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Recap – Agents of SHIELD S04E19 and 20 – Out of the Frying Pan Edition

Yeah, I’m slacking, I skipped last week.  It’s not even that I missed the episode or didn’t have time, I just, didn’t do the write up.  Like I mentioned a bit in the Episode 18 Recap, while I enjoy the trip down memory lane, there just feels like not a lot is actually happening here, so I’m pretty much just glossing over Episode 19, though more and more Fake Ward seems to understand what’s going on.  I still really want him to pass into the real world.

Which seems possible and likely.

Episode 20 sees what is essentially the culmination of The Framework.  AIDA completed her project and becomes a real girl, though she still seems to have some sort of crazy yet to be explained abilities.  Everyone else except Mack finally wake up and free themselves from the dream.  Mack, pretty expectedly, opted to remain in The Framework, with his daughter Hope.  Daisy didn’t seem to push him too hard, or even take the route taken with Fitz where they just knock him out and drop him in the portal.  I guess she just sort of assumed they could free him from the Outside, though given previews for the next episode, that may or may not happen.

Speaking of Daisy, I was really expecting some sort of Matrix moment involving either her or Coulson, basically,, killed in The Framework, but because they realize it’s fake, they “wake up” and don’t actually die.  Especially considering Daisy was holding the portal open using her Quake Powers (didn’t we do this plot once already).  I figured there wouldn’t be any way for her to pass through the portal while also holding it open.  Apparently the writers couldn’t figure this out either, since it just sort of cuts away and she wakes up.

The real long term consequence here will be that everyone remembers the events from within The Framework.  For Coulson and May, it’s just sort of an odd sort of memory, for Fitz, it seems like it’s kind of fucked him up again, since he now suddenly realize just what he did to Agnes, among others.

I also wanted to mention how great it was for Radcliffe to get his redemption, and how it worked in the overall sense pretty damn well.  Being betrayed by AIDA and seeing the end result of his dream twisted and used against him really made his change pretty convincing.  He was always pretty misguided in his efforts but seemed to mostly mean well.  I mean all he really wanted was to created the perfect VR world for himself and Agnes to live out their days.  Hell that was pretty much the entire point of AIDA originally, to let Agnes live on as a robot.

So it seems there are two episodes left, let’s get some predictions.  It’s been mentioned around the news outlets that Ghost Rider will return for the final episode, which seems like it’s probably going to end up being a showdown with AIDA and a rescue mission to retrieve Fitz.  Next Episode, based on the previews, looks to be mostly a lot of escapes.  Coulson and May on the sub get to escape from the Superior and the apparently sinking sub.  Mack gets to maybe escape from drowning in the real world if he decides to escape from The Framework, maybe he drowns but creates a new body with the machine AIDA used, though considering that machine is on the sub that’s sinking, that might be hard.  There’s also the need for the rest of the remaining SHIELD agents on The failing Zephyr, Simmons, Daisy, Yo-yo and the other flunkies, to escape the impending attack by The Superior’s planes.  Of course having Quake now awake could make short work of that.

The main things that seem up in the air, aside from if there will be a Season 5.  How will Mack get rescued.  I can’t imagine they kill him off permanently.  Maybe Mack dies and the real world end of the transfer device gets destroyed in the sub, but Fitz is able to build a second one, bringing Mack and Hope back.  What role will Ghost Rider play?  I have a feeling it will mostly just be some sort of muscle along side Daisy and Yo-yo to deal with AIDA.  Lastly, will Fake Ward find his way out of the Framework and return yet again for a new season as another different character.  It’s actually kind of a fun and pretty well done gimmick.

Agents of Hydra S04E18 – Return of The Bus

I’m not sure why but there have been a lot less promotional stills for these episodes lately.  I really need to find an effective way to take my own snapshots it seems.  I’m trying to get these a bit shorter though at least, so I don’t need as many images to go with them I suppose.

It helps that these episodes lately, while good, just feel like not much actually happens.  Given that it’s all Fake and in the Framework, it’s easy to dismiss it as ultimately not important.  I mean thing happen, important things, like the end of this episode, is pretty important to the real world, but there’s just a whole lot “look how things are all backwards!  ZANY!”  I like it, it just makes for a mediocre plot summary.

Anyway, the main event in this episode was of course the return of a long lost early character from the series.  One that I didn’t expect.  Yes, we get a return of The Bus.  Before The Zephyr, there was The Bus, alas it was destroyed while attacking a Hydra base, I think, it’s been a while.  It seems that in classic Framework fashion, The Bus has had it’s one major regret changed, resulting in an alternate life.  in this case, instead of being a giant bad ass plane, The Bus is now, a school bus.

I don’t know if it was actually intentional, but I loved that they stole this bus and kept calling it The Bus.

