agents-of-shield-SOS-finale-Skye

There are spoilers in this review. Duh.

Hmmm. This finale was a mixed bag for me. There were a few things that were excellent, and I’m intrigued with what is coming ahead for Skye on her new mission. There were more things that were frustrating or irritating. But overall this season of SHIELD has been really strong. Far stronger than the first season, which only got good in the last handful of episodes. I think we’re seeing the beginning of Civil War on the ground level here, and it’s been excellent set up for the eventual Inhumans movie. Where are the major Inhumans? They weren’t in that group for sure, so they must be separate somehow. They found a way around having mutants in the world but still populating it with potential super powered people, in a ridiculous sense. Previously on Agents of SHIELD (AoS from now on), Jiaying the leader of the Inhumans killed Gonzales and pretended he shot her so she could start a war. Cal gave himself over to SHIELD to pay for his crimes, but he kept his creepy super strength formula with him. Bobbi was kidnapped by Ward and Kara because she was apparently responsible for Kara’s kidnapping in the first place that led to her being brainwashed.

I’m just going to get the Bobbi thing out of the way. I don’t ultimately think this storyline was necessary when so many bigger things were going on. Plus I want Ward to die so badly that seeing him walk away from this was fury-inspiring. He tortures Bobbi to get her to admit that it was her fault Kara was brainwashed, so Kara can have closure. Bobbi did give over a safehouse location in order to gain HYDRA’s trust, but she believed no one was in it. She said it was protocol and any good agent would have done the same; Kara might have forgotten what it was like being a full agent, because she probably would have too if that was her mission. Ah well. At one point Bobbi does get out and nearly beats them both down, which was fantastic to watch. But she gets captured and tied up to a chair. A gun is pointed at the door, and Hunter is guided there, so the plan is to make her watch her husband die in front of her. Bobbi gets herself shot instead to protect him. May tricks Kara into putting on her face again, and Ward murders his girlfriend without realizing it. Are we supposed to feel bad for him? I certainly don’t, although I feel bad for Kara. He tortured Bobbi, planned on a very sick and vicious punishment for her, and shot “May” three times. I really hate that guy, and I also side eye all those fans who try to defend him for his terrible choices. Now he’s starting up a team of former HYDRA himself. I don’t think he’s trying to remake HYDRA, but rather create his own gang. I hate that he’s alive still. I hate that he still blames everyone else except for himself, now no doubt using Kara’s death to hate on May and co. I can’t wait for him to die some day. Please? Some day? Sigh.

1391700686jpg-a6e9c3_624wNow to the main storyline. The Inhumans do willingly go to war because they think SHIELD attacked them. Skye is also torn because she thinks her mother is telling the truth, and she fights May, sending her off. It’s Raina who gives her a clue that her mother is a liar, and she proves it by allowing Jiaying to murder her, knowing Skye would watch it. This is most likely because the actress has been cast as the lead in Preacher, so she has places to go, people to see. It’s too bad because I ended up liking Raina’s arc, but she was a little overpowered, psychics always make things too deus ex machina. Bye Raina! Skye is horrified by her mother and she is knocked out and taken with them on their real mission. The Inhumans attack the SHIELD ship and take over. Jiaying intends on purposely setting off the Terrigen crystals and causing everyone in the world to either die of become one of them. Oh hello Magneto’s plot line in the first movie! Lincoln is a little iffy on whether he believes this, especially when he sees Jiaying kill in cold blood. Gordon seems to be the only one who is aware of all of Jiaying’s plans and in on it. Mack is the only person left free, and he kicks ass throughout the ship before saving Skye.

Coulson and co. figure out pretty quickly that Jiaying’s evil, and Coulson manages to get through to Cal that he’s been manipulated by her forever. Okay, so he’s just absolved of all his wrong doings because he was a “good man” at some point? Jiaying was also a good person at some point, before she was torn into pieces. He admits that when she came back she stopped caring about life, and he killed that village so she could be fed the lives and heal herself. That’s her real power, gaining life through sucking out others. But there’s no way of saving her, only of saving him, okay whatever show. I’m side eying your need so far to kill the women but absolve the men and allow them to survive in this episode. Cal does become Mr. Hyde, who he is in the comics, but to a weird extent. He looks silly. He comes across Jiaying finally losing it at Skye and trying to suck the life out of her. Skye manages to stop their ship full of crystals and send them into the ocean, and Cal breaks Jiaying’s back to stop her. Hello, she survived from being cut into pieces and all her organs taken out. How would breaking her back actually do anything? I mean is she just temporarily dead? There’s no way that someone could survive what she did and then just a break is enough to kill her. WHATEVER SHOW. Cal is given the Tahiti project and has a new life. Because that’s totally what his murder victims and their families would want for him, because he used to be a “good man.” Sigh. To be fair the actor is freaking fantastic, and very likable, but it doesn’t move me. That’s silly.

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Coulson, Fitz, and Mack take on Gordon at some point. Fitz does have a great line about “science, biatch” as being able to stop Gordon. Gordon is killed somewhat accidentally by appearing behind Fitz when he had a metal bar in place. Coulson catches a crystal before it breaks, and starts to die, but Mack just goes and chops off his hand. Quick thinking! So Mack is staying around. Skye gets Coulson’s car and a mission to go looking for super powered individuals … maybe? Not sure on that. The Inhumans are kept private for now. Bobbi’s alive and recuperating. May went on her first vacation. And apparently no one thought to go looking for the crystals in the ocean. Seriously. Seriously. SERIOUSLY? No one was like “oh crystals would probably break apart when hitting water and infect it.” “We might want to make sure nothing happens to those by regaining them.” I can’t even with the stupid there. Well the point is that fish ate it and then fish were caught and now people might become Inhumans to populate metahumans in the Marvel universe. I think this is extremely stupid, they could have found another way to make it happen without making Coulson and co. look very short sighted and oblivious. At the end of the episode it looks like Fitz and Simmons might be taking a step forward, and then she’s eaten by that weird Kree weapon they have that the Inhumans wanted. I saw that coming a mile away because it was very similar to Wes and Fred in Angel. She’s not dead though, as far as I know, because she’s signed on for the next season.

Things I liked about this episode: great acting, I’m intrigued by Skye’s plot from here, the fighting scenes were all very good, I like that the two SHIELD groups are now combined peacefully, and the set up for the Inhumans overall was good. Things I didn’t like about this episode: Ward survives, three women (plus Simmons iffy) died, which is problematic, Cal gets a happy ending?, Jiaying was full out crazy which was too bad because I liked her ambiguousness, and that silly fish oil thing. So it ended up middle ground for me. I will give next season a try, if only because it feels like Skye’s headed into Secret Avengers territory. The second season was much better than the first, so if they keep an uphill direction, I’m okay with continuing it. Their fight choreography is excellent now, so full props to that.  They really need to watch their women and POC death count. It’s glaringly a problem. And seriously, can we get rid of Ward yet?

 

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