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TV Review: Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1 Finale

May. 13, 2014by: Alex Maidy

NOTE: Join us every WEDNESDAY as we review the latest episode...

EPISODE 22: "Beginning of the End"

SYNOPSIS:  Dark secrets are revealed as Coulson and his team put everything on the line to stop Garrett and the forces of Hydra, on the explosive season finale of AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.

BREAKDOWN: (The following column contains MAJOR SPOILERS, so I don't recommend reading this if you haven't watched this episode).

It all comes down to this.  Coulson, Skye, May, and Triplett versus Ward, Deathlok, and Garrett (Bill Paxton).  I leave Fitz and Simmons out of it because at the end of the previous episode they were jettisoned from the Bus in a storage container.  21 episodes have led to this conclusion which should wrap up any open storylines and tease the second season of AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.  I am sure the CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER connections will continue to be felt next year, but Marvel and Disney have to begin positioning themselves to plug the crap out of AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON.

Picking up right where the last episode left off, Coulson and the team are uploading Skye's program into a HYDRA terminal at the Cuban base recently abandoned by Garrett's team.  We also see the various Deathlok/Centipede soldiers as they are controlled by technicians at CyberTek headquarters.  The team escapes and learns that Fitz and Simmons placed a tracker on the Bus but their signal stopped over the ocean.  The team vows to save them if possible and, if not, they will get Garrett and Ward.  Garrett, flexing his newly enhanced muscles thanks to taking Reina's synthetic GH-325 begins mapping bizarre alien charts on a window while Ward begins to question their planned uprising within HYDRA.

90 feet below the surface, Fitz and Simmons discuss how they miraculously survived the crash.  Despite a broken arm, Fitz doesn't see a way out but Simmons tries to convince him to stay hopeful.  Alone, the pair are forced to talk about death and what comes after.  As their chat becomes more serious, Simmons realizes the window is sealed with an explosive they can use to try and escape from the container.  Fitz says that only one of them can make it and tells Simmons it will be her.  She angrily says there has to be another way and that he is her best friend.  Fitz finally finds the courage to tell her that he is in love with her and begs her to live.  As they embrace, she cries and kisses him.  He quickly blows the fuse and she escapes, dragging his body to the surface with her.  It is there that Nick Fury himself, aboard a helicopter, rescues the pair of them.  He says he is looking for Coulson.

Garrett watched over the gravitonium he promised to Ian Quinn and professes to Reina he can see it's soul and hers as well.  Reina tells him Ward thinks he is going mad but he says he is seeing clearer than he ever has.  Reina then asks him a question she had meant for the Clairvoyant: what will she become?

Using the remaining Howling Commandos gear, Coulson and team infiltrate the CyberTek facility as Quinn is giving a tour to military brass.  They blast their way in which causes the military envoy to question what is going on.  Garrett then intervenes and mocks the generals and promises a demonstration of the super soldiers they have to offer.  He then uses his enhanced strength to rip out the army general's organs and beats him to death saying he has seen the future and this is the "beginning of the end".  Quinn tries to escape with Reina and the gravitonium but is stopped by Ward.  She explains that Garrett is more connected than he has ever been and that Ward will need to get Skye as she will be important to what comes next.

Manipulating the Deathlok soldiers, Coulson follows them right to Garrett while May and Skye prepare to hack into the CyberTek mainframe.  Ward goes to capture Skye.  Skye confronts the soldier's Handler and quetions why he works for them.  Ward shows up and holds Skye at gunpoint and May jumps in to battle Ward.  Meanwhile, Coulson suckerpunches Garrett who then uppercuts Coulson across the room.  Coulson lands at the feet of the recently arrived Nick Fury.  Fury promises Coulson answers and hands him the biggest gun I have ever seen.  Coulson takes out Garrett's men while Fury unloads a full clip on Garrett.  Garrett barely flinches.

Garrett spouts that he is the Key to the Universe and mocks Nick Fury's motivational speech about being a part of something bigger.  Coulson and Fury mock Garrett.  Garrett tells Deathok to kill them, but Skye provides Deathlok proof that his son is safe.  Deathlok turns on Garrett, launching a missle into him and then stomping his head.  With the base now under their control, Coulson explains that the soldiers, without regular injections, are now just normal men again.  With Ward in custody, Coulson threatens him and challenges him to learn who he is without Garrett.

