Agents of SHIELD 4.18 Review: No Regrets
It’s just like old times as Coulson and Mace lead the charge on a covert mission into HYDRA internment.
After learning very little about him, other than the fact that he and Radcliffe had worked together, we don’t know very much about Fitz’s father. We do know that Fitz wanted little else in life than for his father to be proud of him. And thus, the reasons become clear why Fitz is as hard as he is in the Framework.
Aida’s manipulated his mind and memory. This version of his father is a virus guiding him down a path towards both her and HYDRA.
Rebellions Are Built On Hope
I expected the closing of season four to have a tremendous amount of action, leaving heart and character on the back burner in favor of set pieces and explosions. We’ve been given the latter without sacrificing the former and a massive aspect of that is thanks to Mack. As he’s brought into the fold after making a regrettable decision to protect his daughter, the help he gives is immediately felt.
The SHIELD team needs an engineer. It’s simple.
While it’s great to see Mack working with the team, I can’t say I wouldn’t have done the same thing Simmons did in that moment. She’s seen Mack happy, but she has never seen him like this. The world around him isn’t perfect, but the world at his feet is. Being a father to Hope is so obviously the bright point in his life that Simmons has to take his place on the mission. She uses the excuse of his mortality in the real world but really, I think she wants to allow him this time.
Fists of Fury
This version of May is a scary one, but understandably so. Her biggest regret is equally regrettable within the Framework. She’s caught in the most evident lose/lose of anyone on the series and it’s a matter of bad or worse that causes her to become this May.
She’s got a bit of Emil Blonsky in her in this episode. Striving to be better than the strongest entity around. I don’t want to say that’s her full motivation, it’s almost like she takes the serum in order to feel something. Her point of view is hard to read, as it was on the outside, because I think she’s numb to a lot of what’s around her. Perhaps in this world she’s just looking for some sort of feeling as well. Maybe the serum temporarily gave that to her.
Luckily, the serum’s effect is temporary. Had it not worn off she might not have seen what gets her back on the right path, which I’ll get to momentarily.
A Captain and A Patriot
I’ve had a tumultuous relationship with the character of Jeffrey Mace. I had a hard time trusting him up front, as I believe many people did. Holding onto that distrust a bit longer than most as he began showing his vulnerabilities I still wasn’t keen on his decision making.
Framework Mace is the man he wishes he could be in the real world. The facade he wore while pretending to be Inhuman, it’s the monument of his stature within the program. He looked up to Captain America and every ounce of Mace that wanted to be like him got to come out in this world. Ultimately, as we saw in The First Avenger, there is a fair chance that it’s a one-way path.
Now I regret how long it took me to come around on Mace because, in the end, he was a good man. Much like Coulson as a team catalyst in 2012’s Avengers, he has clearly opened May’s eyes the same way. By saving Chris and the resistance team in that moment, he got to be everything he had strived for. A monument. An Icon. A Hero.
Politics Vs Morality
Someone responded to the review I wrote for last week’s episode with “Marvel better stay clear of going political.” It’s a show about spies that features a character called The Patriot so I’m unsure how that’s even possible.
I’m fairly certain this person was referring to the idea that the allusions to fascism in HYDRA’s ranks, removing the rights of Inhumans, was a political reach. I’m hesitant to call the Inhuman storyline one of political nature. The right to live and exist without persecution or harassment isn’t political. It’s a reminder of human rights we hold. Agents of SHIELD isn’t making some uproarious statement by saying that. Boil it down and they’re just reminding us of the Golden Rule and how important it is to remember beyond elementary school.
The closest thing to politics came in the form of Fitz quoting Mitch McConnell’s “Nevertheless she persisted” statement about Elizabeth Warren when referring to Daisy. I lean in the direction of it being a statement of a strong woman not bowing down, which I’d say also isn’t political.
I Know Your Face
Time for a Trip down memory lane. Tonight an old friend appeared after two seasons away. Antoine Tripplet. A rather straight forward secondary character in this episode, I hope he sticks around for when the team gathers with Daisy. If anyone deserves some closure over his death, it’s her.
The cameo, while nice to see, gives another ping to the heart that this pod was possibly written as a swan song. We can be honest here, the discussions of ratings and whether the show is coming back have been around nearly as long as the show itself. Thinking of it that way, a lot of these fan-service moments fit into criteria you’d expect out of a final season. Don’t get me wrong, I’d greatly appreciate another season but if this season was how we had to say goodbye to Agents of SHIELD.