Marvel’s AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. Recap: “Beginning of the End”

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And so we close the first chapter on the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.  Hot on the heels of it’s season two renewal announcement, tonight’s installment promises an explosive conclusion joined by none other than the man himself, Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury.  Through the highs and lows, we’ve followed the agents as they fought the forces of Centipede, possessed sticks, Asgardian temptresses, and viewership approval.  Though treacherous roads to be sure, Coulson and the gang have found their footing and are moving full force at the remnants of Hydra and cyborg Bill Paxton (you know it’s a great gig when you get to type that sentence out).  In our final installment, will everyone make it out alive?  What will become of the agents now that S.H.I.E.L.D no longer exists?  Will more be revealed with regards to Skye’s “monstrous” lineage?  All this and more will be revealed in tonight’s installment, “Beginning of the End.”  Hit the jump for our Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. recap.

marvels-agents-of-shield-beginning-of-the-end-clark-gregg-bj-brittOur episode begins with a nice jaunty tour through Cybertek – producers of Deathlok – as a new trainee is walked through the process of manning one of the one-man armies.  In a neat, albeit quick action scene, May manages to get hold of the Berserker staff and take out the Deathloks near them, as well as the roof over their heads.  I wish they had spent a little more time with this scene, as the situation was originally presented as quite dire in the previous episode, only to be wrapped up in a nice tidy manner.  Points for giving May an opportunity to let loose as she began tossing the Asgardian staff through the supporters.  During this altercation, Fitz and Simmons are beginning to realize that they may be spending what’s left of their lives in Davy Jones’ locker.

This was a really nice touching scene to break up the action as the scientific duo talked about death, its meaning to them, and ultimate acceptance of it.  Though the fix seems a bit convenient, it at least did offer us with what is possibly the best look into the two characters that we’ve seen thus far, so kudos on that.  Meanwhile, at Hydra HQ, Garrett continues to go bonkers thanks to the “Jesus Juice” originally used to resuscitate Skye.  Even when he’s not spouting great one liners, Paxton still proves an expert of his craft as he is able to portray his own brand of insanity in a compelling and masterful way.  In an exceptionally dark moment (which I’m shocked they was able to make its way past the censors), Garrett punches a hole through a general at Cybertek, rips out a rib bone, and slams it into his head.  Ouch.

As the rest of the team breaks into Cybertek, Ward talks with Raina about the Gravitonium she now has in her possession, once again stating his secret love of Skye.  Sigh, you know that worked a lot better as a play that Ward was doing as a secret agent of Hydra.  I wish that they had delved into his feelings for Skye a bit more outside of his playing of the team behind the scenes, as it just doesn’t play as well as it could have.  Maybe play up the crazy angle of it as Ward has never felt love, or something along those lines.  Otherwise, it seems like another attempt to try to have the audience relate and feel sympathetic for Ward, when that’s the last thing the character needs.  Minor nitpick, but one of the weaker parts of the episode for sure.

marvels-agents-of-shield-beginning-of-the-end-ming-na-wen-chloe-bennetFrom here, the episode ratchets up to 11 as Fitz and Simmons are saved by *drumroll* NICK FURY.  Yes, Samuel L. Jackson makes a great entry into the episode by teaming up with the remaining agents to fight Garrett and his forces at Cybertek.  The interactions between Coulson, Fury, and Garrett is worth the price of admission as the trio bounce off one another flawlessly, providing some of the funniest lines of the night, to say nothing of the action scenes.  Fury throws Coulson the same gun he used in Avengers and we’re off to the races.  While this action scene happens, another fight begins as May goes hand to hand with Ward and effectively takes him down with the help of a nail gun that literally hammers his foot to the ground.  He is then taken into custody, unable to say a word as May might have dislocated his larynx in the scuffle.

Garrett is seemingly killed by Deathlok, only to rise again and rebuild himself as Iron Paxton!  Just kidding, he’s immediately blown up by Coulson in the funniest scene of the night. Wrapping the episode up, Fury gives Coulson his new modus operandi, rebuilding S.H.I.E.L.D. from the ground floor up.  The team is set (minus Fitz who is in a coma), the mission is clear, and the new headquarters is explored as Patton Oswalt returns!  Yes, Agent Koenig had a brother who is also an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., Billy Koenig. Our two stingers of the night/season are revealed as a shadowy, bleeding (?) man is revealed as Skye’s father by Raina and Coulson etches out the insane markings Garrett had been putting together earlier.

