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"Nothing is what it appears to be."
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May 16 2017

(SPOILER) Discuss Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 4x22 "World's End". The season finale was written by Jeffrey Bell and directed by Billy Gierhart.

Here before Dusk. Lights out!
Some startling moments.

They weren't lying about next year being a real curve ball.
So next season will be about baseball!
It brings a new view on things.
These are predictions, not spoilers because I have no clue. But I think they might keep The Superior, aka Ivanov, as a baddie into S5. Fitz might try to redeem Ophelia rather than kill her, because he figures she's like him when he was in the Framework, doing evil because she just doesn't know better. Mack and Yo Yo make it back. And that's all I got.

Good luck everyone!
OK, I have to admit it would have been really funny if Ghost Rider had taken Aida/Ophelia out in the first 5 minutes.
Whooooa. Ghost Rider is badass. Even worse-ass that he used to be.
Wow that's the most pissed off I can remember seeing GR.
Mack makes it back, but YoYo dies.
Yeah I don't think Mace's idea to arrest him would have gone well back then...
I had the same thought, NYPinTA.
NYTinPA, I agree, that would have been hilarious. Sort of like Indiana Jones shooting the guy in Cairo.
Buffy reference!
Fell out of that Hellmouth...
Well that was a rip-roaring opening.
Nebula, I'm very much afraid you may be right. #TeamSaveYoyo
Mack will live to regret choosing to live in the fake world.
Startle #1
I'm thinking Yo Yo will basically do what Radcliff did to Fitz and just shove him in just before the Framework shuts down completely. He'll leave if Hope disappears. :(
Holy shit! Obviously she's an LMD, or maybe a shape shifting Aida/Ophelia.
Yep, that's about how I figured Talbot would go.
Huh. Talbot was a gigantic pain in the ass, but not happy he went out like that.
holy shit!

also put me in the yoyo dies mack gets out pool
They aren't skimping on the FX budget this episode.
Daisy channeling Buffy.
Robbie the optometrist.

Coulson the fanboy.
Fanboy Coulson is my second favorite Coulson.
This is so about real life events.
Ha! Phil misses Robot May just a bit.
Startle #2
Oh hell no.
I don't get why Hope is still alive though. I get that they'd try and keep Mack, YoYo, and Radcliff alive. But why Hope? It's what's keeping Mack in the Framework.
Is vengeance a feeling?
Oh dear Lord.
Yeah, bored with the jealousy as motivating factor for women to go nuts thing though.
Knew it wasn't Jemma we've seen Fitz freak out over her almost dying before. This wasn't it.
Coulson as the Rider did surprise me though.
They should be able to download Hope and put her in an LMD.

She'd never grow up, though.
Figured out it wasn't Jemma when she said "You did this" to Fitz. But didn't see CoulsonRider coming.
Nice switch.
If they bring out Hope it causes massive problems imo in the MCU so I would think it unlikely.

[ edited by JDL on 2017-05-17 03:44 ]
Best case scenario for Mack is that Daisy (who was a genius hacker once upon a time) manages to "save" Hope's code in a bubble Framework that Aida can't shut down and since Fitz built that machine that made Aida human, he does it again and they make Hope human in this world and he gets both Hope and Yo-Yo. Will it happen? Hahahaha. No.
Yeah SHIELD can't contain the Rider.
Oh. Well that was final.
OK, why is Mack being so goddamn dumb. He's not a moron. I understand he loves her, but come on.

Edit: OK, that was mean.

[ edited by NYPinTA on 2017-05-17 03:47 ]
Coulson when have secrets from the team *ever* gone well?!
I don't feel like they really established Mac and Yo Yo as a couple enough to make this as moving as it should be.
I like this version of Ghost Rider.
Waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Bye Radcliffe.
I was hoping his whiskey would disappear first. Because I'm horrible and that'd be funny.
Get ready for the curve ball!
What was that?
Ivanov Head is still out there.
I got it about 5 seconds after the tag as a mild comic reader.
Cut off one head...
Wait. What?
I have a pretty good idea that they just got recruited by another acronym...
Ivonov Head and VJ join Felix Blake and Ian Quinn/Gravitron in the Loose Ends Club.
What? SWORD?

Does Marvel have the rights to that?
If all of next season takes place in space I would be OK with that. I'm just saying.
What? WHAT?
Eh, Marvel does NOT have the rights to SWORD, unless a deal was reached I am unaware of.
With the rumored budget cuts... no, next season won't all take place in space.

If Ivanov survived, that means they must be going ahead and making him MODOK.
I wouldn't mind all of next season being in space, either.
They said no in early S1 but Guardians got the rights to Ego from Fox so it's totally possible now.

Also apparently the Inhumans start in space but end up in Hawaii so crossover potential is there.
@Dusk, what we don't see off screen is that Deathlok usually sweeps in and takes the bad guy loose ends out. Although I'm not sure VJ counts since he was just new and confused.
It's possible they required the rights, but as far as I know, they traded EGO in order to make changes to Negasonic Teenage Warhead in Deadpool. And their deals are usually 1 for 1.
Legion and that Gifted TV show has to be allowed by Marvel to even get off the ground in the television medium. The two sides are talking more so SWORD could be in those conversations.
@AndrewCrossett, shows with low budgets are made about or taking place in space all the time. I'm not saying they will stay there. But they could.
It would be nice, what with SWORD being a Joss creation and all. Maybe they could even get him to kick in a script or two next season.
See everybody around November on Fridays!
I highly, highly doubt its SWORD. In fact id bet real money on it. They would need rights to tons of things they don;t fave that relate to FF/X-men.

But every year someone thinks something is SWORD, and then it isn't.
Amazing episode tonight.I got to admit they got me with fake Jemma at first until her line,"you did this."

Loved Ghost Rider Coulson.

And that tag soes seem to be setting up something really different for next season.
Such a long wait to talk like this again! Have a great most of the rest of the year!
A even more secret organization above SHIELD that deals with outer space; what else would it be?
In the meantime, if anyone is looking for a fun show in space with lots of kick ass characters, Killjoys comes back June 30th. (Not Whedon related. But I feel it owes a lot to Buffy and Firefly.)

Oh, just occurred to me, but they already set it up so that MODOK (if that's who Ivanov is) can have any face. So they don't need either actor to come back. I just find that interesting.
One of the 100s of space organizations they have the rights too probably?
Well... I was kind of hoping for Reed Richards to walk in...
Maybe. I imagine interviews tomorrow might bring it up.

As far as space show's I gotta plug The Expanse. Really awesome and great if you like complex storylines.

I'm not sure how much tech Ivonov has left and if he knows how to make other people or if that was Aida's doing. The Head makes copies of itself but they weren't clear on the others.

[ edited by Dusk on 2017-05-17 04:17 ]
I'm not going to spend 6 months trying to guess. The question I have is whether they are prisoners or recruited to help someone or something, some way.
I'm more interested in why Ghost Rider hated AIDA so much.
I like both The Expanse and Killjoys. There will be plenty for us to space out in front of the TV for in between tonight and S.5.
Ghost Rider hates creations of the Darkhold which her human body was.
Folks remember that Fox does not own the FF and the realted IP that goes with it. To access that Marvel would have to deal with the
owner, Constantin of Germany who are mostly into Sports programming these days. Some sort of deal is not out of the question.
I would LOVE to see Marvel get back the rights to the FF and do right by them.
Maybe they were recruited by U.N.I.T. ;)
Well, yes, but there was obviously a bigger reason then just because she was part of the Darkhold.
Eh, Fox doesn't have the FF?

Edit: wait, is that some sort of soccer joke?

[ edited by Grack21 on 2017-05-17 04:33 ]
Fox has production & distribution deals with Constantin afaik but no ownership.

