1 The Mickey Mindset: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D "Beginning of the End" Finale In-Depth Recap and Review

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D "Beginning of the End" Finale In-Depth Recap and Review


Mitchell Stein- Almost a year ago, I was unsure of where this TV show would be heading. I loved Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) in the Avengers films, but if there's anything I dislike, it's when characters are resurrected after the studio realizes killing them off was a bad idea.

Well, I will say I'm glad that Coulson was brought back to life, otherwise Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D would have felt a bit of a boring show if he weren't, and becuase of this mistake, the writers needed to create a story to back it up. They introduced the TAHITI project, which we keep finally digging up and learning more about the way that Coulson was brought back to life. When Nick Fury showed up in last night's episode, I was super excited. Finally! It was time to get some answers from the man himself. What is the TAHITI project? Why was Coulson brought back to life? But the answers just continue to pile up, and Fury doesn't really answer any questions but just leave Coulson in the dark even more. The entire season, Coulson was chasing after Fury looking for answers, but finally he shows up with no answers and Phil just lets him go on his way, without getting the answers he's looking for.

I really liked where the show was going with this whole T.A.H.I.T.I project, but it was time to wrap things up on that case already. Questions are piling up too much, and it's time to give us the info we're waiting for, before we get bored and give up on waiting for the answers. I give this show one more season to wrap up all these loose ends before they pull a "Lost" and leave all the answers open or pretend like they never even happened.

Above that complaint, this season has been nothing short of incredible. At first, a bunch of ordinary agents fighting crime didn't really appeal to me all that much, but it was Marvel, so I chose to watch it. I was rather disappointed with the pilot episode, but things picked up really quickly with it's next episode, "0-8-4", but it was the next episode "The Asset" that really got me hooked. It introduced many important plotpoints that will come into place in future episodes, and was really exciting and fun.
The first nine episodes took some time establishing the story and all, but shortly after returning from the holiday hiatus, things really picked up with gripping nail-biting mysteries and betrayal, and the rise of Hydra.

Last night's story begins with "the clairvoyant" John Garrett, who just got a major boost of GH-325 and seems to be going mad, at least in the eyes of Ward. Garrett has completely gone off the course of the plan, and keeps speaking about seeing things behind his eyes and stuff, which Raina finds quite interesting and impressive. Apparently, Raina and Garrett have the same sort of abilities and so do Skye, who we found out is an 0-8-4 earlier this season.
During Garrett's crazy outbursts, Ward is growing suspicious and less on board with Garrett in the operation. Much of the time it seemed like Ward was having a change of heart (like not killing Fitz-Simmons in the last episode) and would end up being the good guy. I was totally speculating that Ward would end up having a change of heart and would be welcomed back in open arms back into the group, which did not end up happening, (and I was glad), but I'll talk about that more in a moment.

It was nice to see the spotlight a lot more on Mike Peterson again. If you look at it, he's really the one that brought the S.H.I.E.L.D agents together in the first place, so he actually plays an integral role in the origins of the show. I liked the story plot with Mike being forced to become the next Deathlok, but now that Garrett is dead, he's free and now allowed to go back to his son! Except he doesn't.
Once Mike becomes Deathlok, the only thing he wants it to be reunited with his son again, just like things were before, but when the clairvoyant is gone (for now at least) he chooses not to go to his son, for he's concerned that his son will see what kind of monster he has become, so in trying to help him not see what you become...he won't see you at all? This didn't really make any sense to me, and I find it frustrating that they choose to continue with this Mike & Ace story with the same plot for another season. How long can they keep this up for already? Hoping this will wrap up early next season and move on.

Throughout the episode, I thought they would pull a typical cliche with Ward, and have him somehow save the day and then they'll magically forgive him and welcome him back into the group as I mentioned earlier. Luckily that didn't happen.