Ultimately, this season managed to turn itself around following a lot stumbles along the way.  Characters and story arcs early on were seemingly sacrificed to make way for the Hydra reveal and the events presented in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.  We can hope that moving into season two, the creators have learned from their mistakes and will keep things at the level of the final few episodes of the season.  This finale however was one of the best episodes of the season and managed to stand over the rest minus a minor quibble here and there.

Grade: A 

Season Grade: B-

Agents of M.I.S.C.E.L.L.A.N.E.A.

marvels-agents-of-shield-season-finale-clark-gregg- Agent Koenig has got to be an LMD (Life Model Decoy notorious in the comics, which are essentially robot doubles of real people). The twin brother angle is a obviously a front.

- The identity of the “Bleeding Man”?  Well there’s obviously a bunch of candidates but off the top of my head, here are my top suspects: one of the Blood Brothers, Grim Reaper, Dr. Demonicus, or Korvac.

- “Who do I talk to about getting a haircut?”

- “And then Bob’s your uncle.”

- “You ready to change the world?”
“No, but I’m ready to kick some ass.”

- “What do you think it will be like?”
“Death? I hear drowning’s quite pleasant.”

- “Sir, I bring the noise and the funk wherever I go.”

- “I was told to never leave your side, sir.”
“I love you, too.”

- “I have a weapon much more effective than a bomb.”
“And why’s that?”
“Because you slept with her.”

- “Hi John.”
“Hi Phil.”

- “Reminds me of the old days.”
“You were never on top!”

- “Who ever saw a tag team match with four dead guys?”

- “You didn’t tell me he’d gone this crazy.”
“He really stepped it up a notch.”

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  • Ethan

    Is the “bleeding man” man-thing? He was referenced as escaping from the fridge.

    • enderandrew

      Man-thing was also referenced very subtly in Iron Man 3.

      • Kaine Morrison

        And also last episode… or the one before it…

      • Kaine Morrison

        And also last episode… or the one before it…

    • enderandrew

      Man-thing was also referenced very subtly in Iron Man 3.

    • Ridge

      when I saw the guy I thought “the real mandarin!!” but then the blood stuff and Skye just erased that idea :(

      • Random Bystander

        Maybe the Mandarin had just killed someone.

      • Pk

        I thought the same thing! After all hail the king was hoping the real mandarin would make an appearance at least in this show if not in any of the marvel movies

    • TedSallis

      Uh. No. Nobody would bother talking to Man-Thing because he does not listen. He doesn’t sit in chairs. And he would not be in a house, he’s an outdoorsy type. Keeps to the swamps.

  • Michael Singer

    -The Fury/Coulson/Garrett interactions were great.
    -That last scene with Garrett was hysterical.
    -May beating down Ward was awesome. “You were never on top,” that was such a classic Whedon line, I love it.
    -Raina’s sticking around, which I like (she’s a cool character).
    -Phil Coulson: Director of SHIELD-called it.
    -Patton Oswalt is either a LMD or he got the Coulson resurrection treatment as well.
    -My theory is that Skye’s daddy is actually an Inhuman and that the mysterious formula relates in some way to the Terrigen Mist.
    -I’m interested to see where they got with Ward and Fitz next season.
    Overall, good finale.

    • Drake

      My thoughts exactly! Nicely done

    • REED RICHARDS

      You must like bad comedy mixed with lackluster action sequences. This season finale, like the other shows that preceeded it, was just downright awful…………

      • ChiCity4life

        You must have as well to put up with 22 episodes of it douche

    • http://www.JustPressPlay.net Lex Walker

      Yeah, Raina asking “What will I become?” or something like that immediately had me thinking Inhumans.

      Consequently, if I had to guess the bleeding man/Skye’s Dad could be either Maximus the Mad or The Unspoken.

  • jocab_w

    I’m glad that the show didn’t try to “redeem” Ward in some groan-inducing way this season.

    Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has really improved and I hope that it can keep the momentum going that they gained from the last 7 episodes into the next season.

  • jocab_w

    I’m glad that the show didn’t try to “redeem” Ward in some groan-inducing way this season.

    Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has really improved and I hope that it can keep the momentum going that they gained from the last 7 episodes into the next season.

    • Btbcc12859

      Agreed. I also wished they killed off Fitz as well. Season 2 bring guest appearance The Falcon, Samuel Wilson!

