Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Review - "The Beginning Of The End"


822xTuesday evening’s season finale of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. wrapped everything up in a neat little package while jam-packing itself with action, guest stars, and some fun one-liner quips. So let’s dive right in.

Not-So-Short Summary: We start at Cybertek where we find their security division has all eyes on our S.H.I.E.L.D. compatriots in HYDRA’s secret base in Cuba. Skye manages to get the flash drive into one of their computers to get access to every system before May literally takes the house down and they discover that FitzSimmons managed to get a tracker on the Bus where Ward and Garrett are.

Garrett is legitimately losing his mind to sheer insanity, and the results are enjoyable and comical, mostly because of how Ward reacts to everything. Everyone is following Garrett with their blinders on because now he really seems to be clairvoyant and it’s only Ward, who has followed Garrett blindly to this point, who fights against it. He flounders when he doesn’t have a mission, and when he’s assigned to get Skye, he jumps back into it head-first.

But when Garrett continues to be bats–t crazy, Ward loses his cool and cannot understand why anyone would keep listening to his superior.

FitzSimmons, in the meantime, is stuck at the bottom of the ocean, ninety feet below the surface. Fitz has wired the EKG to emit a weak stress signal because in the time that Simmons was sleeping, he analyzed all of their options and concludes that they are SOL.

Of course, this doesn’t last for long because their natural teamwork comes up with the idea to blow the window open. The issue? It will only save one of them. In a life or death situation, Fitz finally expresses his feelings to Simmons and the results are emotional. He will sacrifice himself to save her and she wants nothing to do with it because they both have to make it.

She manages to drag him up to the surface with her, only to be rescued by–dun dun dun!–Nick Fury, who discovered them by their makeshift distress signal. And they are off to Cybertek HQ where the big showdown is going to happen.

Ward finds Skye, but before he can do much of anything, May is leaping through the air to kick his ass. The choreography in their fight scene is tight and entertaining. The show should spend more time perfecting scenes like this and focus less on the CGI effects that are usually so-so anyway.

In the meantime, Coulson finds Garrett, who punches him straight through a wall. And that’s when Coulson sees Nick Fury. Fury gives him one of the guns from Phase 2 to defend himself and it comes down to Garrett and Deathlok versus Fury and Coulson. Garrett sets Deathlok on them, but Skye’s trojan horse has given her access to Deathlok’s controlling eye.

Skye discovers the Incentive Program that Cybertek had to bring in “volunteers:” loved ones held as hostages. She finds Ace, Mike Peterson’s son, and sends the message, “Dad what are we? We’re a team,” to Deathlok’s eye. That’s when he turns on Garrett and destroys him.

Everything is wrapped up in a neat little package. The Cybertek super soldiers will be fine once their cybernetics are taken out. Garrett is packed away in a metal container. Ward gets packaged away, too, but with more of a threat from Coulson. Deathlok watches his son from afar and tells Skye he has to make up for what he’s done as Deathlok, and he disappears into the night.

The best scene of the episode, by far, was near the very end when Garrett breaks out of his metal coffin and gets the Deathlok armor. As he stands on his new legs and begins to start a Jeff Winger-esque speech, he’s disintegrated by the gun that was hidden under the floorboards in The Fridge. “Hey guys! I found it!” he calls. “I told you it’d be in here!” And walks out of the room.

Best One-Liner: So many. Nick Fury always brings the sass. From Fury’s, “Don’t tell me this is all because you misheard my ‘something greater’ speech,” comment to Garrett to Fury handing Coulson the Phase 2 gun from The Avengers and Coulson saying, “I know what it does,” it’s hard to pick. Let’s keep it down to those two and add in an honorable mention to the noisemaker from the Howling Commandos gear that exclaims, “Hey ho, friends! The enemy approaches!” in the most 40s-esque voice possible.

Badass Moment Of The Week: This honor goes to May for kicking the crap out of Ward. That includes using a nailgun to nail him to the floor, fracture his larynx, and give him a roundhouse kick to the head.

Okay, let’s get to my notes that I took during the episode.

Crazy Bill Paxton was wonderful. He played the descent into sheer madness perfectly. From the crazy look in his eyes to the huge grin constantly on his face to the cockiness of how he talked to everyone. His implying comments about being clairvoyant now because of the alien goo brought Raina to him again and alienated Ward (pun intended!). It was obvious he would be dead by the end of the episode, but I’m still a little sad to see him go. He was a great guest star while it lasted.

Raina. I barely mentioned her above, but man is she a creepy enigma. She asks Garrett the question she always wanted to ask the real Clairvoyant, “What will I become?” And naturally, we don’t hear the answer to that. She’s also in one of the last scenes of the finale, setting a picture of Skye on a table and saying, “I found your daughter.” All we see is an arm that appears to be dripping blood. Nothing more. It’s Skye’s dad, but who exactly is he?

