That's how you do a midseason finale Walking Dead peeps. What a great hour of TV!
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3 Episode 10 definitely had its work cut out for it. Not only did the episode need to tie up several loose ends giving us resolution to certain arcs, but we were also expecting that kick ass cliffhanger. I think the installment delivered on all counts. This one's right up there with last year's Daisy/Quake reveal.
It's such a shame that Marvel fans who abandoned the series in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1 (as I did), haven't found their way back. This is a completely different show guys, and everyone is at the top of their game. Yeah, I'm in for the long haul, folks.
I loved that we picked up right where we left off after the credits of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3 Episode 9. The back and forth between the alien planet and S.H.I.E.L.D./HYDRA at the castle in England was a tad frustrating.
Don't get me wrong, I realize there were many loose ends to wrap up, but I just wanted to spend more time on the alien planet. That's what made Jemma's solo episode so unique and brilliant. We were completely locked into her story – no cuts back to Earth. I don't feel cheated, though; things played out the way they were supposed to, and we even got some decent resolution.
You've got to admire Fitz for making a play for Ward's gun, but it was clearly an awful idea. Still, I enjoyed the way he stood up to the bastard and not once seemed afraid. I wasn't sure what to make of that giant HYDRA shrine the group spied in the distance. Sure, it reconfirmed Gideon Malick's story but in reality it just opened up a whole new can of worms. Hopefully we'll learn more when the series returns.
Hunter and Bobbi brought Mack up to speed, but my favorite moment was Joey questioning the nature of the mission. Hunter's response was perfect, "This is how S.H.I.E.L.D. works. Make a plan. Plan turns to rubbish. Make a new plan." This more assertive and confident Mack was the leader Coulson knew he could be. None of this ringing Phil up for advice. Two teams went in and Mack made sure every angle was taken care of (including the captive Inhumans).
Of course, HYDRA was making plans of their own when Jemma interrupted.
Gideon: So how long do we have once the portal reopens?
Mr. Giyera: 73 seconds.
Simmons: He's wrong. Your team's calculations are off at 61. 12 seconds might not seem like much, but on that planet it can be the difference between life and death.
Gideon: Thank you.
Simmons: I'm not doing it for you. Don't want you all mucking up Fitz's return.
Gideon: Did you notice the Hebrew word Maveth carved around the castle?
Gideon: That's right, well death is the only thing returning through that portal. Fitz is just an offering to show it the door.
That sure didn't sound good for Fitz, but I had a strong sense he would make it back. It's interesting that Gideon has always referred to the entity as "it," right? Now that we know the thing is some kind of parasite, isn't it possible it will take the form of the woman the mad Titan Thanos falls in love with? There's still a tiny chance that MCU connection may come to pass. I was expecting a humanoid Inhuman, definitely not a slug. If you have any thoughts on all this, please feel free to share them with me below.
Anyway, so the castle conveniently had a massive aqueduct system that allowed our heroes to approach undetected. Joey melted the huge gate and they were in. Yeah, I really came to appreciate his powers on this mission. The Secret Warrior worked pretty well together for a bunch of newbies. I'm excited to see how they tackle the "hell beast" in the second half of the season.
Back on the blue planet, Fitz's sarcasm about hailing said hell beast was hilarious. What IS Hydra thinking, seriously? Do they think they can control it? I didn't expect Fitz to jump into Will's hatch and find the guy. Wasn't it great that Will recognized him instantly?
It was no surprise Ward behaved like a total a-hole. Can you imagine if Ward hadn't seen the "NASA" logo and killed Will/It? That certainly would have ended the season quickly. Ward rubbing in the fact Will kept Jemma warm was plain cruel. The guy is vile, good thing he's now a full-fledged supervillain.
I wasn't expecting to see Rosalind again, but it was a nice surprise the way she got Phil to "Get up!" Coulson's remark about Tatooine made my week. Clark Gregg has the best delivery. You've got to love the Disney corporate synergy, right?
The interactions between Fitz and Will were terrific. In another life, those two might have been pals. The minute Will recognized the word HYDRA and mentioned the blood on Fitz's forehead, I had the sinking feeling he wasn't Will at all.
Fitz: Ward works for the same group that sent you here. They've been sending people over for centuries.
Fitz: Their real agenda is to find the creature and bring it back.
Will: Ward found a way to bring it back?
