In the Fall, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. premiered amid high hopes and even more hype. The show started out a bit rocky but found its footing and then blew us away with some surprising treachery and a whole lot of Hailing HYDRA. Now we’ve reached the season one finale and it’s a tense hour, agents. Our team tries to outsmart HYDRA, not knowing Garrett is powered up by Deathlok tech and the Centipede serum. Also, FitzSimmons is facing a watery grave unless they think of something quick, and Nick Fury drops in to lend a helping hand as we come to the “Beginning of the End.”
What you need to know:
Ward wants out: A man interviews for a position at Cybertek because he’s interested the incentives program. He gets to see first hand what Cybertek does as a monitor shows their super soldiers attacking Coulson’s team in the basement of the barber shop. Trip gets pummeled before May uses an alien power staff to destroy the goons and the building. Garrett receives word that Coulson got away but he doesn’t care because he’s juiced up on Centipede serum. Through Ward we learn Garrett’s alliance with HYDRA was a symbiotic relationship to find a cure for himself. Now that he’s feeling “alive with power,” Garrett promises to reward Ward with whatever he wants, which seems to be getting out of HYDRA.
Paying a visit to Cybertek: Back on their plane, Coulson reports FitzSimmons managed to tag the Bus with their tracker but aren’t answering their phones now. They arrive at Cybertek and, thanks to a hole Trip and Coulson blow in the wall, May and Skye get in pretty easily. They threaten all the workers with a bomb and grab the handler. While that happens upstairs, down in the super soldier construction lab, Ian Quinn shows off their tech to the US military officers. Garrett saunters in with his crazy on full display, threatening the military guys if they don’t give Cybertek whatever they want. Glenn Morshower (whose character name was never mentioned and doesn’t appear on IMDB) balks at Garrett’s disrespect so the supped up soldier provides a demo: he rams a hand into Morshower’s chest and pulls out a rib, then stabs him with it. UGH!
Fitz breaks our hearts: Meanwhile, at the bottom of the ocean, FitzSimmons is still in their pod. Fitz has a broken arm and has spent some determining their situation is hopeless while Simmons was knocked out. They discuss what death is like and Simmons waxes poetic about the cycle of life, dust to dust or rather atoms to atoms. Fitz is just about to tell he he’s in love with her when she figures out they can build a compressed explosive to blow open the window. When it’s ready, he rigs the only oxygen tank to help her make it to the surface but she protests, not wanting to leave him. When she yells that he’s her best friend, he tearfully confesses she’s more than that to him. “I couldn’t find the courage to tell you,” he says. “So please, let me show you.” Simmons hugs him, kissing his face in the midst of her tears. Fitz pushes the button to trigger the explosive and Simmons takes the tank and Fitz with her to the surface. A helicopter hovers over them almost immediately and Nick Fury grabs Simmons’ outstretched hand. She wakes shortly after in a decompression chamber and learns Fitz is barely alive. Fury asks for info on where Coulson is so he can lend a hand.
Best lovers spat ever: In a conversation with Raina, Ward expresses his disgust for Garrett’s insanity and her apathy. She tells him he needs to get Skye because her still mysterious ability will be essential in the future. This wish is quickly fulfilled when Garrett gets a phone call from Skye, who is in Cybertek, and orders Ward to get her. He arrives just after she’s informed the handler all the soldiers have been switched to “default directive,” meaning they have to stop what they’re doing and protect Garrett. Skye hits Ward where it hurts, calling him weak rather than evil because he does whatever Garrett tells him. He fires back that he knows she won’t detonate the bomb but she shrugs it off, saying she has something better that will destroy him. “Why’s that?” Ward asks. “Because you slept with her and she’s really pissed off.” May launches herself at the traitor and they have a brutal knock down, drag out fight. It culminates with her nail gunning his foot to the ground, delivering a punch to the throat and then knocking him out.
All about the perks: Speaking of knock outs, Coulson discovers his old pal Garrett has had some upgrades since last they fought. Thankfully, Fury arrives and gives him the Destroyer gun he died with in The Avengers. “I know what it does,” Coulson deadpans. He blasts away Garrett’s soldiers and Fury unloads a clip into Garrett who shakes it off. Deathlok looms nearby, awaiting orders. He gets a different message on his display though. See, Skye has found Cybertek’s “incentives program,” which is actually the employees’ loved ones who are kept imprisoned as motivation. Most importantly, this means she finds Mike Peterson’s son, Ace. The boy sends his dad a message via Skye’s phone, which has been connected to Deathlok’s mechanical eye the whole time. “What are we, Dad?” Ace asks. “We’re a team.” Instantly, Deathlok sends a missile into Garrett’s chest and then smashes his face with his boot while Fury and Coulson stand and watch, with no small amount of pleasure.
Starting over: With the fighting done, we take stock of the damage. May fractured Ward’s larynx and Coulson promises some future psychological and physical pain so Ward will tell them everything he knows about HYDRA. Too ashamed of what he’s done, Deathlok decides not to reunite with his son but to go fight the good fight alone as penance. Garrett, who should’ve definitely been dead, awakens and drags himself into the Deathlok machine. It attaches legs, arms, and a chest plate while he screams in pain. He stands, looking triumphant, before Coulson pulverizes him with a found energy weapon. On his own Bus again, Coulson berates Fury for bringing him back from the dead. The Director protests, saying he did it because the program was designed to rebuild an Avenger and that’s what Coulson is. He charges the agent with rebuilding S.H.I.E.L.D. from scratch, handing him a “toolbox” to help him along. The team reunites with Simmons and arrives at a new secret base where they’re greeted by… Agent Koenig. Well, Billy Koenig (Eric’s twin?) who is also played by Patton Oswalt. He asks Coulson, “So…where would you like to start?”
The next chapter: Raina visits a mysterious man in a darkened room and tells him she’s found his daughter. The figure, whose arm drips with blood(?), holds a picture of Skye. That night, Coulson gets up from bed and takes a knife to the wall. He starts making the same extraterrestrial type markings crazy Garrett had drawn earlier.
Coulson: “So what do you say? Are you ready to change the world?”
May: “No, but I’m ready to kick some ass.”
Coulson: “That works too”
When Garrett rammed his hand into Glen Morshower’s chest I definitely thought we were about to have a Once Upon a Time heart-ripping-out moment. Evil Regina would’ve been proud, Garrett.
Fury: “You don’t have to call me sir, Coulson. Look at me. I’m dressed like I live under a bridge.”
During their fight, Ward pins May to the ground.
“Reminds me of the old days,” he leers.
May: “You were never on top.”
Raina gets to the heart of the problem that is Ward by asking him if he’s really a monster or if that’s just what Garrett made him into. “I don’t know,” he replies.
Glenn Morshower asks Quinn about Garrett who is clearly insane.
“This is your strategy consultant?”
Quinn: “He’s…part time.”
After tonight’s gruesome death and his death in X-Men: First Class, I’m going to say Morshower has some seriously bad luck with Marvel.
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