Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Review - Episode 22: Beginning of the End

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I thought the series ended well, given it's rocky start.

But it wasn't until well after I had a couple of theories emerge.

Given the fact that Raina described Skye's parents as monsters, made me wonder if this could be an alternate take on Fin Fang Foom... It is highly unlikely as the Inhuman's theory takes some credence, but the insistent chinese origin and clues could indicate some thing more to it. And I find that both Skye and Raina's names are involved with being in the air as intriguing as both are looking for their own identity.

Again, my theory that Agent Coulson is more than he appears still won't stopping jumping about in my head. I still think dormant form of Adam Warlock and I will be happy for this theory to be proven wrong.

But about the blue alien... Given the effects of it on Garrett, could he be a Watcher? The language of the Cosmos, the facts that they look like stars filmed by JJ Abrams and his lens flare cameras indicates it is plausible. The 'fact' that Garret could see more into objects could be a plausible side-effect as the human mind can only comprehend so much would explain the insanity the earlier experiments suffered.

Generally disappointed in the finale. Nick Fury has gotten a new superpower post-Winter Soldier: to spoil the tone of any serious scene. I know it's Sam Jackson bein' Sam Jackson, but Cap 2 showed he can be more than the caricatured quip machine we got here. And speaking of soured tone, the final death of Garrett really made this episode into a self-parody of what the first half of the season was, rather than living up to the recent standard of the second half.

I'm not really pleased with the situation with Fitz. Him not returning full-fledged cast member would be a waste of all that development. He's a great, tortured character in a show that seems to prefer more shallow relationships.

The only bright spot in the otherwise underwhelming finale for me was Koenig, for all the reasons that Bob mentioned. I will be a happy man if Oswalt is a regular next season, particularly if they devote some time for "Pinocchio Drama". While I generally hate that story line, I would love to see a congenial Patton Oswalt fumble a bit on the basics of humanity.

As for Skye and the blue alien, I'm officially going to give up theorizing. I was certain it was all Kree-related, then this week I started to suspect that it was all about Atlanteans (even so much that I was watching out the window of Fitz-Simmons' capsule for movement). The Inhuman angle is workable, but it doesn't really solve any of the questions that the Kree explanation wrap up so nicely. Why would an Inhuman's blood heal people, then make them crazy, and then make them scribble on walls (which I am all in favor of). My favorite TV show of all time kicked off its second season with the main character going so crazy from hidden knowledge in his own head that he started to write on walls. Let's hope this show's writers (and Clark Gregg) are half as good as the writers of Farscape (and Ben Browder) were at going loco-en-la-cabeza.

image

So, yeah. Long story short, I'm definitely glad it's getting a second season. Next year it won't have any movie tie-ins to worry about except probably an Avengers tie-in with the May finale. Considering this is largely a Whedon baby anyway, I hope Joss will give them something juicy to get tangled up in, instead of the clean-up duty they did for Thor and Captain America.

Kenjitsuka:
"while Skye makes middle manager guy show her what The Incentives Program is" <= They already knew what it was from the start, she just needs to find the kid.

I thought it was supposed to be a euphemism for the whole eyeball-explosive thing. Maybe also the family-as-hostages thing like they did with Deathlok... general reasons people would be working for the organisation against their will.

Overall, I've enjoyed the series, so far. But then, I have a pretty high ability to watch mindless dreck, and intentionally not notice obvious stuff (about half the things that Bob has said "As we all saw coming..." about, I didn't see coming, because I don't want to see it coming). Possibly influenced by the fact I spent a significant portion of last year watching about a dozen various seasons of Power Rangers out of a sense of morbid curiosity. And unironically enjoyed doing it.

That said, I still have no idea who Patton Oswald is, or why I should care... and that's after reading his Wikipedia entry, and seeing other people asking "who is Patton Oswald and why should I care" in previous threads and reading the answers. I still honestly have no idea who this person is.

Sniper Team 4:
I was actually disappointed in the fight with Ward because Ward did too well in that fight for all the skill May is supposed to have.

Skill is only so much of a fight. Ward has a lot of natural advantages in being younger, taller (which equates to a longer reach), and heavier. He can hit harder and from further away than May can. That counts for a lot.

JimB:

Sniper Team 4:
I was actually disappointed in the fight with Ward because Ward did too well in that fight for all the skill May is supposed to have.

Skill is only so much of a fight. Ward has a lot of natural advantages in being younger, taller (which equates to a longer reach), and heavier. He can hit harder and from further away than May can. That counts for a lot.