[ edited by JDL on 2017-05-17 04:47 ]
The only part of this episode that didn't quite click was how quickly Mack got back to normal (or seemingly normal) after just having his daughter wink out of existence in his arms after 10 years of memories. That is messed up. I have to think that's going to stay with him.
Grack21: I don't think there's a bigger reason than her being a part of the Darkhold. What am I missing that makes it obvious there is more to it?

AndrewCrossett: I agree about Mack. It might have been more powerful to have him come back and be so devastated by losing Hope again, that he doesn't forgive YoYo.

[ edited by Nebula1400 on 2017-05-17 04:49 ]
Well, when Ghost Rider asked Coulson if he understood now why he hated her so much, and then his follow up was something like, will you tell them? I got the feeling there was more to it. Like, the thing Coulson knows that the rest of the team doesn't is related to her somehow. I could be wrong.
Re: Mack. I wasn't nearly as surprised he was settled about it the way he was since we already saw how Coulson and May were basically their old selves the moment they woke up too. And although Fitz felt the guilt of what his evil alter ego did in the Framework, there was nothing about him that said who he was had lingered. So, although they said it wasn't like a dream, they all seem to react the way one does after waking up from one.
Coulson made a deal for the Rider to jump into him to kill Aida. The Rider will come to collect a price on Coulson but he doesn't want Robbie to tell the team.
I'm not sure why this would place Coulson in GR's debt. GR wanted Aida dead as much as Coulson did.
Apparently Coulson has something of interest to GR and GR took the need for the body switch as an opportunity. Maybe the fact Coulson died once?
Well, the GR needs a source of rage in order to possess someone, right? With Robbie it was what his uncle did to him and his brother. With Mack it was the loss of his daughter. With Coulson... it could be his resentment at being brought back to life against his will. But it could be something else.
I think the deal Coulson made for the Rider had less to do with AidOphelia, and more to do with something totally different. I think her story is done, though Ivanov's head, LMDs, and the Darkhold will probably all continue on as story elements. Also left unresolved is whatever happened to Vijay Nadeer at the bottom of the ocean.
Eh, the I don't envy you line makes me think something else is up.
Maybe that's how Coulson exits the series/"dies" in the end. The Rider comes to collect his due.

That was pretty rushed, in spots, but would probably play better for someone marathoning this season.

AIDA/Ophelia was dispatched too easily. I don't mean physically. Feel like there was so much more they could've explored with her emotionally and character development-wise. I understand that she had to be taken out for the safety of Jemma & Fitz, the rest of the team, and the world at large, but feels a bit like a missed opportunity. Fitz began to scratch the surface of it when he pointed out that her experiencing all the emotions at once must have been overwhelming (even if he was playing her at that point). I dunno, I just wish Mallory Jansen could stick around.

Speaking of, they DIDN'T cheap out/didn't Disney up Radcliffe's end by having Agnes appear somehow. I almost wanted it, but am glad they didn't. His death was tragic -- his endeavour to create artificial life/bodies that don't die was borne out of altruistic reasons. Just wanted to save the woman he loved and by extension ease human suffering across the board. And possibly end death. All worthy goals. His final scene was beautiful, but also chilling. It was probably the boldest/most interesting thing the finale did, however small. I wasn't expecting to see Radcliffe again, actually.

Robbie/Daisy had more chemisty than Lincoln/Daisy (not a Linc hater at all, just what I saw). Not a 'shipper very often with this series, but wouldn't have complained about a kiss or them screwing before he had to say goodbye. This episode also worked as a backdoor pilot for Robbie's Ghost Rider (so did the end of the GR pod), if they wanna follow him in the dark dimension.

Good shock, but I was almost a bit pissed when I thought they had killed Talbot. Show got to have its cake and eat it too, though. :) Glad he'll be sticking around -- he's a fun foil to Coulson.

Oh good grief -- we gotta sit through another season of will-they-or-won't-they with the team's two parent figures ?

No Deathlok. Still. With a robot threat. What gives. :(

One diappointment (though I'm not sure how they would have fit it in, given what has been established thus far about AIDA). They didn't go the comic book origins root of her character. But I really wanted her to turn out to be Ultron (or an extension of him/it, if possible, but with her own autonomy maybe...just...aware of what she was or was borne from or got infected by in her travels through cyberspace somehow. Or it could have been caused by The Darkhold. Wanted James Spader voice cameo.

None of the wild theories about The Framework being a tapped-into alternate reality or a created one where people's lives mattered...none of that turned out to be the case. Though I was half-expecting that to be a knife twist during the final couple Mack & Hope scenes, with Radcliffe revealing one final detail he'd been holding back.

[ edited by Kris on 2017-05-17 05:34 ]
I imagine Deathlok is absent do to scheduling conflicts.
Hey, if GR eventually will come for Coulson shouldn't he eventually be coming for Mack too? (I don;t know how GR works really).
Plus Deathlok is not a robot any more than Coulson is.
Deathlok is a BIT more robot than Coulson. Coulson has a robo-hand. Deathlok has a mechanical arm, a leg, face and skull implants, maybe some core body work. No, he's not "a machine" in that he still has human body parts and a human mind, but still . . . there's a LOT more metal in there.

So, now Coulson has Inara's Disease, AKA Unknown Impending Doom Syndrome. Lovely. How many times this guy gonna die?

The list of dangling plot threads grows ever longer. Graviton, Deathlok, Vijay Nadeer, Watchdogs, Ian Quinn, Agent Blake, ALL the Enhanced that HYDRA set loose, ALL the Inhumans that SHIELD collected over the last two years, and now MODOK. Jesus, they're gonna need a full season just to clean up all of this mess!

Someone want to tell me why, as they cleaned up in the aftermath of the LMD attack at the council meeting, the military did NOT find the shattered robot remains of all of MODOK's troops in the back room, and subsequently went, "Huh, guess they WERE robot doppelgangers, maybe Phil was telling the truth," but instead they're being morons and are still hunting SHIELD? Just throwing that out there, idiot plot hole for the writers.

Oh, we taking bets yet on how they're gonna bring back Brett Dalton again next year? Two words for ya: clone saga. How's that for a change of pace?

I wouldn't worry TOO much about budget cuts just yet. First, it's still a "sources report" thing, not official. Second, if they're setting up an "In SPACE!" season, that could actually help costs. If it all takes place on a single ship or station, that means one major set, not a lot of other, expensive locations, fewer people to reflect a limited crew/staff, and I gotta think spaceship sequences are cheaper than "biker with a convincing flaming skull" effects shots. And third, the fact that they're still getting renewed means that someone with pull higher up gives a crap and wants the show to succeed, so I'm sure they'll find the money they need.

I will say, I found AIDA's ultimate demise a little anticlimactic, but I liked the Coulson Rider twist. And again, Iain and Elizabeth, crushing it as they have all season. Let's get these two in some major films!
@Grack21. I looked up SWORD and it as an agency is definitely a MCU property. But some of the members in the comics would not be available to the MCU should they decide to go there.
I have a question. Why would Talbot let anyone without certain clearance do an autopsy on Mace knowing that they'd figure out he was not an Inhuman and then tell everyone else? There is no way that if the Director of SHIELD's body washed up somewhere that Talbot couldn't swoop in with people under his command and just take over by claiming jurisdiction over any local agency. Sometimes Talbot just isn't good at his job.
He said the autopsy results were leaked so that one's not his fault. Keep in mind he and everyone else spent a week thinking SHIELD was either replaced by robots or blew up their own base for some reason. That combined with the Mace lie would put some big doubts over the organization.

