Agents of SHIELD Recap

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Recap: Exit Wounds

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!”?

Want scoop on S.H.I.E.L.D., or for any other show? Email InsideLine@tvline.com and your question may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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46 Comments
  1. laurelnev says:

    That episode was exhilirating and heartbreaking at the same time! Another high quality hour. Poor Fitz! He IMMEDIATELY fell apart upon re-entry, only to be spirited away by Aida! (Good to see Radcliffe really IS a good man, deep down!) Not surprised Mack chose to stay, but poor YoYo! Of course, Fitz being kidnapped by Ophelia gives the team a second chance to rescue Mack, and hopefully YoYo will come along to convince him REAL love is better than a bunch of ones and zeroes any day. I cannot believe te season, and possibly the series, is over. This arc has been movie quality. They just HAVE to renew! Come on now ABC!

    Loved, loved, LOVED this episode!

    • laurelnev says:

      PS–Matt–don’t you think Aida just went back to “her” framework? She already had learned to go back and forth, as we saw when Skye blasted her out a window. I’d assume as a “real” person, she just knows how to go back and forth without the machine.

      • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

        Like, maybe…? But how could Fitz’s physical self disappear with her? Unless “her” Framework is “another dimensional plane” a la the whole Ghost Rider rigamarole. We shall see!

        • laurelnev says:

          I think it’s more like Dr. Strange type manipulation of the time/space/matter dimensions, just without that “conjuring” type ritual, personally. They kind of had these weird intra dimensional planes in the Dr Strange movie. And Aida “popped” out of the framework before.

          But I guess we’ll see in a week!

          • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

            Yeah, I half-watched that on the (air)plane to Vancouver. Will give it a think.

          • laurelnev says:

            You missed a lot then. :D That was one movie most definitely worthy of seeing in 3-d on a big screen. Think inception-type manipulation of the surroundings, except in the same plane.

      • George says:

        Assuming the author of the Darkhold is the same as it is in the comics, the thing that wrote it is quite knowledgeable on a wide variety of subjects. Aida could have exploited that knowledge to give her real world physical self any number of abilities, including teleportation.

        • laurelnev says:

          I am not as well versed in the comic universe as in the movie one. :) But I thought the TV show lived in the movie MCU as well? (I would like some more schooling on the comic MCU and the Darkhold though!)

      • grys03 says:

        I agree with this. It’s the only way to allow for Mack’s return. He is returning I hope?
        .
        & I am getting a bit tired of ‘reasoning’ like Mac’s ‘I’m staying with Hope’ rubbish – no-one mentioned that framework would have to be dismantled? & as a consequence there would be no Hope? & no mentioning of Yo-Yo to him or at least the person who loves him?
        .
        There’s way too much sloppy writing like this across most of the CW shows – was hoping it wan’t going to infect the Marvel ones. It certainly has the Netflix shows.
        .
        Enough of the negative – am enjoying the frameworks episodes more than the whole last 2 seasons. Don’t think there’s any chance it will be cancelled.

  2. Jordan Strummer says:

    I’m gonna guess that since Looking Glass seems to give you powers that they won’t be using it on Ward, Trip, or Hope (or the Superior for that matter)

    • laurelnev says:

      Did you see Dr. Strange? Not quite sure it’s “powers,” per se, at least not for “real people.” Not powers like Inhuman powers anyway. It’s more the ability to manipulate physics, the environment, and time and space, kind of. And the Darkhold has potential for good too–like healing folks who SHOULD be severely disabled. Now Aida has learned to manipulate matter enough to make a LMD truly “alive,” and Fitz is feeling like he needs to make amends for is Framework Persona, I’m kind of psyched to see how FitzSimmons could take the Darkhold gained knowledge and use it for good. And Aida isn’t inherently “bad;” she was never real before. Maybe Fitz can teach her to use her knowledge for good!

      • James says:

        One possibility. She was using Doctor Fitz’s experiments on Inhumans in the Framework to download their Inhuman genetic coding in order to fixate those codes into her human body. Maybe she got Gordon’s teleportation powers through those experiments.

        • laurelnev says:

          Did she have any actual Inhumans in the framework? Other than Daisy? Or just her AI imagined, unscanned, interpretation of inhumans?

