Fittz gives Radcliffe a reason to live, Madame Hydra feels happiness, and Mack reclaims his Hope.
With Ward and other SHIELD resistance keeping Coulson’s message of rebellion going, ordinary citizens have risen up against Hydra, who have responded in kind. As Hydra forces beat and torture anyone who stands against them, Fittz has another meeting with Dr. Radcliffe, offering the chance to live again in the real world, if he’d only reveal the location of the Framework’s back door.
With everyone but Fittz gathered at the Resistance base, Daisy makes plans to travel to the back door’s location and escape. Desperate to bring Fittz with them, Simmons confronts his father, Alistair Fittz, to use him as bait to draw Fittz to her. But, after an intense struggle, Simmons returns to base without Fittz and her hands bloodied, with Alistair shot and killed.
Making their final push to the back door, Daisy has some trouble convincing May and Mack of the existence of the “other world,” especially as they find the backdoor submerged in a pool a molten lava. Fortunately, Daisy can use her powers to part the lava rocks, opening the way to their escape. Fittz follows close behind, seeking vengeance against Simmons killing his father, but is stopped as Radcliffe pushes him through the back door, only wanting to save his friends. One by one, the agents awaken in the real world, shaken by their experiences, to find the Russian’s forces attacking the Zephyr, and Aida in her new human form, with a few more tricks up her sleeve.
“Farewell, Cruel World!” gives consequences to the Framework, which has been said by Daisy and Simmons that nothing their matters. Now, at the end of that plot, returning to the real world, we see that is not the case, as Mace is dead, Fittz is in shock from his own actions, and Mack elects to stay behind to be with his daughter, Hope. It was a strong episode, and the ending left a sense of urgency as we are thrust back into the real world. But, I’m not sure how to describe the feelings I have for this episode aside from that.
This Framework plotline has been an entertaining story of “what if?” and it’s been a real treat having Ward and Trip back on the team. If there is only ONE thing to say about this plotline was the how good it was to see the return of Trip and Ward, even if that return was brief. But, does their return HAVE to be brief? This entire season has introduced MULTIPLE ways to bring dead characters back to life, or at least actors back into the show. Life Model Decoys. The Framework. And now, the ability to upload a consciousness from the Framework into a living body through the Darkhold’s technology. Three ways to bring past cast members back, and they chose the Framework to only do so briefly. Once again, the missed opportunity is disappointing. This season is not yet over, and while disappointed, I am looking forward to how the agents survive whatever Aida throws against them in the real world.