Agents Of Shield Recap: This is (Sort Of) The End, Beautiful Friend
At the end of last week’s episode of Agents of SHIELD, it looked like everyone might die, but we know the show can’t kill off too much of the cast because it’s been picked up for a second season. Let’s see if anyone actually dies on this season-ending episode.
We open at Cybertek, with a fast talking dude explaining to a potential new hire all about how many systems they operate and the incentives they offer, and we’re thinking computer systems, but then one of the monitors shows what the “systems” are supposed to deal with: the soldiers confronting Coulson and company. So are the soldiers drones of some sort? We’re not meant to find out yet because first we have to see Coulson and May and Trip kick the bejeezus out of those maybe-drone soldiers while Skye uploads her Trojan whatever. May is a fucking boss.
A Cybertek flunky calls Garrett to whine about not catching Coulson and pals, but Garrett doesn’t care, because he’s got the sweet sweet GH325 coursing through his veins and he can do anything he wants. Ian Quinn is super sad about the fact that Garrett got all the cool drugs and how will Ian Quinn deliver super soldiers if he doesn’t have the superdrug? Whine whine Ian Quinn.
Garrett sorta seems like he’s losing it. He decides the best way to make a chart — on a plane that is chock full of computers to project your thoughts — is to pry off one of the glass doors and carve his big thoughts into it with a nail. Seems reasonable.
Back on the way less cool plane, Skye says her cool computer plan worked and now she can see into HYRDA’s systems. Coulson comes in looking grim-faced in the way only Coulson can and tells them that the the tracker FitzSimmons slapped on Garrett’s plane seems to be working, but FitzSimmons aren’t answering.
They’re not answering because they’re in a pod at the BOTTOM OF THE OCEAN.
Fitz is glum, because there’s not much in the way of supplies left in the pod and no way to contact anyone and it takes a few minutes to dawn on Simmons: they’re going to die down there.
Coulson is very cheerful about the whole heading off into battle prospect, and gives a happy little speech about Nick Fury and being a part of something bigger. Dude, you’re not a part of something bigger anymore. You are it.
Garrett is pretty much just standing around talking about how he can see through time. He tells Rayna he can see her soul and the soul of the gravitonium. We hadn’t really bet on the imaginary metal having a soul. Rayna says she has a question for him and he tells her to ask him anything because the truth is written on the back of his eyes. No, he really says that. Her big question is “what will I become?” That’s a boring question.
FitzSimmons are talking about what happens when they die. Simmons says she likes to think of the First Law of Thermodynamics and that their energy will be a part of something else after they’re gone, and that their energy was once a part of something else. It’s comfort for science nerds and it’s sweet. You can see that in these final minutes, Fitz is finally getting ready to tell her he loves her, but just then they come up with an insanely complicated plan that involves the defibrillator as an ignition source and blowing out a window and somehow they will live. We’d actually going to be sorta sad if they take away FitzSimmons. We’ve gotten sort of attached to them.
Ian’s taking the military folks on a tour of Cyerbtek’s facilities and bragging about how awesome his super soldiers are and how they’re all networked, which must be what the people running the computer systems are for. Oh, and also to they can replace all the Special Forces. Nope, doesn’t sound sketchy or like it could go wrong at all! Cool plan, military guys and Ian Quinn!
Coulson and Trip steal an armored humvee to blast them and Skye and May into into Cybertek.
The military peeps hear the noise and are troubled, but Quinn, ever the salesman, just tries to paper it all over. He might have succeeded, but right then Garrett and poor Mike Peterson come in, and Garrett is still saying weird things like “you’re not a Rottweiler. You don’t have to beg for their scraps.”
Garrett also tells the general that he has seen the future and tasted it on his tongue and then he punches the general through his stomach, breaks off a rib, and stabs him to death with it. He seems super stable. Glad he’s in charge.
Quinn and Rayna are bailing out of the plane and taking the gravitonium with them, but it’s not because they’re no longer on Team Garrett. Au contraire, says Rayna. She is 100% behind Garrett because of evolution and the future and she tells Ward they need to go get Skye, because she is also too the future and Skye will be a monster and she and Ward can be monsters together. Ummm sure?
May and Skye are inside Cybertek’s system room room telling everyone to
be cool because this is a robbery because Skye has a bomb. Their plan needs to work, because the super soldiers are bashing in the armored humvee like there’s no tomorrow. But apparently the soldiers are laboring under a “default directive” which is now to defend John Garrett at any cost, so then they just wander off to do that and Coulson runs into Cybertek at top speed.
Ward is trying to get Garrett to give him an order, any order, but Garrett is on a self-empowerment tip and tells Ward he knows what to do or he can do what he wants or something. Meanwhile, Skye has hijacked the Cybertek communications system and rings Garrett up. Garrett is delighted to hear from her and tries to flirt with her about how her voice sounds on the phone and then tells her that her scientist friends FitzSimmons were brave until the end. Dick. Now Ward gets the order he wanted: go get Skye.
