Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1, Episode 22: "Beginning Of The End" Review"

B.J. BRITT, CLARK GREGG

In Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s first season finale entitled “Beginning Of The End”, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) teams up with Coulson to put an end to Garrett. Meanwhile, Fitz and Simmons are trapped in a capsule at the bottom of the ocean.

Continue reading for a spoiler filled recap of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1, Episode 22.

Let’s Discuss What Happened!

Beginning Of The End: “There’s a reason why they say cut off the head. Now I’ll be unsto ….” Oh Garrett/Bill Paxton, you shall be missed, but that cyborg outfit could use some work.

Capping off a solid run of episodes the season finale delivered another fine hour of entertainment which included a showdown between Ward vs May, Nick Fury swooping in to save the day and Coulson blasting away the super soldiers with the mega gun from Avengers. As satisfying as the fan service moments are, and there are a lot of them, the finale is not my favorite episode of the season.

The finale tried to give us a heartbreaking loss and final scenes that’ll keep us talking until next season but what we got was a pulled punch on Fitz’s sacrifice, more vague hints as to who Skye’s parent could be and some head scratching over Coulson’s weird alien drawings.

I’m not advocating my boy Fitz should have died, what happened to him off-screen will likely come into play in Season 2, but it’s symptomatic of the show playing it safe when it should get it hands dirty. It’s not so much that the finale is formulaic, but as it rightly should, it’s focus is to wrap up the season’s overarching story and give a sense of closure to several characters. That’s a lot to accomplish and for the most part it’s well done.

Ready To Kick Some Ass: While there are some decent special effects, to a large degree the show is handcuffed with a TV budget which meant that Graviton remained in lockdown. And airing at the 8 pm timeslot meant that the act of pulling a rib out of the military general and bashing his head with it was out of the camera’s view.

But these same restrictions and limitations, didn’t stop Buffy’s season finales, another Whedon related TV show, from having a story with a lot of heart and more gut-wrenching epic moments like Fitz-Simmons in the capsule.

Under The Sea: It may sound like I’m down on the finale but there is a lot to like. Fitz and Simmons had the strongest scenes for me because they offered an emotional punch that wasn’t prevalent in the main story at Cybertek facilities.

In “F.Z.Z.T.” Simmons sacrificed herself for the team by jumping out of the plane into the ocean so it’s a sort of a callback and great character moment to have Fitz return the favour. He finally had the courage to acknowledge his love for Simmons and he demonstrated it by giving up his life – well almost.

In facing their mortality, the conversation about being part of the universe was touching and in character with how scientific minds would think. Plus it thematically connected to what Garrett was rambling on about.

Monsters & Men: As crazy as Garrett became, he was a joy to watch. Bill Paxton did a great job with his lines that could easily come as across as corny. A part of me wishes he would return for another season but it’s funny how that idea literally got blown to bits by Coulson.

Due to the writing and acting choices, one of the issues I have with Ward is the inconsistency to how he’s portrayed. This could be a side effect of making him completely villainous one moment then seemingly setting up his redemption the next without committing to either. Another example is the actor’s evil smug face when fighting May, which feels out of character compared to his look when he dispatched Fitz-Simmons into the ocean. Skye had a great line about Ward, “you’re not evil, you’re just weak” but their verbal stand off wasn’t nearly as good as in “Nothing Personal”.

Agents-Of-SHIELD-Season-1-finale-poster

Rebuilding S.H.I.E.L.D.: Got to hand it to big time movie star Samuel L. Jackson for being a good sport in his guest appearances on the TV show. I get the feeling he’s a huge fan of MCU, he’s not just doing the show as some sort of contractual obligation as far as I know.

Nick Fury and Coulson had some funny back and forth lines, playing off of each other very well. Such a good moment for Coulson to finally confront Fury on his resurrection, then to be honoured as an Avenger. I’m actually more interested in how new Director Coulson will rebuild S.H.I.E.L.D. than what he wrote on the wall. At the beginning of the season, there were theories that Coulson was a life model decoy which didn’t turn out to be the case but in a nice twist it looks like Agent Koenig is one.

The Wrap Up

In the wrap up section of last week’s episode, I anticipated that if Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. follows a traditional Joss Whedon finale, the major story line of the season would be resolved, the conflict with the big bad wrapped up, and possibly lots of heartbreak. Two of three isn’t bad at all. I do give a lot of credit to all the fan service moments and funny lines which are too many to list. While there are some issues that hold me back from giving the finale an A grade, the show considerably improved in the last stretch of episodes and hopefully Season 2 will build off of it.

Last but not least a very Big Thanks to all of you for supporting these recaps/reviews. Every view, like, link, follow and/or comment are greatly appreciated. It’s been a lot of fun to experience this new series with you. I’ll be closely following Season 2 but it’s likely I won’t be continuing with episode recaps of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. My goal is to expand my horizons by writing about all sorts of different topics that hopefully you’d be interested in as well. However, I’m open to covering the show in another format from time to time.

Was the season finale the best episode so far? Any predictions on who is Skye’s father?

 

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