Review: Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD 1.22 – “Beginning of the End”

The season finale for Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. presented a lot of showdowns, answered some questions, and featured some important speeches. However, it also raised more questions, including a few about one person in particular. Shattered SHIELD PosterIt starts with someone named Zeller (Josh Daughterty) welcoming a new guy to a tech company. Unfortunately the company is Cybertek and he’s ordering the employees to turn the super soldiers loose on the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents who broke in. One of the soldiers has the  Asgardian rage staff from “The Well”. The agents are able to fend off the soldiers, especially May, who grabs the staff and wallops several soldiers. She still hates being called the Cavalry. While Coulson, Trip and May fight the soldiers,  Skye is able to activate the virus to track Garrett.

SHIELD Super GarrettAfter getting a jolt of GH-325B in the last episode, Garrett (Bill Paxton) seems a bit off. He is more powerful than ever, and he’s starting to scare Ward. Garrett’s asking for a nail so he can draw something. Whatever it is, it really excites him. He even claims he can see the soul of the gravitonium they took from the Fridge. Deathlok (J. August Richards) is staying by Garrett’s side, as he’s been ordered to do. Quinn (David Conrad) just wants to get his gravitonium, and sell hundreds of super-soliders to the military. Raina (Ruth Negga), though, just wonders if she is about to evolve into something higher, and if Skye is the key.

As for Fitz and Simmons, they’re stuck in the bottom of the ocean. He’s got a broken arm, and pondering death. She is hopeful they can be found somehow, with his makeshift distress beacon. It doesn’t look good, until they figure out a way to break through the glass and get above. But, it means one of them has to do it with no oxygen, and they may not even be found.

Coulson rallies his troops as they prepare to get to Cybertek’s development facility. He asks them if they are ready to change the world. May just SHIELD Triplett and Coulsonwants to kick ass, especially Ward’s.

Quinn, meanwhile, does his sales pitch to some military brass about why they should have Cybertek make super-soldiers that can be the future of the military. Garrett shows up, saying “a new world is coming. I’ve tasted it on my tongue.” That’s followed by him shoving his fist right into a general’s abdomen and removing a rib to stab him with.

Now Ward is getting worried, but Raina claims Garrett is connected with everything. She says they need Skye to bring about a new world, once her true nature is revealed. He says Skye won’t come to him because he’s a monster. “Is that your true nature,” Raina says, “or is that what Garrett needs you to be?” She figures once the “real Skye” is revealed, maybe they can be monsters together. Will that moment happen soon?

May and Skye get inside Cybertek, claiming they have a bomb. Zeller’s not worried, because they’re ready for anything, which includes putting the soldiers in a default mode–just what the agents expected. Now the soldiers are moving to protect Garrett, and the agents can get inside. Garrett, though, only wants Skye, while Ward is becoming quite lost.

Back in the ocean, Fitz and Simmons get out of the pod, with Fitz telling her to use the oxygen. Of course, they finally confess their feelings, and it’s a tough scene to see. They escape the pod, but it looks like they’ll die alone in the water….

… until the real cavalry comes, in the form of Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), having  found that beacon. Fitz lost a lot of oxygen on the way up. His fate is still up in the air and it’s safe to say Simmons will figure out something. Fury tells Simmons he’s looking for Coulson and Garrett.

Coulson and Fury SHIELD Skye and Ward are reunited, having an interesting conversation. He says she won’t blow up the facility with a bomb. She says it’s not needed. She has something deadlier than a bomb:  an angry Agent May. This sets up one of the wildest fights this season. May winds up on top thanks to a nail gun and hard kicks to Ward’s head.

Coulson is reunited with Fury, who’s dressed the same as he was at the end of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Coulson has some questions, but they will have to deal with Garrett first. Fury happens to have what they need, the same gun from The Avengers.

Thing is, Garrett is tougher to pin down thanks to the GH-325B. He does give the best line in the show:  “When was the last time anyone saw a tag-team wrestling match with four dead guys?” That means Garrett and Deathlok/Mike Peterson vs. Fury and Coulson.  Eat your heart out, Vince McMahon.

Skye, meanwhile, discovers Cybertek’s incentive program: they hold the employees’ families hostage. That includes Zeller’s wife and Mike’s son, Ace (Ajani Wrighster). Skye will use that to her advantage. Just as Garrett tells Deathlok to kill Coulson and Fury, Ace sends him a message through his eye, “Dad, what are we? We’re a team”. Deathlok becomes Mike again, and blasts Garrett. The winners and still champions, Fury and Coulson. It turns out Skye never had a bomb. It was Ace’s Hulk figure.

The battle winds down with Ward under arrest. It may be debatable if he can be redeemed. It all depends on whether he is really a monster, SHIELD agents or someone who chose the wrong person to follow.  Mike doesn’t want to be reunited with his son just yet. He leaves for parts unknown, knowing that S.H.I.E.L.D. can track him through the Deathlok programing. Hopefully, we’ll see him again, too.

What about Garrett? It looks like he is about to be reborn as Super Deathlok, with stronger armor and a new purpose…. until he’s disintegrated by a ray-gun Coulson just happened to have.

Finally, Coulson and Fury have that talk about T.A.H.I.T.I. and GH-325. Coulson says it was supposed to be used for a fallen Avenger, and Fury said it was…. Phil Coulson.  S.H.I.E.L.D. was based on protection, whether of one man or all of mankind. He called Coulson the heart of S.H.I.E.L.D., but that now, he’s the head. With a small black cube called the Toolbox, he’ll be the man to rebuild S.H.I.E.L.D.  Now their headquarters will be the Playground, run by a guy who’s into lanyards. Turns out Eric Koenig had a twin brother, named Billy (Patton Oswalt).

What about Raina? She finds a man, sitting in a room. He’s given a picture of Skye, which he holds in his bloody hand.

Skye found SHIELD

The man is Skye’s father.

To be honest, this was a bit disappointing. A lot of people had hoped to find out why Skye is an o-8-4, and whether she’s just as dangerous as her parents who wiped out a Hunan village to find her. Now we’ll just have to keep waiting.

The last scene is even more puzzling. Coulson starts to draw the same schematic Garrett was drawing, with even more detail. Is that the side effect from GH-325?  What is he really drawing?

It might be connected to Guardians of the Galaxy, but it’s certain to be connected to Skye somehow.

So, the first season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is over. While a lot of the story lines have been wrapped up, it’s still too bad we didn’t find out what Skye really is. The sooner she is reunited with her father, whoever he is, the better. It also presents hope that maybe Ward can atone somehow, if he’s destined to be S.H.I.E.L.D.’s answer to Faith Lehane. Having Mike Peterson and Akela help each other and S.H.I.E.L.D. would also be a great idea. There’s concern about whether Fitz can be the scientific genius he used to be. Seeing him struggle in his recovery would be a great storyline, especially if it includes Simmons trying to make her own version of GH-325 to bring him back. The main story, of course, is S.H.I.E.L.D. rebuilding itself, and the trust of the world. Bringing back Maria Hill as a recurring character will help, too.

When the show returns next fall it’ll be on 9 PM on Tuesdays, which may present the possibility of slightly darker stories and more interesting situations. There’s bound to be some connection with Avengers: Age of Ultron. The season will be split in two, with Agent Carter being shown in between. For now, fans will be speculating all summer what is coming this fall for both shows.

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Post Author: David Mello

Worked nearly eleven years at a radio station as a board operator, news reader, and assistant producer for baseball broadcasts. Have been a staff writer for Whedonopolis since July 2008