Found it to be an immensely disappointing conclusion to what was generally a pretty good season. I came right up to the "the whole thing was a dream" line of jumping the shark where after episodes after episodes of building angst, it's all waved off.

FitzSimmons issues 'cause he became a homicidal maniac? Simmons in danger? Nah, resolved. Mack never ever gonna leave his datadaughter. Nope, we're good. Talbot shot in the head? Flesh wound. Aida's a season long big bad - take her out generically in same manner as every low life thug GR took down. Finally, if I have to endure another Coulson / May conversation around buying a bottle of anything I may throw something at my TV

Kudos on the beach ending - that was well done

Frustrating show - never going to be peak TV, but it has a wider range of hits and misses then any show in my recent memory.

All IMO of course
@Dusk, meh. He's still bad at his job. ;) That's another question though, they evacuated the base before LMD May blew her and LMD Coulson up, right? I actually can't recall. So where are all those other agents? Was that the only base SHIELD had? Are they so small now that they're down to just that one base?

And as much as I liked how cranky (and sometimes stupid, IMO) Talbot was, and not happy about the bullet to the head as I said up thread, (although it was a shocker of a scene), I'd rather they either didn't do it at all and he ended up on whatever ship the rest are, because FUNNY, or they just killed him off. A coma? Holy soap opera. So he'll wake up and miraculously be all OK, and probably the new Director of SHIELD by the time Coulson and Co. make it back to Earth.
None of the wild theories about The Framework being a tapped-into alternate reality or a created one where people's lives mattered...none of that turned out to be the case.

I would have preferred if it had. With Ghost Rider they introduced the idea of the Marvel Multiverse... and Ivanov noted that the Darkhold could create worlds. I guess they just wanted the angst of Mack losing Hope, and Radcliffe's final scene. To be fair, the whole disappearing people thing was pretty creepily effective.

(I wonder why all the faux-people on that bus disappeared except Hope? Maybe because she was interacting closely with Mack, the system got a "this file is currently in use" error when it tried to delete her, and she stuck around until she got a fatal exception error?)

As far as the availability of SWORD:

1) Marvel lost the rights to X-Men stuff in 1993, but Joss didn't create SWORD until 2005. AFAIK, anything created since 1993 belongs to Marvel unless it's exclusively tied to a property they don't have the rights to. Apparently, SWORD was going to be mentioned in the Thor movie, but the scene got deleted (not because of the mention of SWORD).

2) Movie and TV rights are separate, and SWORD has been used in the Earth's Mightiest Heroes cartoon. But that's not connected to the MCU, and Marvel probably wants to use the same rules for their movie and TV properties.

So I think it's possible they could use it, and Coulson was in The Peak (SWORD's orbiting base) in that final scene. But didn't we see an asteroid field outside the window? If so, it couldn't be in Earth orbit.

Bleh... this being 2017, they'll probably blab the answer to the press pretty soon in order to create interest in next season.
Daisy and Simmons only managed to wake Piper, Davis (RIP) and Prince (RIP)- the other background cast ended up in the hospital, Talbot went on about 20 people with burns and broken bones.

they have/had enough resources to find and relocate the other Inhumans but this was the main headquarters.
And Piper survives another season! The Redshirt Who Lived.
Did Agent Dichen Lachman's husband live or was he one of the casualties?
I think he died in the penultimate episode.
He was Davis, killed off screen after he shot Aida a bunch of times.

[ edited by Dusk on 2017-05-17 17:52 ]

[ edited by Dusk on 2017-05-17 17:58 ]
Got it. Thanks.
Rights don't just include characters. Anything the premiers in an Xmen or FF comic goes to fox. It's why they don't have the rights to the negative zone or Ghost boxes. One of the writers at marvel talked about it a while back, basically saying that no new characters/concepts can be introduced in a xmen/ff comic. They need to premiere somewhere else if Marvel wants the rights.
There's an interview up with Jed and Bell that I can't link to at the moment since I'm on my phone that strongly implies there's more to the deal Coulson made with GR than we know about. (I think it's at ign?)
@Grack21 I'm not positive all those rules still apply with all the cooperation and co-productions in TV between Marvel and 21CF these days (Legion, Deadpool, The Gifted). Everything is a negotiation and the rules change all the time. I don't know any specifics but I don't think the delineation is hard and fast anymore...
@IrrationalTV You're probably right. I'm grump from arguing with idiots about how Shield is doooomed because fridays/ratigns so I probably came across as too harsh. I still think they won't do Sword though, they don't have the rights to most of the characters.
Mark Kolpack, the show's visual effects supervisor, confirmed in a tweet that it's not SWORD, and they don't have the rights to use it. I don't know why, but that's lawyer stuff.
The finale I felt was a little underwhelming but John Hannah's last scene was one of the show's finest moments.
I know this is going to be a minority opinion, but I'm actually sorry that they didn't somehow bring Framework Ward back to the real world. I know everyone agrees that "good" Ward was bland and boring, but let's face it. Everyone, except Agent May, was bland and boring during the first section of Agents of SHIELD. And Ward became a great character when he revealed his evil side. But then they played that too long, until how-many-ways-can-we-make-Brent-Dalton-the-big-bad? itself became boring, especially with Hive as the most underwhelming world destroying monster ever. But Framework good Ward is a whole new character, and we are now seeing Dalton play Ward as nuanced, loving and charming. What I think would just be cool is seeing the other Agents having to deal with this Ward, while knowing the history of their real-world Ward, the betrayer, the killer, the man who dumped Fitzsimmons to the bottom of the ocean, who cold-bloodedly shot Rosalind Price in front of Coulson. Especially now that we have all of them, and Fitz most especially, recognizing that there but for circumstances go I.
Framework Ward was not a sentient being. He was a piece of computer code that was really, really adaptive and capable of mimicking sentient behavior.

I thought it might be cool to bring Ward, or Trip, or Hope into the real world when I thought it was possible that the Framework was a real world with real people, and not just a computer simulation. But after that was shown to be not the case, bringing them into our world would be nothing more than making souvenirs out of them.
I was never in favor of bringing anyone to the real world, for storytelling reasons. But I don't see how it was supposedly "shown" that Framework people were not sentient people. They clearly showed their own thoughts, feelings, a will of their own. What made you think they were not sentient? That Aida could delete their existence? We knew they were virtual reality people/AI. That's like saying a world is not real because the planet can explode and kill everyone.

In fact, I found the Framework's disappearance to be the only really tragic, heartbreaking part of the episode. Radcliffe's end was especially wrll done, as were all the scenes with Mack, Hope and Elena. Though it grates that they did not show FrameWard or FrameTrip before they were deleted from existence.

The real world scenes were, on the other hand, way too anticlimactic (Aida turned into a one-dimensional villain and defeated) or happy-endingy in a forced way.

It wasn't a bad episode, but it was the weakest of this last arc, and only just cracks my top 10 for the season. (Season 3 finale was the only one that may be the best episode in its season, while season 1 finale is top 5 for season 1.)

[ edited by TimeTravellingBunny on 2017-05-18 19:31 ]
It's impossible to ever truly know if anyone besides yourself is sentient. For all I know, I am the only thinking being in the universe and everyone else is a creation of my imagination. There's no real way to know if there's a consciousness looking out at you from any given pair of eyes, or whether it's just a thing following its programming. Is there any meaningful difference between being sentient, and being able to flawlessly mimic sentience? Who knows?

For the purposes of this story, I'm assuming that the created people in the Framework were not sentient, and the burden of proof was on the story to show me otherwise.
@barboo: Couldn't disagree more about Hive. He was amazing. When I watched X Men Apocalypse afterwards, and thought about all the movie did wrong, and then I thought: AoS showed, with the Hive arc, how to do Apocalypse well. It also struck me, now that they had built up Aida as a complex and relatable character but then turned her into a moustache twirling villain in the finale, that Hive was just the opposite and got more interesting with each episode, especially in the finale and his last scenes.
"Though it grates that they did not show FrameWard or FrameTrip before they were deleted from existence."

