TV Review: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - Season 2 Finale "S.O.S."
EPISODE 21/22: "S.O.S."
SYNOPSIS: S.H.I.E.L.D. puts everything on the line to survive a war that blurs the line between friend and foe. Coulson and his team will be forced to make shocking sacrifices that will leave their relationships and their world changed forever
BREAKDOWN: (The following column contains MAJOR SPOILERS, so I don't recommend reading this if you haven't watched this episode).
With last week's episode ending with Jiaying declaring war on S.H.I.E.L.D., the season finale starts with a stolen quinjet, exploding buildings, and a one on one fight between Melinda May and Skye. And all of that before the opening titles roll! As the team struggles both to cope with the shocking turn of events with Gonzales and the Inhumans, they also must find Bobbi who has gone issing with Agent 33. But, all of these machinations come at the behest of Jiaying who we see orchestrating everyone, including her daughter, into believing S.H.I.E.L.D. is the enemy.
Skye meets with Raina who teases the two of them are intertwined but will not meet again while Lincoln turns on Skye for bring S.H.I.E.L.D. to Afterlife. Jiaying offers Skye a place by her side but only if she cuts Coulson and the team out of her life forever. Back at S.H.I.E.L.D., Coulson gets approval to try and rescue Skye. He asks her father for details but his powers seem to be growing. Back as they torture Bobbi, Grant Ward and 33 try to get information out of the Mockingbird to no avail.
Where things really come to a head is when Jiaying murders Raina. After telling the Inhumans leader she saw the future and Skye is the key, Jiaying breaks the psychic's neck while her daughter looks on, dumbfounded. Confronting her, Jiaying vows to destroy S.H.I.E.L.D. as the only way to save the Inhumans. Skye refuses to believe and is promptly knocked unconscious. Back on The Bus, Coulson learns that Cal took a poison that will enhance his strength so he can take out as many agents as possible to help Jiaying.
Despite being close to cracking, Bobbi manages to escape from the cell where Ward is holding her. As she makes her way out, Ward catches her an offers 33 the chance to kill her but 33 can't do it. Ward comes up with an alternate plan. On The Bus, Coulson continues to interrogate Cal who flatlines under the pressure. Fitz and Simmons manage to save him but he has finally transformed into his Marvel Comics namesake: Mister Hyde. While they strugge with that, Gordon is able to take over the helicarrier on behalf of Jiaying which also gains her access to the Kree melting rock.
Coulson manages to pin Mister Hyde/Cal between Lola and the hangar door of The Bus but he is able to get the upperhand on the director.On the helicarrier, Skye and Mac team up to stop the Inhumans, saying Jiaying is manipulating good people to do her evil bidding. May and Hunter also close in on Bobbi. As Hunter approaches, Bobbi struggles to get free as a tripwire will pull the trigger on a gun aimed at her. When he finally opens the door, the bullet shoots her through the shoulder. Ward corners May and shoots her multiple times only to find out it is really Agent 33. May and Hunter scramble to get Bobbi back to the plane.
Lincoln waivers on the actions Jiaying and Gordon are taking but Gordon says it is all for the good of protecting the Inhumans. Skye shows up and Lincoln immediately readies his ability to fight her. Skye explains Jiaying's plan to Lincoln and he refuses to believe it. Mack knocks him out but not before he reveals where Jiaying took the remaining crystals. As Bobbi hangs on for life, May calls her ex-husband to make amends for the end of their marriage. Simmons also confronts Fitz about what he told her at the end of last season when he professed his love for her. Fitz has just started to get back to normal and it now seems like SImmons has feelings for him as well.
Coulson's team, including Cal, get a message from Skye that they are walking into a trap on the aircraft carrier. Coulson orders all the quinjets back but continues on to finally end this. Jiaying also decides she will finish her plan and release the Terrigen crystals. Either those left will become Inhuman or they will die. Skye confronts her mother but is left to battle a multiplying Inhuman while Cal confronts Jiaying. Mack battles Gordon until Coulson arrives with Fitz and begins setting traps.Lincoln and May team to help Skye and decide to go against Jiaying. As they face off, Jiaying begins draining Skye's lifeforce. Skye manages to muster enough of her power to knock the quinjet and the crystals inside into the ocean. As Coulson fights Gordon, Fitz drives a pipe through his stomach, killing him. Gordon drops a crystal and Coulon lunges for it, catching it. It begins to turn his arm to ash and Mack cuts it off at the wrist before it can kill him.
Skye and her mother fight when Cal arrives and says they don't need to fight and he will live with the pain, pushing Skye to safety and killing Jiaying to protect his daughter. We then flashforward to everyone back at base. Coulson is dealing with his lost hand, Bobbi is still recovering from her injuries and insistant that she cannot do this anymore, Mack has decided to stay with S.H.I.E.L.D. and is in charge of the Kree artifacts, May is taking a vacation for the first time ever. Coulson is planning something new, but it seems vague as only blueprints of new ships can be seen. Cal says goodbye to his daughter as he prepares to go to prison and they have a sweet and more fond bond then either of them anticipated. At a bar, Ward laments the death of 33 when he is approached by thugs he is using to form a new HYDRA. The episode ends with Skye and Coulson visiting a brainwashed Cal who now works as a vet. Coulson tells Skye she is in charge of the new S.H.I.E.L.D. list for tracking powered people. Sky and Coulson agree they must function anonymously and his missing hand will always be a reminder to be careful. We then see the quinjet underwater as the Terrigen crystals are leaking into the water and then into the fish, then into a factory, and eventually into fish oil vitamins on store shelves. The stinger scene shows Fitz and Simmons working on a Kree artifact with Fitz clumsily asking Simmons out on a date. Fitz leaves and as Simmons looks at the Kree stone, it burts out of the containment box, swallows her, and returns to it's original form.
Overall, the second season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was like the first: it had a sluggish opening half and a very solid concluding half. While this overall season was much better than the first, the reliance on the Kree and Inhuman elements made the second half feel much more vital to the Marvel Cinematic Universe than the first. Wrapping up all of the storylines was daunting but this two hour finale did so brilliantly. We now have reset to a single S.H.I.E.L.D. with a covert purpose that puts it back to where it should be rather than a major government organization. Coulson losing his hand was a nice touch as was the explanation as to how more Inhumans will now exist. I am glad the additions of Bobbi, Mack, and Hunter are permanent, but I am not sure what the hell is going to happen to Simmons. The entire arc for Grant Ward this season felt pointless and I could have done without it, so I hope if they include him next year they find a better way to incorporate his character.
MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE REFERENCES: There were no overt MCU references this week.
NEXT ON MARVEL'S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.:
See you Fall 2015 for season three!