If you would like to read my review of the last episode, click here.
Synopsis: The truth behind Fitz’s turn could bring down all of Shield. (ABC)
Writer: Paul Zbyszewski
Director: Eric Laneuville
Running Time: 45mins
And the trend continues. With the framework being an alternate world, the question of what is real and what is fake. This episode explored this in an effective way by bringing up the parallels between both worlds and the consequences of one’s actions.
Simmons hadn’t told Mace or Ward the truth about the framework and they were getting suspicious of her. This episode was their breaking point and they demanded that she tell them the truth. They were not going to be as easy to convince as Coulson since he had fragments of memories to fall back on. Mace found it hard to believe her accounts of his real life but called her out on not really knowing any specifics about him and calling his mission and accomplishments meaningless.
May was not amused by what was happening and she wanted to make a difference so she volunteered to be a test subject for Hydra’s new strength serum which could use to take on Mace and his super strength.
The last episode ended with Skye being taken into custody by Hydra and was subsequently beaten for information. This episode sees her looking a lot worse as she’s still not given them what they’ve asked for because she didn’t know anything. Skye wanted to know why Fitz would do such a thing and was trying to convince him that this was all fake and reminding him of his relationship with Simmons but he didn’t bite.
Ophelia then took a shot at Skye. She reiterated that she just fixed a regret in all their lives and this world was what came of it as Radcliffe intended and it was fun to hear him yell out “That’s not what I meant you sadistic Witch” from the neighboring cell. She offered Skye to bring back Lincoln if she told her where they were in the real world. She claimed that she was doing all of it so she could have choice. Skye then overheard Radcliffe crying so he told her what Fitz had done to Agnes. Skye was taken aback by this. Radcliffe told her (but more like whispered) about a backdoor he built into the framework that Aida couldn’t destroy.
A Shield operative got caught smuggling intel on a new Hydra weapon out of a Hydra Enlightenment Centre so Mace and Coulson stole a Hydra transport bus to try and rescue him. Mack, wanting to help after what had happened earlier, assisted them. Simmons ran into Mack but he didn’t recognize her. Coulson volunteered to drive the bus and help since he felt remorse for what he’s done, perpetuating Hydra’s lies to his kids and seeing them get taken away.
We learned that the Hydra weapon was Project Looking Glass and the person working on it was Fitz’s father Alistair (David O’Hara) (maybe he was Fitz’s regret?). He was worried about Fitz and figured that it had something to do with a woman. Fitz told him about what happened and his regret for doing it. Maybe Alistair was what made Fitz the person he was here?
Once they arrived at the Enlightenment Centre, Coulson and Mace released the captives and we learned that the Shield operative was none other than Antoine Triplett (he died 2 seasons ago). When Coulson heard his name, it triggered a memory within him. Meanwhile, Simmons was watching Mack with Hope and Ward was calling her out for thinking everything was fake. The world may not be real but Mack’s love for Hope was not. Ward also figured that she didn’t like him because of something he did to her in the real world which she confirmed. He apologized to her (that is weird to see). A call to assist the mission interrupted them. Simmons wanted to protect Mack so she volunteered to go with Ward.
Coulson noticed one of his kids being taken to quarantine so he decided to go after him. Hydra arrived but Mace and Tripp decided to go after Coulson. Before they could get there, enhanced-May showed up and began to fight Mace. In the building, Coulson noticed kids looking like zombies and being forced to watch propaganda. The fight was exciting to watch with Mace getting the upper hand but he didn’t kill her because he wasn’t a thug like she claimed him to be. Since they all ran into the building, Ophelia ordered the quinjet to fire onto the building.
With the building coming down, it felt reminiscent of the incident in the real world where Mace became the Patriot but here he had real powers. Mace protected a kid from a falling pillar. May went in and noticed that there were kids inside. She didn’t know that there were kids in there and she has a weakness for kids. She stumbled on everyone but she wasn’t sure whether to shoot them or help the kid. She helped the kid but seeing the lengths everyone took and seeing Mace sacrifice himself to save everyone (Aida disengaged him from the framework so he’s dead in real life) was starting to convince her that they may not be all bad.
The episode ended with May visiting Skye in her cell. May gave her terragen to trigger her powers, hoping that she would use them to bring the building down.
Overall, this was another great episode with great performances where we got a glimpse into how Fitz may have become evil. The show is also building up to the end of this arc with characters seemingly realizing what is happening with May being the newest addition. The concept of fantasy and reality has been the most compelling concept of this arc with stakes feeling very real with Mace’s sacrifice and I am curious to see any real world repercussions.