Oh yeah, and Triplet came back from the dead also.  They went on a mission to rescue a mystery operative which I figured would end up being Lincoln or Robbie Reyes or maybe Mike Peterson (Deathlok).  Turns out it was Trip.

We also got a nice fight with May and Mace, in the end Mace won despite May being juiced on on super soldier serum.  Lady Hydra (orders the troops to fire missiles on the structure containing everyone and Mace sacrifices himself to save everyone.  It’s such a bittersweet way to go, given how ultimately fake everything is.  His sacrifice seems to wake May up however, that and the children being rescued from their brainwashing and hydra missiles.  The episode ends with May bringing Daisy a Terragin crystal allowing her to regain her inhuman powers.

Recap – Agents of HYDRA S04E17 – Slippery Soapy SHIELD Edition

So a bit of positive news, it seems Agents of SHIELD is looking more likely to be renewed.  Or at least one USA Today Article suggests it should be.  There is less to the article than I’d hoped but hey, that’s kind of a plus.  I really feel like there is room for Agents AND the new Inhumans show.  Frankly, I’m way less interested in The Inhumans show.  I’ll still watch but it just interests me less.

Anyway, I kind of wonder how long this Framework plot line is going to last.  I feel like the What If Scenario we have going on is going to drag a bit if the plan is to run for the remaining 8 episodes.  Not to mention it means no Yo-yo at all except maybe in the end when they get free and it kind of abandons the plot line with The Superior being turned into a pseudo LMD and wanting to kill Coulson.  Also it leaves the plot with Nadir cocooning up in the ocean going nowhere.

Basically, there’s too many loose ends for 8 episodes of “How do we escape The Matrix?”

On a side note before getting into spoilers, there has been a lot of pretty heavy underlying commentary these last few episodes on the state of the world.  Effectively using Hydra as a metaphor for the whole Alt-right mess.  Like how Simmons comments that “They are all Nazis” last episode and Fitz this episode uses the phrase “Make Society Great Again.”

Anyway, onto the Spoiler Section…

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Recap – Agents of HYDRA S04E16 – Agents of SHIELD Edition

At long last, the wait is over, Agents of Hydra has returned from it’s break.  There seems to be some speculation that this may be the final season and the final story arc, I hope it’s a good one.

We pick right up in the world of The Frame Work, with Daisy, well, Skye in this world, at least for a while, spending most of the episode wandering around trying to make sense of this Hydra infested world.

Also Zombie Simmons.  Ok, maybe she’s not a Zombie, but… she could be.  She was shown during the teaser to be dead, and she woke up and had to dig herself out of a shallow grave.  She also looks extremely rough throughout this episode, so maybe she is a Zombie.

There’s a bit of an important distinction to add as well, Daisy and Simmons came in through a backdoor, thus keep their normal knowledge of the real world, everyone else, has effectively been brainwashed, or at least suppressed by Aida into accepting the world at large.

Anyway, on to the spoiler section…

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Legion – Chapter 8 – Facing Your Demons

What a crazy trippy trip it’s been, but alas, it’s come to an end.  Actually the show got less weird as it went along, which was kind of nice because I had serious doubt going into things.  There doesn’t seem like there was a lot of wasted potential though, for as much filler there was in the series.  Like Ptonomy, who started off kind of important and interesting but did nothing and served no purpose during the latter half of the series.  Also, is every one’s mutant power some sort of psychic ability?  That feels a little boring.  Then there was the squandered The Eye character who didn’t really do much besides act menacing.

I’m a little torn on the climactic series finale here.  We got the return of the Interrogator from the first episode, assumed dead, though he didn’t really do much aside from hang around in an interrogation room.  He did get a nice little story to flesh him out a bit and provide motivation for Division, basically, humans scared of mutants, whom they see as gods.   The hero is the villain in another person’s story, and visa versa.   He seems like he’s willing to work with our heroes some, which will probably come up more during the second season.  I also particularly loved the moment at the start where David effortlessly dealt with the Division soldiers and poor Clark realizes he is completely out matched.

Then there is the resolution of The Shadow King sub plot, or at least as far as David is concerned.  We see Syd use her powers again, to extract Farouk from David, unfortunately Farouk takes control of Syd then jumps into Kerry.  Farouk uses Kerry’s physical prowess to dispatch the rest of our heroes before a brief psychic showdown with David.

The end result sets up the next season, during the encounter the Shadow King is ejected from Kerry and into Oliver.  In the ensuing chaos, Oliver and Farouk escape in a fancy sports car.

There’s also a goofy “mid credits” scene where David gets taken away in what everyone is calling a Pokeball, which is the best description for it really.  The ball is probably sent by Division, there was a brief moment when Division mentioned deploying.. something, unclear.

