Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1 Review “Beginning of the End”

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D Episode 22 Beginning of the End (5)

It’s been a big week for Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD fans! We not only got the news that this series has been renewed for a second season, but we’ve learned that Marvel has picked up a brand new show as a companion piece: Marvel’s Agent Carter! Not only that, but this series has been bumped to 9 PM next season to avoid it’s big competition in NCIS, and it will be the only returning series on Tuesday nights! It’s clear that ABC has developed a lot of trust in this series, and seeing as how much the season has improved in these past few episodes, I can’t blame them. Tonight’s season finale “Beginning of the End” acted as a great conclusion to the “Uprising” set of episodes since Captain America 2 released, and it also led beautifully into the next season.

The brief opening scene at Cybertek was a pretty fun. It was a funny contrast seeing such a bright and cheery office controlling an army of deadly super soldiers, and it reminded me quite a bit of another Joss Whedon project Cabin in the Woods. The whole idea of a bunch of office drones being involved in such dark and terrible work is always amusing, but the big reveal that the employees’ family members were being held certainly added a disturbing layer to it.

I’m not sure how I felt about Ward suddenly having second thoughts about his decision to stick with Hydra. Sure, Garrett went a little crazy when he “saw the universe” and all, but it seems like they were trying to backpedal a bit on this decision to make Ward evil. It was just a week ago where Ward barely seemed to hesitate before shooting Fitz and Simmons out of The Bus into the middle of the ocean, so talking about how he’s not “a true believer” and appearing to have second thoughts seems to be setting him up for a change of heart next season. Thankfully he didn’t change his mind this week, setting things up for a great fight scene between him and May, but it looks like he’ll backtrack on his evilness next season for sure. I wish he was staring daggers at Coulson at the end, vowing never to change, but instead he looked all guilty and defeated like a sad little puppy. I really hope I’m wrong with this.

Oh, and speaking of Ward jettisoning FitzSimmons, they did a bit of backpedaling on this as well. Of course the two of them were able to science their way out of the situation, but they did have a nice heart-to-heart before swimming out of their box. Although I do love Simmons, and I’m glad Fitz was finally able to admit his feelings for her, I kinda wished that Fitz had succumbed to his injuries. It seems like there wasn’t a lot of stakes for Coulson’s team, with no deaths to speak of, and just about everything going their way. Everything was just too…convenient

I would have to say that was my biggest problem with Samuel L. Jackson’s cameo as Nick Fury: It was just way too convenient. He was somehow able to be floating just above the water when Fitz and Simmons surfaced, and then he just appeared right next to Coulson in that boiler room with Garrett. Seriously, how did he get in there?! Wasn’t that place crawling with super soldiers with the sole purpose of defending Garrett? Somebody who looks like a homeless dude is able to walk right in?

Thankfully Fury’s return did lead to the big showdown with Coulson about why he raised him from the dead, and why he kept it a secret. I was very thankful for Fury to point out the huge advantages to the TAHITI project, mainly that Fury was alive and (supposedly) totally fine. I mentioned in my review a few weeks back that the downsides to TAHITI were vastly outweighed by their upsides, so I was glad to have Fury point this out to Coulson. It was also touching having Fury tell Coulson that he did use the program to resurrect an Avenger, which was even more touching when you remember just how much Coulson idolizes everybody on that team. I loved that Coulson has now become the director of SHIELD, and has been tasked with bringing the agency back to power again. I assume this is what the rest of the series will be about, and I was very glad to see that Patton Oswalt will be returning as well!

The tag at the end with one of Skye’s parents seeing her pictures, with their hand dripping in blood, was a fittingly mysterious and intriguing way to end the season. It looks like this will be a major mystery in the next season, and I can’t wait to find out more!

Random Thoughts:

– I might have mentioned this last week, but having characters trapped in a box at the bottom of the sea gave me a big deja vu to another Joss Whedon series: Angel. If you haven’t watched the series yet, I implore you to do so.

– It was a bit surprising that Garrett’s explosive death was so gruesome. That’s probably the most violent thing I’ve ever seen on ABC.

– They have to have Coulson in Avengers 2 now, right?!