Skye finds Mike Peterson outside at a distance as his son is reunited with his grandmother.  Skye tells Peterson that Coulson is bringing him in and he does not argue saying he plans to make amends for all of his actions while he was Deathlok.  Meanwhile, we see Garrett come to, obviously not dead, but on some sort of gurney.  He is scanned by a machine that begins to add stronger Deathlok implants to his body.  Garrett stands and spouts the HYDRA credo as he is suddenly vaporized.  We pan to see Coulson wielding the weapon Garrett used to free everyone from The Fridge.

Back aboard The Bus, Coulson confronts Nick Fury about his resurrection saying his own records showed it was very dangerous and only to be used in the event of the fall of an Avenger.  Fury says "exactly" to which Coulson is taken aback.  Fury says Coulson is the heart of S.H.I.E.L.D. and what made it work.  He hands Coulson a cube and says it is the toolbox to help rebuild S.H.I.E.L.D. from scratch.  Coulson asks how he should proceed and Fury says "that is up to you, Director".  Fury then says he will disappear for a while but he will return.

Coulson and the team head to coordinates in the toolbox from Fury.  They land at a place called The Playground where they are met by Simmons.  They ask if Fitz is okay and she simply replies that he is alive, alluding to some sort of change in him for next season.  They are also greeted by Agent Billy Koenig (Patton Oswalt), brother of deceased Eric Koenig.  He says they don't have much but asks where Director Coulson would like to start.

The final scene shows Reina entering a room with a strange man with bloody hands.  She hands him a photograph and says "I found your daughter".  The photo is revealed to be of Skye.  The stinger scene shows Coulson awoken from sleep at his new base.  He touches the glass etching that Garrett had made and then proceeds to begin making his own on the walls.

MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE REFERENCES:

Hydra references and an appearance from Nick Fury.  Skye rescues Mike Peterson's son and hands him a Hulk action figure.

BEST LINE:

"So what do you say?  Are you ready to change the world?" - Coulson

"No.  I'm ready to kick some ass." - May

COOLEST SCENE:

While May nail-gunning Ward's foot, throat-punching him, and then roundhouse kicking him in the face was one of the most satisfying moments of the episode, every scene that Nick Fury was in was solid gold.  Why the hell don't they find a way to get him on a phone screen or Skype chat in every episode?  That would be awesome.

DO WE (REALLY) KNOW WHAT HAPPENED TO COULSON YET?  OR WHAT SKYE'S POWER IS?  OR WHO THE CLAIRVOYANT IS?

While we now know that Coulson was brought back because Nick Fury implicitly trusted him and considered him an Avenger.  The closing scene of Coulson etching on the wall leaves what his resurrection has done to him.  We also do not know what Skye's power is, but we now know there is a connection between her and Reina.

EPISODE CLEARANCE LEVEL: 10/10

An awesome closing episode, AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. has gone out on a very high note.  We got closure on the Deathlok storyline while leaving it open for appearances next season.  Nick Fury's appearance this episode was a nice touch.  Fitz and Simmons relationship hit a high emotional point while their future remains unclear.  I was glad to see Garrett defeated despite wanting Bill Paxton to remain on the series.  Ward being taken into custody leaves that character open to return as well.  Overall, this episode was action-packed, emotionally satisfying, and likely the best episode since the pilot.

SEASON CLEARANCE LEVEL: 8/10

While there were definite ups and downs this season, the final stretch of episodes truly saved AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.  There is now a definite focus and purpose to the show with villains implanted, more questions about Coulson and Skye to be answered, and intriguing directions to take both Ward and Fitz in the next season.  The show definitely benefitted from episodes that directly linked to the Marvel Cinematic Universe directly, especially when Nick Fury made appearances.  The weakest episodes were the filler "Villain of the Week" stories while the main mythology arcs were the best.  I think most would agree that the second season would benefit if it kept with the second half of these 22 episodes.

NEXT ON MARVEL'S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.:

That's it for the first season, folks! ABC recently picked up a second season, so we will see you in the fall for the further adventures of Coulson and his team!

TELL US WHAT YOU THOUGHT OF THIS EPISODE BELOW!

