Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD: All the Madame’s Men Recap
Synopsis 4×19: Daisy and May join forces to escape from Hydra and bring damning evidence to SHIELD that could turn the tide for the fight within the Framework. Fitz completes the plans for the “Looking Glass Project.”
This concluding seasonal story arc has played on the edge of political. This week’s episode opens with a news broadcaster calling on all citizens to remain “ever vigilant,” mirroring the language and speaking style I immediately associated with V for Vendetta (although not quite as impactful as the Voice of London).
May and Daisy escape the Triskellion, with Daisy utilizing her newly emerged Quake abilities to launch Madame Hydra out of the window. She is left with a broken spine and an uncertain future. It’s an appropriate episode title. Hydra Fitz is now the leader and commits to a world of fear… and a world where he will finish the Darkhold technology “Looking Glass Project.”
When Daisy finally arrives at the SHIELD base, she realizes that Trip is alive in this world. She also is forced to confront this version of Ward, who questions how she can believe in the other version of him. I pity him. It’s going to break my heart to see him, this kind, selfless version of Ward, disappear.
Fitz’s father attempts to uncover the truth of Daisy by brutally interrogating Radcliffe about what he might have told Daisy. Being the monster that could turn Fitz so cruel, he resorts to barbaric and brutal measures.
SHIELD, in an attempt to win hearts and minds, utilizes that body-cam footage from May to prove that the Patriot died saving lives rather than taking them, and Coulson explains to Daisy that perhaps they need to save this virtual world from Hydra in order to return to the real world. The team bursts into the main television studios where Coulson sits down to explain the truth of the world, peaceably.
Unfortunately, as I’m sure the remaining episodes of the season may show, the team may be too late. Fitz has completed the design. Aida may be able to truly leave the Framework and become fully human.
The V for Vendetta motif continues as regular individuals begin to arrive, hoping to stop Hydra after viewing Coulson’s message to the world. We are all SHIELD. We can all stand up. “Together we can accomplish anything.”
To complicate things, outside of the Framework, Aida has discovered where in the real world Daisy and Jemma are at. It’s no longer a race to defeat Aida in the Framework, but in the real world as well.
What happens in the Framework, stays in the Framework: I still think that Mack may stay in the Framework. There’s no reason why, once the team defeats Hydra, the Framework couldn’t simply exist as an alternate universe, wherein Ward is SHIELD and Mack has his daughter.
Let’s get political: These episodes have clearly had a political message which is that diversity should not divide us regardless of what those in power may be suggesting. This week’s episode may have had a few too many heavy handed jabs though, particularly with the, “I’m just saying that I know where to buy good furniture.”
Politics are often cleverly interwoven with storytelling, especially in the comic realm; however, there is a fine line to walk between opening your viewers’ minds and throwing in jabs at a certain current political figure who some of your viewers may support. Be careful that you are showing them that the policies and ideas are bad. Win them over.