Thank whatever higher power is up there that this show is finally back. Had I had to wait one more week, I swear I would've exploded from anticipation.
Unfortunately, every once in a while real life gets in the way of my watching TV shows, which is why I was unable to review 4x15 when it first aired. So, if you don't mind, I'd like to very quickly say a few things about "Self Control":
That was the best fucking episode this show has ever done and I still haven't fully recovered from it.
I CAN'T BELIEVE ELIZABETH HENSTRIDGE AND IAIN DE CAESTECKER INVENTED ACTING. These two smol humans are so incredibly talented and their performances in that episode were earth-shattering.
I love FitzSimmons. I really do. But I ship Jemma and Daisy so hard that it actually hurts a little bit. The sweaty hug, the lingering looks, the hand-holding, it was all so gay that my brain short-circuited. I've spent the last month binge-reading BioQuake fanfiction. Send help.
Robot May made me cry like a baby. Yup. That's another sentence I never thought I'd write, but here we are!
And now, moving on to 4x16:
I can't believe they just went and changed the logo to Agents of HYDRA. I'm internally screaming. That is so extra.
So, the Framework is a bleak, nightmare-inducing reality. I don't get it. If you had the power to create a whole new world, why would you make it like this? It's awful.
I love Brett Dalton and it's good to see him again, but damn, I hate Ward's bitch ass. Watching that slimy motherfucker put his hands on Daisy made me want to throw up. And then he turned out to be a good guy? That's a twist I didn't see coming. I think it's very cool. It doesn't redeem real-life Ward's actions, of course, but it's interesting to see a different version of the character, one that isn't a homicidal lunatic.
Evil Fitz is terrifying. His dad must've been one messed up dude. Also, I sincerely hope that Jemma will punch Aida in the face for seducing him. I was so grossed out when they kissed. It's just wrong.
I appreciated all the little things that Coulson had in his file. The references to Tahiti, the Cellist, LA Quake (good one, writers) and Lola made me smile.
Jemma, my baby! My tiny badass! I love her so much. She just doesn't give a fuck. She'd fight all of HYDRA by herself armed with nothing but a plastic fork and a lot of determination if she had the chance. And yet another wonderful performance from Elizabeth. I shouldn't even be surprised anymore, but she still blows my mind.
"- Are HYDRA all Nazis?- Every last one of them."
Cue the "My longest yeah boy ever" video.
"Daisy, they're coming! You need to do something before Psycho Stalker shoots us!"
I've never wanted to marry anyone more in my life. Your fave could never.
To be honest, the thing I would like to see the most in the Framework is FitzSimmons meeting. It could be such a fantastic scene. Just imagine, Fitz interrogating Jemma or something and feeling oddly drawn to her despite the fact that she's an enemy of HYDRA, Jemma desperately trying to get him to remember, emotions all around... I really want this to happen.
Seeing Daisy with long hair and hearing people call her Skye made me reflect on how much she's changed since the show started. I definitely prefer season 4 Daisy to season 1 Skye. I mean, I've loved her since day one, but her character arc has been phenomenal and I adore the person she's become.
Coulson remembers Daisy! Agents, assemble! Aida's electrical ass won't kick itself!
I can't wait for the next episode. I'm so excited that I can't breathe.
I don't get why Jemma had a hoarse voice the whole episode. Was it intentional or she was just sick? lol great acting though.
[8.8/10] The reboot is one of the biggest tropes in comic books. Every few years it seems, there’s another continuity reset that preserves somethings, changes others, but allows a company to remix its familiar characters and stories and have them come out with a certain newness, however artificial that may be.
“What If...” allows for the same sort of blend of the standard and the unprecedented. From the minute the S.H.I.E.L.D. logo flashes over to say “Agents of HYDRA,” it’s clear that we’re in for something different here, and it’s a thrill out of the gate.
The smartest thing Agents of Shield does, though, is filter the story through Daisy (Skye? No-Quake? Who knows!) and Simmons. They are neophytes to this universe the same way the audience is, and channel the same bewilderment and uncertainty and curiosity about what’s going on that the viewers have. Daisy is our window into Hydra, an organization which identifies, hunts down, and kills Inhumans, where she is still employed as an agent. Simmons is our window into day-to-day life for regular folks, which is Orwellian and oppressive.
That allows AoS to do a solid amount of world-building in a short bit of time. We learn the inflection point for this new reality -- May’s trip to Bahrain resulted in her saving that little girl Inhuman, but with the unintended consequence of that girl killing hundreds of people in Cambridge, Massachusetts, creating a political atmosphere that allowed Hydra to rise to power. That glosses over a few things, most notably where/what the Avengers are now, but it works as a simple and straightforward broad strokes explanation for why this world is the way it is, with room to fill in more details later.
Details like why Fitz has gone from the empathetic, heart-on-his-sleeve scientist to a harsh, cruel man called “The Doctor.” That’s one of the most engrossing things about “What If..” -- seeing the good and noble members of the Shield team play bad guys. Fitz is downright terrifying as the cold Hydra lieutenant. (Daisy theorizes that it’s because he didn’t have Simmons in his life, but there’s hints that it’s because he did have his dad in it.) A May who is haunted by having let someone live rather than by having let someone die is even harsher and more intimidating. Even Aida, who’s been unnerving in the past, has a little more evil flair in her role as Madame Hydra.
