After a very wonky first season, Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. has gradually found its groove and become, if not exactly ‘must-watch’ TV, then certainly not a complete waste of time. The current storyline revolves around a digital simulation of the real world called ‘The Framework,’ described by its creator Holden Radcliffe as “a world where death is obsolete.”
Sounds pretty nice to me. Unfortunately, however, in this clip, it proves to be not quite paradise, as Al MacKenzie finds out. For those not keeping up, MacKenzie has been kidnapped and his mind trapped inside this alternate virtual reality, where he lives a rewritten life caring for his long-dead daughter, Hope. Things start out pretty sweet and parental, as she guesses the make and model of a motorcycle from the engine. Then the agents of HYDRA show up, searching for renegade Inhumans. It seems this virtual world is the playground of the notorious super Nazis – just check out the ominous posters reading “VIGILANCE AGAINST INHUMANS” and “I’M WITH HYDRA. ARE YOU?”
Of course, it’s also none-too-subtle political commentary. Scenes like this are becoming increasingly familiar as, under the command of President Trump, ICE officers detain illegal aliens and summarily dispatch them to the other side of the American border. Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. hasn’t exactly shied away from political commentary, but equating Donald Trump with their science-fiction Nazis is a bold step and one that runs the risk of alienating their Conservative viewers.
The episode, “Identity and Change,” airs on April 11th, at which point we’ll find out just how far the show is prepared to go.