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ROUNDTABLE: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. “Farewell, Cruel World”

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Tuesday’s new episode of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was intense as we watched the team race against time to get out of the framework and back into the real world. Not everyone made it and then there was an uncomfortable twist with AIDA.

Please join Roz, Karen and Rueben as they discuss the episode, and please share your thoughts in our comments section below:

1. The race was on to get the team back to the real work and out of the framework. How did you see it going down before it played out? And, did you expect the outcome we got?

Roz: I didn’t see the jump going back to our world going exactly like that – especially with Fitz and Mack. Mack’s decision hurt the most of all because he’s so happy to have Hope and to hear that she wasn’t part of his life is devastating.

Karen: No, I was upset about Mack. Why doesn’t he get that if the framework is destroyed he won’t have Hope anyway? He’ll cease to exist in both places instead of just being in the real world without her. I had a feeling Fitz would have to go kicking and screaming – he’d never come around on his own. Some great acting on Iain De Caestecker’s part once Fitz found out he’s responsible for Mace’s death.

Rueben: I was on the edge of my seat wondering how they were going to get out and when Fitz held that gun against Jemma, I thought it was going to turn out so much worse than it did. For once I was actually rooting for Radcliffe, pushing Fitz through and helping them get out. I was surprised by Mack’s decision! That being said, though, he loves his daughter and in his mind he needed to stay with her no matter what he witnessed.

2. How unsettling was it to see that organic body being created and AIDA waking up in the real world?

Roz: So creepy! I’m all for scientific curiosity but I don’t need to see bones and organs forming.

Karen: I’m desensitized from watching Westworld last year I guess. I thought it was pretty cool, but then I remembered it was AIDA and I threw up a little.

Rueben: Agreed! That was unsettling to say the least, but for Fitz to get that close to her after everything that happened in the framework, might have been even more unsettling to me.

3. Worse yet, what the frak did she do with Fitz at the end? How does she have that kind of power? Does that come from the Darkhold?

Roz: I’m pretty sure that the ability to BAMF away has to come from the Darkhold and I don’t like what that suggests for the last two episodes at all. I mean AIDA clearly imprinted on Fitz like a wayward baby duck but the difference between the two Fitzs is going to be hard for Ophelia to recognize.

Karen: Definitely the Darkhold. But now I think he’ll remember the real world. She didn’t have time to reprogram him. She’s the worst.

Rueben: I was really disturbed by her organic body in the real world; and again, Fitz allowing himself to get that close to her – what was he thinking! But, she teleporting them (if that is indeed what she did?!), now that was really unexpected.

4. What do you think will become of Mack in the framework? As the clip for next week’s episode showed, his body is seemingly going to drown or will the team figure out a way to save/retrieve him?

Roz: I really don’t want Mack to die, but I can’t see anything good happening to him with his choice to stay in the Framework.

Karen: Luckily, the framework will stick around since the team will try to get Fitz back. That means there’s still time for him to help Fitz find a way home, which might be his purpose for staying behind story-wise. Can we please find a real-world body for Tripp as well?

Rueben: I have to agree with Roz even though it hurts to think that. I don’t want anything to happen to him either, but can they force him out of there now that they are all back in the real world?

5. Poor Fitz was really freaking out about what his evil side did in the framework? What kind of ramifications do you think that will have for him going forward (once the team finds him yet again from wherever AIDA took him, of course)?

Roz: If Fitz weren’t already scarred by things in the last two years, I think knowing what a version of himself could have done will haunt him for a while. Of course now that he doesn’t agree with Ophelia, I think there will be some confrontation between them. It’s going to take him some serious mental health days to recover from all of this.

Karen: Again, therapy time. Maybe Dr. Linda will take a trip over to Marvel-land to help him? He’s gonna beat himself up for a LONG time. He caused a real-world death, and it will change him fundamentally.

Rueben: He has gone through hell, hasn’t he? He seemed to be adjusting (if I can use that word to describe what he was going through) before entering [albeit not by choice] in the framework. He’s gonna need a LOT of help and therapy. I’m sure his rational side will understand that really wasn’t him in the framework (and none of those people were real), but his emotional side, well, that’s a deeper wound that might take a LOT longer to heal.

6. I don’t think we’ve done this in a while, so who was the MPV in this episode?

Roz: I think by the end I want Tripp to have it since he’s been just accepting information as it comes and rolling with it. He wasn’t upset at the idea of him not being with the team in the real world and his easy acceptance helped to get everyone back to where we needed them to end.

Karen: Iain De Caestecker did some big-time emoting when he got back on board the real world train. However, there were some great performances all around. Clark Gregg convincing May to take that leap with him, Elizabeth Henstridge begging Fitz to remember her while he shoots her, Henry Simmons deciding to live with his daughter instead of going home… I mean, how can I choose?

Rueben: You’ve got a great point, Roz. I’ll concede (partially) to that, as I hadn’t looked at it that way beforehand. However, I think that Jemma really showed a lot of grit and determination in not only facing down Fitz’s dad (even though that ended horribly, although I wasn’t sad to see his demise) but also for facing down Fitz himself. She was fighting for him and their love in the end.

7. Any other thoughts on the show as we edge closer to the season finale?

Roz: Am I cruel for wanting to see May slicing through AIDA? Just seeing the disembodied head didn’t feel satisfying.

Karen: AIDA/Ophelia has GOT to die. Personally, I’d like it to be Simmons, but I’d be okay with May taking her out as well. I think Mack will bring Fitz back to the real world, and leave his daughter behind – albeit reluctantly. And it’d be cool if they could keep one of the “lost” characters like Ward or Tripp. I mean, what happens if they go through that portal since the Darkhold made them? I wanna know!

Rueben: No, not cruel at all, Roz. I knew Coulson was going to end AIDA but seeing that head wasn’t and isn’t enough. I want the whole team to eradicate her. Angry much on my part? YEP! And, Karen, I love that idea…seeing if Ward and/or Tripp can cross over or not. I’d like to see if it’s at least possible.

Here is the tagline for next week’s episode entitled “The Return,” as well as the trailer for the episode:

COULSON’S VICTORY IN THE FRAMEWORK REVEALS A GREATER THREAT

In the exciting penultimate episode leading into next week’s season finale, Coulson and the team’s victory in the Framework is short-lived, as an even deadlier enemy looms against them all.

The penultimate episode of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will air on Tuesday, May 9 at 10/9c on ABC.

Using her favorite online handle, Rueben is an East Coast-bred gal who is now a permanent Californian and a lifelong tv-oholic. She watches at least 25 TV shows a week, goes to the movies as often as possible, listens to music every waking moment, reads every day and “plays” on the internet every chance she can. Some of her current favorite TV shows are Outlander, Arrow, Grimm, The Blacklist, Teen Wolf, Killjoys, Dark Matter, The Shannara Chronicles, Good Witch, When Calls the Heart, The 100, Switched at Birth, Jane the Virgin, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., The Flash and The Fosters (among others). Follow her at @ruebenrambling or contact her at rueben@nicegirlstv.com.

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