  • CuriousFan

    Great epsiode. I’ll admit I had given up on this show back in February, came back and gave it a second chance after the Captain America Winter Solider crossover and it’s paid off.

    The Fury/Coulson/Garrett scene was priceless. Fury tossing the gun from the Avengers was a nice touch. This is what I was hoping for when they first announced this show a little of a year ago. That it wouldn’t just be a spinoff, but a show that actually had some weight and meaning to the overall marvel 616 universe. After a rocky start this show has really turned around. I’m actually interested in these characters. Feeling of investment in them. Slightly anyway. The turnout around of Ward’s character from the bland cliche “Agent Handsome” to the semi-complex villain is nothing short of a miracle.

    Looking forward to season 2

    • scurvy

      Yeah but considering Ward was a more the entire time, his detached milquetoast ‘agent handsome’ makes complete and total sense.

      • CuriousFan

        You’re right. It’s just crazy how well it all worked out, I guess is what I was getting at.

      • Scurvy

        Well they had the whole season planned before they started shooting I believe to make sure it all lined up with Cap 2. That means it’s likely that he was instructed to play the role exactly like that. I think maybe that guy is a much better actor than we all give him credit for.

      • CuriousFan

        You’re right. It’s just crazy how well it all worked out, I guess is what I was getting at.

  • CuriousFan

    Great epsiode. I’ll admit I had given up on this show back in February, came back and gave it a second chance after the Captain America Winter Solider crossover and it’s paid off.

    The Fury/Coulson/Garrett scene was priceless. Fury tossing the gun from the Avengers was a nice touch. This is what I was hoping for when they first announced this show a little of a year ago. That it wouldn’t just be a spinoff, but a show that actually had some weight and meaning to the overall marvel 616 universe. After a rocky start this show has really turned around. I’m actually interested in these characters. Feeling of investment in them. Slightly anyway. The turnout around of Ward’s character from the bland cliche “Agent Handsome” to the semi-complex villain is nothing short of a miracle.

    Looking forward to season 2

  • Michael Singer

    Note to self, never break up with Melinda May, or anger her in any way. You’ll end up with a nail-gun to the foot, a crushed laraynx, and your manhood shot to Hell.

    • erasmus654

      Yeah, she might go all Chun-Li on your ass!

    • NYCS

      I’m plenty confident I’d never want to break up with Melinda May.

      • REED RICHARDS

        Surely you people have better taste in women than a psycopath like Melinda May! Guess not. 70 percent of the people on amerikan soil are mentally ill so it stands to reason why you people would find her attractive…………….

    • http://www.thechildhealthsite.com/clickToGive/home.faces?siteId=1 Edcedc8

      also, don’t kill her dad.

  • Michael Singer

    Note to self, never break up with Melinda May, or anger her in any way. You’ll end up with a nail-gun to the foot, a crushed laraynx, and your manhood shot to Hell.

  • Lance

    Fun episode, I actually smiled a few times watching! I’m glad they’ve got a season 2, but they really need to focus on the characters next time around. Enough with relying on some weird little mystery to keep viewers engaged (though I like the new mysteries a lot more than the original ones).

  • Lance

    Fun episode, I actually smiled a few times watching! I’m glad they’ve got a season 2, but they really need to focus on the characters next time around. Enough with relying on some weird little mystery to keep viewers engaged (though I like the new mysteries a lot more than the original ones).

  • NICK НΛRT

    awesome finale. can’t wait for season 2 and agent carter

  • Jim Bo

    I think the bleeding man could be the real Mandarin. Agents of Shield seems to be a great place to introduce him because it seems a stretch for general audiences to get a different version of the same villain introduced in a film (Iron Man 4 if we get it). Calling it right now. Mandarin.

    • monkeypaws

      that would make skye Sasha Hammer ?

      • Jim Bo

        sure, I had to look up that. Apparently she can fly because of some technology embedded in her skin. Cool, I’d like to see that.

      • RecoveR

        You know, i had the exact same thought that it could be the Mandarin, because of the way he was sat in the room by himself, but the “bleeding” aspect kinda through me off the idea. Not to mention, it would be annoying to introduce the character and not have Iron Man. It’d feel like another kick in the teeth.