Source: JoBlo.com

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+1
11:32PM on 05/15/2014

Skye is an Inhuman part 2

In addition to my previous comment below about Skye being an Inhuman and why, which seems to be getting downvoted, I would also like to point out that they kind of gave it away by calling her a "monster." The very definition of Inhuman is "monstrous."
-@itsmikeski
In addition to my previous comment below about Skye being an Inhuman and why, which seems to be getting downvoted, I would also like to point out that they kind of gave it away by calling her a "monster." The very definition of Inhuman is "monstrous."
-@itsmikeski
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+2
3:04AM on 05/15/2014
I kind of feel like I need to go back and give this series a second chance now. I ducked out at around episode 7 or 8 because it just wasn't holding my interest. I hate that all the really interesting stuff started so late into the series. I do hope that they utilize more of the Marvel universe though. They really did do themselves a disservice by not tapping the plethora of Marvel properties out there that aren't being used.
I kind of feel like I need to go back and give this series a second chance now. I ducked out at around episode 7 or 8 because it just wasn't holding my interest. I hate that all the really interesting stuff started so late into the series. I do hope that they utilize more of the Marvel universe though. They really did do themselves a disservice by not tapping the plethora of Marvel properties out there that aren't being used.
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-3
1:48AM on 05/15/2014
I don't mind the tie in's to the MCU but when they first started this show they set out to specifically NOT be tie in's. The purpose was to allow regular folks who either can't afford to or don't like to see movies in theatres to enjoy a Marvel product while not having the storyline ruined. Unfortunately Whedon & Co. couldn't come up with a valid formula and chose the tie in. It's a cheap cop out in my opinion, but I am just one person and I doubt most will agree. I would have prefered not to
I don't mind the tie in's to the MCU but when they first started this show they set out to specifically NOT be tie in's. The purpose was to allow regular folks who either can't afford to or don't like to see movies in theatres to enjoy a Marvel product while not having the storyline ruined. Unfortunately Whedon & Co. couldn't come up with a valid formula and chose the tie in. It's a cheap cop out in my opinion, but I am just one person and I doubt most will agree. I would have prefered not to have CAP2 ruined for me with the Nick Fury talk or the demise of SHIELD. I was kinda pissed about that actually... But after watching the finale I do like how it ended. I'm a neutral, if only for the fact the writers, producers and creators let me down with ruining some part of the MCU yet still gave me an entertaining 45 min's every week since February.
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8:17PM on 05/15/2014
That is absolutely not true. AOS was alway supposed to tie in and be woven throughout the marvel universe.
That is absolutely not true. AOS was alway supposed to tie in and be woven throughout the marvel universe.
+0
10:24PM on 05/14/2014

Skye is an Inhuman

Great episode, great series, really glad I stuck with it, and can't wait for series 2!

As for Skye, she'll be an Inhuman. Watch, Marvel will bring the Inhumans into their Film and TV Universe in a BIG way to fill the gap left by Fox owning Mutants. You'll see that Quicksilver and SW are both Inhumans in Avengers 2, and Skye's origin will tie into that film, like the fall of Shield tied into Cap Am 2. A lot of Mutant's Marvel still owns the rights to, will be converted to Inhumans in their
Great episode, great series, really glad I stuck with it, and can't wait for series 2!

As for Skye, she'll be an Inhuman. Watch, Marvel will bring the Inhumans into their Film and TV Universe in a BIG way to fill the gap left by Fox owning Mutants. You'll see that Quicksilver and SW are both Inhumans in Avengers 2, and Skye's origin will tie into that film, like the fall of Shield tied into Cap Am 2. A lot of Mutant's Marvel still owns the rights to, will be converted to Inhumans in their film and TV adaptions.

- @itsmikeski
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3:07PM on 05/14/2014

Mutant References...

Loved this episode, was a great way to end out Season 1 and lead into a new chapter. But found it interesting all of the mutant references we got this episode, with the talk of evolution and becoming something else. Especially with Reina and Skye. It seems like Season 2 of Shield will deal with the appearance of mutants all leading up to the debuts of Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch in Avengers 2.
Loved this episode, was a great way to end out Season 1 and lead into a new chapter. But found it interesting all of the mutant references we got this episode, with the talk of evolution and becoming something else. Especially with Reina and Skye. It seems like Season 2 of Shield will deal with the appearance of mutants all leading up to the debuts of Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch in Avengers 2.
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-1
1:41PM on 05/14/2014
This series has improved tremendously in the last five or six episodes. Funny that all it took was for SHIELD itself to fall apart.

There's definitely room for improvement, but this has turned into a fun little show. Can't wait to see what happens in Season 2. I'm guessing Triplett will take Ward's place on the team - they're both specialists trained by the same guy, after all.

Best Line: "If you tell me this whole 'Hydra path' thing you took is because you misheard my damn 'One Man'
This series has improved tremendously in the last five or six episodes. Funny that all it took was for SHIELD itself to fall apart.

There's definitely room for improvement, but this has turned into a fun little show. Can't wait to see what happens in Season 2. I'm guessing Triplett will take Ward's place on the team - they're both specialists trained by the same guy, after all.