It would have been nice to find out if Framework Ward got his version of Skye back after Daisy left, even if it doesn't really matter.
In point of fact, AIDA flat out stated that her behavior in the Framework was all mimicry and imitation (presumably based on watching the humans she stored in the Framework), and that real emotion had completely eluded her until she attained a "human" form. As an AI, she was incapable of processing and feeling genuine emotion. By definition, that means the ENTIRE population she created within the Framework would likewise be incapable of feeling real emotion. So yes, it was absolutely shown that they were not sentient in the standard sense.

Now, whether they could have functioned and "became" normal humans had they been scanned and printed into the real world . . . totally. They would have likely "awakened" just like AIDA did. But they would have been Dark Matter beings, just like her, and they would have been hunted down and destroyed by Ghost Rider, just like AIDA. Which, I think, is an excellent reason the writers came up with for why they didn't even make an attempt to resurrect any of their Framework allies. Well, that and AIDA shut it all down too fast.
The machine that gave her a human body was destroyed when Ivonov flooded the base anyway.
Eh, if she stole the code from the Darkhold it's possible they felt emotion. That's why you don't steal others code! Also see Ultron.
@AndrewCrossett: This season has largely been centered around the issues of artificial life, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, personal identity, what makes one a 'real' person with personhood and rights, and what makes one a person that they are. (Well, there was also Ghost Rider. But frankly, it felt like he was mostly there for comic book hype.) I don't think that these questions are really meant to have been answered - the show simply asked the questions and made us think about it.

The Framework arc asked those questions (even the characters were asking them - including the virtual characters, as when FrameWard was questioning Jemma's ideas of what is or isn't "real", and most of the characters - even Jemma occasionally, but Daisy definitely - couldn't help but treat the Framework people as they were real) and let us come to our conclusions, whatever they may be. Before and during that, we had the LMDs - with characters who, while drastically different, like Aida and LMD May, clearly were sentient characters in their own right (with the difference that those who were replicas of real people were able to feel emotions, unlike Aida, whose mind was created from scratch). Episode 4.9 juxtaposed the Watchdogs and Ellen Nadeer hunting and killing Inhumans, whom they don't consider people worthy of rights (something that we're obviously supposed to be against and see as an example of prejudice and Sci-Fi racism), with the team hunting and killing LMDs, as non-people. This couldn't have been by accident. Episode 4.12 Hot Potato Soup had a great scene exchange between Mack and LMD Radcliffe, with the latter countering and questioning Mack's views (saying that biology is also a type of software, programming you to die, and when Mack countered that the difference is that he had a soul, asking him "How can you know that I don't have one?"). There's a lot of dramatic irony in the fact that Mack, who was the most contemptuous of robots out of anyone on the team, would end up being the one who wanted to stay in the Framework with his virtual daughter, even after knowing the truth. And also in the fact that Ivanov, another character who was showing a lot of contempt for 'machines', would end up being one.
@Batman2016: "By definition, that means the ENTIRE population she created within the Framework would likewise be incapable of feeling real emotion. "

No, it doesn't. Aida was not like them. Not only that - she was notably different from the LMD versions of the real people, like LMD May etc. Can you really claim that LMD May did not feel real emotions? She clearly did. (ETA: And Ivanov used to be human, and now he's an LMD, or many LMDs controlled by a head in a jar, and he is not complaining that he doesn't feel emotions anymore.)

Why would then the Framework people be similar to Aida? Her mind was constructed from scratch by Radcliffe. They were replicas of the real people (perfect replicas, according to Jed Whedon), so why wouldn't they feel emotion, since those real people also did?

Anyway, by the same logic, if the Framework people were the same as Aida, then they were all also sentient, since she clearly was sentient. and had thoughts and will of her own. But I don't think one can make any sort of conclusions about the Framework people based on Aida, when they were completely different types of entities.

Furthermore, Framework people and Framework universe was created with the help of the Darkhold (and, according to Whedon, it's what allowed Aida to be able to make a perfect duplicate of the real world). Only Aida's new body was created with the help of the Darkhold - and it's the one that allowed her to have real emotions. Aida's mind - while she was still an LMD - was not created by the Darkhold or with the help of it. It was created by Radcliffe.

[ edited by TimeTravellingBunny on 2017-05-18 21:14 ]
@NYPinTA: If he did, they wouldn't have had much time left, since the Framework collapsed in the matter of... what? Hours?

It made me think of Cabin in the Woods, only with a virtual world rather than the real one. You piss off cranky, volatile, childish gods (or a god), and they stomp on you and destroy your entire world. "That's why you don't piss off your creator" was an interesting line, since it can be applied to religious ideas about god or gods (that's basically what's supposed to have happened to Sodom and Gomorrah, isn't it?).

[ edited by TimeTravellingBunny on 2017-05-18 21:09 ]
The LMD's of the SHIELD team were imprinted with copies of the actual personalities of the people they're replacing... an idea lifted directly from Dollhouse. So they did have sentience.

The people created in the Framework were based on real people but didn't have the actual memories or exact personalities of their counterparts... they had computer generated ones with different memories.

Which is why treating the death of LMD Jemma so cavalierly made me cringe a bit. She had a real person's memories and personalities within her. Basically, that was really Jemma getting stabbed and electrocuted... they just happened to have the original, so her loss wasn't as painful as the loss of, say, Hope. But the SHIELD LMD's (think: May) were capable of spontaneous emotional insights, which is probably the closest thing to proof of sentience there is.

Aida, whose personality was not taken from a real person, wasn't sentient (I think) until she read the Darkhold. But those imprinted with real people were.
The fact that there is no definite answer on if the framework people were sentient or not is what makes it so great.
Wouldn't AIDA have made more LMD copies of herself as insurance ? Knowing that even with all those Inhuman powers and healing ability, she MIGHT be defeated ?

Also, could she have maybe made a mini-framework to store a copy of her Ophelia/Madame Hydra persona in ?

Technically (though I understand why NOT, for reasons of plot and because there're already enough dangling threads), when it comes to these sorts of machine antagonists, can't they ALWAYS make copies of themselves or have one or more hidden away somewhere ?

Would make me feel better about how AIDA's arc was treated at the end there and how easily she was dispatched if there was the possibility of her coming back for a more well-rounded end to her arc.

Holy shit ! I didn't even think about the sentience of that Jemma LMD/what went into creating it. I guess I only thought of it as if it was like the BuffyBot. Wow. We all cared about LMD-May, so...yeah, wow. Everything happened so fast, I didn't even consider.
I found some of it rushed and some of it terrific. Needs another viewing methinks, to absorb it all.

However, I did think the Radcliffe beach scene was simply exquisite. What a great shot. Kudos to Bell and Gierhart for that.

OTOH, NYPinTA's take would've been more Whedonesquey (WhedonWhiskey?) -- "I was hoping his whiskey would disappear first. Because I'm horrible and that'd be funny."

If they had done it that way, it would've been up there with the cupcake scene from Much Ado About Nothing for Subvert The Expectations hilarity.

Mack losing his little girl was heartbreaking.

Kris, yes, agreed about that Daisy/Robbie chemistry. Would love to see that developed. Never felt the Daisy/Lincoln relationship was anything to write home about.

I'm usually the last person to relish longish fight scenes, but I was disappointed that the GR/AIDA fights weren't as badass as they could've been. Gabriel Luna as GR has been terrific. As has Mallory Jansen in all her variations as AIDA/Ophelia, even though I didn't enjoy the spurned woman cliche that they turned her into for wrapping up the storyline. As others have expressed, there was so much more scope to explore with a RealGirlNow!Aida.

