TV Review: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - Season 3 Winter Finale "Maveth"

EPISODE 9: "Closure"

SYNOPSIS: Ward's campaign for revenge brings the S.H.I.E.L.D. team to their knees, and Coulson proves he will do anything to settle the score.

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

Grant Ward is dead. Long live Grant Ward. After fifty-four episodes, the turncoat HYDRA agent and thorn in our heroes' side is finally no more. Well, sort of. Since characters in comic book universes are ever really dead, I won't consider this episode to be the nail in Ward's coffin, but the way tonight's episode unfolded, it looks like Brett Dalton will be playing his character very differently from now on. Taking a page out of the Lost playbook, Ward is now the HYDRA evil that the villainous organization has been trying to rescue for thousands of years. That's right, the new supervillain nemesis for Coulson and his team to contend with will have a very familiar face come next year.

Tonight's episode managed to pull together all of the plot elements building this season and brought them to a head. The few questions left open leading into the second half of season three primarily surround the HYDRA god Malick and Ward brought back while everything else has wrapped up nicely. As Ward's team follow Fitz on the alien world to track down Will and find their target, Mack leads the S.H.I.E.L.D. team on a mission to rescue Simmons, Coulson, and take down HYDRA. Mack makes a great leader as he is able to make the hard choices. He splits the teams into two units to take down the castle while also rescuing the ATCU captured Inhumans they are preparing to use as an offering for their impending arrival.

What makes the assault so unique is that we get our first looks at the S.H.I.E.L.D./Inhuman team of Secret Warriors comprised of Daisy, Lincoln, and Joey Guittierez. Joey is still tentative about his new abilities but demonstrates that he is handy in a pinch as he melts sewer grates, stops bullets before they can hit him, and helps his fellow gifted teammates save the day. I am not fully convinced that the team is going to work but I expect that Lash may join them in the second half of the season. Andrew Garner is released by Simmons and he helps stop her HYDRA pursuers but when May goes after him later she finds the crates of Inhumans in statis have been seemingly massacred by Lash. Garner is nowhere to be found but I fully anticipate this is not the last we will be seeing him on the show.

Mack orders Bobbie, Hunter, and the rest of the team back to the jet and orders them to fire if they are not able to rescue Coulson and Fitz from the portal. Mack and Daisy stay behind to wait. On the other planet, Fitz locates Will who injured his leg after Simmons left. Ward is hesitant to take him along, but Fitz says he is their only hope of finding the portal in time. As they begin traversing the desolate planet, they spot a sculpture shaped like the HYDRA insignia which Will says used to be the home of the monster. As a sandstorm swirls, Fitz and Will get away from Ward and his team. As Ward begins to follow, Coulson kills Ward's team and shoots his former protege. He ties Ward up and takes him along. Ward begins spouting that he has found meaning to his life on this planet and finally sees why he joined HYDRA.

As they near the portal, Fitz checks Will's leg and finds it is a mangled mess, open down to the bone. Will then reveals that he is actually the HYDRA monster and that WIll died right after Simmons left. They fight and Coulson opens fire on the monster. Ward then attacks him and they tussle. As the alien rises again, Fitz shoots him with a flare gun, bursting him into flames as he collapses. Fitz shouts to Coulson that the portal is closing. Looking down at the injured Ward, Coulson flashes to the face of Rosalind before dropping to his knees. Using his enhanced hand, Coulson crushes Ward's chest, killing him. He removes his hand and leaves it with Ward's corpse as he and Fitz make it through the portal and safety before the castle erupts in flames. As Fitz and Coulson escaped, we briefly see a worm-like slug leave the charred skull of Will. In the stinger scene, Malick's car is stopped by something in the road. We see it is Ward holding Coulson's hand. But, one look at his pale skin and vacant eyes, along with the slug moving along his temple, we know this is not Ward any longer.

A pretty damn exciting hour of television that managed to stoke the fires of HYDRA as a valid enemy for the team while also wrapping up the extended monolith storyline and finally killing off Grant Ward. I like the dark turn Coulson has taken and I am sure seeing the Ward-lien hybrid monster will cause some conflict in the next half of the season for both the director and for Daisy. The action and pacing in this hour was some of the best  the series has displayed while also managing to deliver a cliffhanger after a satisfactory conclusion. I am happy to say that all together, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has finally broken it's trend of having half-assed first halves of seasons by closing this one out with a solid bang. There were still issues over these ten episodes, but I am happy to say the future looks bright for this show. Stay tuned.

MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE REFERENCES: Bobbie references Nick Fury's knowledge of the monolith.

NEXT ON MARVEL'S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.: Agent Carter premieres January 19th. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns in March 2016.

Source: JoBlo.com



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