Warning: Do not read further if you have yet to watch this week's episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.!
Last night's episode of #AgentsofSHIELD could arguably be ranked as the best of the series thus far. Between Daisy fighting Terminator Mace, Simmons going all Psycho on LMD Fitz, and AIDA killing Radcliffe, there was definitely a lot to take in over the course on one hour.
If trying to keep up with all the action and drama over the course of an hour wasn't enough to frazzle your brain, then the final two minutes certainly would have.
In the episode's closing segment, we saw the team living their alternate reality lives in Radcliffe's Framework. In the Framework we saw Coulson lecturing students on the threat of Inhumans, Mack living happily (it was hinted that his daughter, Hope, is alive), Fitz lived a life of luxury and Jemma had... well she had a tombstone. It appears that Radcliffe's framework has indeed given everyone peace. Fitz has become successful, Mack's daughter is alive and Coulson never joined S.H.I.E.L.D., but what of Jemma?
Is Jemma Simmons Dead?
A real head-scratcher and talking point here. The second final shot of the episode was the ominous reveal that Jemma is dead, apparently.
TGrant Ward Is Back!ut on their tinfoil fats and began to speculate on what the grave (har har) reveal could mean. I just recently read a fan theory that states that Ghost Rider will return to bring her back from the other side, and another that she will return as a zombie. So, the question is: Is Jemma really dead? Well, in a short answer: no, she's not. T
Before Jemma entered the framework, she mentioned that her and Daisy have already found their avatars in the alternate reality, so Jemma is, in fact, alive. We do yet not know why she has her own tombstone in the alternate reality, but we do know that Radcliffe's Framework shows the subject an alternate path of life, a life of peace. It is very possible that Jemma found peace by faking her own death, left alone to live the life that she wants. Or, she could very well be the mysterious lady that Fitz was taking out of the car, who knows?
The other major talking point from tonight's episode was the return of a certain fan favorite character.
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That's Right - Grant Ward Is Back!
When Daisy entered the Framework, she awoke inside a bath and received a text which revealed that she had a boyfriend. Of course Daisy, fresh off of being reminded by Jemma that Lincoln sacrificed himself to save her, immediately though Lincoln was alive. Although that turned out not be the case, as she soon stumbled upon a framed photograph of her and Grant Ward together.
AoS just couldn't go one season without bringing back Grant Ward in some way, now could they? Can we really blame them, though? Ward is, without a doubt, one of the most interesting and complex characters to ever grace the #MCU, so to see him back in an alternate reality where he and Daisy finally get together is going to be a treat for fans. Oh, and Marvel just couldn't help themselves with this little tease on Twitter.
Now with Ward alive, and living with Daisy, it would appear that he never crossed sides to Hydra and remained loyal to S.H.I.E.L.D. throughout the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. But actually...that's not quite true, because of the other huge reveal from this week's episode.
May And Daisy Work For Hydra
The final shot of the episode (before the show goes on hiatus until April, may I add), was of May getting into an elevator revealed to be within the Triskelion, which appears to have survived the events of #TheWinterSoldier. The shot frames it to appear as if Daisy, Grant, and May all work for S.H.I.E.L.D. in the perfect Framework world — until the camera pans to reveal a giant Hydra logo on the side of the Triskelion.
It appears that Daisy and May switched sides to Hydra as a result of Coulson not being there to guide them through the events of Season 1, a revelation which I'm sure will shock Daisy to the core when she finds out. While it's unlikely we'll see Chris Evans making an appearance as Captain America, it's still interesting to see that AoS is getting inspiration from Nick Spencer's controversial current Hydra-Cap comic book run.
Now, there's obviously a load of questions that's been left after tonight's shocking episode, and it looks like fans will have to wait until April 4th when it returns to get some answers. Of course, this unbearable wait can be made a bit more bearable with the knowledge that Iron Fist, the latest installment in the #MarvelCinematicUniverse will be released March 17th on Netflix.