‘Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D’ 4×16 Review: “What If”

Near the end of this episode, Simmons tells Daisy “This isn’t the Framework, this is hell.” Things are certain bad for Daisy and Jemma in “What If” but one thing Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D has taught us is that the two characters you would never want to bet against in any near-impossible situation are Daisy and Jemma.  But how terrible is the situation they have landed in? Ehhhhh pretty fucking bad for them but another fantastic episode for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D fans.

BLAST FROM THE PAST

So we start off with Daisy waking up in the Framework and finding out she’s not only in apartment but also not alone. Naturally, her first thought is Lincoln but sorry Daisy – Luke Mitchell is over at Blindspot right now.  Instead it is the return of the much loved and much hated Grant Ward. (Whether you love him or hate him, seeing Grant always spices things up for the show. )

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 Not only is Daisy in a relationship with Ward but as she sees on her badge , they are both HYDRA! After a little domestic SkyeWard chatting, they get dressed and head over to the base.

Like in season 1, not only do we have Grant Ward but also the return of the Triskelion. Except it has a big huge HYDRA logo on the side! This is the moment when I think Daisy knows things are pretty bad here.  Ward she can handle, Hydra she can handle but to this scale and scope? Ehhh now it starts getting tougher. It gets even worse when she goes to check what happened to Simmons and finds out she is dead in this world in very questionable circumstances. At this moment we get our first view of May and she is…basically the same May we know. Only this May is HYDRA through and through.  So that’s Daisy but where the heck is our Jemma Simmons??

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RESURRECTION 

So we go to the middle of some wooded area and suddenly like Buffy the Vampire Slayer did, Jemma Simmons crawls out of the ground back from the dead. Looking a little worse for wear but still fabulous in my book. As the befuddled scientist tries to figure out what is happening, she hitches a ride with a friendly driver. I loved Jemma’s scenes tonight because they showcased all the parts of her that makes her awesome.

Friendliness –Jemma and the female driver are making small talk and it’s highlights Jemma’s ability to be well-liked by basically everyone. It sucks that she freaks out when the car is about to be searched , leading Jemma to have to leave the vehicle.

Resourceful – Jemma arrives at a diner and is almost immediately cornered by HYDRA agents. They realize that she is suppose to be dead and go to take her back to HYDRA base but instead Jemma makes good use of a car door and shoots the two agents unconscious like a BOSS.

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Compassion- After taking their car (screw them, they are bad guys), Jemma is able to look up Coulson. Except, this isn’t the Coulson she knows and admires. This Phil Coulson is a teacher of inhuman hate. This Coulson lets HYDRA agents take a innocent kid away without lifting one finger to help him. So when Jemma goes to talk with Phil, he looks at her like she has two heads. It gets emotional as Jemma tries to have Phil remember his team, the people he loves more than life itself.  She even goes to referencing TAHITI (it’s a magical place I heard), Jemma goes without causing a scene. She also promises that she will never give up on trying to help Coulson remember.

Coulson then immediately calls HYDRA to report her. Phil, you narc. Though Jemma’s wors get him to look at some newspaper clippings which is a easter egg bonanza for any Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D fan.

Humor/Frankness – As Jemma goes back to her car, she sees it’s been tagged with anti-Hydra propaganda by a youth. The kid asks why she is talking with a guy who fed one of his friends to the HYDRA wolves. Jemma at first says he’s not real , that he’s just code. The facial reactions here are priceless and then Jemma explains why she will never be HYDRA and never will 

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Simple, to the point and 100% true. Believing her, the kid gives Jemma a chance to seek out a old friend of hers.

THE DOCTOR 

So lets go back to Skye/Daisy. She and Ward are tasked by May to interrogate a captured man by the name of Vijay Nadeer to see if he is Inhuman.  Skye is in the lion’s den here and sometimes you have to do things you wouldn’t. So she outs Vijay as a inhuman but since Skye is not a freaking Nazis, she tries to help him escape. This doesn’t go so well as he is captured and brought before “The Doctor” aka Fitz.