  3. Staci says:

    I have no words. Amazing episode. I do not want to say goodbye to Mack, I hope he comes through. And poor Fitz 😔

  4. Jess says:

    Fantastic episode — shield has been on fire with this story arc, I wish the ratings better reflected that!

  5. Pipes says:

    I am going to be SO FREAKING MAD if ABC doesn’t decide to renew for at least one final season. Because the time slot is the problem, it’s certainly not the show. The creative resurgence this season has been fantastic, especially since they kicked off this third arc. How many shows get better in their later seasons nowadays? Move it to a better time slot and give it another shot. It’s proven itself more than worthy.

  6. James D says:

    wow the last 3-4 episodes have been stellar and tonight’s was the best of the bunch. It had everything you want in a TV drama (super sorry FitzSimmons fans… ouch in more ways than one). can’t wait to see what happens next. I will be so supremely pissed off if they write Henry Simmons off this show. I totally get why Mac did it but he better come to the truth with the quickness because he makes this show way better. also please bring back Tripp he’s so awesome. If Fitz makes it out a live I’m sensing he will be going on a bit of a walkabout sans Simmons during the summer hiatus. Amazing show and awesome ending to this season. I swear to the high heavens ABC if you do not renew this show I will give your entire executive branch in charge of programing one giant collective wedgy :)

  7. MaryC says:

    Glad Radcliffe did the right thing in the end. I wonder if Fitz still has feelings for Aida/Orphelia? Where the heck did they go? She’s not a computer now, so…?? I hope Mack comes back, he’s going to miss Hope so much :-( Awesome episode! The actors are killing it!

  8. Sheila says:

    I hope Fitz gets his head on straight. He was reeling at his behavior while in the framework. If only he had moved when told. WOW this arc has been thrilling and exasperating, but I am ready to have the team back in their regular world.

    • Lisa says:

      Poor Fitz. He was manipulated the most out of everyone. He killed and tortured dozens of people, including his closest friends. He had to be near his father, who he hates in real life. He had to love a person who kidnapped his friends. What Aida did to him is pretty traumatic, of course he needs some time to pull himself together.

      • MaryC says:

        The interesting thing is most of what Fitz was in the Framework was due to correcting his biggest regret – wanting to please his dad. He will have to come to terms with that.

    • Alichat says:

      I was half expecting May to shoot through him. One of those shoulder shots that goes through, hits her, and knocks Fitz out of the way of Aida.

  9. callie says:

    I teared up during the Daisy/Mack scene! Very emotional and nicely played out by Henry Simmons. (Remember when he also made us all cry during Spy’s goodbye scene?)

    Poor Fitz. Poor Jemma. Poor Elena.

    *crossing my fingers that this doesn’t mean that they are gonna bring Ward back but knowing AoS… ugh*

  10. Kaz says:

    Wherever Aida took Fitz, I think he’s gonna kill her. Classic poetic justice — she created a monster out of Fitz and then the monster kills her in revenge for having been made into a monster.

  11. Lisa says:

    Iain de Caestecker was phenomenal this week. He played evil Fitz and real Fitz so differently, I was kind of shocked to see old Fitz again, since how those two are played seem similar, but have really striking differences. He has to be up for the performer of the week, right?

  12. Flick says:

    This pod has just gotten better and better. I remember watching the first framework ep and being absolutely mind blown but that ep seems like child’s play compared to this one. So much intensity throughout the whole episode. ABC, you BETTER RENEW THIS DAMN SHOW. The writing and acting has just been off the charts this season. PLEASE.

  13. Joey Padron says:

    New episode was really good, intense, emotional, and sad. Really hope the show gets renewed for Season 5!

  14. MLO says:

    Do they not just have to disconnect Mack from the framework to get him to come back? I mean, they’re right in the same room as him.

    • Brandon Pence says:

      They mentioned this when Daisy/Simmons went into the Framework, but they warned Yo-Yo not to disconnect them if their vitals go haywire because doing so could cause brain damage. So yeah, they can’t just disconnect Mack unfortunately.

  15. Ansing says:

    Why didn’t Daisy just lie and tell Mack that Hope was on the other side waiting for him? Sure it would have been cruel, but eventually he would have come to realize that he needs to be in the real world.

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      That would have been extremely cruel, end result notwithstanding.

