As Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. struggle to escape from the Secret Empire-like grip of The Framework where Hydra rules, some of the team has surrendered to the dark side. Leo Fitz in particular has become so evil in this world, it’s unsettling to his friends and the viewers. What’s really going on with Fitz? Meet me after the sinister jump for my thoughts on “No Regrets.”
I just can’t say enough how hard Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has become to watch these past few episodes. One episode in a topsy-turvy world where evil has won is one thing, but an ongoing series of three to four episodes? I don’t know how I’m going to get through Secret Empire let alone this TV story arc. The darkness is overwhelming.
Fitz murdering Agnes in cold blood last episode is topped here by Daisy nearly being beaten to death. This is horrible, almost unwatchable. We did not see most of the beating but we see her scars and we hear Radcliffe’s cries as well. I suppose these are props to the make-up and acting, but this isn’t what I tuned in for.
Amidst a resistance plan to rescue we come closer to finding out what makes the prisoners of The Framework tick. Regrets hold them in place. When Madame Hydra offers to give Daisy her lost Lincoln Campbell in exchange for her surrender, it becomes clear. Aida gave everyone something they wanted, one big regret.
Radcliffe got to spend his life with Agnes; Mack has his daughter Hope; the Patriot a fight to fight; Coulson teaching; and Fitz has his father, his disapproving father. And that father, like Fitz himself, is under the thumb of Madame Hydra.
The rebel mission into Hydra first frees a prisoner from their rehab center, a familiar face, Antoine Triplett. Nice to see him as opposed to Ward. To thwart this mission, Fitz arms May with a weapon against the Patriot – the very serum that he had used in the real world himself.
While the juiced up May fights the Patriot in a rather unimpressive but short combat, surely disappointing for all the build up, Coulson tries to save one of his students from a brainwashing camp for Inhumans. Just to show how evil Hydra is, as if we haven’t gotten the point already, they have a quinjet fire on the building while the good guys are in there.
When the building collapses, the Patriot jumps in to save one of the kids and stands as the only thing holding the building up. May comes in to make sure the Patriot is dead and witnesses the feat, and in a moment of clarity, acknowledges his sacrifice. The end of the Patriot is a wonderful contrast to the false save that made him famous. He is finally the hero, as his friends, and May, are able to save the kids.
The problem of course is if you die in The Framework, you die for real. We get a chilling real world interlude as Aida turns Mace off while he’s flatlining. May however has had a change of heart. When she exposes Daisy to a terrigen crystal, it becomes apparent she’s switched sides. Hopefully it will end this story arc quicker.
The problem is not that it wasn’t a good episode, on the contrary, it’s that the story has gone on too long, and the bad guys winning in a world of evil has, as I said, become so relentless, it’s sickening. There’s already enough evil in this world. It’s time for the good guys to win now…