Keeping on Raina, she made a lot of comments about evolution, and all I could think about was the big no-no word: Mutants. Of course, that’s not going to happen anytime soon, as much as the Civil Wars are mentioned in my comic-ing conversations with the fiancee. She’s putting a lot of emphasis on this and I can’t help but assume she’s alluding to the future of the MCU. And the talk of evolution sounds a lot like The Inhumans. I won’t get into that whole storyline right now, but if you want to waste several hours, here’s their Wiki page. Something needs to be the equivalent of mutants in the MCU because Fox isn’t going to give up the X-Men anytime soon. And if this is alluding to the Inhumans, then it’s easy to assume the blue alien is Kree.

Badass Nick Fury. Basically, Samuel L. Jackson was there to save FitzSimmons and deliver some hilarious one-liners at precise moments. His chemistry with Clark Gregg made it so very enjoyable. At the end, when he was handing over the reins of S.H.I.E.L.D. to Coulson, he blatantly said that Coulson was a fallen Avenger. The awed silence that followed the statement encapsulated the emotion of the moment. We as the audience always equated Coulson as an Avenger (just not in the same weight class as the superheroes), but that fact never registered with Coulson.

Plus, now we get Director Coulson. Granted, S.H.I.E.L.D. still doesn’t really exist, but you have to believe that if anyone can bring it back, it would be Coulson. I can only hope this will result in Coulson returning to the movies sometime in the future. Definitely not Guardians of the Galaxy and I don’t have my hopes set high for Age of Ultron (it would be a quick cameo, if anything). Sooner or later, the Avengers will learn that he’s back from the dead.

No redemption arc for Ward. This may change come next season (I wouldn’t be surprised to see him be one of the baddies they have to fight along the way), but let’s focus on the good right now. Ward is still super evil. He got his ass kicked by May–rightfully so–and literally cannot speak because May thinks she fractured his larynx. Ward’s character worked so much better as an evil psychopath. The fact that Skye didn’t change her opinions to the “I can fix him with my love” trope that a lot of TV shows like to do makes me happy.

Patton Oswalt. Fury gives Coulson a cube that signifies his status as Director now (or something). The cube takes them to coordinates to a secret base that doesn’t actually exist where they meet Billy Koenig, brother (or life model decoy) of Erik Koenig. I really, really hope this means Patton Oswalt will at least be a semi-regular next season.

The big reveal at the end of the episode. Coulson carving an entire wall of that alien writing. Nothing about Project T.A.H.I.T.I. was really resolved in this season. Yes, we know GH-325 was extracted from a blue alien. Yes, we know Coulson was behind T.A.H.I.T.I.. Other than that, there’s not much to go on. We still don’t know what the alien was. Is what Coulson’s writing a formula for the GH-325? Or some sort of tie-in for the Terrigen Mist with the Inhumans?

If Coulson is slowly going insane or being taken over by the GH-325, he’s keeping a very tight lid on it. Or he doesn’t even realize it’s happening.

Thanks for reading for the last half of this season when our little site here got started. I’m glad this show found its footing after stumbling for the first half of the season. I’m excited for what Season 2 may hold (especially since Guardians of the Galaxy will be out before then) and I’m doubly excited for Marvel’s Agent Carter, which I’ve already called dibs on reviewing.

For now, I’ll be doing my internet research about possibilities for Season 2 and in the upcoming weeks, I’ll be starting a retro weekly review of X-Men: The Animated Series.

Keep Calm and Hail HYDRA, everyone.

Tags: Agents Of S.H.i.E.L.D. Marvel Review Season Finale

5 Comments on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Review – “The Beginning Of The End”

  1. Steve Lam says:

    I finally got a chance to sit down and watch this tonight. Been busy at work all week. Next up is the season finale of Arrow. I know, I’m a masochist for waiting. So, what gave me chills was when Simmons emerged from the water and saw Nick Fury reaching out to her. There were so many good moments in the finale.

    I wonder what Fitz’s condition will be like next season. Will he have memory loss? Will he be in a coma in the first few episodes? The way Simmons said “he’s alive” to Skye makes it seem like there’s more to it. I thought they did a great job with the nerds in this episode. Both of them really shined and you only like them even more.

    • franzenmuth says:

      I know I didn’t accurately portray how much those FitzSimmons scenes affected me, because I was very much attempting to hide my tears from my fiancee. Their scenes definitely held the most emotion and while I’m glad they did leave Fitz’s status a bit of a mystery, I still want to know! You’ve got to assume they’ll do something like keep him in a coma or he’ll wake up and not have memories–maybe just of Simmons (a la Juliette on “Grimm” back in S2).

      And Nick Fury is a total badass. I did NOT see that coming when he rescued FitzSimmons.

  2. MFFLJBM51D says:

    Agent Carter film is confirmed? or was that a reference to the one-shot film?

    Excellent finish to an excellent season. I watched alone but that didn’t stop me from giving the Fury appearance a slow clap.

    2 just brilliant cliffhangers. Coulson’s drawing/formula/map/algorithm???!
    and a very bloody hand from Skye’s father; Skye is the show’s wild card IMO

    • Nick Tylwalk says:

      The Agent Carter series is confirmed! It will air in-between the two halves of Agents of SHIELD season 2 at its new time of 9 pm on Tuesdays.

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