My Thoughts on Season 4

Discussion in 'Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' started by voyzovrezon, Jul 23, 2017.

  1. voyzovrezon

    voyzovrezon nobody's fool

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    So, I finally finished season 4 of Agents of SHIELD. The mid-season began with an over-the-top ridiculous usage of robot duplicates running amok, an android Coulson, an android Mac, an android Fitz…

    Aida’s plan was to build a framework in which to occupy the agents minds while she builds herself a biological body, a method she learned by reading the Darkhold, a book with ancient recipes about building things in order to f*** up the rest of the universe–or something.

    I was about ready to give up on it when Daisy and Simmons figure out a way to get inside the framework to rescue their other teammates from Aida’s grip. That’s when the show becomes interesting again. Coulson is teaching high schoolers about history–history written by HYDRA. Yeah, that’s how weird this alternate reality is. Aida removed the team’s biggest regrets in order to keep them placated. Coulson’s regret was not just living a simple quiet life (of desperation) and we see the results.

    The most interesting dynamic is the framework’s erasing Fitz’s regret (not having a relationship with his father) and boy oh boy, …

    Remember Grant Ward and his relationship with a father figure? How did that turn out? Speaking of Grant Ward..

    SPOILER:

    A few former team members show up in this alternate reality including Ward. It was nice seeing him team up again with Daisy AKA Skye and kicking HYDRA ass as part of the resistance.

    The very ending of the season was weird and confusing. WTF was all this alien **** freezing the team and sending them on a SPACESHIP? Huh?
     
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  2. fire117

    fire117 Well-Known Member

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    The ending of the season was bad, having SHIELD be fugitives again and end up on a space station. Not good.
     
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  3. Panacea

    Panacea Well-Known Member

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    How so?
     
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  4. nypinta

    nypinta Certified Delightfut

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    I think the season ending was pretty cool. I really can't wait to find out what they have in mind.

    There were some amazing moments in this season, particularly from Daisy, Simmons, and Fitz (before they got to "evil" Fitz which was a bucket of cold water for me.) But in the end, I decided Aida had a whole lot more control over the Framework world, despite her claims otherwise and it made it way more interesting to me and explained more things, including Ward.
     
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  5. fire117

    fire117 Well-Known Member

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    After season 1 with SHIELD being gone spending 2 more seasons have SHIELD become a publicly known group again in season 4 only by the end to be fugitives again. Not good.
     
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  6. voyzovrezon

    voyzovrezon nobody's fool

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    But are they fugitives or just hostages? It's just so weird. :loco:
     
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  7. voyzovrezon

    voyzovrezon nobody's fool

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    Ward turning out to be a HYDRA agent may have been Daisy's biggest regret, which would explain his presence in the framework.
     
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  8. optimus2861

    optimus2861 Well-Known Member

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    The main core (Coulson et al) seem to be hostages / doing something else, according to the teaser.

    The agency itself has effectively gone completely rogue. SHIELD seems answerable to nobody, accountable to nobody, yet runs a vast international network of agents with massive resources, and also seems to be responsible in same fashion for tracking Inhumans as per the Sokovia Accords. It makes no more sense in context that the governments of the world - particularly the American government - would continue to permit it to exist. At several points through the season, when first Mace and then Talbot are, at times emphatically, trying to get through to Coulson that he's going or gone too far, and that he's not behaving in a way that will permit SHIELD's continued existence, I found myself agreeing with Mace & Talbot when the narrative clearly seems to want me to side with Coulson. Coulson at several points in the season seems completely oblivious / ignorant of any political repercussions of his actions, climaxing (IMO) when he idiotically attempts to bug the Senator's office (against Talbot's explicit disapproval) at the very same time that she's deposing Daisy. In the real world, his head would have been served on a platter to the US government, by Talbot, yet the narrative lets him off with a stern talking-to instead.

    I thoroughly enjoyed the Ghost Rider and AIDA arcs, and even the Framework for what it was, but SHIELD's very existence has jumped the shark now, and the series ought to wrap up in season 5 with its dismantling.
     
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  9. scarlet-witch

    scarlet-witch Heart of Fire

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    The only part of season 4 that I liked was Ghost Rider. I may have enjoyed the Framework story more if I hadn't just watched Westworld's amazing first season. Discount Sarah Wayne Callies did give a good performance though, so at least there's that.

    I'm really invested in all the non Daisy characters in this show, and I'm genuinely interested in seeing where it goes, but this show has made so many mistakes that sometimes I wonder why I'm still watching.

    IMO of course.
     
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  10. ludovica

    ludovica Daddy Feige notice me!

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    :huh:
    You mean Mallory Jansen (Aida)?
     
