Watching last night’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was not only an exciting experience, but the season one finale could have won an award for the coolest episode ever. Considering all the complaints from viewers about the Marvel small screen verse of agents and no superheros, not counting the best tie in ever with the Captain America: The Winter Soldier plot affecting the Joss Whedon television version completely, the last season one show delivered, as they used to say, in spades.
The fact is that the show’s plot has been tied in with the big screen movies, for example, most of the first season had to do with Phil Coulson’s dying and then being brought back to life “Tahiti, its a magical place,” was directly influenced by The Avengers. And there were nods and winks to other feature film events.
Crossovers have taken place between the two worlds. Nick Fury made a fast cameo early on in the show’s beginning. Samuel L. Jackson helpfully dropped in to allow his character the chance to “chew out” Agent Coulson for messing up the “bus” that the S.H.I.E.L.D. director had given to Phil and his team.
Fury showed up again last night in what should be considered the best moment in the series so far. When Simmons comes up for air, after dragging an unconscious Fitz with her, as she treads water the sound of a helicopter can be heard and as she shouts for help, the camera zooms in on Jackson as Fury stretching out one hand to grab Simmons’ and pull the two scientists from Coulson’s team to safety.
This was so exciting that for a short while after, Twitter lit up with fans expressing their delight at the event. That Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and its season one finale should get the coolest episode award almost goes without saying. After a season with “shotgun” scheduling, draggy plots and a few false promises, this ultimate episode more than made up for any fan discontent.
A lot of the complaints about season one had to do with no Hulk, Thor, Iron Man, Captain America, or even Natasha Romanoff making even a tiny appearance. Although Lady Sif did make an appearance in one episode, which was itself pretty cool.
The season finale with its inclusion of Nick Fury and the splendid interaction between Coulson and his boss with included the handing over of the reigns of power and the mandate to rebuild S.H.I.E.L.D. made the former director of the agency an integral part of the plot. On top of this touching moment there was the comic exchange between Fury and his “one good eye” about the meaning of Fury’s catchphrase and Garrett’s self-centered misinterpretation of it.
Other “coolest” moments included Coulson being reunited with his “Loki” gun; his almost off-hand destruction of Garrett while the “super soldier” was in mid rant, Skye’s diss of Ward, Fitz’s declaration of love for Simmons, did anyone else have to reach for the tissues for that one? On top of all that was the epic battle between Melinda May and Grant Ward where sharp objects and nail shooting guns were used, and in one case gave May the edge she wanted over her former lover, there was also time for some deft comic touches and some other touching moments in the show.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. in its season one finale certainly should have gotten the coolest episode award, just for the appearance of Nick Fury alone. Add in all those other memorable moments and this show was easily the best and perhaps most touching of the entire 22 episodes. All the characters reached a sort of arc in the end and it looks like Grant Ward will be getting his just deserts. Bottom line? This was, hands down, so cool.
By Michael Smith