Fitz is a cold, heartless monster in the Framework honestly. He tortures Inhumans and has a threatening manner to not only Daisy but to May too. This is a Fitz who never got to have Jemma Simmons in his life. It shows how much of a difference one person who you love can make throughout your entire life. Perhaps that Simmons might be the same way if she had never had Fitz in her life.  All I know is that I hate this version of Fitz with the passion of a thousand suns. Give me goofy, awkward , loving Fitz compared to this cold monster anyday.

After some ominous talk from “The Doctor”, Skye leaves the Triskelion after a little relationship talk with Ward. It’s lovely how easy the chemistry comes back between Chlooe and Brett after so long.

REUNIONS!

So after the intel, we get our Skye and Simmons reunion!! Yay Skimmons! The touching reunion is cancelled however when Ward find them. Ward wonders what the hell is going on as suddenly HYDRA henchmen descend upon the group (Thanks Phil). However, Grant shoots one of the HYDRA men and tells Skye and Jemma to get in his car as they run from the HYDRA goons.

During the chase, Ward reveals he is actually a member of the Resistance, a group that is fighting HYDRA and it’s anti-Inhuman ways. This is a nice chase scene with excellent bits of sass from Jemma (who speaks I think for some of the audience) as she delivers them all to Agent Ward.  “Once a Double Agent, Always a Double Agent it seems.”

With a few slick moves, Ward takes them to a safe house and offers to hold them up there while he torches the car. Another touching moment comes when Grant asks what Skye’s real name is and she softly says “Daisy”.  If this is Grant Ward’s redemption arc , then I am all for it. Ward’s story has always been messy and he was nowhere near a good guy at the end of his life. Letting Ward have a proper farewell and maybe granting him a proper goodbye with Daisy is a perfect way to have his story in the Framework go.

Though this being Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, it wouldn’t shock me if they brought him back as a ghost in season 5. The showrunners love Grant too much to let him go!

Anyway, in the safe house Daisy and Jemma go to activate the device that will bring them back to the real world so they can get more reinforcements. Except the device isn’t working. Someone is blocking it. But Who?

Dammit, this witch.  AIDA finally shows up as Madame Hydra as Fitz shows up to talk with her. He is concerned about Daisy and Simmons, especially Jemma. (Some part of the old Fitz is still trying to get out , thank god). Madame Hydar doesn’t care about those two. She is more concerned with getting some sugar from “The Doctor”

EWWWWWWW. (well actually the kiss is fine but when you think about that Fitz co-created AIDA ……creepy)

Also as a FitzSimmons fan, this pisses me off and makes me want to see Jemma rip AIDA’s head off in the bloodiest way possible. Well Done, Writers.

So to recap – our heroes are stuck in a world that has twisted most of them, Daisy and Simmons are the only chance they have even though Daisy has no powers here and HYDRA is everywhere. Odds are they won’t survive. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

QUICK THOUGHTS

  • The end tag has Coulson getting met with Daisy in his car as she begs him to remember him. It looks like it’s fruitless so she leaves but all hope is not lost as Coulson suddenly says “Daisy” as we go to credits. FINALLY!! Now go get off your butt and go save May!
  • Some of the Easter Eggs in Coulson’s folder – A ad for a Cellist , another mention of TAHITI, SHIELD logo drawings, a newspaper clipping of a LA quake and a calendar page with Coulson’s car Lola on it.
  • Daisy and Jemma’s first words to one another were hilarious —  “I saw that you were dead , Jemma. Wait are you still dead?” “”No, I’m feeling much better.”
  • MVP of the episode goes to Elizabeth Henstridge. She was maginificent as Simmons and how she had her voice all scratchy and hoarse as she was trying to find the others was a brilliant move. We felt her desperation in every scene and moment. To connect with a character like that is something special.
  • “What could make Fitz become like this?” “They took you away from him.’ OH MY FITZSIMMONS HEART CAN’T TAKE MUCH MORE OF THEM BEING APART.

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D airs Tuesdays at 10/9c on ABC.

Charles

A person of many loves from sports to television. Owned by many different cats. Can tell you what happened in every episode of Lost but not what I ate yesterday.

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