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  11. fire117

    fire117 Well-Known Member

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    I'd rather SHIELD be kept around by the end of season 5. Sometimes you need a group like SHIELD to do what needs to be done.
     
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  12. optimus2861

    optimus2861 Well-Known Member

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    But they have to be answerable to someone. They have to get funding from somewhere. The show can't and shouldn't just handwave it all away as "Fury's toolbox," (this is basically calling Fury the world's biggest embezzler, and all the resources should already have been seized or frozen by the government) and SHIELD can't go stupidly taking overt actions against high-profile members of the United States government and get to walk away without consequence. It stretches believability way too far.

    Plus, the way the team treated Mace through much of the first half of the season should've gotten a lot of them fired. They were whiny unprofessional jerks for the most part.
     
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  13. fire117

    fire117 Well-Known Member

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    Groups like SHIELD don't need to answer to anyone aside from themselves though an internal affairs like group. Plus I like to think SHIELD is funded rich people with deep pockets who share their vision or they have good investments made in the stock markets.
     
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  14. optimus2861

    optimus2861 Well-Known Member

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    Then you're effectively calling them privately-funded vigilantes who think they know best, and this is taking place in a world that clamped down on superhuman activities via the Sokovian Accords. Nope.

    I guess I expect better from the show, and the MCU, then to handwave a lot of these things away as "comic book logic." I mean, some, you just have to let go (the proven existence of the Norse gods being the big one; the shockwave it would send through the rest of the world's religions would be unfathomable), but SHIELD shouldn't be this far gone.
     
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  15. fire117

    fire117 Well-Known Member

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    Well SHIELD was helping enforce the Accords so that probably wouldn't be an issue.
     
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  16. nypinta

    nypinta Certified Delightfut

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    For a while, that was my thought too, but it didn't make much sense even at the time. Mostly because Ward being HYDRA had nothing to do with Daisy, so it couldn't be her regret, and Daisy hadn't entered the Framework via Aida who was the one running the programs that uncovered ones regret in order for the Framework to address it.

    To be honest, I had a lot of issues with the Framework storyline as it was airing, Ward being one of them. I was also put off by the idea of May being wholly HYDRA, and Fitz being evil made no sense to me. Not when you consider how it is the Framework was supposed to work and how the characters were behaving beforehand. There were too many inconsistencies between the rules and the results. Until I figured something out.

    Aida is a lying liar who lies.

    (This is going to get long, FYI.)

    The showrunners claim that through the power of the Darkhold, Aida was able to create a complete replica of Earth and all the people on it. So, they have at their disposal every single character that had been on the show previously. Fine. The alterations between this Earth and the Framework Earth is a result of the regrets the Framework fixes for each of the 7 people Aida put into it: Agnes, Radcliffe, May, Mace, Mack, Coulson, and Fitz. Agnes got her health and a life in paradise on a cute island where she can relax and spend the rest of her the days painting. Radcliffe just wanted to be with Agnes. Done and done. May, the first one in, regretted having to kill the Inhuman girl in Bahrain. As a result of that HYDRA was able to use the girl to stir up anti-Inhuman sentiment. Well, ok, I can see that. But we'll put a pin in that. Coulson had regrets about joining SHIELD and so we see a Phil Coulson living a small life away from the danger and intrigue of being a super spy. Mack clearly regrets losing his daughter. Boom, Hope lives! Mace I guess regretted not being a true hero? Hmm, things are getting a little iffy, using the show's own logic of how the Framework is supposed to work. And then Fitz. All the other characters foreshadowed their Framework selves in dialogue. Coulson was saying to May maybe he should never have joined SHIELD, we all knew May's biggest regret, Mac's regret over Hope was heavily hinted at in previous episodes, and Fitz... well, he was most upset by creating the technology for SHIELD that ended up doing more harm than good. The only time his father was brought up was when Radcliff mentioned him and what an ******* he was, or Fitz stating how glad he was to never speak to that man. Doesn't really seem like a regret to me. Yet Fitz's Framework fix is his father being in his life. So that being his regret is iffy at best, a pure gimmick to make evil-Fitz at worse, or a hint about the true nature of how Aida runs things in the Framework. I don't think Aida was simply following her programming and was forced to simply react to how things played out. I think she had a direct hand in manipulating that world for her own benefit, including how our heroes behaved.

    And I am basing this theory on several things, including what Aida says to Ivanov about May "breaking free from her narrative". And now we're back to that pin in May's regret and the results thereof. While the idea that HYDRA could have used that little girl to create anti-Inhuman sentiment, the idea that May would go along with everything else HYDRA is just because of her guilt is a stretch based on who we all know May is as a person and an agent. So why is she fully Team HYDRA? Because Aida said so. Because Aida needs May on her team.

