BY RICHARD SUPLEE GEEK SPACE CORRESPONDENT ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is about the spy organization (formerly run by Samuel L Jackson’s Nick Fury) in the Marvel Universe that deals with threats such as aliens, mad scientists, evil robots and randos with superpowers. OK, from here it gets complicated so pay attention. Recently the created-to-help-but-since-turned-evil robot Aida (Mallory Jansen), with the help of her mad scientist creator, created an alternate reality inside a virtual world. A virtual world, called The Framework, was intended for terminally ill patients to upload their minds into where they will live long, happy post-corporeal lives. Aida has imprisoned several S.H.I.E.L.D. agents in The Framework where their new virtual reality differs from actual reality in shocking and disturbing ways.
When agents Daisy Johnson (Chloe Bennet) and Jemma Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) infiltrate The Framework to save their friends they discovered just how alternative alternate reality can get. Hydra, S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Nazi-esque arch-nemesis from the Captain America films, is in charge of the US government. Hydra seized power by exploiting the national hysteria and demand for law and order at any cost that ensued when an Inhuman (descendants of alien experiments who can gain random superpowers when exposed to certain chemicals) child refugee massacred her classmates. Under Hydra’s rule, American civilians are forced to wear IDs and submit to DNA tests to prove they are human. Schools no longer teach The Holocaust or Martin Luther King. The newscasters report directly to Hydra’s leaders who carefully restrict how much “news” makes it onto the airwaves. Non-conformist kids are pulled out of class and taken to “reeducation centers” never to be seen again.
The Resistance is led by the Inhuman Patriot (Jason O’Mara), but it is vastly out-gunned and out-manned by Hydra. When the Patriot is killed The Resistance takes bold action and takes control of news station in the hopes of convincing Americans to overthrow or at least resist their new fascist overlords. The Resistance’s new leader, Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg reprising his character from numerous Marvel films), takes to the airwaves to deliver a rousing speech to the masses that makes clear what has been strongly hinted all along: Hydra is a metaphor for the Trump administration. Here’s what he says:
On Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D., The Resistance has just been televised.