Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D: What if…
Original air date: April 4th, 2017
The last time we saw AofS was in the episode Self Control. That episode was the most powerful hour the series had given us to date. Saturday, at WonderCon executive producer Jeph Loeb, most of the cast and writer DJ Doyle premiered the next episode: What if.
This episode may not have the same emotional impact as the previous episode, but boy is it a doozy. All our agents (Minus Yo-Yo) are in the Framework and the world there is very different than the one we are used to. Taking a page from The Man in the High Castle, the Framework is all about Hydra. No longer is this the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D but Agents of Hydra and at the end we get to meet Madame Hydra—the no good, dirty, damn LMD Aida.
Being in the audience, watching the show, the collective gasp as this took place was something to be heard. Now this is obviously not the same Viper from the Wolverine movie, nor is it Ophelia Sarkassian or Elisa Sinclair—but to me this is absolutely a great way to get this character into MCU.
In the Framework, Aida is the director of Hydra, which makes sense– she can keep an eye out on the gang and control any problems that arise. Which she did, with Daisy and Simmons. Their escape has been shut off and they are trapped in the framework—only aware of their predicament. As for the others—well some of their biggest regrets, are probably some of the best things that could have happened to them.
In the Framework, Agent May saved the girl in Bahrain but that led to all this other bad stuff, like you know, Hydra running the world. May herself is a high-ranking Hydra operative and is getting in touch with her dark side. When they get out of the Framework, it makes me wonder how those that went full-Hydra are going to cope with their Framework decisions? I feel a lot of therapy coming on.
Coulson is a teacher and not the guy we know and love. He is all up in the Hydra propaganda and even let Hydra agents take a child out of his classroom. But he is fighting it. When Simmons goes to him, she points out how his subconscious is trying to tell him things are not right. I think this helped allow Daisy to finally get through to him at the end of the episode.
Fitz is “the Doctor”. Quick question—when May first said “the doctor”, did anyone else think that maybe it was going to be Sky’s father? I mean, it could’ve been. This Fitz is again very different; we see what he is like if Simmons was never in his life, and his main-squeeze is Aida.
Simmons found herself in an unmarked grave at an abandoned S.H.I.E.L.D. training facility. Well, at least she didn’t have to claw her way out of a coffin. My question is, if in the Framework she is dead, does this mean she can’t die again? I wonder, since Daisy doesn’t have her powers, will Simmons take on some ass-kicking?
Now, let’s talk Grant Ward. I may be in the minority, but I was happy to see him return. For the longest time—I hated him. I try not to use that word often, but there you have it. Then somehow along the way, about the time he died for the second time—I was like, “I’m going to miss him.” So, at the end of Self Control, I squealed a little. Now in the Framework, Grant Ward can get the hero arc he never got in the real world. Also, I wonder if this could be a way to bring him back, maybe a LMD Grant Ward?
As for Mack, we didn’t see him this episode, but from before we know he is living the family-life and though we haven’t seen him, from the previews we know Mace is part of the Framework’s S.H.I.E.L.D. Finally, we haven’t seen the last of Holden Radcliffe—this is going to be a fun ride for the rest of the season. I can’t wait.