FitzSimmons are setting up their complicated plan and goddammit Fitz is going to sacrifice himself for Simmons because only one of them can live because there’s only enough air…you know, we’re not following the plan, but Fitz finally tells Simmons he loves her and begs her to let him do this for her. The pod blows, and we see Simmons swimming to the surface and dragging Fitz with her and who is there to pull her out of the water? Nick Fury, of course.
NickFury’sGotThis Dot Com. So wait. Is Fitz dead or not?
Simmons awakes in a decompression chamber under the watchful eyes of Nick Fury, who is very not dead. Fitz’s heart is still beating, but his brain was without oxygen for a long time. Goddammit, show. Kill Fitz or don’t, but do not make us deal with the possibility of brain-damaged Fitz. That’s some bullshit. Fury found them because they’d rigged up a beacon, and he’s been keeping a lookout for all things Coulson-related.
Skye has wrapped Cybertek’s middle manager guy in duct tape and maybe real maybe not real bomb and is talking tough when in walks Grant Ward, who explains to the taped-up guy that Skye won’t kill him, because she didn’t take the chance to kill Ward. Ward wants to tell her all about how he’s learned about her history and they’re not that different after all and that Skye wants to hear what he wants to say and he’ll just take what is his. We are bored. Skye is bored too, so she unleashes May on him to beat the shit out of him, which we applaud.
Coulson has found Garrett, who wallops him across the room with one punch, but he lands at the feet of Nick Fury, who hands off one of Shield’s superweapon things that looks vaguely like a souped-up potato gun, and Coulson uses it to take down all the soldiers.
Fury just stone cold unloads a gun into Garrett, but it does nothing. He just stands up and grins a creepy bloody grin and gives a speech about the big bang.
May and Ward are still fighting and there are power tools involved, including using a nail gun to basically staple Ward’s feet to the ground, after which she five-finger death-punches him and roundhouse kicks him. He’s probably not dead, but we like to think he is.
Remember those incentives for Cybertek employees? The incentives are that one of your loved ones is kidnapped and will be killed if you don’t perform, pretty much. Skye goes through and frees everyone and one of them, of course, is poor Mike Peterson’s kid. We love that kid.
Garrett is still talking about how he is the alpha and the omega or something like that while arming poor Mike Peterson to go all Deathlok-y on Coulson and Fury, but just then he gets an internal communication from his kid, thanks to Skye jury-rigging some sort of connection. Mike’s kid reminds him they’re a team, so instead of firing on Coulson and Fury, he takes aim at Garrett and blows a hole in his chest. Garrett tells him he can’t kill him because he needs him to translate the words of time or some shit. Deathlok stomps his face off. Next we see John Garrett, he’s being locked away in a metal box. Can Garrett die or does he just get shoved into the box for eternity?
May brings Ward in and Coulson yells at him a lot and tells him that he didn’t actually manage to kill FitzSimmons and he can have eternal internal torture now. External torture also too, notes May.
All the incentives people are being reunited with their families, and we see Mike Peterson’s son running to his mom. Peterson won’t go down there, though, because he doesn’t want his son to see what he’s become, and he’ll be making amends his whole life. Jesus, but Mike Peterson’s character is the saddest, even when he was supervillain Deathlok.
Speaking of supervillians, no one thought to watch Garrett’s ostensibly dead body? Seriously? He drags himself into one of the super soldier machines and comes out fully outfitted in a nice metal exoskeleton and begins another bloody-mouthed speech about his unstoppability.
Coulson shows up and blasts him into a million atoms with some super SHIELD technology.
Coulson finally has Fury cornered to scream at him for bringing him back from the dead, Fury tells him that it was an emergency and he had to, because SHIELD is all about protection and that everyone is worth saving and Coulson was the heart of SHIELD…and now Coulson will be the head…as in head of a rebuilt SHIELD. Fury gives Coulson a tiny cube to serve as his toolbox of sorts.
Hm. Director Coulson doesn’t really have the same ring. Fury tells him he’s going away for a stretch but he’ll be everywhere, and by “everywhere” we assume he means “showing up intermittently next season and in the next Avengers movie too.”
Trip, Coulson, May, and Skye are reunited with Simmons, who tells them that Fitz is alive, and they’re all at the first place Fury’s toolbox told Coulson to go. It’s another hidden base, and it is also staffed by Patton Oswalt, playing an agent with the same last name as Dead Patton Oswalt and who is familiar with Dead Patton Oswalt but is apparently not Dead Patton Oswalt.
So he’s a clone? A twin? All bases come pre-installed out of the box with Patton Oswalt? Either way, Coulson’s got a whole base worth of toys to play with now.
Oh hey Rayna! We forgot all about you. You’re visiting someone who is dripping with blood or mud or both, and you’re showing them a picture of Skye and telling them you found their daughter. Cool. Now we’ll never get away from Skye next season.
End scene: Coulson can’t sleep, so he’s rummaging around in all the SHIELD gear stored in his new base. He takes an exacto knife and carefully etches the exact same pattern of lines that we saw Garrett scratching earlier.
Show, we are not cool with this if it means Coulson is losing his mind. We’re already mad enough about the sadness of the Fitz cliffhanger.
See you next season.