, not "just 1s and 0s that don't matter".

[ edited by TimeTravellingBunny on 2017-05-04 21:30 ]
@TimeTravellingBunny: She let her emotions of 'closure' with Tripp and reevaluation of Ward out to herself. Her feelings toward them are real to her even if they themselves aren't. She doesn't know if fake digital Skye will return when she's gone but doesn't hate this coded Ward ad it made her reflect on the one she knew; so she gave him some nice words. She indirectly showed some appreciation for her Tripp but she's not actually invested in whether FrameTripp can help save that world as the new Patriot for example.
Oh my god, seriously!

The fact that people are disagreeing this much means that both sides are valid. Different people do different things in the same situation. She made a choice between which horrible thing she would do. With people feeling so strongly on both sides, clearly either way of handling things is believable and understandable.
Jason, I think NOT helping your friend out of the addictive dream state they're in (by conking him over the head or slightly quaking him if necessary, then bringing him down into the exit point with you) is the height of being a bad friend.

Daisy doesn't have any reason to believe that the Framework is real (especially after the glitch-wave showed them all that it's just a simulation, however complex it may be due to Darkhold influence). She made the wrong choice.

If you had the cure-all/magic bullet to help your drug-addicted friend get clean instantly (even if he would have the memory of the good trips he experienced while on drugs), but you chose to let them keep zoning out on the couch and continuing to ride their high due to being afraid of pissing them off and because you felt it was easier to let them live a fantasy than face the harsh realities of real life...that makes you a terrible friend. That's what Daisy just did in regards to Mack.

She thought with her heart (sort of) instead of her head and it might result in actual-Mack dying, without the combo of Framework/actual Mack ever regaining his memories from the real world and being able to make an informed decision as to whether or not he truly does want to remain in the Framework or not.

Lazy writing for the sake of plot expediency, maybe, in order to set us up for more Mack dilemma next episode...but either way, the puppet strings are still showing and I expect better from this series.

Everything was excellent, otherwise.

[ edited by Kris on 2017-05-05 07:08 ]
Drugs? That's a terrible comparison. I don't have the strength to go through all the arguments again. But boy am I glad that the show did not have Daisy act so condesendingly to her friend, making decisions for him and ignore his agency with that kind of justification... I'd be pretty disgusted otherwise.
Bear in mind that these people are thinking like people in a stressful situation... not like TV viewers comfortably analyzing things in an Internet forum.

In any case, from the preview it's clear that this choice is going to be forced next episode. Mack will have to either come out of the Framework, or drown.
Arguably, Mack doesn't have agency in this situation because Aida brainwashed him into believing that his Framework history is all that he's ever known and experienced. Should he choose to plug back in to the Framework after he gets out and regains his memories and can choose where he wants his consciousness to be, fine. Absolutely nuts, on his part, but fine. Coward's way out, IMO, though. Life is full of pain and loss and we're all the better for it for facing it head-on and soldiering on despite it, enjoying what we can (because there's plenty to still enjoy and explore and learn and grow from, despite these losses). People, real people, care about him in the real world. Essentially suiciding himself (he's not terminally ill and suffering, so no argument in favor of it from where I'm sitting), is a risky proposition. We don't know what will happen when The Framework is unplugged/shut down, not yet (yes, it might very well turn out that AIDA/The Darkhold tapped in to an alternate reality or three or four of them...we'll be having a different conversation once that's established on-screen).

I don't understand why some are prioritizing the altered Framework characters' lives over that of their actual ones in the real world. AIDA already took away their agency when she knocked them out and plugged them into the Framework. This is key, IMO, and I'd love to hear a well-reasoned argument otherwise. Daisy would be restoring Mack's right to choose, had she knocked him out and plunked him into the exit point.

Don't see anyone arguing about how Fitz's agency was ignored when he was forced into the portal. They were doing what was best for their friend/saving him from a terrible situation and a trap that AIDA had forced him into.
Human beings are creatures of emotion first, logic second. Mack had the greatest regret of his life fixed, and now having that taken away from him again would be emotionally crushing. Trying to logic him into never again seeing the person who's been the center of his life for (as he perceives it) the last 10 years is not going to be easy.

As we saw with Fitz, even the most entrenched Framework faux-reality goes away pretty much immediately upon leaving the Framework. But the emotional consequences won't. Fitz, if he survives this, will be a mess for quite some time to come. Mack will be too.

It's possible, though, that as Framework Mack tries to resume his life with Hope, his realization that she's not real will win out and he won't be able to go on living the lie. Maybe Hope herself will even talk him into returning if she finds out the truth.

Still not 100% convinced the Framework isn't as real a world as our own, though. It's obviously a computer-created world, but ours could be too.

If I were writing this season, I'd be tempted to have OUR world undergo the same "electronic scan" effect we saw in the Framework when Coulson left, when the Darkhold is destroyed.
"S.H.I.E.L.D. is a big organisation with a hierarchy and training, expert knowledge and - atleast in theory - a lot of capable people. You shouldn't take someone in from the street and put them in positions, they're not qualified to handle, just because you're fond of them."

The current White House would strongly disagree with you.
I'm cool with The Framework turning out to be a reality that AIDA-via-Darkhold tapped into rather than created from scratch, but I prefer them not to go the route of "it's all engineered that way", main MCU and all. I don't want a "Normal Again" Buffy scenario and I don't want the whole thing to be The Matrix.

Sure, the MCU (and the world we're living in) could be other than what's been shown so far (and observed and measured with our best available tools and knowledge thus far), but let's go with what we know, not blind leaps and theories. The show can mess around with The Framework and the nature of what any individual is capable of under the right (or wrong) circumstances, but I'd just personally rather they not screw with the main MCU that includes all the films and other shows. I'd prefer there to be a basis for normality or reliability or something...maybe I'm explaining myself poorly, sorry.

I don't usually like "it was all a dream" twists and I don't always (actually, almost never) want our characters to be the playthings of gods and super-advanced alien architects. Haven't we moved past Greek and Norse mythology-like set-ups ? What else is there to explore in that arena, besides the two most common avenues of "creation rebels against creator and maybe topples them, maybe loses" and "creation becomes aware of its place in the gods'/aliens' plan and realizes it's stuck/realizes it's screwed beyond measure, cue depressing end credits". I'd like a more hopeful and open-to-possibilities set-up for our MCU (and most fictional universes I indulge in via books/movies/shows) and I'd prefer all the triumphs and tragedies to be wholly of our (human) creation and fault (and okay, very human-like aliens that meddle occasionally like Kree and Asgardians, but who weren't our progenitors and don't control us).
Hi everyone! The 10pm time really crimped my watch live style.

I also had issues with this LMD storyline, until the last four episodes. Now I'm really hooked into it. I like how the show is taking concerns in the real life, giving them a bit of twist, and exploring them in the show. The show always did this but there's a different edge to it these last few episodes.

The "Nevertheless, she persisted" (not from this ep but one of the three before) quote was just fun for me.

Kris, I do think humans are ultimately at fault here. Radcliffe and Fitz built ADA. And Radcliffee built/accessed whatever the framework. Another power putting it in place does not negate what Radcliffe did with it. Whedony things usually wind up focusing on the very human, so that's my guess.

I hope everyone is well. I hope I can stay awake for the penultimate and live watch with all of you.

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