Agents of SHIELD has managed to survive through its second season. Despite the ratings having leveled off they are at dangerously low levels. The second season of the show tried to improve on the perceived shortcomings of the first season, but has only managed partly. The goofiness of season 1 has been replaced by subtle humor, but the bland characterization and often disjointed plots have only partly been remedied. Fans are wondering if Joss Whedon’s hands-off approach to production is to blame or Marvel’s insistence on not exploring darker angles to the story. I personally still want this show to further improve, but it has already changed to a show I put up with watching to a show I want to watch.
This weeks two part season finale entitled ‘S.O.S’ is probably the best Agents of SHIELD will ever be. It is relentless in its pacing and unforgiving when it comes to killing or maiming important characters. I can’t and won’t give a full detailed description of all events. I suggest you go and watch the episodes yourself, but I will tell you why you should watch it. Start reading the review below. Be warned, Let there be SPOILERS here!
Agents Of SHIELD Season 2 Finale Review
The episodes starts off at the hidden village of the in-humans. Jiaying has faked Gonzales’s attack on her and uses it to launch an counter-attack on SHIELD. She persuades Skye to stay with her despite Skye’s doubts. May manages to escape the destruction of the village when Jiaying orders Gordon and others to use SHIELD aircraft to continue the deception by blowing up more of the buildings. Cal is transported back to SHIELD headquarters, there Hunter and Fitz become aware Bobbi Morse (Adrianne Palicki) is missing. Before long they discover Agent 33 is responsible for luring Bobbi away.
Infighting at SHIELD makes it difficult for Coulson to make decisions. He begins to suspect that Jiaying has set things up to evoke a war between SHIELD and the in-humans. He decides he needs Skye to try and expose Jiaying. May and Hunter set out after Morse and Agents 33 whom they suspect is helped by Grant Ward. Cal is examined and interrogated, he admits he has been sent by Jiaying to try and destroy SHIELD if possible. Simmons has discovered Cal has taken a dangerous concoction of drugs that might give him supernatural strength. These strengths are activated when he is resuscitated after collapsing.
Meanwhile Skye confronts Raina about what she might have seen in her visions. Raina manages to persuade her that things are not as they seem. Jiaying attempts to stop Raina’s influence over Skye by killing her. However, Skye has seen the murder and for the first time questions Jiaying purpose with attacking SHIELD. One of Jiaying associates knocks Skye out cold when she turns against her mother. Coulson (Clark Gregg) meanwhile has managed to persuade Cal that Jiaying is deliberately turning him against SHIELD and that she does not intend to do what is best for Skye.
Agent 33 and Grant Ward are busy torturing agent Morse. Without any remorse Grant stuffs needles into Morse’s fingers and demands an apology for what she did to agent 33. After an escape attempt Agent 33 tries to kill Morse but can’t do it. Ward decides they should leave and booby-traps the door so the first person walking through it will be killed by a high powered rifle. Grant states he hopes it will be Hunter, so Morse can feel the loss while strapped helplessly in a chair.
Jiaying meanwhile makes her move. She and her in-humans board the SHIELD aircraft carrier and quickly take it over. She declares to the crew she intends to use the Kree crystals to discover who is special and who is not. Mack has managed to elude capture and frees Skye whom Jiaying had taken prisoner. Together they attempt to switch off the distress beacon that is luring SHIELD agents to the carrier.
Hunter and May manage to find the place where Agent 33 and Grant Ward are keeping Morse captive. A fight ensues in which several agents are wounded. May sets a ruse for agent 33. She uses her radio to task all remaining agents to one part of the building. Agent 33 quickly transforms her facial mask into May to try and give those agents new orders, but is instead accidently shot dead by Grant Ward. As Morse hears Hunter coming she manages to topple her chair and allow the high-powered gun to shoot her instead of Hunter. A severely wounded Morse is taken back to SHIELD by May and Hunter.
Back at SHIELD headquarters Coulson plans his move against Jiaying. He takes May and Cal with him. Once on the carrier he receives messages from Mack and Skye about the Kree Crystals. Coulson, Mack and Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) manage to contain Gordon and eventually kill him. However, Coulson touches a crystal. As his hand turns to stone it is cut off by Mack. Jiaying manages to escape with a box of crystals. Skye’s attempts to stop her is answered by Jiaying’s attempts to drain Skye’s life. Only the intervention of Cal secures Skye’s life, at the cost of Jiaying’s.
In the closing scenes of the season it is revealed that Bobbi Morse is recovering from her wounds. She tells Hunter she doesn’t think she has the strength to continue as an agent of SHIELD. Grant Ward seeks out the remainder of HYDRA, after he discovers little of it is left he makes plans to take over the organization. Cal is released, though his memory is wiped. Skye is put in charge of a new team that seeks out those with powers. Mack stays on at SHIELD and becomes responsible for all dangerous artifacts. Coulson deals with his missing hand, but he cannot prevent May from leaving SHIELD as she continues to deal with events that took place in Bahrain. In the final scene of the episode Fitz asks Simmons out for a dinner date. After he leaves Simmons is taken captive by the stone that is held in the glass confinement case.
This two-part episode was about as good as SHIELD could get. It didn’t linger to make full use of the threat that the in-humans posed. This despite the fact that we knew very little about them. Jiaying was an effective villain. Like Darth Vader she meant something to someone and she wasn’t just the unapproachable antagonist with the standard ‘I seek revenge’ backstory. Even in the previous episode when she killed Gonzales I was of two minds as her devious plan to test everybody for powers had not manifested itself. Her death was a necessity even if it means the show will be forced to look for a new one. The death of Raina came as a surprise. Her instinct for survival was countered by her desire to do the right thing, for once. Agents 33 death closed the book on Grant Ward ever joining the light-side. I had my doubts at the beginning of the season whether Grant could be allowed to come back without alienating the audience. In hindsight the brief cooperation between him and SHIELD was well handled. Now that he is responsible for the near death injuries Morse suffered he can never rely on the sympathy from either SHIELD agents nor the audience.
The three characters who have to attempt to glue everything back together again are left in somewhat of a limbo. Mack may be back, but he will still resent Coulson. Skye will doubt she can do the right thing for those with powers if her job is to find and index them. Coulson meanwhile has to deal with an healing organization just as he is dealing with the loss of his left arm. Each of the three characters have undergone the necessary character development to make them more believable. Even though some of the characters development happened reluctantly after it was shoe-horned into the latter part of the season.
Agents of SHIELD is back. It may have just finished its second season but it is definitely back on my radar for it potential to deliver quality TV. Not all future episode of SHIELD can be like ‘S.O.S’, but it is a start. The show has been renewed for a third season which I expect will air sometime late September. This was Agents Of SHIELD Season 2 Finale Review. I hope you enjoyed the finale as I have. I hope you will drop a comment below if you disagree with anything I have said.
Score; 9 / 10. The best Agents of SHIELD episode also happens to be the season 2 finale. What could be better?