Last night's episode Marvel's Agents of SHIELD continued the show's adventures through the "What if?" virtual world of the Framework, where reversing every team member's greatest regret has somehow led to most of them either working for Hydra or out of the espionage game altogether.
Daisy Johnson and Jemma Simmons have hacked their way into their own Framework avatars and, after taking the lay of the new universe, found a surprising ally in Grant Ward, who is a double agent within Hydra and working for the SHIELD resistance.
In "Identity and Change," Ward put Simmons, Daisy, and Phil Coulson in touch with the leader of the SHIELD resistance, Jeffrey Mace, now known as the Patriot. Ward, Simmons, and Coulson then left on a mission to track down Holden Radcliffe, the one man who may be able to find them a new way out of the Framework.
They find Radcliffe on a secluded island near Aruba, but he isn't there alone. Agnes Kitsworth, the love of Radcliffe's life who he modeled AIDA's appearance on, is there with him. Radcliffe convinced Agnes to allow her consciousness to be uploaded into the Framework so that it would be preserved even after her inoperable brain tumor killed her physical body.
SHIELD's meeting with Radcliffe is interrupted by the unexpected arrival of Madame Hydra, AIDA's Framework persona, and the Doctor, what Fitz has become as Madame Hydra's second in command in the Framework. While Coulson, Simmons, and Ward hide, Fitz puts a gun to Agnes and allows Radcliffe the opportunity to try to convince him that Madame Hydra had been lying.
Radcliffe tries to remind Fitz of his true life, the friendship that had existed between the two of them, how they created AIDA and of Fitz's love for Jemma Simmons. Fitz refuses to believe him and shoots Agnes in the heart, making Agnes the first casualty of those uploaded to the Framework.
"The Framework is a dangerous place," executive producers Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen tell Entertainment Weekly. "I think it's safe to say that, if an innocent woman can be killed by one of our main characters, no one is safe."
It sounds like Agents of SHIELD fans should be prepared for heads to roll at any given moment. And remember, if you die in the Framework, you die for real.
Marvel's Agents of SHIELD airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on ABC.
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