Best Line: "If you tell me this whole 'Hydra path' thing you took is because you misheard my damn 'One Man' speech..."
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9:22PM on 05/14/2014
I like Triplett so much more than Ward. He was kind of cool because he was a bad-ass, but his personality was painfully flat. Trip has got some flare and I can see a lot of things happening with his addition to the team (both good and bad), which should keep it interesting.
I like Triplett so much more than Ward. He was kind of cool because he was a bad-ass, but his personality was painfully flat. Trip has got some flare and I can see a lot of things happening with his addition to the team (both good and bad), which should keep it interesting.
11:13AM on 05/14/2014
Living in England, we started the series just a few days behind the US, which was great - but then after Christmas, Channel 4 decided to delay our screenings until March so that we could watch the series in a straight run.

of course, during this time, I gave in to temptation and started to spoil myself by reading the reviews. We're now 3 weeks behind, but I know mostly whats going to happen. So far it hasn't ruined my viewing too much.

The second half of the series has become the
Living in England, we started the series just a few days behind the US, which was great - but then after Christmas, Channel 4 decided to delay our screenings until March so that we could watch the series in a straight run.

of course, during this time, I gave in to temptation and started to spoil myself by reading the reviews. We're now 3 weeks behind, but I know mostly whats going to happen. So far it hasn't ruined my viewing too much.

The second half of the series has become the series I wanted it to be from the outset. The characters have developed nicely.

Now, forgive me if I get something wrong or am missing something important (I am 3 weeks behind after all - feel free to set me straight)... my biggest concern was that they'd 'redeem' Ward, and undermine the coolest thing about his character.

I loved that he was HYDRA, and whilst I didn't think they'd kill him off, I worried that they'd tie it up too neatly and make him a good guy for season 2 (thusly keeping him in the main cast). I see Ward potentially as the equivalent of Nina from 24, or Krycek from the X-Files. You know... they're not around all the time, but when they show up you know shit's going to go down.

Also - unless something has happened to him that I've missed - I hope they promote Trip to regular. B J Britt made a nice addition to the cast I thought - again, my worry being, if Ward stays regular, will they still need/use trip?

Needless to say, I'm looking forward to the last 3 episodes, and already can't wait for season 2!
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2:20PM on 05/14/2014
You've pretty much guessed correctly. Ward doesn't redeem himself. They kinda leave it open... but he's still a bad guy and treated as such, especially by May. I think everyone is hoping that Tripp is a regular cast member come next season. I'm in camp "Don't Redeem Ward" as well, as wooden as he was, he made a better bad guy. The series improved 1000 fold once they were not held prisoner to the MCU movies, Cap 2 in particular
You've pretty much guessed correctly. Ward doesn't redeem himself. They kinda leave it open... but he's still a bad guy and treated as such, especially by May. I think everyone is hoping that Tripp is a regular cast member come next season. I'm in camp "Don't Redeem Ward" as well, as wooden as he was, he made a better bad guy. The series improved 1000 fold once they were not held prisoner to the MCU movies, Cap 2 in particular
9:24PM on 05/14/2014
Agreed Ed, but I'd ad that if he returns as a bad guy, they need to update his motivation. The "I was just a scared little boy who was steered wrong" thing is lame. Now if he can't live with what he's done so decides to go full evil.....that could be interesting.
Agreed Ed, but I'd ad that if he returns as a bad guy, they need to update his motivation. The "I was just a scared little boy who was steered wrong" thing is lame. Now if he can't live with what he's done so decides to go full evil.....that could be interesting.
8:20AM on 05/14/2014

I appreciate your review but...

It seems like you missed a lot of the references, points and so much more that happened. The gun was from Th e Avengers. The gurney was mentioned earlier when he killed the general (and what it does) etc... I think the episode was so bad ass you were just giddy when writing this review
It seems like you missed a lot of the references, points and so much more that happened. The gun was from Th e Avengers. The gurney was mentioned earlier when he killed the general (and what it does) etc... I think the episode was so bad ass you were just giddy when writing this review
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3:03PM on 05/14/2014
Mr. Maidy is constantly missing MCU references unfortunately.
Mr. Maidy is constantly missing MCU references unfortunately.
7:34AM on 05/14/2014

