SPOILER WARNING: This article contains major spoilers for “Self Control,” the latest episode of “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”
Holden Radcliffe just got exactly what he asked for. In “Self Control,” the latest episode of “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”, Aida released him from his earthly prison by slashing his wrists and releasing his consciousness into the Framework.
Over the course of Season 4, Radcliffe has been spending more and more time in the Framework, the virtual world Aida helped him build with the power of the Darkhold. In the Framework, Radcliffe finds himself in a world without pain and regret, so it’s unsurprising that he has a hard time pulling himself away. As such, Aida has been handling more and more of Radcliffe’s real world duties, and that has brought some things to light for her.
After observing Radcliffe’s behavior, Aida believes her two directives are a paradox. She must put Radcliffe’s life above all others, and she must protect the Framework at all costs. That being the case, Aida grew concerned that Radcliffe’s addiction to the Framework would cause him to want to destroy it. Radcliffe quickly assured her that he was saving lives by uploading people’s consciousness into the Framework; though their physical bodies failed, their consciousness would live on in the Framework, free of pain.
That cleared things up for Aida. She immediately slashed his wrists and forced him into the Framework. That way, his body was erased from the physical world, which he said caused pain; however, his consciousness will — supposedly — continue on inside the Framework. This certainly wouldn’t be the first time that the Marvel Cinematic Universe had resurrected a character through the power of technology; in “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” Arnim Zola lived on inside a computer, though Zola’s technology was inferior to that which Radcliffe has created.
What’s more, Aida has been getting in the habit of creating other LMDs. For instance, she created a new LMD body for the Superior and uploaded his consciousness into it. It’s unclear if she is able to extract consciousnesses from the Framework and put them into an LMD, but she does have experience downloading psyches — like May’s — for the same purpose. There’s plenty of room for Radcliffe to return — but as what is anyone’s guess.
Airing Tuesdays at 10 pm ET/PT on ABC, “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D” stars Clark Gregg as Agent Phil Coulson, Chloe Bennet as Daisy “Quake” Johnson, Ming-Na Wen as Melinda May, Iain De Caestecker as Leo Fitz, Elizabeth Henstridge as Jemma Simmons, Henry Simmons as Alphonso “Mack” Mackenzie and more.
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