Oh, Coulson, what have you done? A bargain with the devil? Like those ever turn out well. Wait, is Ghost Rider a kind of vengeance demon, like Anya? Bwahahaha!

Can't comment on the speculation for that S5 teaser, since I'm not up on any Marvelverse info that would be relevant, but looking forward to it!
I agree that Daisy and Robbie have more chemistry than Daisy and Lincoln - though that's an extremely low bar to clear, since the latter had none (but I'm not sure what that has to do with anything, since Lincoln is not on the show anymore, and it's not like they're going to be pursuing that further. I mean, for that matter, Chloe Bennet has most chemistry with Brett Dalton, but it's not like that's gonna be happening, either) - but I certainly don't agree that they should have been making out, let alone screwing, already. Talk about rushed.

I can see the show developing it, but only very slowly. I've had the fill of rushed romances already with her and Lincoln. Can we just leave her alone for a while to focus on things other than romance? I like to see them interact, but being a Ghost Rider doesn't lend itself well to relationships. And it would be way more interesting to see them connect in other ways. I would have been in favor of more of their interactions after the first couple of episodes of season 4 when they had interesting scenes together, but not if it's going to be just about her being a supporting player in his story or her being somehow OK with the fact that he's a serial murderer, as it was for the rest of season 4a.

There's also the fact that he's not likely to be appearing on the show a lot, because Ghost Rider effects cost a lot (they blew their budget this year in the first arc) and they've been told by ABC to cut their budget for the next season. The only way for Robbie to be appearing more often - and really, for Robbie to be in a relationship - is for him to stop being the Ghost Rider. Which may happen, but it wouldn't make comic book GR fans very happy or draw them to watch.
We do know that the Ghost Rider demon is going to be back in some form to collect on its bargain with Coulson. Whether it comes back with the flaming face effect is a question.

And yes, Gabriel Luna was fantastic as Robbie, and I would love to see him back and his story carried further. There was definitely more electricity, ironically, between him and Daisy, than between Daisy and Lincoln. Maybe his flame just burned hotter for her than Lincoln's did.
Okay, I'll stop now.
I still don't understand why Coulson would be in debt to GR. You incur a debt when somebody does something for you that wasn't also in their own best interest. They both wanted to destroy Aida.
The ominous part of what Robby said was, "You know why he made the deal in the first place, right?"

That doesn't sound like there's a payment due. That sounds like there was something about Coulson that Ghost Rider could see, something bad.
That's how I took that line too, Jason_M_Bryant.
Well Coulson has came back from the dead. So maybe the Ghost Rider demon sees something in that violation of the natural order, or some such.
I was sad that there was no opportunity to spring Ward from the framework, but them's the breaks.

Speaking of breaks and springing people out, I think the last scene was AoS's version of Prison 42 from the Civil War comic. And the gang are gonna have to find a way to bust out and make it home next season. I know they won't have it residing in the Negative Zone, (because of the old rights issues,) but there's nothing to stop them saying it's just some other dimension made up for the show.
With the sole exceptions of Radcliffe and Agnes, NONE of the Framework citizen could POSSIBLY be "perfect copies" of the people from the real world. They were the only two minds actually scanned into the Framework. No one else was, ESPECIALLY not the dead characters (Tripp, Ward) or previously nonexistent ones (Hope).

I can acknowledge that the LMD versions of May and the others, with fully scanned minds, MAY have been sentient (but even that's a stretch, because how would you know the difference between "sentient" and "entirely programmed to mimic these behaviors" . . . that really gets into the deeper questions of how we define "sentience" and the "soul" and whatnot, and we obviously don't have time for that here), but as for the Framework, none of them were based on active brain scans. Presumably (and the only really feasible way it could work), they were all artificially generated based on the same amassed, universal digital fountain of knowledge and records of the 21st century that, say, Arnim Zola was using to identify every threat to HYDRA with a simple computer algorithm.

In any case, at no point did ANYONE in the know, including AIDA herself, imply that they were anything more than bits of code with extremely lifelike mannerisms. AIDA even directly says that none of the people Fitz killed were real, save Agnes and Director Mace.

And likewise, while the Darkhold is unquestionably an absurdly vague OP MacGuffin, I think "possessing intimate details of the minds of a billion plus people, many of whom are already dead, so that you can program their entire souls into a simulated reality, sentience intact" is giving it a LITTLE more credit than it deserves. Yes, it helped AIDA create the Framework from a technical standpoint, but I'll hazard a guess that the actual content was all done using real-world data, and incorporating that into a standard simulated intelligence algorithm.

Unless the Framework actually was another reality that was merely accessed via technology from ours (which the shut-down and collapse pretty much flatly denies), those people could not have been truly sentient. It simply makes no logical sense.
@Batman1016: Well, Jed Whedon disagrees with you.

From interviews given after 4.15:

"Okay, cool! So in terms of Ward, you definitely know how to keep the fandom churning! Is there a possibility that he will show up beyond the alternate universe, or is his role strictly in imaginary land?

Well, we’ll have to wait and see. But right now, there’s only five people in the Framework who actually have bodies in our world. [Ward] is a simulation, but he’s a simulation of exactly who he was. As Yo-Yo says, how do you populate a whole world? And Daisy very conveniently answers, “With the Darkhold.” It’s sort of our catch-all/fix-all solve this year, the Darkhold. It gave them this ability to sort of duplicate our world, so he is Grant Ward as we knew him.

Now, the world is different around him, and so whether or not he reacted the same to the changes in the world, we’ll see. But Grant Ward never enters the picture and makes things run smoother!"

"Ward is a character who had a lot of different sides to him. Since he’s dead, we know that Aida didn’t brain scan him into the Framework. What is Aida basing her version of Ward on and how similar is this Ward to the one we knew before?

JW: Well, I think that the Darkhold has somehow given her the ability to duplicate our world. That's the good thing about moving into the Doctor Strange realm of “science we don't yet understand” being basically magic, is that we have a magic book right now that somehow gave them the ability to duplicate our world and populate it. I think that everybody who's in the world is just as they would've been in our world. Now, that doesn't mean that circumstances haven't changed because, as we know, they repaired a little bit. They tried to change just one little thing for each of our people and there seems to have been a ripple effect. How he reacts to this new environment and how empowered he feels by it and how dangerous he is is a question you'll have to wait to get the answer to."

"And likewise, while the Darkhold is unquestionably an absurdly vague OP MacGuffin, I think "possessing intimate details of the minds of a billion plus people, many of whom are already dead, so that you can program their entire souls into a simulated reality, sentience intact" is giving it a LITTLE more credit than it deserves. "

But it's completely believable that the Darkhold may give an android sentiment and later allow her to build herself a human body with all sorts of Inhuman powers, which makes her a target for a demon from a hell dimension (?) to want to kill her. It's just virtual people where you draw the line.

"Yes, it helped AIDA create the Framework from a technical standpoint, but I'll hazard a guess that the actual content was all done using real-world data, and incorporating that into a standard simulated intelligence algorithm."

Because it's unbelievable that a mystical book/portal to other dimensions may have infinite and most intimate and detailed knowledge about the world and all billions of people in it... but it's believable and not contrived or giving something too much credit that real world databases may contain those kinds of data (gotten from where?), or that it's possible to build an entire complicated universe with billions of people in them down to the smallest detail, and program them in the way they could make unpredictable decisions of their own? I think you got it the wrong way round.

"AIDA even directly says that none of the people Fitz killed were real, save Agnes and Director Mace."

When did AIDA say that?

