Agents of SHIELD Recap: “S.O.S.” Parts 1 & 2
Holy bananas, what a season finale of Agents of SHIELD! Though it was a bit low in the ratings, it was a great way to end a season that ultimately was much better than its first outing, especially once we got into the second hour.
The resolution to the major arc of this season – that of Skye and her wacky fam-jam – was much more satisfying than I expected. Jiaying went full Magneto in “S.O.S.” (and full Rogue, too, really) so I’m glad Skye wasn’t fooled by her schemes for long, mother or no. And though my first note while watching the episode was “Never change, Cal,” my sweet sweet cinnamon roll made his way through several life-altering changes over the course of “S.O.S.” He finally made his long-awaited transition into Mister Hyde, only to team up with Other Dad Coulson for the greater good of their girl (though Coulson’s face while Cal was describing his attempts at super-serum was still priceless).
Killing Jiaying so Skye didn’t have to was a kindness, and at his heart, Cal was still a good guy – well, a mostly-good guy – just trying to put his family back together; a family that had endured tragic circumstance after tragic circumstance. Putting him through the T.A.H.I.T.I. program might not have been entirely moral, but it gave Cal the chance to live the life he never had.
For now. This is comics, after all.
Speaking of character losses that are likely impermanent given that this is part of the MCU, poor Raina got Jiaying’d into the end times after finally accepting her new powers and body. I mean, I know Ruth Negga has to go kick some butt on Preacher, but she is a true talent and a real highlight on the show. I hope we get to see her again (“flowers are resilient,” after all).
And though, after his heart-to-heart with Jemma, I was certain Fitz was a gonner (the reebar moment that killed Gordon?! Such a good fake out!), it turns out it was Jemma herself who was gobbled up by the Kree object in the cellar. It was a classic Whedon ending in an episode penned by Mo and Jed, and I want more of that in the show overall – but the moment was admittedly lessened by the fact that I have no doubt we’ll be seeing Simmons again.
Though they were by no means the stars of this episode, May and Mack had some really stand-out moments; May especially, from her fight with Skye (girl, you wouldn’t have stood a chance without your Quake powers) to amazing lines like “I have a headache and I asked a question” in response to Jemma’s “How are you?” Now that Bahrain has been revealed, I’m excited to see May’s character develop a bit in the subsequent season – the cold and detached thing gets old, and Ming-Na is such a talented actress that I’d like to see her given the opportunity to use more range. Mack was a non-stop LOL machine this episode, cracking heads and killing Gordons and taking charge of creepy alien shit; but he also was the only person to really understand Skye’s struggle in all this. I’m so happy he’s going to be sticking around.
Skye certainly was given far more to work with this season, becoming “way more interesting than perfect,” which was a major character pitfall of hers until about mid-way through this year. I’m still not completely sold on her character (I’m sorry!), but I love seeing her kick ass, and I’m stoked to see her start up this pseudo-Secret Warriors team next year. Admittedly a big draw for me to SHIELD was the idea that it would revolve around normal people existing in an Avengers-filled world, but Quake has really given Skye purpose and a reason to develop as a character. Also, I like powers, so I’m cool with it.
I’m also incredibly excited that the SHIELD team never redeemed Ward, and is instead doubling down on his evilness going into season three. I feel for Brett Dalton – it can’t be easy playing the bad guy – but I admit I really liked seeing a microcosm of the SHIELD fandom played out between Bobbi and Agent 33, with both giving arguments about Ward that have been made many times by both sides of the fandom (totally messed up vs. he was abused and is damaged). Agent 33 even dropped a “Stand With Ward” – before she was unceremoniously fridged to provide Ward with a reason to go Full Hydra. Seriously, guys? That’s some lazy-ass writing. Were you watching too much Thor: The Dark World?
The SHIELD team clearly saved their money for this episode, and explosions and fight scenes abounded. I thought “S.O.S.” did a good job of wrapping up this season’s plotlines while still opening the door for new things, including Bobbi and Hunter’s potential exit, Coulson’s new bionic hand (probably), Agent Weaver’s expanded role in SHIELD and the dismantling of BullSHIELD, and TERRIGENISIS FOR EVERYONE EVERYWHERE WHO EATS FISH OIL.
Damn, that’s going to be an interesting start to next season.
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