As it seems to often be doing this “pod,” Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. outdid itself again with a terrific (and terrifically entertaining) hour that boasted laugh-out-loud character moments (ladies man Trip/amused Daisy, warm-fuzzy Coulson/cool May) as well as an edge-of-your-seat final act.
“FitzSimmons” fans, meanwhile, hopefully had stocked up on alllll of the wine before sitting down for the episode, as that couple was put through the wringer like never before.
Having procured the coordinates for the “back door” out of the Framework that Radcliffe had created — and after “reuniting” with a very confused Trip — Daisy was rarin’ to race to the escape hatch before Aida has a chance to assume human-ish form via Evil Fitz’s machine and kill them all back in the real world. Thing is, she breaks it to Jemma, Fitz is so far gone, they can’t risk trying to reach him, turn him and bring him with. But they’ll come back for him later! (Probably.)
That’s simply unacceptable to Jemma, of course, so after getting wind from May that Fitz’s father exists in the Framework, she shows up at Alistair’s doorstep packing a pistol, threatening to put him down if he doesn’t summon his son to the house. What Alistair does instead once on the phone with Fitz is alert his son to Jemma’s trap, triggering a tussle between dear ol’ Dad and the S.H.I.E.L.D. scientist. Fitz is left to listen in on the struggle, until a gunshot signals that his father has been felled — a fact confirmed when he and his team later arrive on the scene. When Radcliffe, in tow, contends that it surely wasn’t Jemma’s intent to kill his father, Fitz makes clear they are now going to track the subversive down — at which point it will be his “intent to put a bullet in her head.”
Back at S.H.I.E.L.D., Daisy assembles her team to find the “back door,” convincing Mack that he is needed to go along on this final mission to destroy Madam Hydra’s machine. Ultimately, thanks to a loose-lipped Coulson, Daisy must confess to Mack the full story about the “other world” — and how if he returns with them, he won’t have a daughter who laughs at his jokes waiting for him there. It’s a lot for Mack to process, but he just can’t do it. He insists on eventually staying behind, to be with Hope.
Arriving at Radcliffe’s coordinates, Daisy & Co. find not a simple park with fountain/portal, but an ominous steel factory. Always one step ahead, Aida constructed the factory atop the “back door,” putting no less than a vat of molten metal between them and their exit. With Hydra troops bearing down on them, Daisy gets the idea (from bible-quoting Mack) to “part the Red Sea,” by quaking open the molten pool. Coulson — after taking a few bullets — is the first to take a leap of faith, at which instant he comes to in the real world, followed closely by May.
Fitz then arrives at the factory to confront his father’s kille, first putting a bullet in one of her legs. Jemma tries as best she can to make him understand that she loves him, but he coldly retorts that she is nothing to him. In fact, he demands that she acknowledge her nothingness aloud. When she refuses, Fitz is ready to shoot her again, but Radcliffe gets the jump on him. (Turns out that the professor had not been “turned” by Fitz’s promise of immortality in a fabricated meat suit; he just needed to steer Fitz to the “back door.”) After Radcliffe lobs Fitz into the portal, Jemma follows. Fitz reunites with Coulson and May, where he immediately laments his role in the deaths of Agnes and Mace. Jemma meanwhile resurfaces aboard the Zephyr, which has been compromised by the Framework’s power drain and is in the midst of being chased/shot at by Ivanov’s people. Daisy arrives shortly afterward, having to inform Yo-Yo that Mack won’t be coming back :(
All this while, having kept tabs on her Framework plan and Fitz’s focus falling apart, Aida moved ahead with her transition into a new, organic vessel, materializing in the machine just as Fitz returned to the real world. Seeing him (after grabbing a robe, drat!), she invites Fitz to follow through on the dream they fashioned as Ophelia and The Doctor. May is unable to get a clear shot at their adversary, and when she calls out to Fitz to step out of the way, Aida grabs him and — poof! — they blink away into… some other plane of existence? Earth-Two? I dunno.
What did you think of the episode “Farewell, Cruel World!”?