Tuesday, 20 June 2017

TV Review No. 58 Marvel: Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D.: Farewell, Cruel World (S4, Ep20)

Strong Points:
Excellent character moments
The hope of more to come from The Framework
The effects of the framework

Weak Points:
Being thrown back into the real world, to begin with, was a bit disconcerting
Villain's logic when it comes to disposing of someone
We were set up to react in a different way to what might be logical if we knew nothing

In-depth Review:
We started this episode in the real world which was a bit disconcerting at first as we've spent so much time in the Framework. After the initial confusion about who we were actually watching, we were treated to a nice little scene showing the aftermath of Daisy and Simmons still being stuck in the Framework, namely, they've run out of power. No sooner were we out of the Framework, than we were back in it, but don't worry, we finally get out at the end of the episode. And then Aida disappears. Can we not all just stay in the same place?!

May was probably going to be the hardest person to convince of the world being fake, she's been there the longest first of all and also, she has a mildly 'see it to believe it' attitude but if anyone could do it, it would be Coulson. Getting shot. Multiple times. During this little sequence, I was literally shouting at Coulson to get to the escape route, and I actually had a sudden thought: could they kill one of the main team (a thought that occurred quite often this episode)? They didn't though and Coulson and May got back to the real world but still. Phew. Quick note: getting shot on screen can be done one of two ways - either a pan away from the single shot and then back to the wound or, as in the case of Coulson, a Neo like wheel motion of the arms and throwing yourself about. I don't know if you'd actually do this if you got shot, I've never seen someone being shot in real life, but I always think it lowers the atmosphere a bit, turning the quite horrifying sight into an almost comic action.

Villains never give themselves an easy time, what with attacking one at a time or never disarming the hero fully. It's meant to show that the hero's smarter and more capable than the bad guys but sometimes you just have to question the logic on there behalf. As it was with Alistar Fitz, who after knocking Simmons to the ground and half-strangling her, proceeds to get shot as Simmons still has her gun in her hands. Good job. I will say this though, this was the first out of two times where I was genuinely fearing for Simmons life, and to keep the tension up even with the almost obvious conclusion was great.

Fitz getting out of the Framework and suddenly realising all he had done was genuinely heart-breaking, but I'm glad there's going to be some psychological after-effects of the Framework instead of just moving past by saying 'it wasn't real'. One particular thing Fitz did this week was put a gun to Simmon's head and basically torture her, which is probably something that's going to take some talking about to get over (although it made for tense TV). You know you've made a good TV show when a reviewer finds it difficult to say something was good to watch in case it seems insensitive to the TV characters. We also had Ophelia become human (and Aida getting beheaded by Coulson), which should make for an interesting final couple of episodes. And of course, she can teleport.

Oh Mack, why did you stay? I mean, I completely understand why he stayed, what with his daughter and all (can you honestly, even if you're starting to believe this world's not real you'd just leave your child?) but why!? It would have been an interesting story if they'd changed the viewpoint and we had followed characters who ended up being in a simulation for the last 4 seasons, only to get to the real world and try and get back 'home'. I wonder what my reaction to Mack staying would've been then. However, as Tripp, Ward and Mack are now all in the Framework maybe we'll see some storylines in there coinciding with the real world, which would definitely be interesting. All in all, though, it looks like Marvel's got plenty in the tank for AoS stories, which is definitely a good thing, what with season 5 and all.

Conclusion: with two episodes remaining, and so many loose ends to tie up I might've been lamenting that AoS bit off more than it could chew this season. In actual fact, I'm still sitting on my sofa, waiting for the next episode to start!

Rating: 90%

Thanks for reading, Satamer.

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