Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D: Season 4, Episode 17 “Identity and Change” (B+)
I was getting tired of this show earlier in this season, and now I’m glad to see that putting almost every agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. into the framework had a point. Coulson may not be much accomplishing much aside from making his own soap, but at least he knows that he’s a good person, as is Mack, who got to be a doting, loyal father in this version of reality. In fact, almost everyone is good, with May pledging allegiance to one authority over another, not coming anywhere near the level of villainy that Fitz displayed. You’d think that it was out of affection towards Aida, or Madam Hydra, as she’s known here, but it turns out that he has somehow become inherently evil. The horror Simmons expressed when she saw him execute Agnes was real, since there’s really no turning back. Even if they somehow make it out to the real world, Fitz can’t take that back, since she’s gone for good. I like that this show is exploring themes like this, with Radcliffe no longer seeming like such a bad guy. And what they’ve done with Ward is cool too, and I’m pleased that Brett Dalton is on call to come back and reprise the role after being off the show for a while. I had almost forgotten about the existence of Director Mace, and seeing him as the brave soldier he couldn’t fully be in real life was pretty cool. There are still five episodes left this season, and I assume that we’re not going to get out of this framework anytime soon.