Monday, September 26, 2016

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 3.22: "Ascension"

“I don't want you to die. I want you to suffer.”

The season finale of “S.H.I.E.L.D.” certainly brought a lot of drama and changes for the team. I think it provided a reasonably satisfying ending to the ongoing saga of Ward and later Hive. There wasn’t really much time left for character development in this one. It was mostly action with a touch of Daisy whining and then grief. I’ve got to agree with what Sarah said back when she reviewed part one of the finale. Daisy’s “I’m not worthy” pity party in most of this episode is kind of exhausting. I think, despite the satisfying resolution, the episode was middle-of-the road to me because it was mostly action and not much character. I like the characters on “S.H.I.E.L.D. and generally like to see them interact with each other. The team had a singular goal to complete in this one – destroy Hive and prevent him from turning the entire world into the “primitive” version of Inhumans.

At the end of the first part of the finale, Daisy was begging Hive to take her back and put her under his control again. She is addicted to Hive’s control, and she’s also feeling super guilty over what she did the last time she was under her control. Hive tries to take Daisy, but it doesn’t work. He says that whatever Lash did to her, it has made her permanently immune to his control. Daisy is enraged by this, and she starts quaking, wanting to unleash all her powers on Lash. It’s a pretty epic fight between the two of the, really – one that has been a long time coming. Daisy’s quaking makes the whole S.H.I.E.L.D. base shake as Coulson and Mack try to debrief. Fitz realizes there is something wrong with Daisy’s containment unit, and he wants to investigate. There’s just one small problem: Radcliffe informs the group that Primitives retain skills from their lives pre-transformation, and there are twenty-eight Primitives in the wind who used to be S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. They know the base inside and out, and they are approaching through the vents.

The team decides to split up to deal with the various challenges they’re facing, which as we know from horror movies, always ends well. Fitz and May go to the containment unit, and they find it empty. Meanwhile, Daisy and Hive are still fighting. Daisy gets in some good attacks, but Hive keeps coming back, and the whole thing is over when a Zephyr arrives carrying Giyera and James. Hive is able to use the distraction to knock Daisy out, and he takes her on the Zephyr as his insurance policy that Coulson’s team won’t just kill them all. Hive makes use of the memories of Will and Ward to pilot the aircraft, and the Zephyr takes off.

Radcliffe tags along with Coulson and Lincoln, and the trip discover that Primitives have been destroying their servers. Mack and YoYo encounter a Primitive who almost immediately opens fire. At first, it seems like Mack is going to be shot repeatedly, but YoYo uses her powers to basically catch all the bullets. YoYo is seriously injured as a result. There’s just a lot of fighting in this section of the episode in general. When the two groups reunite (Simmons is trapped elsewhere), Mack gets Yoyo to a table, and he and Lincoln try to save her. Lincoln can’t get to the lab to get real medical supplies, so they’re in a bind. Yoyo insists that Mack be the one to use the blowtorch to cauterize the wound.

Meanwhile, the Zephyr is heading for the altitude that is ideal for turning everybody into Primitives. James questions how they are supposed to survive the blast that will disburse the formula, and Hive reveals that they will descend to Earth in the containment unit before the explosion. May and Fitz are hidden on board, though, so this plan may be easier said than done. Fitz tries to open the containment unit, but Daisy begs him not to. She’s still feeling the self-pity and believes she needs to be contained. Remember, I told you the Daisy whinging was still going strong in this one. May is the one who can finally snap some sense into her, telling Daisy that she doesn’t thing Andrew would have saved her if she was supposed to be sequestered in a containment unit for the rest of her life. The conversation is bad timing, though, because Giyera enters, knocks May out, and pulls a gun on Fitz. Thinking quickly, Fitz warns Giyera that there’s a weapon on the Zephyr meant to stop him. Giyera demands to see the weapon, and Fitz promptly shoots him with an invisible gun. His next move is to free Daisy from the containment unit.

Primatives start closing in on Simmons, and she realizes that they can sense her through her heat signature. She turns up the thermostat to body temperature so she’ll blend in. Elsewhere in the base, Lincoln is fretting over whether or not YoYo’s wound is infected. Radcliffe notes that Simmons must have turned up the heat to make them invisible, and his theory is proven correct when Primatives seem to not see them. They follow the Primative, and it leads them to Simmons, who tells them that May and Fitz are on the Zephyr. YoYo needs a hospital, so Coulson summons a Quinjet. He wants to drop YoYo off, then come back and face Hive alone.

On the Zephyr, they have the opposite problem to Coulson’s crew. It’s cold, which means the Zephyr has reached very high altitude. Meanwhile, Hive is trying to pilot the Zephyr when a Primative brings him Giyera’s corpse. Hive orders James to find the stowaways while the Quinjet docks with the Zephyr. As all this is going on, Daisy looks at the cross necklace she currently possesses and remembers the vision she had of the explosion in space. Hive finds Coulson at the docking station, and they taunt each other a bit before Coulson reveals that he’s actually just a hologram. James finds Lincoln and the two begin to fight. Lincoln, however, electrocutes James and May shows up to finish the job by knocking him out.

Before he was unconscious, though, James left some explosive material on Lincoln, and it does indeed explode. Simmons surveys Lincoln’s injuries – she thinks he’ll be fine if he stays still. Daisy figures out Coulson’s big plan (put the bomb in the Quinjet and send it into outer space), and she decides she wants to be the one piloting. Daisy is installing the warhead in the Quinjet when Hive finds her. Hive threatens to use Ward’s memories to take over control of the Quinjet, but it’s too late. Lincoln is in the pilot’s seat, and he has already fried the controls. He then zaps Daisy out of the Quinjet and takes off, both he and Hive prepared to die. Daisy radios Lincoln and says this was her destiny, but then she realizes that Lincoln now has the cross necklace. Eventually, Daisy’s vision comes true and the Quinjet explodes.

We end the season finale by flashing forward six months into the future. Daisy has cause an earthquake, and she appears to be on the run. She’s trying to help out the family of the Inhuman who gave her the visions. Coulson and his team try to catch her, but she jumps up onto a rooftop, and they lose her. Coulson says something about having to inform the "Director” about what happened, which means he must have been demoted. Radcliffe, meanwhile, appears to have created a new, sophisticated artificial intelligence. He wanted Fitz to be there to see it, but apparently he’s preparing a surprise for Simmons.

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