AOS – Season IV – Ep. 20 “Farewell Cruel World”: A Review

Posted: 05/05/2017 in Uncategorized


Well, it almost seems pointless saying it, but I will keep doing so. AOS is currently the best super hero genre show on tv. This is due to a reach not exceeding its grasp. The show runners remain on point and the creative flourish that has informed this season continues with another superior episode. With two more eps to go, there is little sign of sputtering. Should this be the last season for AOS, it will surely go out on top. My praise riddled opening delivered, on to my review.

Picking up where last week left off, we find the ‘real world’ S.H.I.E.L.D. struggling to make their way out of the framework. Now aware of their plans via Alistair Fitz (David O’Hara) learning that Radcliffe (John Hannah) had advised Daisy of an escape route/back door, Ophelia/Aida (Mallory Jansen) takes counter measures to prevent the team from coming back. While not the most action packed of this series, the ep offered due emotional oomph and a great end sequence that is somewhat of a game changer.

Two performances stood above all others. The first was Elisabeth Hentsridge’s Jemma who takes the initiative upon learning about the relationship between Fitz (Ian DeCaestecker) and his father and deducing it is the factor that has made him who he presently is. The latter is a sequence involving Mac. Jemma meeting with Alistair goes pretty much as one would expect. The consequences afterward are powerfully resonant. Fitz blames her for his father’s “death” and goes on the warpath, even disregarding a direct order from Ophelia/Madame Hydra to return to base. His eventual meeting with Jemma is brutal as despite her pleading for him to acknowledge his better self and their deep personal connection, he remains a hardened villain. His reaction  when she attempts to shock him into reality declaring “Its name is AIDA. Artificially Intelligent Digital Assistant, and stop making excuses for it!” is no less so. Seeing how far he has fallen, Radcliffe becomes instrumental to Fitz’ journey. An earlier meeting in which he essentially offers Radcliffe immortality via Aida’s master plan takes a powerful and emotionally charged  twist.

No less of an emotional moment occurs through Mac’s (Henry Simmons),decision after learning that the framework is indeed an illusion, a con. He balks at Daisy’s (Chloe Bennett) explanations but when he witnesses undeniable, he opts to hold on to what he deems truly real, namely Hope (Jordan Rivera). The re-connecting of May (Ming-Na Wen) and Coulson (Clark Gregg) plays well as it occurs organically. He assumes command because he is a natural leader. She doubts but their connection inevitably guides her to take a chance and act on faith. Agent Tripp’s (BJ Britt) moments with Daisy are equally moving as he attempts to learn what she won’t tell him about his real world self. He probably suspects though.  It is a testament to the writing on this show that you actually root for a happy resolution to the continuation of the framework and those within in it. ‘Rogue code’ or not, the representations of better selves, namely Ward (Brett Dalton), and the Tripp that might have been – duly deserve a shot at existence…which segues perfectly into Aida’s master plan.

Her goal of obtaining  free will and a human existence outside of the framework gets expedited via Fitz going rogue. Seeing it manifest itself was well rendered. Coulson’s actions toward her non-framework self could easily have undermined her plan and led to some tense moments. The reconnecting of the S.H.I.E.L.D. team was inevitable. Fitz’ nearly broken mind barely has time to recover before a final play, and the exhibition that free will was not the only thing Aida wished for, occurs. A cool visual and  holy eff moment insures that next week’s “The Return” will up the game in a show that continues to one up itself. AOS season 4 remains simply outstanding and well worth your time. Just two more to go for this season’s end and the hope that ABC/Marvel will allow for a renewal of this superior show.



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