With its ups and downs, season one of the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has given fans a finale to remember, Beginning of the End with Nick Fury in what has to be the coolest moment of the show, so cool that a certain author had to live tweet the excitement coursing through his veins when the director showed up at just the right time. Although to be fair, the show’s producers managed to cram so many cool moments in this last episode that it more than makes up for the sluggish pace and lack of big screen cameos that plagued the show from the start.
At the beginning of the episode we see HYDRA setting up their new headquarters and actively recruiting new minions to defeat the remnants of S.H.I.E.L.D. Last week Phil, Skye, Melinda May and Triplett were surrounded by super soldiers who moved in to defeat the little band. May literally brings the roof down on the baddies while Skye activates her trojan horse.
Meanwhile, Garrett is reacting pretty erratically to his GH-325 injection much to Quinn’s disgust, as all the miracle drug was used on his boss there is not any left over to make more super soldiers. Raina reassures him and action focuses on agents Fitz and Simmons trapped at the bottom of the ocean. The two have a long heart to heart about their imminent death.
Back at team Coulson, the little group go over their plans one last time before attacking Garrett and his cronies. Phil quotes Nick Fury as a kind of forecast for the director’s later arrival. Garrett has evolved into some sort of all-knowing, all-seeing creature “plugged into everything” he has, at last, become the Clairvoyant. Flowers, aka Raina, finally gets her question answered and Fitz and Simmons figure out how to get out of their pod.
The two scientific team members actually come up with a nice theory about not actually dying but going back into the energy pool to help some other creature to live just before they work out exactly how to “blow” the pod’s window.
At HYDRA headquarters, Quinn is giving his sales pitch to the military bigwigs as the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents that are left; Phil, Triplett, Skye and May prepare to crash the party. Super soldiers converge on the two men as they create a window for the two women to get in the building.
The four-star general is being difficult and doesn’t realise that Garrett is not only mad as a hatter but deadly as well. The pushy military man learns this last lesson just before being dispatched with extreme prejudice by Garrett. Raina leaves, happy with the answer she got from John. Before she goes, however, Flowers tells Ward that he needs to get Skye.
Coulson and Triplett are trapped in their assault vehicle by the soldiers while Skye and Melinda May crash the control center causing the directive on the soldiers to be reset to default which is to protect Garrett “at all costs.” John finally gives Grant an order to grab Skye after she calls him to let him know that Phil is still alive and Garrett tells her that Fitz and Simmons are dead.
Meanwhile back at the pod, after setting up the window to blow out so they can escape, Fitz gives Simmons the only oxygen that can be used to get up to the surface. He declares his love for his colleague and as they both hold each other, crying, he blows the window. Simmons is then seen coming out of the pod dragging the unconscious Fitz with her.
When the two reach the surface, none other than Nick Fury is there. Leaning from a helicopter, hand outstretched to pull them from the ocean. Oh…my…goodness. What a show stopping and cool moment.
On top of all the episode’s action, which includes Phil Coulson being reintroduced to an old friend, think Loki and “So that’s what it does,” and the loyal S.H.I.E.L.D. operative, and Nick Fury’s good right eye, learning he is an Avenger after all, there is at least one tear inducing moment if not two. Grant Ward gets his just deserts as May kicks his naughty behind, during a battle that includes a power saw, a table saw and an air nailer. Plus Skye shows that she can be professional enough to deliver under pressure.
Coulson gets the final word about Garrett after Fury springs into action. This is undoubtedly the coolest and most memorable moment out of the whole show. Although this action seemed to be a signal of sorts to increase the level of cool acts, moments and lines in this season one finale. Beginning of the End, with Nick Fury re-appearing to save the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was crammed full of a whole season’s worth of brilliance in its last episode. By the end of the show, Flowers certainly looks to be a continuing problem in season two and Mike Peterson apparently will continue to fight, only this time against HYDRA. And what’s going on with Coulson and that wall? #AgentsOfShield will be back in the fall and oh what a long wait until then.
By Michael Smith