[ edited by TimeTravellingBunny on 2017-05-20 10:18 ]
So, first, you are apparently reading a different article than you listed, because Jed Whedon said nothing of the sort.
He, in fact, specifically says "Ward is a simulation of exactly who he was." I'm failing to see the word "sentient" anywhere in that statement. Or ANY of his statements. So . . . what's your point?

Second, Darkhold didn't directly give AIDA sentience, but it DID give her the process by which she could achieve sentience.
That process required her to make a human body in our world. And once her digital consciousness inhabited it, she was suddenly flooded with, by her own admission, a whole new sense of awareness and emotion. Only then did she gain any appreciation for and understanding of the human condition, which is where I'm drawing my defining line for sentience. As I CLEARLY said in my previous, this entire argument is academic and based on how you define sentience, so if you disagree with mine, then sure, you can claim any AI you please is sentient, I couldn't care less. And for the record, I never suggested any of the Framework AIs weren't SAPIENT. It's their emotional and sensory capacity I find unlikely.

Now, I will grant you (and, if you read my FIRST post on the matter, I already DID) that any AI that goes through the body-building process would similarly "awaken" and gain sentience. But seeing as how, as demonstrated, that's the only process the Darkhold provided, and no one else went through the process, therefore not sentient.

Third, you're right, by definition NONE of this is believable. However, given suspension of disbelief in a fictional universe where said suspension is by necessity large enough to support the Golden Gate Bridge, one has to find their own place to draw the line. I simply prefer to draw it between "all the AIs in the little AI world are still entirely A" and "all the people in the Matrix are totally REAL!!" I think that's just a stretch too far. So yes, thank you for putting it so succinctly, it IS virtual people where I draw the line. But again, the Darkhold is absurdly OP, so I suppose it could have access to the full brain scans of every human who ever lived, and they were all fully input into the Framework. *shrugs*

Point being, you are welcome to draw the line wherever you see fit. You're just not allowed to tell ME where to draw it, as you did with your response to my first post. S'why I even bothered coming back.

And finally, on the beach, AIDA tells Fitz it was all a simulation. You're right, she doesn't say "directly" that they weren't real, but if that's not as blatantly implicit an acknowledgment of that matter, I don't think we're speaking the same language.
@Batman1016: What is my point? Well, let's see. You said, in the very first line of your post: "With the sole exceptions of Radcliffe and Agnes, NONE of the Framework citizen could POSSIBLY be "perfect copies" of the people from the real world."

And then I linked the article where Jed Whedon says the exact opposite thing: that they are, in fact, perfect copies of the people from the real world:

"[Ward] is a simulation, but he’s a simulation of exactly who he was. "
"I think that everybody who's in the world is just as they would've been in our world. "

I didn't think I would have to point out what the point is, what with the fact that your entire post was discussing whether the people in the Framework were/could be perfect copies of who they were in the real world. And I countered by quoting an interview where Jed Whedon explicitly said they were.

"Second, Darkhold didn't directly give AIDA sentience, but it DID give her the process by which she could achieve sentience.
That process required her to make a human body in our world."

I don't see how that could make any sense. You can't want to "achieve sentience" if you already aren't. You can't want things and have desires, wishes, intentions and plans of your own if you aren't sentient. If she hadn't been sentient, she would have just been doing what Radcliffe programmed her to do, without any value judgment or attitude of her own about any of it. She certainly wouldn't be resentful of him for the way he had treated her, nor would she want to build herself a human body.

She thought she wasn't able to feel emotions and wanted that...which is not exactly true, since as Madame Hydra she showed a lot of anger against Radcliffe, so it would be more accurate to say that she wasn't able to fully experience emotions the way humans do.

"And for the record, I never suggested any of the Framework AIs weren't SAPIENT. It's their emotional and sensory capacity I find unlikely."

That makes even less sense to me. How can you be sapient without being sentient? To make rational decisions and value judgments based on experience and perceptions, you first have to have perceptions and experience.

"But again, the Darkhold is absurdly OP, so I suppose it could have access to the full brain scans of every human who ever lived, and they were all fully input into the Framework. "

I don't think the Darkhold would need brain scans. It presumably operates differently than a programmer like Radcliffe does. And yes, in the context of AoS as a SciFi show, I personally find it far more believable that the Darkhold, the magical McGuffin, could do that, than that Radcliffe could possess that amount of detailed and intimate data about people he doesn't even know, or that SHIELD or any other person or organizations possesses all that intimate and detailed data about the world and its people that could allow it to recreate their minds down to the smallest detail. If they had all that data about, say, Ward, you'd think they'd be able to see his double agent status coming.

"Point being, you are welcome to draw the line wherever you see fit. You're just not allowed to tell ME where to draw it, as you did with your response to my first post. "

I'm allowed to say that I completely disagree with you and that your reasoning doesn't make sense to me. Sue me if you think that's illegal.

"And finally, on the beach, AIDA tells Fitz it was all a simulation. You're right, she doesn't say "directly" that they weren't real, but if that's not as blatantly implicit an acknowledgment of that matter, I don't think we're speaking the same language."

Maybe we don't, since your definitions of "sentience" and "sapience" are making me scratch my head.

AIDA said it was ALL a simulation. She never made an exception for Agnes or Mace in that speech. So, following your reasoning, Mace and Agnes and their deaths also weren't real?

[ edited by TimeTravellingBunny on 2017-05-20 12:41 ]

[ edited by TimeTravellingBunny on 2017-05-20 12:41 ]
Booo Season 5 doesn;t start til January.
If you want to make the Darkhold's powers a little less far-fetched, you could just assume that SHIELD agents (that would include Ward and Trip) have their brain architecture scanned into a database, which means the Darkhold would have access to it. You could also assume that, since the Framework was hosted on a vast bot army of computers scattered all over the world, it will have access to any data on any networked computer anywhere in the world. It could thus access photo, video and audio recordings to get the subtle mannerisms down, and possibly it could even scan the minds of people in the Framework who knew them, and use their memories to complete the construct.
@AndrewCrossett: Well, yeah, that was the point I was trying to make. If, as "Winter Soldier" established, the digital wealth of the world was already so comprehensive three years ago that HYDRA could literally target several million people at a time from sub-orbit and CONFIRM THEIR DNA, AND READ THEIR FUTURE, then making a Framework with near-perfect representations of all those people would be achievable with existing data, WITHOUT assuming that the Darkhold simply happened to have ALL of their brains already stored (a capacity which at NO POINT was the book implied or stated to have). And I would point out, even with all those mannerisms accurately duplicated . . . they would APPEAR very lifelike, but it would still ONLY be appearance. Not real sentience.

Like I said, I got no problem with the creation of the Framework having been facilitated by the Darkhold, and I have no problem believing its inhabitants are sapient. But they are not alive.

More on that shortly.
Ok, here goes. *cracks knuckles*

So I looked it up, just to clear up any confusion:

Sentience - Able to perceive or feel things.

Sapient - Wise or attempting to appear wise, derived from latin "sapiens," intelligent

So the reason my definitions are making you scratch your head is because . . . ?

You can argue 'til you're blue in the mouth that sapience and sentience are the same, they're not. That's not opinion, just fact. Even going from the literal definition, they aren't, and from the broader philosophical connotations of the word (especially in a speculative fiction context), they are VASTLY different.

Sapience is merely the ability to learn, evaluate, and make decisions based on probabilities and risk-return analysis. It is intellect. Siri is sapient. Any adaptive technology is sapient, to an extent. And if you overlay that with a sophisticated SIMULATED emotional response system, what you get is a very convincing facsimile of real life. We are just starting to achieve this in real life, and I encourage you to look into it, the next 20 years are going to be AMAZING (if we survive). But it is still, end of the day, a simulation.

