Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s first season is over. In what I believe to be one of the greatest comebacks in TV history, AOS was able to make a complete 180 and get on track. This of course was mostly thanks to Captain America: The Winter Soldier and its amazing storyline that the writers did a great job tapping into. But tonight’s episode was more than good, it was an exceptional hour of TV viewing pleasure. Knowing that the show would be returning next season only made the episode more fun and engaging.
When we last left our favorite Agents, Coulson, May, Skye, and Tripp were working to infiltrate HYDRA and Cybertek but then they were ambushed by Garrett’s new Deathlok hit squad. Ward had just ejected FitzSimmon’s from the Bus in an airtight box that ends up sinking to the bottom of the ocean. Garrett has injected himself with GH-325 and is now acting even crazier, not to mention we found out he was the original Deathlok! So let’s get to the epic finale shall we?
Let’s talk about the FitzSimmon’s situation. Stuck at the bottom of the ocean in some kind of cube with little supplies and not much time. Fitz broke his arm when the cube hit the ocean, but he and Simmons are still able to rig together a beacon. Unfortunately it only emits an old SHIELD signal, so most likely no one is going to hear it. Realizing that they need to get out of there, FitzSimmons come up with an elaborate plan to blow out the glass and swim to the surface. When it comes down to executing it Fitz tells Simmons that there is only one oxygen breather and that she is going to be the one to use it. Simmons of course refuses and says that they have to come up with a new plan. After a rather emotional scene, in which Fitz reveals to Simmons that he has feelings for her, which doesn’t help him trying to convince her. Suddenly Fitz punches the detonator, ending the argument! Next thing you see is Jemma swimming to the surface with Fitz in tow! They come up and I was thinking to myself that they really aren’t in a better situation, now they are just bobbing up and down with the waves acting as shark bait! Then it happens. A helicopter appears out of no where and Nick Fury is there saving FitzSimmons! Oh and this isn’t a two-minute cameo, Sam Jackson is there to help kick some butt! Like I said, an amazing hour of TV. This has to be one of the biggest cameos of all time, especially when he is in a good chunk of the show. So now it’s time to go help Coulson!
After a showdown with the Deathloks, where May uses the Dark Elf staff from the Thor tie-in episode to take them out, Coulson and team decide it’s time to finish this. At this point they believe that FitzSimmons may be dead, and this only fuels the fire. Now that the team has infiltrated Cybertek it’s time to bring it all down. Skye and May go right to the source of the Deathloks and Cybertek command, while Coulson and Tripp go after the big bad, Garrett.
Introducing a big bad was necessary, something to tie together all of the things that these different organizations have been doing behind closed doors. The show was suffering from not having a villain for a while, but that changed quickly. While the secret of the Clairvoyant was something that hung over everyones’ heads for almost the entire season, the lack of someone like Bill Paxton hurt the show. Garrett takes it up a notch in this episode, his maniacal rants were epic! You want to talk about crazy, Garrett actually murders a military general by stabbing his hand into the guy’s chest, ripping out a rib and stabbing him with it! Clearly this show isn’t messing around anymore! We also are introduced to a new mystery through Garrett and later Coulson. The GH-325 has opened their minds to things that normal humans can’t comprehend, but we see Garret start to carve out a formula that doesn’t appear to be Earth related. At the end of the episode in the post-credits scene we see Coulson doing the same. What does the alien equation mean and what will it lead to in season 2?! More questions, more answers please!
One of the biggest moments was revealing that the GH-325, Skye, Reina, Garrett, all of this, is the start of something big. There was a lot of cryptic talk about and new dawn and that they are all going to be a part of the “new world”. What I think is happening is the beginning of people gaining powers and that the GH-325, blue alien blood, or whatever it is, has a big role to play in all of that. Think about it for a second, in the post credit scene from Cap 2 we are introduced to the twins, we are lead to believe that their powers were created by something cosmic. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is on the edge of introducing some new concepts to the world, and I am really interested to see where it’s going! We also learn that Skye’s father is alive and he may be a well-known Marvel character, but we will have to wait and see. We see only his arm and his hand looks to be covered in blood. We also find out that Reina doesn’t really have loyalty to HYDRA or Cybertek or any of that. Instead it seems that she part of a shadow organization with Skye’s father that we will learn more about in season 2.
