Thursday, April 20, 2017

No Regrets

The "Agents of HYDRA" arc of Agents of SHIELD continues to pay off big, with another great episode this week.

Aida/Madama Hydra/Ophelia explicitly reminded us all that this reality is built by changing one regret in the lives of each of the Framework's subjects. You could well have assumed already that Mace's regret was that he wasn't actually an Inhuman -- he'd talked about that when his secret was revealed weeks ago. But this week showed him explicitly super-powered, and used his story arc to hammer on the big point of the episode: what happens in the Framework matters. Mace was so committed to this idea that he died for it, but in doing so proved his very point. By risking his life to save a child's in front of May, he provided the push she needed to break from Hydra's fascist sway and start working with Daisy.

We learned that for Fitz, his regret appeared to be some variation of wishing for a better relationship with his father, a fitting revelation on multiple levels. Way back in season one, we learned that Fitz's father skipped out when he was a kid; more recently, his disappointment with how things had turned out with Radcliffe must have put the need for a father figure more at the forefront of his thinking.

That wasn't the only season one connection being made this week, as we got the surprise return of Triplett to the mix. He was the first significant character introduced beyond the original core cast, and having him show up now does make me wonder if we have any shot at a return from Bobbi Morse and Hunter before we're through. Are they playing out "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Greatest Hits" one last time, or was this more of a one-time opportunity they seized upon?

In any case, I continue to be enthralled by this final story arc of the season. For serving up a meaningful (if inevitable) character death and other great moments, the episode earns another A-.

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