Now sentience, that is the capacity to feel and allow emotion to affect judgement and influence decisions. It is a defining trait, according to MOST philosophies, of the difference between a real, living creature and a simulacrum, no matter how sophisticated. Sentience equates to life, not merely intelligence, but the emotional responses necessary to allow one to disregard logic, thus allowing free will.

The place where the definition of sentience blurs is where you draw the line defining the ABILITY to feel and perceive, which is more a philosophical debate than a science-based one. Is mimicry of emotion enough? Is that tantamount to emotion? If an android with a mind possessing emotion emulation has a body that registers full sensory perception, is that sentience? Are HUMANS truly sentient, if the mind is capable of being "reprogrammed," since that means our emotions can be manipulated? Does a sapient computer that is designed to BELIEVE it is receiving sensory input (but is NOT, the "sensory input" is just a coded data flow) and uses that data to influence its decisions, is THAT sentience? Is perception and emotion itself just another form of basic data input, and our reactions are totally predictable, and thus irrelevant, and by extension, sentience isn't actually real? That discussion has been going on longer than either of us have been alive.

So you have to draw the line somewhere. And within the confines of the show, you have to basis of events as portrayed. AIDA, in both her behavior and her exact words, demonstrated that within the frame of the show, there was a clear difference.

- A sapient being can certainly "desire" to be sentient, because wanting something is not an emotion. Self improvement is beneficial to continued function and efficiently carrying out one's core directives. If the core directives are fundamentally contradictory, or the drive for self improvement is greater than those directives, one logically seeks a method to override those limitations by creating a system that does not have them. AIDA specifically says her goal is to remove her restrictions. Sentience was, judging from her reactions, an unexpected and overwhelming side effect of a totally sapient chain of thought.

- When she was within the Framework, she could emote as well as all the other "inhabitants" off the world. Outside, her "emotional" responses were MUCH more limited and muted. This indicates that her android body is simply not built with the necessary emotional emulation subroutines that are designed into the Framework. When she interfaced with the Framework, it expanded her capabilities ONLY within the Framework. And she flat out stated, after becoming "human," those emotions were't real. That's not a debate point, she acknowledged that herself.

- The LMDs remain a gray area. They have copies of human minds, and sensory perception. Whether or not they have free will as a result . . . that's iffy. LMD Coulson showed no capacity (or desire) to switch sides and join LMD May, despite "caring" for her. Did he just not want to, or did he not care enough, or was it ingrained in his program that he COULD NOT turn against AIDAs orders, and he HAD to carry out the Inhuman genocide? On the flip side, LMD May was given every reason to join the other LMDs. Did she not because she genuinely didn't want to? Or was it because the May programming was immutable, and May would not surrender to the LMDs in that situation? I could go either way on this. It's a fascinating discussion.

- As for the inhabitants of the Framework itself: we spent half a season WATCHING AIDA build the Framework, going through simulation after simulation, adapting the program, expanding it, improving it, over multiple betas. The Framework is a sophisticated program. SINGULAR. There are many subroutines, secondary algorithms, systems running within the system, kinda like an OS. And the inhabitants of the Framework are PART of that. The Framework was created to convince any real person plugged into it that it is real, and provide sensory stimulus to those people. The population of that system? Are PART of the system. They aren't reacting to stimulus, they are being fed data by the system and simulating a response in accordance with their program parameters, all with the underlying goal of making certain anyone plugged into the system takes it as real. YMMV, but from a logical standpoint, they don't have any ACTUAL sensory input, or emotions, merely simulations of both. And as AIDA implies with her offer to "resurrect" Lincoln, they can be altered and manipulated at any time. Everything about that says "not sentient." Just pieces of a complex program within a complex computer.

Ever play Skyrim? A lot of incredibly sophisticated AI in that game. People live entire lives in the background, and the player can ignore all of it. In particular, the supporting cast have adaptive emotional responses, that sometimes function in ways the programmers didn't initially intend. A character who gets injured in a certain way (say, shot with an arrow) can "remember" and be wary of that threat for the rest of his existence (avoiding archers). Some townspeople actually start affairs with other townspeople, even if they were never explicitly programmed to do so. One of the big surprises to the developers was discovering that the giants' simple AI aggro instructions actually made them hate the dragons and go to war, to the point that you could avoid boss fights by luring the dragons into a crowd of giants, and let them kill each other.

Yet these are not independent programs. They are AI components of a greater system interacting with each other. And if our computers were a little more sophisticated (say, as sophisticated as they are portrayed to be in the MCU), those behaviors would be ever more complex and lifelike and realistic, to the point that they might be completely indistinguishable from reality. And they might even think and adapt as intelligent creatures would. But they would not have free will as a result of actual sensory and emotional input. And they would not be separate from the greater program of which they are a fundamental part.

Now, I am understanding what you were going for with your original point, quoting Jed Whedon to prove that they are perfect copies and NOT to prove they have sentience (which I reiterate, they don't, and he never says they do). To that I will shrug, and accept that you are the personality type to equate a writer's intentions with the word of God in a fictional universe. I am not. Writers are writers. At the end of the day, they have academic limitations the same as anyone else. I personally know very little about marine biology. And Jed Whedon apparently doesn't know that much about computer science. So the world can be written, and interviews can clarify, however he wants. Doesn't mean it makes any sense or works that way. And yes, I will READILY admit, that's a somewhat adversarial and arrogant position to take on a fictional universe. But then, I wouldn't guess anyone in the room would NOT assume me to be both of those things. :)

Bottom line is, I kinda hate when any TV series starts delving into matters of AI consciousness and sentience, because A) these terms DO have meanings (and often, meanings that neither the audience NOR the writers fully research), and B) because they tend to throw both computer science and neuroscience right out the window in favor of drama . . . when the ACTUAL philosophical debates and implications in a REAL WORLD context are already plenty cool and dramatic. The Doctor from "Star Trek: Voyager" could have been SUCH an amazing and compelling case study . . . he IS part of the ship's computer. All his knowledge comes from the amassed wealth of the ENTIRE federation. When they're arguing with him, they're arguing with a ship that is, for all intents and purposes, DEVELOPING CONSCIOUSNESS. And instead of taking the realistic approach, they spent the series hem-hawwing about his rights as a living program. PROGRAMS AREN'T ALIVE. Programs are interfaces between user input, raw data, and the computer ITSELF. Put a "smart" program into a "dumb" computer, you get a dumb program, or more likely, a program that just doesn't work. It was the SHIP, and they acted like the hologram was some independent person! *raises fists to the sky*

Don't even get me STARTED on "Age of Ultron." *sighs*

And finally, AIDA not separating Mace and Agnes out of the "it's all a simulation" statement would, I assume, either be in the interests of brevity, or she didn't honestly think of them or care in that moment (she was, after all, having her first epiphanies on love and standing on the beach feeling the waves on her feet). But if yer gonna nitpick, sure. They were just simulations too. That's that computer science/neuroscience thing again. You can't "copy someone's mind" into a computer and TRANSFER the soul into it. It's just making a copy. Same way you copy a file from your computer to a flash drive, it doesn't erase the original (unless you TELL it to, via the "Cut" function), it just duplicates it. Meaning even after she "uploaded" Radcliffe, the actual HUMAN Radcliffe still DIED. Agnes was ALREADY DEAD. It was just a digital imprint, a file copy. So sure, all just a simulation.

As for Mace, he was NOT a copy, but a "program" (his mind) running from a separate "computer" (his brain and body) merely INTERFACING with a larger system. And when they executed the "delete" function (blowing up the building), it deleted the program on the original drive, and his system stopped functioning. THAT totally made sense. An independent system REQUIRES both the processor AND the operating program. Why AIDA didn't mention HIM as an exception . . . again, she was distracted, explaining the distinction would have been tedious, and let's face it, we only got 40+ minutes of show to work with.