      • Ellieinto

        Evil as the Mandarin is, I’m not sure he’d be described as a “monster”. But who knows… the fact that these past events happened in China does make me wonder. And “Hail to the King” did establish that he truly exists. I hope they do introduce him on the show, it’d be great for those of us who wanted the real Mandarin.

        And yes, I want the dragon too. ;)

      • Pk

        What dragon?

      • Ellieinto
      • Ellieinto
      • RecoveR

        You know, i had the exact same thought that it could be the Mandarin, because of the way he was sat in the room by himself, but the “bleeding” aspect kinda through me off the idea. Not to mention, it would be annoying to introduce the character and not have Iron Man. It’d feel like another kick in the teeth.

    • Garrett

      Esp since Skye is half asian

  • Guest

    I love the fact that neither coulson nor skye have ever shown this “beautiful mind” effect of taking the GH drug throughout the series . .. but as soon as Garrett gets injected, he starts having epiphany after epiphany and starts scribbling on the walls. Coulson, realizing that this will be a plot point in the 2nd season, also remembers that he needs to start scribbling on the walls. Way to think things through, writers of SHIELD.

    • Jim Bo

      Maybe he had these thoughts, but after seeing Garrett having written them down, he attempted to see if he could do the same.

    • Jim Bo

      Maybe he had these thoughts, but after seeing Garrett having written them down, he attempted to see if he could do the same.

    • Ines

      Have you been paying any attention whatsoever to the series? Coulson himself, supervisor of Project TAHITI, said that subjects had to go through memory replacement otherwise they’d go mad. Garrett didn’t so he went nuts right away. Given that his real memories are only now coming back to him, it makes perfect sense that he would start going mad as well — and maybe Garrett’s scribbling served as some sort of trigger… Skye on the other hand, as an alien and as such didn’t need memory replacement so as not to go mad.

      • Ines

        “Given that his real memories are only now coming back to him, it makes perfect sense that he would start going mad as well” I was talking about Coulson here

    • enderandrew

      As mentioned below, people go nuts unless their memories are placed. Coulson had his memories replaced, but after seeing Garrett’s writing, I think those memories are starting to bleed through.

      Skye didn’t have her memories reprogrammed, but she appears to be more than your typical human.

      • Ellieinto

        Yes, if Skye turns out to be the same species as the blue alien, or at least related to them, it would explain her lack of reaction to the drug.

  • RecoveR

    The gut punch wasn’t that shocking to me, Terminator 3 had a much more graphic and bloody chest punch and that was rated 12 (pg-13). This seemed rather tame to me, as it was mostly implied. I thought Garrett exploding at the end was surprisingly violent, but ofcourse, its hilarious, so it gets away with it. I thought this season finale was really quite good, although i think it did try too hard to be funny, too many cringe inducing lines; “no, but i’m ready to kick some ass” and “i bring the noise and the funk wherever i go”. Kinda brought me out of those moments. My favourite line throughout the entire episode though was:

    *catches destroyer gun*
    “… I know what this does”

    Brilliant call-back to the Avengers. I’m actually surprised to say i’m going to miss watching this show until season 2, it’s a very fun show to watch and a nice season long marvel fix. Bring on season 2!!

  • JD-McG

    Great episode! I’m betting next season goes a little more galactic what with the crazy writing likely due to experimental drug from what is likely a Kree solider. Would make a lot of sense if then Skye and her mysterious father were Inhumans since their connection to the Kree… Not to mention the tie-ins to Guardians of the Galaxy.

    • Ellieinto

      Yes, I’m hoping for lots of cosmic stuff next season, since GOTG will have been out for a month by then & everyone should know the characters. Maybe some of the minor characters from the movie could turn up on the show, the way Sif did this season.

  • ItsNotaSchooner

    I have to say, I got really swelled up with emotion when Coulson said of the Tahiti project “That was in case we needed to revive an Avenger.” and Fury says “Exactly.” The look on Coulson’s face! He didn’t realize he is an Avenger. Tears in my eyes, not lying!

    • http://www.jumpstartmypc.com/ CSSully

      Exactly what I felt/thought. Fury implied so much in so few words.

