AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.
SEASON FOUR, EPISODE EIGHTEEN- "NO REGRETS"
Its been interesting watching this last half of season four, simply because it feels like the show is coming together in a way I thought we'd never see. There seem to be no wasted opportunities as of late (except for the whole Madame Hydra thing I am still not a fan of), the characters seem to flow well, there is humor, there is action, and there are actual stakes, stakes that cause real empathy. Something I haven't felt from this show in awhile. Plus, there is an inspirational zing of unpredictability ever since our heroes got stuck in Aida's Framework. Let's be honest here, it is Aida's Framework, not Radcliffe's. He's completely out of control, which was widely evident this episode.
This episode was pretty exciting to say the least. I mean, B.J. Britt showed up in the Framework as Agent Triplett! Yes, the Trip returned. In the main storyline of the episode, Coulson and even Jemma assist Mace and Ward rescue an undercover agent from Hydra, as the undercover has recovered information and evidence of a weapon Hydra has obtained. That undercover agent is none other than Triplett. While I loved seeing B.J. Britt show up again on the show, it definitely felt bittersweet. I mean, unless something unexpected happens, we know we won't see Triplett again after our heroes get out of the Framework, we know heroic Ward won't either. There is a melancholy glow to this entire story arc and it has lead to some complex character creations, which have been some of the best of the season.
It also stinks because Mace won't see the real world ever again either. Yep, its true. The rescue mission that got Trip out of the clutches of HYDRA also led to an entirely different rescue mission. We learn what happened to Coulson's classroom of children when HYDRA operatives come and take them away. The children are brainwashed, in a sinister way you will recognize if you've been a fan of the show since the beginning. It's some brutally stark imagery, even for a show on ABC, and I give the showrunners credit for never steering away, never playing it safe. In order to kill Mace, Fitz has the entire building destroyed. Which leads to Coulson, Ward, Mace, Trip and Jemma trying to save a child. May shows up trying to finish her mission, but when she witnesses S.H.I.E.L.D. trying to save the life of a child, it opens something up in May. It looks like by next week, May will be herself again too. Which is a good thing. I like that it wasn't some sudden switch in the character, it wasn't for some convenience of plot. Everything this story arc has been hardly earned, and I absolutely love that. Mace sacrificed himself to save the child, and it looked like he died in real life too. I know its not confirmed yet, but it did look clear. That's sad, an emotion well earned.
The enhanced May vs Patriot Mace fight was pretty cool though.
Plus, David O'Hara showed up as a guest star this week, playing Fitz' Dad. A man who is special to HYDRA as well. You know David O'Hara whether you know his name or not. He was in "The Departed" as Fitzy. He was the crazy Irishman in Mel Gibson's "Braveheart." He was in "Wanted" and "Doomsday" and FOX's "Gotham" for a few episodes. He's ultra-freaky in whatever he is in and he was fitting as a HYDRA loyal father to Fitz in the Framework. I think he's an underrated supporting actor, and I am glad we'll get more of him next week. Somehow he may be the key to getting Fitz to be himself again, and maybe not Madame HYDRA. Keep an eye on them, seriously.
The development and care in this story arc has been unxpected, but it has led to some of the very best episodes of the show so far.
Well freaking done.
What did everyone else think?