Agreed. It was her greater experience and training that let her survive against an opponent who had her physically outclassed long enough to find an opening she could use to "nail" the bastard.

This was, without a doubt, my favourite episode this season, purely because of how unapologetic it was. Fuck your logic, this is awesome!

Also, my first thought about the writings was that it was a map of a human mind. Maybe not a human mind I suppose, but a mind. I have no idea whether that would make any kind of sense or not, but it just made me think "mind". Don't know why.

Coulson's drawing is actually more of a basic logic flow chart. It would be ether the blueprint to build a circuit, or a description of an algorithm. It probably also connects to the events in Age of Ultron in some way so flow chart fits nicely. All be it, the sideways Saturn and overly large circles aren't apart of a standard flow chart. The first diamond, and branch he started with are.

Kenjitsuka:

"and maybe swim to the surface" <= As a scuba diver I can tell you it's super easy from that depth. The air you breathe is enough to fill your lungs four times at surface level. So you MUST breathe out the entire way up, or your lungs burst. They actually don't do that when we see them rising, so they died. And there is NO way Fitz can go braindead in the short time it takes to get to the surface, even with no air in his lungs.

Actually, I think Fitz was saying that the special SHIELD pod they were in was only at 1 bar pressure (not in those words, admittedly). So they would need the higher pressure air from the canister. (Have also done scuba diving).

nekoali:
The 'incentive packages' happening to be in the same location as everything else.. way to put all your eggs in one basket guys.

I think the idea was that the workers could go see them on breaks. Though that does leave the question of why Ace was there...

Why? That doesn't even make sense. "We've captured your loved ones and are holding them hostage to force you to work for us in our illegal enterprise. Oh, but we're keeping them here in the same building so you can go visit them on your 15 minutes. Don't call the cops or anything, okay?" I mean it worked on Mike because he didn't know where they were keeping Ace. And they had an eye camera on him, so they saw everything he did. He couldn't have gone to the cops without his handler knowing it. And that's even beside the point after the big Hydra reveal he was spending most of his non-mission time with Garrett on The Bus.

It just seemed to me that the bad guys were handed a giant sized Idiot Ball in this last episode. Which is all the more jarring that they've made Garrett out to be a very good manipulator of people and always a few steps ahead. Garrett going crazy after the GH injection makes sense that he suddenly started making stupid decisions.. but why were all the plans he set into motion before then suddenly turning out to be incredibly bad?

TheGamingClaptrap:

Kenjitsuka:

"and maybe swim to the surface" <= As a scuba diver I can tell you it's super easy from that depth. The air you breathe is enough to fill your lungs four times at surface level. So you MUST breathe out the entire way up, or your lungs burst. They actually don't do that when we see them rising, so they died. And there is NO way Fitz can go braindead in the short time it takes to get to the surface, even with no air in his lungs.

Actually, I think Fitz was saying that the special SHIELD pod they were in was only at 1 bar pressure (not in those words, admittedly). So they would need the higher pressure air from the canister. (Have also done scuba diving).

I think he made the case that it had somehow pressurized itself so that it wouldn't instantly collapse, and thus they where at around 4 bar. I think he made the case that the extra pressure had depleted the air supply the crate appeared to have rapidly by doing so.

If it was not pressurized, then why did Simmons need to be in deco later with Fury? That is only nescecarry after breating pressurized air for (at least) awhile. Then again, maybe the deco was just there for show/suspense, as I don't think the writers knew or cared enough about the physics involved.

I am thinking I should go rewatch it and listen to those lines again ;)

I guess I'd agree there wasn't that much closure and not a lof of the questions were answered, but it was still a solid season finale in my book. If nothing else, it was a thoroughly enjoyable hour of television.

I just watched all of the post-Winter Soldier episodes, and I have to say, it feels like an entirely different show. It's like the first fifteen or so episodes could have been handled in flashbacks, while the last five or so were the main attraction. I think that's what made Firefly so good: everyone already knew what they were doing, the war had already been lost, and they didn't have to waste time gathering up bad guys.
That said, I'm really excited for Season 2. If I'm right, they'll set it up so people new to the show can get right into the action without going through all the stupid episodes we've seen. Also, it seems like the show has been unleashed to a certain extent, with more blood, gore, dead people jokes, and just plain unapologetic momentum. If things keep on moving like they have been, then I think Agents of SHIELD may turn into a pretty amazing show.

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