What’s just as interesting is the attention to detail in the ways that the show calls back and references its first season, even the parts of it that many assumed the powers that be wanted to forget. That includes little things like the long-forgotten “dwarves,” which return as drones that help the Hydra superstate monitor its citizens.
Oh yeah, and it also includes Ward! I’ll admit, I felt the character had run its course by the time Hive blew up into a million pieces, but it’s fun to see him back in this new role. There is great poetry in Ward being a Hydra agent but turning out to be a mole for the resistance, something that Simmons comments on to great comedic effect. The show makes great hay from Skye’s reaction not only to Ward himself, but her revulsion at the fact that in this universe the pair are still dating. The contrast between the Ward they know and the one in this reality makes for some interesting focal points and fissures, and “What If...” does well with them.
It also includes Coulson. As with May and Fitz, there’s something fascinating about seeing him as both a regular civilian teacher and also a Hydra loyalist. His “lifelong dream” felt thrown-in in a recent episode, but it fits him, and the avuncular, guiding role he generally plays within Shield. There is a discomfiting power to someone whom the show always treated as an authority figure spitting out Hydra propaganda to impressionable youth, and the episode makes the most of how wrong that feels.
But it ties the potential for Coulson to break from that conditioning to something we know already know about him. Tying his sense that there’s something wrong with this world to Tahiti and “It’s a Magical Place” is a tremendous choice for a fulcrum to lift Coulson out of his Framework-induced haze. The notion that because Coulson’s already had his memories rewritten once, he’s subconsciously on guard for it is a strong one, and his collection of papers and “All work and no play”-esque scribblings work really well in that vein. It makes for a satisfying explanation for why if he truly focuses and digs deep, he knows to call our hero Daisy instead of Skye.
That’s another bit of excitement that comes from this Framework mini-reboot (which bears comparisons to the “Wish-verse” from fellow Whedon series Buffy the Vampire Slayer). It allows the show to create reunions, reawakenings, and retrenchments between the characters whose relationships are familiar to us. Making Fitz an antagonist, having Ward as an ally, letting Daisy need to train Coulson rather than the other way around creates new places for the show to take these characters that turns our prior understanding of them on its head.
The catch to all of this becomes sustaining that energy. Any change this big, any “what if” this sweeping, is invariably going to generate a certain amount of excitement just from the novelty of seeing familiar characters in new guises. But as the audience grows acclimated to the new setting, that novelty starts to wear off, and it becomes incumbent on any TV show to do more than just pull another rabbit out of its hat. “What If...” is a great start that offers tons of potential for this arc of AoS, but it remains to be seen whether the show can follow up on its initial burst of excitement once the glow of newness starts to fade.
This new arc's first episode (that title change is so good) reminds me of Fringe's alternate universe with all its delightful deviations and intricate details, but with even more propulsive plot momentum right off the gate. Loved the switch-and-bait with Ward.
So well executed. The acting was great, the writing excellent. Loved it.
Using the "What if..." label was appropriate. Way to go Marvel Studios!
Absolutely pointless episode. The first episode of this series I actually fast forwarded. Why making such a fuss of a story only existing in a computer world? Please let's go back to the main story. This is just silly and stupid. Some bad version of the movie trilogy Matrix. Or like these ones special episodes of series at Halloween that has nothing to do with the actual story, feelings or direction of the original script. If this continues I'll stop watching this otherwise perfect series. And if it gets to bonkers I'll stop watch Marvel all together.
I'm not a big fan of the what if and parrallel universes trope. Meet people, they're different, try to convince them it's not real, yadda yadda yadda. Been there, seen that. But desperate Jemma offers a good performance. Tahiti, it's a magical place, I missed this one, that was a cool throwback. Coulson's little collection too.
That's supposed to be a paradise-like world but Hydra's in control, and most of them are its agents ? Sure their greatest regret has been erased, but then it leads to that ? Either it's a fucked up interpretation of the directives because Aida still does not understand the human mind. Or seeing she's in there (or is it just a copy ?), she's just evil and designed her own world. And then the fling with Fitz, is it his fantasy or hers ?
May's regret is to have killed that girl, we've known that for long. Fitz's is probably his daddy issues, probably what makes him evil.
Anyway as soon as Aida sees Jemma, who is supposed to be dead in the Framework, she should know that Daisy could be there for real too, and have surveillance on Coulson, Mack and Mace.
Fun to see Ward again. A good way to use him. Normal as we're back to Agents of HYDRA. And still the double agent.
When they call the Doctor, I think Radcliffe, but nope, it's Fitz, who is really, really great as an evil version. Then the director ? Nope, Aida. So no sign of Radcliffe.
We don't really see Mack either but his thing is having his daughter back. What about Mace ?
By the way, what are these SMS where you can't see the sender ?
Vijay, hm ? Guess it's too late now for him to be the super villain I expected. Next season ? Same for Robbie. We probably won't see him there : /
This show just keeps getting better! First LMD and now Agents of Hydra!? I can't take this...it's soo good!!
These episodes what if they touch me a lot noses
LOVED IT! "Agents of HYDRA" is the best thing ever!
this was so ugly lmfao...... how many ways will the writers think up to bring back ward like.... let his ass go already. anyway watching this was truly a waste of 45 minutes