      • Kobe says:

        I don’t think it would have been too cruel. It’s not like the “real” Mack would have thought she was alive when he came out of it or something. Fitz, May, Coulson, and the rest all remembered right away what exactly was happening and what was real when they all “woke” up. So Daisy wouldn’t have had to tell Mack “Oh no, I lied. Your daughter is really not alive.” or something like that. He would have remembered that as soon as he came back. Sure, he might be sad because it was like a tease and he would miss her, but I have to believe that, when he came out of it, he would understand that it’s better to be in the real world than being stuck in a fake world and loving/taking care of someone that is nothing more than “1’s and 0’s.”

        • Kobe says:

          Plus, from what I’ve been led to believe, the “virtual” world will cease to exist as soon as Ada gets everything she wants. It would have already been destroyed if Couslon and them hadn’t already woken up and been in the room when her body was finished. So no matter what, that world isn’t going to exist anymore really soon. Either way, it will end with Mack without his Daughter, except if he stays in the Framework then his real body will die too. So why wouldn’t you just lie to him to get him back to the real world where he can actually keep living instead of him staying and just getting a little longer with his fake daughter but ultimately die anyway? And be dead for good.

          • Kobe says:

            Wow. Despite what my grammar and sentence structures suggest, I promise I went to high school. I graduated and everything. I swear. Either I was in a hurry and just didn’t care or I have forgotten A LOT since I was in school. If you’re one of the few that can understand all of it, even amidst all the unnecessary commas and run-on sentences, then I salute you. My bad. Lol.

          • tamim says:

            I actually wonder if, because Aida used Darkhold knowledge and power and because that stuff is pretty unpredictable, if the Framework is now very much a real place, just not the plane of existence our SHIELD agents know. And at some point I think I remember Radcliff saying it existed in no one spot but on the web? It’s not like it’s a set of servers somewhere that could be taken offline.

      • Angelfan says:

        Honestly, I would’ve bonked him on the head and chucked him in when he turned his back. Cruel or not.

    • MaryC says:

      Too cruel, you can’t do that to a loving parent. I’m hoping they can figure it out somehow. Have the EP’s teased a big death this season? I really hope if they did that it’s not Mack.

  16. Kim R says:

    Fitz’ total despair when returning to the real world at what he had done was so heart wrenching. He and Jemma break my heart. Like with Reid on Criminal Minds, how much tragedy do they have to endure? Let’s give them a win! :)

  17. Dominique says:

    man what another excellent and brilliant episode!! i really like how they divided the season into 3 different arcs, it gives all stories and ultimately the season as a whole a much better pace. i’m glad they managed to get out of the framework. mack wanting to stay behind was expected, although i highly doubt this is the last we’ve seen of him. he might just come back after all, willingly or forced by someone else (maybe hope will make him realize he has to be a hero or something. she’s been doing that quite a lot in the framework and i like it). i also don’t want to see mack go, simple as that. he is a truly good person, incorruptible. i would hate to see him go.
    .
    poor fitz. he’s going to be traumatized for quite a while, especially now that aida’s taken him. i wonder about these abilities the machine has given her. is it a part of the process or something the programmed for herself? i find it hard to believe she would allow ANYONE to be re-created by that machine and be given powers as well.
    .
    i don’t think we’ve seen the last of ward or trip. they would’ve given us better endings, i imagine, rather than leaving it open. i still think one or more will come through the back-door as well as part of aida’s machine.
    .
    i’m glad radcliffe did the right thing. it would’ve been very disappointing to see him betray them all again. he’s hardly a truly evil person so i’m glad they made him choose this path instead.

  18. Neza says:

    Seeing the look on Fitz’s face when he realized what he did really broke my heart. I can’t even imagine how his reunion with Simmons will go given the fact that he just shot her and tried to kill her. I really love them as a couple and seeing them go trough this is agonizing I just hope they can get past all this.

  19. chokulit191 says:

    Is it just me or is Fitz faking his guilt? I’m afraid that RL Fitz’ body has been hidden somewhere else by AIDA and that the Fitz that “woke up” is FW Fitz. I remember Ophelia and the Doctor’s conversation (in the previous ep) on the Doctor joining Ophelia on the other world and Ophelia was “I was hoping you were gonna say that.” So more challenges for Fitzsimmons, they really can’t catch a break.
    And why does LMD Fitz and FW Fitz hate Jemma’s leg? Stabbed then shot. What’s the matter with you FItz?

  20. Gloria says:

    Best show airing currently. ABC MUST renew this awesome show