Saturday, May 21, 2016

My thoughts on the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. finale


And season three in general.

The two hour finale that aired this week was a pretty fitting end to another season of this show. AoS has gotten better each season in all areas -- writing, performances and production. They've done a good job interlacing storylines and dialog to fit into the MARVEL movie universe and help advance some memes along the way.

The season finale finds the team trying to stop Hive/Ward and his plans to detonate a warhead loaded with a pathogen that should turn a substantial portion of humanity into primitive Inhumans. Daisy/Skye (Chloe Bennett) has been rescued from Hive's sway by the Inhuman Lash (formerly Dr. Garner, now permanently an Inhuman). One of the clever themes since their introduction is the belief that Inhumans aren't just mutations via a Cree gene, but rather that each serves a specific purpose in the universe and exists to be at the right place and the right time. We find that Lash's purpose seems to be to save Daisy as he alone can destroy the nano-particulates that make up Hive and is also able to inoculate Daisy from further infection and sway from Hive.

This latter bit leads to a climactic confrontation between Hive and Daisy as we see Daisy escape, ostensibly to help stop Hive but in reality, she goes to him begging to be returned to his influence, desperate to have the connection she has sought her entire life. In earlier episodes Fitz and Simmons discovered that Hive's nano-particulates infect an Inhuman's brain, focusing on the area that releases pleasure endorphins so that those under his sway have a sense of well-being and satisfaction that makes them want to be under his control. It's clever and powerful way for the writers to approach his control of others. I liked that.

In a rage at not being able to return to Hive's sway, Daisy attacks Hive and we see more of her burgeoning powers. At one point she simply crushes all the bones in his body, which of course does no good, but it's an escalation of what she's capable of. Earlier, Daisy was able to conceal a gun in Fitz's hand by surrounding it with force waves. The Daisy Quake character is a powerful entity in the comics and the show has been slow in developing her abilities. With the Inhuman's movie delayed for a few years, we may see them escalate her growth over the next season or two.

One of the sub-plots leading into the finale was the impending death of one of the main characters. An Inhuman with the ability to transmit the image of someone's death when physically touched gives Daisy a vision of the future -- someone from S.H.I.E.L.D. in space, a floating crucifix and the knowledge that this person will die. That leads to a lot of misdirection in the episode as the crucifix in question keeps changing hands throughout the two hours. I had to laugh, in a good way, at the constant shell game going on. In the end, it is Lincoln who dies. Knowing that Daisy believes it is her death she saw, he sacrifices himself to take the warhead into outer space, along with Hive to save Daisy and the Earth. Keeping with the destiny theme of being Inhuman, Lincoln believes that he was meant for this as only he, via his electrical discharge abilities could permanently disable the controls on the Zephyr to keep Hive from regaining control and returning to the atmosphere.

Hive/Ward and Lincoln actually share a quiet moment of introspection prior to their deaths that I'm not sure worked for me. While I understood Lincoln's sacrifice to save the woman he loved, Hive's quiet acceptance -- saying he could now experience something that had eluded him throughout his existence -- death, seemed wrong to me. They've hinted that the Hive/Ward character may be able to return at some point and the only way I can think of that happening is that surviving Inhuman's that have been under Hive's sway have his nano-particulates in their bodies. Can they reproduce? That might be a way for this to work.

The teaser for next season shows that Daisy has gone rogue. Lots of headlines in papers talking about "Quake" or quakes damaging buildings. And we see Daisy, now rocking long black hair and heavy eye make-up (I like) giving money to Charles Hinton's widow and daughter. Hinton being the Inhuman who had died earlier in the season after showing the future to Daisy and Malick and others. We also see that Coulson is no longer head of S.H.I.E.L.D. and he and Mack seem to be simply field agents conducting a lo-tech tracking/capture (without success) of Daisy. How many more times can they destroy S.H.I.E.L.D. and/or remove Coulson from the director's position? This seems like an every season thing. The agency has been reconstituted what . . . three times now? Come on guys, find a new horse to flog here.

We see yet another ability of Daisy in the final sequence as she's able to use her force waves to launch herself several stories into the air and escape capture by landing on a rooftop out of view of Coulson and Mack. I cannot imagine we'll see this series continue without the Daisy character. And when they finally return her to whatever the writers are doing with S.H.I.E.L.D. she's going to be a formidable force. At least she would be if I was writing for the show. Lolz

Also we're teased with the image of geneticist Holden Radcliffe in a high-tech office talking with his own version of Jarvis about launching a Life Model Decoy that looked to have a very feminine profile. Where is that coming from? Holden, when introduced in episode 18, was working out of a dingy grungy backroom area of some bar somewhere. Now he's rocking the tech life like Tony Stark. That's going to be interesting to see where that goes.

I've got to say that this season has kept me guessing all along. I never expected them to dump characters like Bobby Morse and Hunter -- they were captured trying to save the Russian premiere from Hive and Malick (Powers Boothe). They also killed off Malick which surprised me somewhat though I think maybe Boothe didn't want to get tied up long term in a television show. But they used that moment to further the MARVEL universe mythology by having information given to Coulson by Malick used to destroy the last remnants of Hydra.

In keeping with the cinematic universe MARVEL has created, there was talk of the Sokovia Accord from the current Captain America movie. An argument between Coulson and General Talbot, who now runs the ATCU but is subordinate to Coulson, about registering all Inhumans, including the ones working for S.H.I.E.L.D. That goes nowhere but again leads to some nice synchronicity as the Inhumans recruited by Daisy and Coulson -- Elena (Yo-Yo) and Joey who both speak Spanish and are too well acquainted with government registrations want no part of that and are able to converse freely about their doubts since no one else at S.H.I.E.L.D. speaks Spanish.

And they reference the death of Agent Carter, last seen in a hospital in Captain America #2 and in a younger version in Ant Man.

Fitz and Simmons are finally consummating their long schoolchild love for one another. Mack has an awkward burgeoning affection for Elena, Yo-Yo, so nicknamed because she can move faster than the eye can see but only for the length of time for one heartbeat before she returns to ther original position. In the comics, her character is called Slingshot. You get the idea. Mack also refers to Daisy as Tremors where in the comics she's known as Quake. Not sure why they're doing this since they don't hesitate to use other character's names directly.

This is a pretty light recap of the season which had 22 episodes. I regret not getting on board sooner. Best laid plans and all that. Wait 'til next year. heh

Anyway, here's a couple of pics of Chloe Bennett and Ming Na Wen looking pretty:

chloe bennett nickelodeon
ming na wen nickelodeon
chloe bennett nipples
ming na wen sexy

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