Warning: This story contains major spoilers from Tuesday’s episode of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Read at your own risk!
Though there were a few close calls, the team escaped the Framework during Tuesday’s episode of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. — but not everyone decided to head back to reality.
After tricking Mack (Henry Simmons) into coming on the mission, Daisy (Chloe Bennet) helped Coulson (Clark Gregg), May (Ming-Na Wen), and Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) through the back door, which was cleverly hidden by Aida (Mallory Jansen) in a vat of molten steel. Even a guilt-ridden Radcliffe (John Hannah) heaved Fitz (Iain de Caestecker) through the portal before Daisy was forced to jump in sans Mack (Henry Simmons), who decided to stay behind for his digital daughter. What’s next? EW turned to executive producers Jed Whedon, Maurissa Tancharoen, and Jeffrey Bell to get the scoop. (And stay tuned for scoop on Aida’s transformation into a human… with powers!)
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How will everyone deal with what happened in the Framework now that they’re back in the real world?
JED WHEDON: When they come back, they have their full memories of what happened.
MAURISSA TANCHAROEN: It’s two lives worth of memories.
So for people like Fitz and May, who did Madame Hydra’s bidding the whole time, what is that like for them moving forward?
WHEDON: I think that they will struggle with it, some more than others. May has a pretty dark outlook on life as it is, but I think for Fitz, it would be something that will define him for the rest of his life.
JEFFREY BELL: And for others, like Coulson, he knows some stuff historically, like how did you know that? He goes, “Oh, I was a history teacher,” so he’s actually got this whole other life to draw upon from the Framework that can form who he is in this one. So, it’s as if they’ve lived two whole lives.
Now that they’re out of the Framework, how awkward will it be for May and Coulson after his faux-relationship with LMD May?
TANCHAROEN: I think we play into that awkwardness pretty heavily.
BELL: And not to mention that Coulson still has a little bit of that goofy history teacher in him, so that awkwardness definitely plays. It’s always fun to see him when he’s the —
WHEDON: —every man—
BELL: —who can go in and talk his way out of some situations.
TANCHAROEN: And levity’s in his performance.
BELL: And a fanboy, like when he gets to meet the Patriot, it was really fun for him to play it as golly gee whiz.
TANCHAROEN: I think the Framework was definitely an opportunity for everyone across the board — for the writers and for the actors — to just have a bit of a nice reset in a way.
BELL: Yes, a palate cleanser. You don’t want our actors to get bored playing the same thing every week.
TANCHAROEN: Well, they all did really well. They did everything we threw at them. They loved it.
BELL: Yeah, the Framework’s been a lot of fun for us this last block of stories.
Anything the LMD versions were saying is something that the person would have said; they just have no inhibitions.
TANCHAROEN: Well, you just don’t know where the programming ends and their real feelings begin.
So could there be a future for May and Coulson? And possible wedding bells for Fitz and Simmons?
WHEDON: These are very good questions.
TANCHAROEN: With all our romantic relationships, I think—
WHEDON: —we never make it easy.
TANCHAROEN: There are always complications. Coming out of the Framework, the emotional toll is even more intense.
WHEDON: Yeah, I think that’s the right question. We can’t really say, but we don’t really know. We don’t even know what’s going to happen in season 5. Just know that if you see a season 5, it’ll be by the seat of our pants.
Mack decides to stay in the Framework.
WHEDON: He knows it’s a lie. He believes he sees a glitch. He knows it’s fake.
BELL: He knows that his daughter is now alive, and he’d rather stay there and spend the time he has with her than to go back. Just think if you could choose to live a beautiful lie versus a painful reality, which do you choose?
But would he actually be living? What happens if the Framework goes offline?
BELL: He would go off with it.
TANCHAROEN: That’s why Yo-Yo will take desperate measures to try and bring him back.
BELL: She has her work cut out for her. She has to convince a man who doesn’t know who she is that he should choose her over his own daughter.
WHEDON: And I don’t think that’s a task that she’s going to be super stoked about.
BELL: And so Yo-Yo has to then try and persuade him, hoping that him seeing her, perhaps it would trigger something, maybe he’ll remember her or maybe not.
Anton’s plane has found Daisy and Simmons. What can you tease?
WHEDON: Well, he definitely comes back with a little bit more pep in his step. For a head in a bottle, he’s pretty dangerous. But you know, one of the things that Zach [McGowan] brings to the role is that he’s a little bit of a chameleon. He’s very physical and very good with all the action stunts, so we’re going to lead into that and let him do a little of that at the end, sort of cut his leash. He’s very good with the knives, very good with all that stuff, so he will be wielding them.
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.