    Once the fact Aida has an ulterior motive for placing them all in Framework was revealed, how they were all behaving in the alternate universe makes a lot more sense. Aida needs a human body so she can have free will. The Darkhold showed her how to do that, but she needs someone to build it for her. She needs Fitz. The Framework and the events that are unfolding aren't a natural progression of choices May, Coulson, and the others made. Aida has manipulated it all to put Fitz at her side and under her thumb.

    May: she regrets shooting that girl. The Framework does erase that. HYDRA uses it to set up a world with more control, which also gives Aida the means to control.

    Coulson: he becomes a history teacher instead of a SHIELD agent, via his regret about joining SHIELD. But are we really supposed to believe that just one man not becoming an agent is the thing that allows HYDRA to win a decades-long battle? That NO OTHER agent would be able to stop them? I love Phil, but he's not the only capable agent in SHIELD. It only makes sense if Adia altered Phil to be the kind of guy that follows all the rules because she had to keep him away from the others, knowing his slightly broken brain would break free from her programming the easiest.

    Mack: she kept him away from joining the fight by giving him something too precious to put in danger of losing.

    Mace: Not sure how anything he regretted would lead to him suddenly being Inhuman. But Aida already knows from her experience with May that humans need a conflict to keep them engaged and she needed something to keep everyone busy so they weren't paying attention to what she was really planning. Boom, Mace is the Inhuman anti-HYDRA rebel leader to give the others an enemy to focus on.

    Jemma: in the Earth created in the Framework I'm sure it's possible that a bunch of SHIELD agents got shot. OR Aida got rid of the only person that could tear her and Fitz apart.

    Daisy: Aida recognized that Daisy could also have been a threat, so she's kept close but Aida also needs her happy so she gives her Ward, even though we know Daisy loved Lincoln. But Aida can't risk Daisy discovering her true Inhuman nature, so she keeps her close to the one person that would betray who he works for, (Ward), to keep that secret. If Daisy had Lincoln, she might have discovered her powers and thus become a threat.

    Fitz: If the show had followed the same path with Fitz as they established with the others, Fitz's regret would be about the technology he created while working for SHIELD. Fixing that regret is the complete opposite of what Aida needed. So she created a Fitz that she could make work for her, inserting an abusive father and programming a relationship between her and Fitz so he'd be devoted to her without question.

    Everything in this alternate Earth has been manipulated and arranged to benefit Aida and her goal of making a machine that could give her a human body.

    By having Aida be the one behind not only HYDRA in the Framework but also the one who was able to manipulate everyone the way she did makes her, to me at least, an even more formidable nemesis. She not only found a way around her own programming, but she had a long-term, multi-faceted plan, that she nearly executed perfectly. The true fault in her plan was her own reactions once she could experience human emotions.

    TL;DR: Fitz would never actually be that evil. Nor would Phil be that cowardly. And Ward was only resurrected to keep an eye on Daisy (who was still Skye).

    The funny thing is, in some ways the Framework did all of them a favor, (except Fitz for a while there... or Jemma), because it showed May a possible outcome if she hadn't shot that little girl, Phil a vision of his life had he not joined SHIELD, Mack got to spend more time with his daughter, Daisy even got to have some closure over Ward and maybe see him as he could have been had he been given a chance to rise above an abusive past rather than preyed upon because of it. Fitz now has upgraded a level in badass, but at a pretty big cost to his own piece of mind. I guess maybe Jemma got to prove to herself that she'd also cross universes for Fitz as he did for her previously but is that something one needs proving in order to accept they belong with someone? And she already leveled up in badass in S3. ;) It did prepare her a little to deal with Kassius the Fascist Smurf, I guess.
     
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    Last edited: Jan 31, 2018
  17. nypinta

    nypinta Certified Delightfut

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    Yes!! Now, I might love the characters, but holy crap how they were behaving in the first half of season 4 was bugging me so much! I mean, SHIELD was basically HYDRA's host body for so long and that nearly destroyed the world, but they're going to complain about color coding and a new Director that's trying to make sure it doesn't happen again? FFS, people.
     
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    Last edited: Jan 31, 2018
  18. nypinta

    nypinta Certified Delightfut

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    The cynic in me thinks that SHIELD simply saw the need for enforcing the Accords as a way to give them legitimacy again. The volunteered to do it so they could continue to function as an agency.
     
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  19. SPO2 Dalisay

    SPO2 Dalisay Vigilante

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    Since this has been bumped up at the point the agents were seized by Aida and put into the framework they were a US government agency with President Ellis appointing Director Mace, a fake Inhuman as its head to basically take over from or at least gather intelligence for General Talbot's Advanced Threat Containment Unit.

    After the Daisy LMD attempted to assassinate General Talbot we were left in limbo with Director Mace's body recovered and a strike team took the main leadership along with Yo-yo at the diner.
     
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