Two weeks in a row of weekly posts! Lots of season finales (or penultimate episodes) to talk about this week!
Episode of the Week
Agents of SHIELD – “SOS”
I have not been a fan of much of the second half of this season of Agents of SHIELD. Not that it’s been bad, necessarily, I just haven’t enjoyed a lot of the Inhuman stuff (which feels very much like it’s a breadcrumb trail for later movies and very little like it was considered the best plot idea for this show), and at times the sheer number of characters and different stories to follow has meant nothing got serviced quite the way it should.
But that finale was awesome.
The Bobbi kidnapping stuff was probably the strongest material in the episode (no surprise, as Adrianne Palicki is far and away the best thing about this show right now). Watching her break herself out of Ward’s lockup and nearly take out both him and Agent 33 was VERY satisfying (any time someone punches Ward, I am a happy fan). But the best of the plotline came when Bobbi was tied up, with a machine gun rig pointed at the door, ready to fire at the first person who arrived to save her – and May and Hunter came looking for her. The tension throughout that sequence was unbelievably effective. The relationship between Bobbi and Hunter has been extremely enjoyable all season (there’s a reason ABC was contemplating a spinoff, folks), and I’m curious to see what happens next year after Bobbi’s near-fatal sacrifice to save Hunter’s life.
In the midst of all that, May tricked Ward into killing Agent 33 (who was using May’s face at the time) – which was an excellent dose of comeuppance for the show’s biggest asshole. Of course, it appears to have turned him back into an active bad guy, and not just a psycho-in-hiding, so in the long run, there could be big trouble for the SHIELD team. Ward is extremely focused on closure and revenge so I’m sure May will be his target in season 3.
While May, Bobbi, and Hunter were off dealing with Ward, everyone else was going to war with the Inhumans after Jiaying killed Gonzalez, claiming he attacked her, in the last episode. Skye initially sides with her mother, angry that SHIELD would attack her new family – and not realizing that Jiaying is basically out to destroy SHIELD and use the terrigen crystals on everyone she encounters in trying to find more Inhumans. Watching Skye take down May with her powers was a really terrific sequence – it was well choreographed and a powerful reminder that Skye is not the same person she was when the team took her in.
Ultimately, Coulson and Cal wound up playing a huge part in stopping Jiaying. She had sent Cal back to SHIELD as something of a Trojan horse, and her plan worked initially – we finally got to see him in full-on monster state, wrecking everything and everyone he comes in contact with. But Coulson, ever the smooth talker and quick-thinker, pinned him with a car and talked him off the ledge into realizing what a terrible thing Jiaying is trying to do, and that if Cal’s main concern really is Skye/Daisy, they were on the same team. In the end, Cal ended up killing Jiaying – sparing Skye the heartache of having to kill her own mother (and saving her life in the process). The two also had a very sweet final exchange before Cal had his mind wiped (thanks TAHITI program!) and was returned to the world with no knowledge of anything that had happened.
You may have noticed I have yet to mention FitzSimmons. THAT’S BECAUSE IT HURTS TOO MUCH. I am an unabashed fan of those two crazy kids, and it’s been painful to watch them not be friends all season. The last few weeks have brought glimmers of hope that they were finally getting back to normal (THE SANDWICH!). Just before Fitz went out in the field to help take down Gordon and retrieve the crystals this week, Simmons decided to broach the subject of Fitz’s underwater confession of his feelings for her last season. At that point, I was 100% convinced Fitz’s was going to die, because I’ve watched Whedon production before, so I was pleasantly surprised when he survived and the end tag was the two of them science-ing it up together. And then Fitz asked her on a date! And it was adorable!
AND THEN SHE GOT EATEN BY A GOD DAMN ALIEN ROCK.
Not okay, show. NOT OKAY.
In any case, this was a terrific finale – it genuinely felt like a small scale Marvel movie, which is all I can really ask from this show when it comes to its bigger episodes. I think it’s left us in a great place for season three and I am anxiously awaiting the show’s return in the fall.