Violet recaps of Season 4 Episode 17 of Agents of SHIELD, titled Identity and Change, where Simmons and Coulson meet with the Resistance, Daisy tries to find out where Radcliffe is, and we see what Mack is up to! Following the recap, both Violet and Josh share their thoughts about the episode.
- His thoughts on Identity and Change, Episode 417 of Agents of SHIELD
- Her thoughts on Agents of SHIELD, Season 4 Episode 17: Identity and Change
The episode begins in the Framework, in Coulson’s classroom, where Daisy has just gotten Coulson up to speed about reality. He’s very accepting of the news, having had his own theory about HYDRA distributing mind control soap. Daisy gets a phone call from Ward, who tells her there’s a problem — HYDRA is sending someone over to pick up Coulson.
Meanwhile, we see Mack with his daughter, Hope, who has brought home a HYDRA drone. It seems that Mack is just trying to keep his head down and stay out of trouble. They go out to the bus stop, where HYDRA drops by for a random ID inspection. Hope whispers to her father that the drone is in her bag, but luckily the inspection is interrupted when a man tries to run off, so the HYDRA agents catch him and bring him in, since he’s on the list as a potential Inhuman.
Daisy brings Coulson back to her place, where Simmons is waiting. Simmons thinks that maybe she can get through to Fitz, but Daisy doesn’t think so. They also wonder where Radcliffe is, as they believe he can get them out of the Framework.
Over at HYDRA, AIDA (known in the Framework as Ophelia or Madame HYDRA) is investigating Simmons. She reluctantly shows Fitz a photo of Simmons and tells him that this woman is plotting against her. Fitz doesn’t seem to recognize her, and says he’ll send a team to get his woman. He tells Ophelia that he would do anything for her, and they share a passionate kiss.
Daisy arrives at HYDRA to use her computer to search for Radcliffe’s whereabouts. Ward says he thinks they’re onto him. When the two of them try to leave, May and other agents say that Skye (remember, she’s known as Skye again in the Framework) needs to come with them. Daisy gives her goodbyes to Ward, as she slips Radcliffe’s coordinates to Ward and tells him to get them to Simmons.
Simmons and Coulson go to the meeting with the Resistance that Ward had set up. A van pulls up and black bags are put over their heads. When they arrive at the destination, Mace welcomes them to SHIELD HQ. Coulson fanboys over “The Patriot,” the leader of the Resistance. SHIELD provides a sanctuary for potential Inhumans and works to relocate them somewhere safe. Ward returns and reports that HYDRA got Skye.
At HYDRA, Skye attends Fitz’s meeting with May, where her presence was specifically requested by Madame HYDRA for a mission. Fitz tells the agents to capture any subversives, shows the photo of Simmons, and says to use lethal force.
Mace and Ward question Simmons’s loyalty, but she tells them about crawling out of a mass grave and shows them her SHIELD ID. Ward hands over Radcliffe’s coordinates — which show him near Bermuda. At Ward’s request, Mace lets Ward take Simmons and Coulson on the quinjet.
Back at home, Hope asks Mack about Inhumans, but he tells her not to worry about it. Suddenly, May and Skye bust through the door with other HYDRA agents, who take him and Hope. When May questions Mack, he says he’ll do anything to protect his daughter.
On the flight, as Simmons talks to Ward, he says he would die for Skye. She then sits and talks with Coulson, who is doubting himself, and she gives him words of encouragement.
Fitz confronts Ophelia in her office, as he has discovered that according to their records, Simmons is deceased. He presumes that she is Inhuman, and asks Ophelia what else she has been keeping from him. She tells him that Simmons is not from there — that she crossed over from the other side. Fitz demands that she tell him the truth about her own time there. She tells him that SHIELD beat HYDRA and treated her as their slave. She wants to defeat the others and says that everything she does is so that the two of them can be together.
Skye questions Hope, who thinks this is her fault for messing with the drone. She begs Skye not to let anything happen to her dad. May and Skye meet back in the hallway, then Skye goes in to question Mack. He says they need to talk, telling her that she is Daisy Johnson and they are both SHIELD agents. Daisy starts talking about Coulson, Simmons, and Yo-Yo, but then realizes that Mack doesn’t know who they are. It turns out this was all a ruse, and that he only said what May had told him to say, as he reveals he has been hiding a microphone. Daisy hurriedly leaves the room, as May and other HYDRA agents chase after her. Daisy tries to fight her way out of HYDRA, but she is captured.
