Monday, June 1, 2015

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 2.21 - 2.22: "S.O.S."

“I won’t be careful. I’ll get the job done.”

The season finale of “S.H.I.E.L.D. had quite the body count. What can I say, Jiaying wasn’t going to go quietly. She’s been out for blood ever since she was brought back to life following the torture she suffered at the hands of Hydra, and she certainly wasn’t about to stop now. As far as she was concerned, everyone who wasn’t Inhuman needed to die. Only then would her people be safe. And she wanted to start with S.H.I.E.L.D. For the most part, the death sin this episode didn’t bother me too much. Most of the characters who died were pretty darn annoying. I only wish Ward could have joined them. I’ve been over ward since the series pilot. He’s only become even more tiresome since his betrayal. By the end of the episode, he has gone even farther off the deep end, so hopefully he will be a problem to be dealt with next season.

This episode really overall deals with Jiaying’s quest for vengeance (and then some) against S.H.I.E.L.D. She ends up sending a group of Inhumans to Gonzales’s ship, ostensibly to retrieve the Kree stone that is supposed to be so dangerous. There is a more nefarious plan at work behind the scenes, though. She plans to break crystals and release the mist throughout the ship to kill anyone not Inhuman. Some of the Inhumans go along with this because they think it will make them safe and that Jiaying has their best interests at heart. Others, however, start to question her. The biggest questioner is Skye. Early in the episode, she sees Jiaying kill Raina when Raina gets a little too aggressive about her visions. Lincoln also is eventually a convert, thankfully. I was starting to like Lincoln, so I’m glad he ended up on the right side of this mess. There’s a pretty epic battle that rages on Gonzales’ ship, and everybody has to decide if they trust Coulson to get them through it.

On the S.H.I.E.L.D. side of the equation, Mack probably goes through the biggest crisis of faith. When we had last seen him, he had decided to resign from S.H.I.E.L.D. Eventually, though, he decided to stand with his friends and protect them from the Inhumans. Also, Bobbi goes through some rather horrible torture at the hand of Ward and Agent 33. She is eventually rescued, but she has a long and painful recovery ahead of her. Ward set up a trap where Hunter would be shot in the head if he opened the door to try and rescue her. Through sheer force of will, Bobbi redirects the firearm, and she is shot (not in the head, thankfully) instead. Hence the long recovery.

As I’ve already said (possibly multiple times by now?), there was quite a high body count in this finale. Raina, like I mentioned, died at the hands of Jiaying. Agent 33 is killed by Ward while disguised as May (Ward didn’t realize she wasn’t actually May). Gordon died at the hands of Fitz and his “science, beyotch!” That sequence was pretty epic, actually. Fitz invented a device to restrict where Gordon could teleport to one room, and Gordon accidentally teleported himself in a way where he was impaled on a large metal pole Fitz was holding. Finally, Jiaying also died. Cal killed her when he realized that she was a very major threat to Skye, because he swore to protect Skye. He had to come down from the high of taking his super strength serum to reach that realization, but reach it he did. Let’s take a moment to remember the many, many characters who died in these two hours.

The relationship between Skye and Jiaying has really been kind of fascinating. At first, Skye was thrilled to have a mentor, and even more thrilled to have found her biological mother. Over time, however, that initial feeling has faded. Skye I think started to mistrust Jiaying a little bit when she started discounting Raina’s visions (when Skye could see firsthand that the visions were coming to pass). I think the moment when she saw Jiaying kill Raina was what actually convinced Skye for good that her mother wasn’t who she hoped she would be. Skye seems to really regret (briefly) choosing the Inhumans over her S.H.I.E.L.D. family, and S.H.I.E.L.D. seems willing to forgive her. I really don’t blame Skye for being conflicted. She had just met her biological family, and as a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, she knew that S.H.I.E.L.D. could be a true threat to her biological family. On the other hand, Jiaying had taken a healthy paranoia way beyond the beyond by deciding she could only be safe if anyone not Inhuman died, and Skye realized that.

Besides the big battle between S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Inhumans, much of the finale dealt with relationships. Bobbi almost dying to save Hunter and Hunter sticking by her through her recovery makes many of the other characters reevaluate their relationships. Most surprisingly, May gets back together with Andrew. They are going to take a long vacation together so May can get a much-deserved break from all the S.H.I.E.L.D. drama. Fitz and Simmons also reevaluate their relationship status. Simmons mentioned to Fitz that she has been thinking after everything that happened to Bobbi and they never talked about what Fitz told her before the whole drowning incident. Fitz is about to go on a mission, so he’s rather abrupt and basically tells Simmons it’s too late. At the very end of the episode, though, they agree to go on a dinner date. There’s just one problem. In the final seconds of the episode, Simmons is sucked into the Kree stone thing-y. Oops!

I think the season finale did a good job at opening up some possibilities for where the show can go in season three. We see Ward gather some Hydra goons and tells them that he basically wants to make a new Hydra with himself in charge. The one positive I can see with Ward being the potential big bad leader of Hydra next season is that if he’s the season’s Big Bad, he might finally die or be imprisoned in a remote S.H.I.E.L.D. facility for good. I’m fine with either option. Coulson has also tapped Skye to lead a new secret S.H.I.E.L.D. team of people with powers. I think this will be a good opportunity for Skye to grow and perhaps become less annoying. Finally, there’s the not-so-small matter of Simmons being sucked into the Kree stone. It’s probably too much to wish she’ll return none the worse for wear, but hopefully she’ll recover from whatever damage the stone inflicts sooner rather than later. Sad FitzSimmons makes me sad, as I said way back at the beginning of this season when Fitz was hallucinating an absent Simmons. And hey, if Simmons doesn’t want Fitz when she returns, I’ll take him! He’s freaking adorable and has been since day one.

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