  • Pingback: Tuesday TV Ratings: AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. Finale Holds Steady

  • REED RICHARDS

    FOR THE AMOS AND ANDY COMEDY HOUR, IT’S A PAYCHECK AFTERALL:
    Garbage in garbage out as they say. Marvel Agents of Shield season 1 finale was piss-poor and indicative of how stupid this show was from start to finish. The characters themselves are lackluster and unbelievable in what they do, no one,not even Coulson, was dynamic enough to make the show worthwhile. No one who is involved with this show, can, with a straight face and off camera, say they are proud of the end result. Garrett acts like some idiotic fortune teller who has lost his mind at the end. Grant Ward, the unstoppable bad-a$$ who could defeat A DOZEN ARMED MEN AT ONCE, gets the tar beaten out of him by ONE WOMAN, who, by the way, couldn’t beat her way out of a paper bag. Simmons and Fitz, in a feat only a human like Captain America could achieve, swam up 90 feet to the surface from the bottom of the ocean floor with no oxygen,while runway body-shaped Simmons carried a grown dead weighted male body with her. Special guest Samuel Jackson, as Nick Fury, reprised his role of Amos, and along with Clark Gregg filling in for Nicholas Cage staged the sequel to AMOS AND ANDY. Wanna crack endless jokes while the fate of the world is at stake? Nothing to it at all. Garrett’s death was so corny that it defines stupid. Oh, and fat-boy at the providence base who was killed, well, guess what? You guessed it, he has a twin brother at the “Playground”, Fury’s new secret base. Doesn’t Maria Hill know about this one too and will sell Coulson and company out again by leading COL. Blockhead Talbot straight to them? Isn’t SHIELD still considered a terrorist organization? If so, how can Coulson “rebuild” SHIELD and have it fully operational without the U.S. government using the army to track and hunt them down? Surely they still have no official sanction to operate anywhere in the world. Why did Fury pick Coulson and not Maria Hill who was his second in command ? Bring Mike Peterson in? I think not. So now what? What if he turned evil again? Blow his head off? What about Ward? Where are all of the captives going to go? Again, SHIELD is not licensed to operate and so what prison do they plan on sticking these people in? And what of Quinn and Raina? Those are the only two characters and actors whose roles made any sense and I would have liked for them to be the lead villains. And what of Coulson? Doing the same stupid stuff (drawing useless diagrams) Garrett was doing at the end. So how can an alien infected human rebuild SHIELD? Is Coulson now crazy like Garrett was at the end? Simmons and Fitz should be dead, so should Ward with a crushed larynx, Coulson should be crippled, (with the punch he received from Garrett), Samuel Jackson, in addition to having no action sequences, was totally not funny, and all of those super soldiers should have laid total waste to Coulson and his merry band of mis-fits with the homemade spy-kit from WW II. So, given all the idiocy that this season finale provided, I must rate the Season One Finale of Marvel Agents of SHIELD The Beginning of The End as 1.0 star out of 5.0………………

    • polesmoker99

      Does baby feel better now that his stinky is all out?

    • WTF?

      So this series was unbelievable but all the other Marvel stuff, a guy from another realm, a man in an iron suit that can fly, a hulk, etc,,, they are all perfectly believable. Uh, yeah.
      With this attitude I don’t know how you could enjoy any of the Marvel movies (or most sci-fi movies in general.

    • WTF?

      So this series was unbelievable but all the other Marvel stuff, a guy from another realm, a man in an iron suit that can fly, a hulk, etc,,, they are all perfectly believable. Uh, yeah.
      With this attitude I don’t know how you could enjoy any of the Marvel movies (or most sci-fi movies in general.

  • REED RICHARDS

    EXTRA!! EXTRA!! READ ALL ABOUT IT!!!

    AVAILABLE MAY 20TH 2014 ON DVD:

    Purchase Season One of Marvel Agents of Shield, on DVD at ROCK BOTTOM PRICES on sale MAY 20TH in the FIVE DOLLAR BIN AT YOUR LOCAL WALMART!!!

    If you pay more than that then you have been taken for a ride!! And not in LOLA that is!!

    (disclaimer: all dvds made in Mexico)

    • vpuik

      Sweet. How much is it?

      • Snarky

        I’ll take eight!

    • vpuik

      Sweet. How much is it?

  • milo

    Great episode and some of the biggest laughs of the season too. Paxton was great in full on ham mode, and his final scene was brilliant. So glad they didn’t jump to a lazy redemption of Ward, at some point he may be a good guy again but they really need to make him earn it. I’d prefer if they kept him evil but they don’t seem to be leaning that way, although hopefully that’s just to keep us guessing.

    Earlier in the season they established that there’s a guy in the Gravitonium, looks like Gravitron will emerge as a super villain next season?

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