Ward, Simmons, and Coulson arrive at their destination and find Radcliffe playing croquet. All 3 hold him at gunpoint and demand that he help them escape. However, he says there is no escape. They see Agnes walk by in the distance, but Radcliffe tells them not to bother her, that she doesn’t remember the other world. He explains that Agnes had died in the real world, but her consciousness survived here. He also reveals that AIDA killed him in the real world, having found a loophole in her programming. Simmons asks where AIDA is keeping her friends, and he reveals that the Russian has a base on a drilling platform in the Baltic. They ask if Radcliffe built an exit to the real world, which he says he did, but that AIDA probably already discovered it, so they’ll have to go back the way they came in, However, Simmons explains that their way isn’t working. Radcliffe realizes that it must mean that “she” knows they’re there. However, when Ward asks who “she” is, a plane comes in to land before Radcliffe has a chance to answer. Radcliffe tells the others to hide.
When the plane lands, Madame HYDRA and Fitz get off with HYDRA soldiers, and Madame HYDRA orders the soldiers to search the island. She then confronts Radcliffe, telling him that she knows he’s harboring subversives. They get into an argument, and Radcliffe calls her AIDA, which angers her even more.
Back at HYDRA HQ, Mack and Hope are set free, as May and the other HYDRA soldiers drag a bruised and bloodied Skye in. May thanks Mack for his service, and he quietly replies, “Hail HYDRA.”
Meanwhile, Fitz has found Agnes, who is confused as to why Madame HYDRA has her face. Fitz sees Agnes as proof that the other side is coming for them. Madame HYDRA tells Fitz that Radcliffe is from the other side, is the one who enslaved her, and means to replace her with Agnes. Radcliffe pleads with Fitz, telling him that Agnes is no threat. However, Fitz pulls a gun on Agnes.
As Simmons, Coulson, and Fitz hide nearby, Simmons does not believe that Fitz would kill Agnes. Ward prepares to shoot Fitz, but Simmons begs for Fitz’s life.
Radcliffe tries to remind Fitz of who he really is, and also tells him about Jemma. However, it doesn’t work, and Fitz shoots Agnes, killing her. This prompts Simmons to come out of hiding and cry out for Fitz. Gunfire breaks out, and the two opposing sides run away. HYDRA brings Radcliffe with them. Coulson, Simmons, and Ward are under heavy fire from soldiers on the ground as they run back to the quinjet and fly away.
When they return to SHIELD HQ, Mace demands answers, and Simmons blurts out that this isn’t even real. But just then, Mack is brought in and reports what happened to Daisy. He says that he’s here to help.
Over at HYDRA HQ, Daisy is being kept in a cell, and Fitz comes in to question her. He tells her to guess whose test results show them as being a potential Inhuman, but she doesn’t answer. He says they have other ways of making her talk, and has two soldiers come in and drag her off. She tries to tell him that he doesn’t want to do this, but he says that he does, and that she doesn’t know him at all.
Her Thoughts on Agents of SHIELD, Season 4 Episode 17: Identity and Change
Season 4 has been so good, and it’s not letting up. I’m really enjoying this Matrix – er, I mean Framework – storyline, seeing this alternate reality play out. It’s been interesting seeing how each person’s life in the Framework is different from their real life. AIDA said that their lives in the Framework were with each person’s biggest regret taken away. With some people, it’s easy to see what that big regret was – with Mack, his daughter, and with May, saving the girl in Bahrain — but with others, like Fitz and Simmons, it doesn’t seem quite as clear, and I’m looking forward to finding out the various explanations.
Another question is why some people remember, but others don’t. Could Coulson’s theory about the soap really be true? As for Fitz, it’s so heartbreaking seeing him like this – as the bad guy, because he’s always been so good. When Simmons called out to him, and they made eye contact, it seemed like maybe there might have been the slightest flicker of recognition. But with the way it seems like he is carrying on with how he’s treating Daisy, apparently his memories did not come back to him enough. Even Coulson doesn’t really remember anything, he just has vague ideas that something is off. One thing is for sure though, as long as Fitz believes that he is in love with Madame HYDRA, he is a force to be reckoned with, because we all know how far he will go and what he will do for the woman that he loves. This episode gave us that brief reminder when Fitz commented that he would go across the universe for AIDA, because he did just that for Simmons. He loves with a fierceness that cannot be matched. Unfortunately, that puts him on the wrong side of things in the Framework, and working against Simmons and the other SHIELD members. I’m afraid that he’s going to be the one to stick it out to the bitter end with Madame HYDRA. At least Mack has decided to step up and help SHIELD rather than continuing to keep his head down, so that should be a big help.
How and when are the others going to recover their memories? With HYDRA having taken Radcliffe, SHIELD has lost his help. It is yet to be seen how HYDRA plans to use him. Is it even possible to recover their memories while they’re in the Framework? Will we have these alternate versions of these characters for the remainder of the season while they’re in the Framework? That could be interesting. In any case, I am as invested as ever in Agents of SHIELD and can’t wait for more!
His Thoughts on Agents of SHIELD, Season 4 Episode 17: Identity and Change