Fitz: No, I did. To get Simmons back.
Ward and Will shared their own little moment, which reconfirmed that Jemma's space guy was history. Ward brought up the HYDRA shrine, and we learned "It" used to live there. However, Will denied ever seeing other people on the planet. If that's the case, what about the traces of civilization on that world? There are still so many questions left unanswered.
Do you think we'll return to the blue planet before the season is over? I found it curious, if not a tad disappointing, that the creature could affect the weather and create those storms yet Fitz "killed" it so easily. Wasn't it supposed to be insanely powerful?
Will took out a couple of HYDRA goons the old fashioned way, so I'm assuming he didn't want to tip Fitz off. I guess I was just expecting a more powerful entity after all the build up. Perhaps they're saving that for the second half of the season?
This gave Coulson some time to catch up with Ward. Considering how well trained Ward is, Coulson held his own pretty well. The robot hand didn't hurt, that's for sure. I confess, I never expected Phil to crush Ward's chest like that. It was fairly brutal for our hero. I'm curious to see if that act will change Phil Coulson, despite the fact it was totally necessary.
Simmons has become quite the field agent, hasn't she? She managed to get herself free and wound up releasing Andrew/Lash. Am I sucker to believe that he would never hurt Jemma? Still, I knew the Inhumans HYDRA had in stasis were goners. Will we ever get some solid answers regarding Lash and his agenda? Ultimately, the Secret Warriors took down Mr. Giyera and everyone gathered in the portal chamber.
Like Coulson, I had no idea what Ward was rambling on about, but in retrospect his words made total sense. What a difference a post credit scene makes, eh? Boy, is Ward/It going to give S.H.I.E.L.D. a hard time in the second half of the season.
Ward: You know, everyone had this place wrong. It isn't death. It's a new beginning. Malick was right, this was all meant to be. The fact that you followed me here. That we're in this together. That just confirms the fact that I am part of a grand plan. I see that now.
Coulson: I honestly have no idea what you're talking about.
Ward: You will.
I think it was pretty clear Grant Ward's time was up. In that current incarnation anyway. As a superpowered villain, the character's suddenly become interesting again. Which reminds me, I'm still confused about whether or not the evil entity is an Inhuman. That's certainly what Malick seemed to believe, but he could have been mistaken.
Didn't the alien life form appear to be a parasite that requires a host? Doesn't it stand to reason that "it" was actually Will Daniels all along? Sure, he claimed to have killed Will the day Jemma left, but there were no other beings around. Does this mean that Jemma slept with the creature? I hope there's no evil alien baby storyline in the near future. Fitz snapped a few photos of the alien civilization, so I don't think we've seen the last of the blue planet.
In the end, Fitz figured out Will was the evil entity and took him out with a flare gun. Great VFX, but it was sad to see the character go. I guess I had my own expectations of where the writers were heading with that triangle. They killed it pretty darn quick, so I can't complain since I'm not a fan of love triangles. Coulson crushing Ward was surprising, but it had to happen for the greater good. The entity clearly keeps its hosts memories, and Coulson's robot arm is proof that vengeance is on, baby!
Mack ordered the team back to Zephyr One to nuke the castle. He stepped up big time, and I felt proud of his determination and self-sacrifice. How did Ward/It manage to get clear of the devastation in time? Our heroes escaped via the containment pod, but boy was that a close one. The closing scene was quite emotional and yes Jemma looking for Will broke my heart. Coulson and Fitz locked eyes, they share the secret of Ward's demise. Wow!
Honestly, Evil Ward was slightly predictable, but what's coming next is going to be hell on our heroes. I admit, the creature's power is still not clear to me, but we'll find out just how nasty he is soon enough. Sure, these hiatuses are ridiculously annoying, but unlike The Walking Dead Season 6 Episode 8 this was a proper midseason finale. What was the TWD showrunner thinking?
Was "Maveth" the game changer you were expecting? Is Coulson a changed man? Do FitzSimmons stand a chance now? Are the Secret Warriors any match for Evil Ward? You're up fellow S.H.I.E.L.D. fanatics, please sound off in the comments below. Look for our final Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Round Table of 2015 later this week.
This finale demands another look. Watch Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. online via TV Fanatic.
NOTE: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3 Returns on Tuesday, March 8, 2016. In the meantime, catch Marvel’s Agent Carter starting January 5 at 9/8c on ABC.