Three misc. thoughts

SHIELD's season finale satisfied well enough. I had three thoughts afterward. One, Coulson's team is now mainly female: May, Skye, Simmons. Whedon likes stories featuring strong heroines. Two, Garrett and Coulson both have material from the Tahiti blue-man in their systems. Both their drawings resemble maps of the universe or multiverse. Possibly, the blue-man is a Frost Giant or a Kree. Therefore, Coulson (the survivor of the magic of the "magical place") could have a connection now to the
SHIELD's season finale satisfied well enough. I had three thoughts afterward. One, Coulson's team is now mainly female: May, Skye, Simmons. Whedon likes stories featuring strong heroines. Two, Garrett and Coulson both have material from the Tahiti blue-man in their systems. Both their drawings resemble maps of the universe or multiverse. Possibly, the blue-man is a Frost Giant or a Kree. Therefore, Coulson (the survivor of the magic of the "magical place") could have a connection now to the cosmic part of the Cinematic Marvel Universe. The giant or alien blood/serum seems to alter and expand a person's mind. Possibly, Coulson and Garrett are partially frost giant (and therefore partially "immortal" and death resistant) or Kree (with accompanying superpowers such as Ms. Marvel or The Inhumans or other Kree experiments. At one point, Garrett seems to discuss Deviants. Re-watch the episode). Three, Skye's mystery father could be covered in blood. Related to that circumstance, he could be missing skin. Or, he could be covered in some other substance. These could all be clues to his identity. Also, he resembled a burn victim, which reminded me of Scorch. Possibly, Scorch got introduced because he is secretly Skye's father. Possibly, he is not dead. The Girl in the Flower Dress mentions to Skye's father that she is a past contact. Flower Dress was a contact to Scorch.
We shall see where the plot goes next season. We shall see how Agent Carter informs Agents of SHIELD's future storylines.
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8:53AM on 05/14/2014
I haven't seen the episode yet, but, by your description, could this be crossbone ? He was burned during the Winter Soldier finale. And, if they follow the comics, he's a descendant of the Red Skull. That would make Sky Red Skull related...
Just a thought.
I haven't seen the episode yet, but, by your description, could this be crossbone ? He was burned during the Winter Soldier finale. And, if they follow the comics, he's a descendant of the Red Skull. That would make Sky Red Skull related...
Just a thought.
2:11AM on 05/14/2014
i fucking loved this episode loved when you thought bill paxton was gonna be a thorn in there side for season 2 then bam ya guys i found it told ya it was in here just loved it
i fucking loved this episode loved when you thought bill paxton was gonna be a thorn in there side for season 2 then bam ya guys i found it told ya it was in here just loved it
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12:55AM on 05/14/2014
Love Melinda May. Swoon. Can't wait to see her in 2nd season.
Love Melinda May. Swoon. Can't wait to see her in 2nd season.
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12:42AM on 05/14/2014

That was not the best line.

The best line was when Coulson killed Garret, or when him and fury are talking about how nuts Garret went.
The best line was when Coulson killed Garret, or when him and fury are talking about how nuts Garret went.
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12:31AM on 05/14/2014

looking forward to season 2 !

awesome show !! nothing more to say ! this episode was bad-ass !
awesome show !! nothing more to say ! this episode was bad-ass !
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+2
12:19AM on 05/14/2014
Overall a good episode, but I'm really disappointed they didn't do anything with the gravatonium, and that Bill Paxton died. Plus they still didnt say what Skye's story is. I was hoping for more reveals but having Fury there for more than one scene stole the show.
Overall a good episode, but I'm really disappointed they didn't do anything with the gravatonium, and that Bill Paxton died. Plus they still didnt say what Skye's story is. I was hoping for more reveals but having Fury there for more than one scene stole the show.
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+4
12:11AM on 05/14/2014

Great episode!

I really enjoyed this episode. Coulsen was FINALLY back to being Coulsen, Skye did a nice job, Triplett continued being cooler than Ward ever was, and Sam Jackson reminded us why he's just great at these kinds of films by burying everyone with his Sam Jackson-ness.

I'll quibble with something from the review.....the best line was Coulsen and Fury discussing how crazy Garrett had become (perfect Marvel banter), and second was his line "I found it" after he wasted Garrett coming back from
I really enjoyed this episode. Coulsen was FINALLY back to being Coulsen, Skye did a nice job, Triplett continued being cooler than Ward ever was, and Sam Jackson reminded us why he's just great at these kinds of films by burying everyone with his Sam Jackson-ness.

I'll quibble with something from the review.....the best line was Coulsen and Fury discussing how crazy Garrett had become (perfect Marvel banter), and second was his line "I found it" after he wasted Garrett coming back from the dead. I absolutely loved that.

BTW, it was the gun Coulsen used in the Avengers.
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