Ward gets his tonight and thankfully they didn’t redeem him with some sort of goofy plot device. Ward is shallow and weak as we have learned recently, he can only follow orders and has no real sense of being his own person. But what happens when he has no leader? May takes out some pent-up rage from the whole situation and it is pretty awesome to watch her lay the smack down on Ward! The fight scene is pretty brutal and May even takes a nail gun to Ward’s foot! She takes him down but doesn’t kill him, Ward is now in custody and Coulson promises that his torture will be terrible as they extract HYDRA secrets from him. The Ward turn was another great moment this season. I really didn’t see it coming and I think that was the point when things got interesting with our characters. Challenging your characters is one of the most important aspects of any TV show and having one of their own betray them was a great test. It gave our team something to hate and something that finally, truly, united them.
Taking down Garrett wasn’t going to be easy! Thankfully Nick Fury is here to help! There were a lot of “full circle” moments tonight, one being Fury giving Coulson the gun he used in Avengers when he shot Loki. The gun helps when it comes to taking out the Deathloks, actually it makes it very easy! Unfortunately the gun loses power before Coulson is able to take out Garrett. The dialogue between Fury and Coulson is priceless and this only makes the show feel so much bigger. We find out that there was a special project called Incentive, which basically meant that Garrett kidnapped people’s loved ones in order to get the results he wanted. Skye rescues Mike Peterson’s son and things get awesome from there. Coulson and Fury are having a hard time taking down Garrett and he seems to be almost invincible. But not against Peterson! Taking out all of that pent-up rage he levels Garrett with some missiles and then stomps him down! It’s all over for Garrett and his master plan!
Connection. That is the most important word when it comes to the is show and it’s place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. For a lot of the season things felt so disconnected, but they were really able to turn that around. The real question is where do we go from here? There is no SHIELD right? Wrong, SHIELD is coming back better and stronger! Fury hands Coulson a cube and appoints him director of SHIELD! Fury tells Coulson that the cube is all that he needs to get started. It actually takes the team to another secret base where they find….. Agent Koenig! What, you say he’s dead!? This is a different “person” and he introduces himself as Billy. There’s definitely something more to all of this and I am pretty convinced that we just saw the introduction of the LMD, or life model decoy! Coulson being handed the keys to SHIELD is a major plot point not just in the show, but the entire cinematic universe. Whatever SHIELD becomes will be because of what happens on this show! I also really liked when Fury told Coulson that he considers him an Avenger. Somethings are left up in the air, like the condition of Fitz. We don’t even get to see him after they are rescued by Fury, so I don’t know what the consequences of being without oxygen for that long were! I am happy that they didn’t kill any of our characters off, even Ward. Oh, the scene on the Bus where you think Garrett is about to make a comeback is hilarious! This is another aspect of the show I love, it’s ability to balance humor into the whole picture.
Thank you Agents of SHIELD for delivering a great freshman season. I am going to miss watching this show every week and the fall is too far away! Just like the movies, AOS is able to establish its own mythos. Borrowing some great aspects from the comics but not getting weighed down having to follow them exactly. There were a lot of debates on what was wrong with the show or why it didn’t feel complete. That was easily solved by introducing Garrett. Bill Paxton played a great villain, the casting was perfect. Things made sense by the end of the season, especially a lot of the concepts that were introduced early on. My question is what does Flowers need with that Gravitonium?! Deathlok is on the road to redemption and I am sure this isn’t the last we’ve seen of this famous character. We are left with Coulson etching out the “alien” equation on a wall with a knife. Will we be introduced to something that will explain what is going on, in this summer’s Guardians of the Galaxy? Seeing that the film comes out in August and AOS will most likely come back in September, there is certainly the chance!
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season One: B+
See you in the Fall, Towelites!