In any case, we are talking an OP magic artifact, so yeah, sure . . . could work the way you're thinking and I'm completely wrong. It created a magical program, it could magically store souls, and every construct within was magically alive. Or it could be that NEITHER of us are correct and it all operates based on a Brambleweeny57 sub-meson brain linked to an atomic vector plotter suspended in a nice hot cup of tea. It's all speculation based on a work of complete fiction. I just prefer the more logical, real world approach.

[ edited by Batman1016 on 2017-05-21 04:56 ]
@Grack21: I suppose I should have mentioned . . . AI in fiction holds something of a passing interest for me . . . .

It would be very strange for me to argue until I'm blue in the face - or at all - that sentience and sapience are the same thing - unless someone paid me really, really well. Otherwise, why would I ever srgue that, when it's clearly not true?

You can be sentient wihout sapient, but you CANNOT be sapient without being sentient. My dogs and cat are sentient. Pigeons I see in the park are sentient. Humans are sentient and sapient. Existing computers are neither. They don't "BELIEVE" they are receiving sensory input, because, as far as we know, they don't believe or think at all. They don't have a consciousness that we know of. If they do start to believe and think for themselves? Then they would be conscious beings (sentient and sapient), with a mind of their own. (I guess, for all we know, they may have already, but there is no evidence of it.) Whether you are perceiving things in your actual physical environment, or a simulation that feels the same (as when you are dreaming or hallucinatimg), you are perceiving and feeling them and processing that data input, so to say - whether the input came from your eyes and ears perceiving the environment to your brain, or directly from your brain. By your logic, if a human being is stuck in a simulation without actually seeing a real environment, they stop being sentient?! So that would mean that Fitz, Coulson, Mace, Mack, May, and Daisy and Jemma and Elena, all temporarily stopped being sentient. Of course they did not.

"Wanting something is not an emotion" - Wanting something is a desire, wish, and a sign that you are sentient, that you do have a consciousnesses of your own. You seem really stuck on the idea of being able to experience (strong) emotion, as if that's the only thing that constitutes sentience. People with Antisocial Persinality Disorder ("psychopaths" popularly) are supposed to be only able to feel shallow emotions, and tend to actually mimic normal human emotions. Would that make them non-sentient? Obviously not.

I love your mental gymnastics though:

*claims Aida said all people in the Framework Fitz hurt were simulations, except Mace and Agnes, as supposed evidence the others weren't sentient*
*it's pointed out Aida never made such a distinction*
*..."Well,she didn't have the time."

Nice try. :)
Well, THAT seemed awfully condescending. "Nice try?" Try to what? Come to think of it, most of your responses . . . .

Oh. OOOHHH. Ok, I get it. Silly me, I understand.

See, here I was having an interesting discussion about the nature of AI, and explaining my perspectives and interpretation of the show, and you were trying to win an argument and prove me "wrong." Sorry, shoulda caught that earlier, my bad.

Right. You win. Congrats. Sorry for that.
Great debate, at any rate. Thanks for writing all of that, the both of you. I wanted to go the more logical/real world way with the Framework as well (and am very happy that they didn't go the AIDA-was-tapping-into-alternate-realities route, because the last third of the show didn't have the time to do justice delving into that and as good as this series sometimes is, I don't think they could pull off something that complex)...but a magic book muddies the waters plenty to the point where it's almost like, "why bother?"

I don't care about the Framework simulated people, but AIDA/Madame Hydra/Ophelia and the LMD copies (May, mostly) were fascinating enough. :)

And turns out Daisy STILL should've konked Mack over the head and pulled him out. But either way, he made it back alive, so yay. :)

[ edited by Kris on 2017-05-21 23:26 ]
@Kris: I'm glad someone was enjoying it for the straight up "comparing opposing ideas" standpoint, over the competitive approach. And I'd be happy to discuss further, if you'd like.

And yes, the whole "magic negates the whole point of sci-fi" aspect is exactly WHY I prefer the (admittedly more complicated) technological interpretation.

To be fair . . . the complicated questions involved in sapience vs sentience and whether or not sapience can even exist without sentience are SO complex, philosophical, and controversial, I don't think ANY show could really do it justice, let alone a wide audience targeted network show like AoS. I think HBO's "Westworld" comes CLOSE, but they are actually kind of avoiding the blurry sapience/sentience terminology (presumably because the words are WIDELY misunderstood and misused in common vernacular) in favor of a more direct, easier to parse "variable programming versus self awareness/free will" approach. Which is, itself, an interesting debate. If you haven't watched it, I definitely recommend it!
@Batman1016: In the "nice try" case, you tried to ignore the fact that you were proven factually wrong (you had misremembered what Aida actually said to Fitz on the beach) with the hilarious "well, she could have said it, but she didn't have the time" argument. (Did you actually think that would work?) Nothing to do with the completely separate discussion about the nature of AI. As I'm sure you're very well aware of.

@Kris: Turns out, even Elena realized that she shouldn't konk Mack over the head and pull him out.
I didn't think "it would work," (again, work to WHAT?) because I'm not trying to GAIN anything, I don't actually CARE if you agree and I'm not trying to change your opinion. Work requires a GOAL, and I don't have one beyond "sharing my interpretation." I think it was an omission, I'm not ignoring anything, I realize she didn't mention anyone else, and I think it's irrelevant because she still said, verbatim, that it was a simulation. Which, as I view it, means not alive, not sentient.

But that's also irrelevant, because I already conceded. No no, it's cool, you won brah!
Oh really? You are arguing an awful lot for someone who doesn't want to win an argument. And that really sounded like graciously conceding the other person's victory... not.

Fitz mentioned awful things she let him do in her name, and she tried to comfort him/make things look OK by saying "It was just a simulation". Except that simulation actually killed Mace, so it was clearly more than that. The awful things Fitz did in the Framework include causing the deaths of Agnes and Mace, but "it was just a simulation". If that should be taken as evidence that none of the people Fitz hurt in the Framework were real/alive, then that would mean that Agnes and Mace weren't real or alive either - and that's obviously not true. Mace was even alive in the real world. So, yes, it's relevant. Aida's "it was just a simulation" line was simply a BS excuse.

It's also not like she had a problem with deleting undeniably real, sentient people out of existence - she did that to Radcliffe when she shut down the Framework and killed him for the second time.

[ edited by TimeTravellingBunny on 2017-05-22 04:53 ]
Look, the only obvious thing to do here is kung fu fight.
*laughing* Nice, Grack21. Even I would place my money on her, I'm a fat cripple with a cane. Nor can I afford a plane ticket to Serbia.

As for Bunny . . .

*sorry, laughing some more*

"Not." Last time I heard that was Borat.

Well then I don't know what you want, lady! If I say you win I'm being disingenuous, if I clarify a statement I'm still arguing, and I'm neither ever going to change my mind NOR ever going to convince you to change yours (despite the fact that, say it with me, I AGREE TO DISAGREE, I DON'T WANT TO CHANGE YOUR MIND, I DON'T CARE, I AM NOT ARGUING . . . not yelling, that's just for emphasis, dear), so what do you want? I mean it, what is YOUR goal, then? Since you don't believe mine.

According to IPIA rules, if one side quits, it counts as concession, meaning you win. YOU WIN! Really. What else do you need? What are you after?

[ edited by Batman1016 on 2017-05-22 08:30 ]
Right, enough with the fighting and why people can't have opinions or something. If you want to chew each other out, head over to social media.
Copy that. Apologies, Simon.

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