This episode was a nice wrap up to the current arc, and a good set up for the future.  I think what will be real interesting is to see how the characters evolve in Season 2.  Particularly David.  It’s still not clear if his Schizophrenia was part of Farouk or if he really is Schizophrenic.    At this point it does seem as thought hey aren’t quite following the angle from the comics of absorbed souls or whatever,

Speaking of the comics, and this could be a spoiler, but there wasn’t a Patrick Stewart cameo like I’d hoped.  I feel like they could have managed to get him for a brief scene if they wanted to.  Maybe they are saving that for Season 2.

Legion – Chapter 7 – Everything Coming Together…

So, some of my worry has started to get answered here.  We’re getting a lot of direct answers to a lot of questions, which is good because there is only one episode left for the season.  I’m not saying there won’t be a twist, but things are feeling pretty solid.  I’m starting to feel pretty confident about what is real and what is all in David’s head.

So, anyway, we have a name now for our demon parasite, in The Shadow King, Faruk.  Most of the episode follows the exploits of everyone trying to escape from the prison that The Shadow King has created for them, including David himself.  I’m kind of curious, maybe I’m forgetting something, but it’s not clear where Ptonomy is most of this episode.  He wakes up at the end with everyone else but he doesn’t show up at all in the Asylum, not that I noticed.

I’m still not sure how The Eye or Oliver fit in either.  The Eye bites it though, rather unceremoniously, so we may never get answers.  Oliver seems to have escaped with the others, but I’m not sure how he got trapped there in the first place.

Probably the most exciting bit, right near the beginning, we get a glimpse and a hint, of the wheelchair, the one used by David’s real father.

Legion – Chapter 6 – The Mind Rots from the Inside

Things are actually finally coming together a bit.  Which is good because we only have two episodes left after this one.  Legion has been renewed for a second season however, which is good news, I suppose, though I kind of wonder where they could really go next.  This entire season seems to be all about, I dunno, freeing, saving David from his demons, I suppose.

And what a demon.  Demons?  That’s not super clear.  Aubrey Plaza as Lenny though was really great this episode.  There was also a bit of a brief glimpse that she is the fat ugly guy haunting David’s mind as well.  More specifically, being a parasite on David’s mind.  It’s still not clear on some of the other glimpses or characters.  Who is The Worlds Angriest Boy in the World who keeps popping up.  Is The Eye real and how does he fit into all of this?  Who is the diver, really, and why is Cary wearing his suit at the end?

Speaking of Cary, and Kerry, they got quite a bit of real development this round as well.  Cary went off and met with the mysterious diver and poor Kerry is being stalked by The Eye around the asylum.  Then there is Melanie, who didn’t do a lot in this episode but seems to have discovered the truth by breaking out tot he real world, though the question is, how can she save them from being shot?  I half expected her to just stand there and take the bullets thus saving David and Syd.

I feel like a broken record but I’m still not entirely convinced anything is real.  It’s essentially a battle between the good personalities of David’s mind and the evil ones, for control of the whole.

Also Lenny brought up David’s real dad again, though no reveal on who it was.  She did mentions something about “Playing the saint while giving up his son,” which really kind of does imply a particular character from the larger X-men universe.

Legion – Chapter 5 – Who is Behind the Face

So, I’m just going to run a bit here, with some mentions of the comic, or at least the comic as I under stand it from researching the background of Legion.  So, as I under stand it, Legion, David, whatever, in the comics, his core mutant power, is that he sort of absorbs the souls of dead mutants, for lack of an better description.  These other mutants become a part of his mind and personality, and they manifest, powers and all, sort of as needed.  This gives the projection of Schizophrenia, though it’s not really quite the same thing.  He also may or may not actually have psychic power, though for all intents and purposes, does.  I say may not, because the psychic power may just be the manifestation of an absorbed personality.

So if there is some angle along those lines going on here, this is part of why I question the reality of anything in this entire series.  It’s entirely possible that every character we’ve seen, including the ones in Division 3, are some manifestation of David’s many absorbed personalities, these people not realizing that they are in his mind, and not in the real world.  This would also explain the schizoid pace of the show.

The inner conflict presented in the show, is for control of the mind of Legion.  There are players outside the realm of “The good guys” like the big fat dude, Lenny and The Eye.  It’s possible that David, is a psychic mutant, but he is also simply new to the mind world.

I’m probably way off base here though.

Anyway, Kerry recovers from being shot and David heads out to rescue his sister, we don’t see it, but he obliterated Division’s army with no problem.  Everyone ends up at David’s childhood home where things start to get crazy and Lenny shows up as sort of the personification/projection of the evil of David’s mind.  Everyone ends up back in the asylum together as a set up for the next episode.  Things feel like they are moving along but there still isn’t a clear direction for the show unfortunately, which is probably the point.

Oh and David’s sister admits he is adopted, which will probably lead to the revelation of the true identity of his parents, we’ll just have to see if they follow the comics here or not.  I feel like there actually could be a fun cameo at some point if they do.