Although Ward does seem to have a bit of a change of heart the past couple of episodes, mainly because of his feelings for Skye, he's a rotten, back-stabbing villain who killed countless people. Although he's been evil from the start, the reveal was completely shocking and well-done, putting us on the same level as the other agents and making us feel just as shocked as the characters in the show. I think I liked his betrayal element on the show, but it killed my liking for the character in retrospect, and he murdered Patton Oswalt's character (which I'll weigh more on later) so I can never forgive Ward for that.

I also thought that they could have possibly gone a different way and have him be the hero of the episode, but then fall to his cinematic death, and then be deemed a hero. None of that happened, and they went the opposite direction and his justice is serving time in solidarity confinement, (although I have no idea where they'll be holding him, as SHIELD doesn't exist anymore). I would have liked it if they killed him off at this point, so we wouldn't have to see him again, but since they have not, I'm positive this will not be the last we've seen of Grant Ward.

How fantastic were Fitz-Simmons in this episode? We really need to see more of this side of the characters. They have a few various episodes where they really shine, and they play well into the story. But the other half of the time they are just two annoying science-sidekicks who spout out random scientific terms that no one ever understands. When they get their chance to shine and sacrifice themselves for each other and the group is when they are really fantastic. There are some episodes where their roles are really well written and I actually enjoy the characters in the story. Many SHIELD fans will disagree with me on this one, but that's my own opinion.

My favorite would probably have to be in the episode "F.Z.Z.T." where Simmons sacrifices herself for the rest of the group by jumping out of a plane. That was the first time I actually cared about these characters. Before that, they were just annoying to me.
In this episode, the roles are reversed and Fitz sacrifices himself to save Simmons, which puts him in limbo and left his fate unanswered for now but to be explored in season two.

Now about Patton Oswalt:
Okay, so this is a bit of a rant. When they introduced Patton Oswalt to play Agent Eric Koenig, I was excited, because I'm a fan of Oswalt, he's a fantastic and hilarious actor and he fit in really well. So when Ward killed him, I was pretty bummed, but I got over it the character death.
When they re-introduced Patton back to the show last night, I had mixed feelings. On one hand, I love Patton, but I hate character resurrections. To make matters worse, they revealed that Patton Oswalt is not Eric Koening, but rather, Bobby Koening, his identical brother! It seems that whenever a Marvel character dies, they come up with some excuse to bring them back. I love everything Marvel so, so much but please Marvel, even if you kill off my favorite characters, just please, leave them dead. Please think twice about killing them off in the first place so you don't have to come up with excuses for their return. Please. Character deaths strengthen my love for the series, so don't come up with any more excuses to bring back dead people.

If I didn't know better, I'd say the writers quickly came up with an excuse for bringing back Oswalt after they saw the out-pour of love after the character death.

That aside: Was John Garrett really the Clairvoyant? I'm not convinced he actually was, and I still believe there's someone far above him pulling the strings. They also need to wrap up the story with Skye's parents, which WILL be covered next season as the teaser at the end promised, plus, I do hope Gravitonium has a prominent role in the next season, which I'm certain it will. They just quickly got to wrap up the current questions they have right now quickly before people get bored of them.

Overall, really fantastic first season. It went places most first seasons don't and normally don't attempt making it one of the greatest breakout TV shows in recent history. The Captain America: The Winter Soldier tie-in was incredible (the Thor: The Dark World tie-in not so much). It looks like they didn't even bother to do a tie-in to Guardians of the Galaxy in theaters August 1st. I'm just curious if Guardians and the Avengers will ever cross over (maybe in Days of Ultron? Who knows?)

 I really feel sorry for the people who chose to give up after it's mixed pilot episode, because things really picked up shortly afterwards. It's been nail-biting and gripping, hilarious and exciting.
Maybe we'll even get an appearance by one of the Avengers next season! I really hope one of these guys make an appearance in some future Marvel movie, most preferably in The Avengers: Days of Ultron for May 2015.

Can't wait to see what the writers have ready for us next season.

The Mickey Mindset: mickeymindset@gmail.com

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