Ah Agents of SHIELD you know how to crank my chain, maneuver my emotions and tickle my inner geek/nerd. The season three finale, which has the last two episodes slapped together (Absolution and Ascension) for a complete assault on the sensibilities of the viewers/fans. Not only did you deliver “in spades” but the best ‘Star Wars’ reference ever had this viewer in stitches.
(Yet moments later I was bawling like a kid who has had his Mr. Whippy cone – the ones with a Cadbury flake – nicked at the seaside.)
Before doing a very abbreviated recounting of the finale the comedy gold bits will be looked at first. A real one-two sucker punch combination from SHIELD where we get caught with our pants down laughing. The last of the episode was one long sob fest where not one but two towels were required as tissues would not handle this flood of tears.
The two most hysterical bits in the last half of the finale were made possible by Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg), Agent Fitz (Iain De Caestecker), guest star John Hannah as Holden Radcliffe and at least once by Axle Whitehead (who plays James). “Are they all going to look like these buggers?” he asks plaintively; referring to Radcliffe’s creations. “Even the females?’
Fitz starts the comic ball bouncing with his fake-out of Giyera (Mark Dacascos) who has just knocked out May and is about to kill Fitz. Stammering that they do not really want to hurt anyone as they were all nice people before turning, the agent suddenly produces an “invisible” pistol.
“Well… except you. You were a murderous wank before all this.”
Fitz kills Giyera and releases Daisy.
Coulson and his crew escape from the base and go after Hive and the warhead; absolution. The Quinjet docks on the craft, so similar to when Ward was back on the team as a SHIELD agent and Bill Paxton‘s character was the big bad, and Hive confronts Phil who does a bit of stand-up with his interaction with the parasite.
His many chuckle worthy comments includes his description of Hive:
“I hunted you down and killed you, unleashing this Ward reboot nightmare hell beast on the planet.”
Phil also tries his hand at a pun (See what I did there?):
“I’m just here to offer a helping hand. Pun absolutely intended.”
But the ultimate gag, even better than the joke at Hive’s expense, of not realizing it was talking to “Hologram Phil,” was Coulson’s second stand out ‘Star Wars’ reference…Old school:
“Plus, I always wanted to do this. Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You’re my only …”
Watching that scene was pure magic.
Things get serious soon after. Lincoln gets very badly injured and the team battle the inhuman creations of Radcliffe. Daisy hijacks the nuclear warhead and puts in on the Quinjet; she understands now it is her death she saw in the vision, and plans to take the warhead and Hive into outer space.
Lincoln substitutes himself to “save the girl I love and the planet at the same time.” The jet makes it into space and the Lincoln rides the nuclear device with Hive until it detonates. Before that Daisy is beyond distraught, sobbing and pleading with everyone, especially father-figure Coulson, to turn the jet back and bring it back down.
Hive and Lincoln die.
There is a six month fast forward Phil is no longer Director Coulson. He and Mack are in the field surveilling an “emo” version of Daisy; now no longer with the spy organization and leaving a trail of destruction behind her. She is trying to atone, messily.
Radcliffe has been cleared of crimes committed “under the influence” of Hive, barring “a few stipulations” as he tells Aida while uploading the LMD Phase one. (Fans of the comic verse’s early tales “Squadron Supreme” have been waiting for this moment since the series creation.) Fitz and Simmons now apparently work for Radcliffe; the band has broken up.
There is no sign of Melinda May.
The two hour season three finale was spectacular. ‘Absolution’ actually had the team capture Hive. We got a look into the mind of Radcliffe and one comic moment with his creations.
Lincoln scrambles Hive’s brain which does not necessarily make him less dangerous but it has damaged his thought process…all of them. The first half ends with a desperate Daisy tearfully begging Hive to take her back.
He cannot; as Lash has made her impervious.
Thus begins the start of Hive’s “longest day” as Daisy pitches a hissy fit to end all hissy fits. The two battle for quite some time before he gets the better of her, with a little help. He then begins his plan to turn the world into Radcliffe’s inhuman creations. (Something that really bothers James no end.)
It ends with a pretty impressive reveal; that even an immortal parasite can long for death when it has been alive long enough. Hive goes out in a split-second nuclear flash in space.
There was a lot of teasing from the makers of SHIELD with a number of possibilities of which agent would die. At one point it seems to be Yo Yo, who takes a bullet for Mack, and then later the cross that she gave to Mack appears to point to him.
That cross, the same one Daisy saw in her vision of death, moves all over the place. To Mack, Fitz, Daisy and finally Lincoln (Luke Mitchell). It is he who dies, along with former Agent Grant Ward (although technically Phil killed him before on the planet).
The end of this double episode was heartbreaking. It also seems that “six months” into the future the team have not fared well at all.
The Surrealistic Moment Award goes to Hive (Brett Dalton) and Lincoln for their calm conversation on the Quinjet while waiting for the bomb to detonate.
Honorable mention goes to Hannah’s Radcliffe and his clear discomfort, perhaps even mortification, at the appearance of his creations. Just brilliant.
‘Agents of SHIELD’ ended on a very low note. I must admit to having issues with watching the final finale moments as it is hard to see anything whilst wiping one’s eyes and nose. Seriously it was a shot to the heart to see Daisy all in black and alone again.
All moaning aside, about the heart wrenching scenes of the finale, next season should be brilliant, John Hannah as series regular (top notch that man) and this huge shake up of SHIELD should equal equate to an excellent fourth season.