Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: The End is at Hand (episode 12) and What We're Fighting For (episode 13)
August 12, 2020 8:14 PM - Season 7, Episode 13 - Subscribe

Coulson wants to see the world. May shares her feelings. Deke is the new man in charge. Sousa gets the duct tape. Mack passes the ammo. Yo-Yo is in favour of punching. Daisy plays her part. Simmons remembers what they're fighting for. This post covers episodes 12 and 13--the two parts that make up the series finale. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D will not return in a moment.
posted by sardonyx (15 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
AV Club interview with the S.H.I.E.L.D. showrunners.
posted by sardonyx at 8:37 PM on August 12, 2020 [1 favorite]

I thought it was a satisfying finale (although I can handle characters dying better than I can handle characters being permanently separated, aw Deke) and how appropriate that it ended on what was effectively a zoom catch up.
posted by gaspode at 8:53 AM on August 13, 2020 [2 favorites]

I agree, it was hard to watch Deke be left on his own, but at the same time, we all knew he'd be the member sacrificed and future boy wouldn't be allowed to exist in the present. It couldn't be man-out-of-time Sousa, because he has to be there for Daisy. I mean the writers spent the whole length of the show trying to set her up with one guy after another, so they finally had to find one who could stick. It's a shame their relationship didn't get more of an opportunity to really blossom--there was definitely an element of forcing the two of them together because a) he likes (or liked) strong women and b) she deserves a good guy. (Speaking of people Daisy has been paired with, I was hoping to get a bit of Grant Ward this season, although I guess we got Piper and Davis instead.)

It was nice to see May get a chance to review her career as chauffeur and as the Calvary (with a strong fight scene to boot). It was also gratifying to find out that May and Coulson are starting to come to terms with who they are now and to appreciate their new selves.

I know that no time passed between the time Fitz and Simmons left and the time they returned, but time did pass--enough time to have a kid--but they didn't age a day. That's a neat trick.

I know Mack is the director, but him pulling the "it's classified" line with his team seemed really cold or off or something. Maybe putting on the long, black coat causes a personality transplant.

It was kind of nice that Daisy survived, but her death and revival felt kind of cheap or easy.

I'll admit, I loved to see Phil put his sunglasses back on. It seems like it's been a long, long time since we've seen cool and totally in command Coulson behind the wheel of Lola. That said, I can't say I'm a fan of her new look of the SHIELD modifications.

I think you're right, gaspode. Satisfying is a pretty good description of the finale.

Given the unevenness of the first season, I wouldn't have predicted that I'd still be watching seven seasons later, but I'm glad I stuck with it, bumps and plot holes and all.
posted by sardonyx at 1:08 PM on August 13, 2020 [7 favorites]

Agreed that “satisfying” is a good word for this finale, considering that they had to extend the show a couple of seasons after the “thrilling” and “heartbreaking” “intended” finale of season 5.

I’m surprised, but not unpleasantly, that the show ended as happily as it did (albeit bittersweetly). Last week I was predicting a heart wrenching main character death, and the closest we got to that was Deke getting stuck in the 80’s, living as a rock god and SHIELD Director. Knowing him, he’s probably found a way to monetize the Quantum Realm in his timeline.

Speaking of which, I love that the show threw in that one last tie-in to the MCU. It almost felt like an FU to the universe that had cast it aside. Also the fact that there was no reference to the Snap in any way.

I know that Coulson has a lot to process with his new existence, but I’m sad that a year later he still hasn’t connected with May. Heck, LMD May hooked up with real Coulson almost right away! And Vision and Scarlet Witch are a precedent for mixed marriages...

As stated in the A.V. Club interview, I loved that Fitzsimmons got their happy ending before the previous season even ended. I also loveD how pissed everyone was when Fitz told them all their suffering was necessary to get to this scenario (which brought to mind Dr. Strange’s 14 million futures).

I’ll miss this show. Thanks, sardonyx, for keeping it alive on Fanfare for the few remaining diehards.
posted by ejs at 5:52 PM on August 13, 2020 [3 favorites]

Thanks. It was my pleasure.

I have no idea how I fell into the role of initial poster, as I certainly wasn't the most prolific poster throughout the years or even the show's biggest fan. Plus, as I've said before, I was always more of a DC fan than a Marvel gal, but this determined little show was worth discussing, and it seemed a shame to let it slide without comment, especially during this final season.

I've enjoyed reading everybody's comments. It appreciated being able to share the viewing experience with everybody here, especially since the people I know in real life who started watching the show gave up on it after season one.
posted by sardonyx at 6:14 PM on August 13, 2020 [3 favorites]

Yeah, I _sooooorta_ lost track of the whole grand plan and it mostly carried through with momentum rather than clear writing, and Daisy's revival was.. uh.. Wait, Kora what, put her on defrost for a bit?

Honestly in a way the zoom meeting sort of dragged on a bit too long, although it set up some nice post-meeting bits for everybody, which was nice.

Still, it's been a fun ride, and I'll be surprised if any of the future Marvel TV Universe extended offerings manage to stick around even half as long.
posted by Kyol at 7:03 PM on August 13, 2020

So this is it? We'll never be in the same thread together after this?

I'm glad I stuck with this show. It wasn't always the best, but when it landed it was fantastic. I got really invested in the characters and I'm glad that a bunch of them got happy endings.

I'm happy Piper was back for the finale. I follow Briana Venskus on Instagram, and some of the videos she posted during lockdown were exceptionally absurd and fun. I loved that her "anything she wants" for protecting the pod was to have an LMD of Davis.

Oh, and I'm so glad they didn't kill Fitz.

Well, it's been a blast. I'll miss chatting with y'all about MAoS. Thanks to everyone who posted episodes. I know that sometimes it got a little lonely in here. See you around the other genre shows!
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 3:00 AM on August 14, 2020 [3 favorites]

Wait, was the whole thing that was too painful for Simmons to remember was that she had a kid and had to leave her behind?

I know that no time passed between the time Fitz and Simmons left and the time they returned, but time did pass--enough time to have a kid--but they didn't age a day. That's a neat trick.

If you hit back to season one, Simmons looks exactly the damn same. She must have some amazing super science moisturiser.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:41 AM on August 14, 2020 [2 favorites]

I wonder at what point they split off into a separate timeline and what action exactly prevented Thanos from winning Infinity War.
posted by Karmakaze at 8:31 AM on August 14, 2020 [2 favorites]

If I were the showrunner, my answer would be that when they travelled back to the present from the destroyed-Earth/humanity-enslaved-by-Kree timeline, they arrived in the timeline from which 2014 Thanos left to be Snapped in our timeline. Thus, no Infinity War. I don’t know how much sense that makes, but it sure ties things up neatly! I think.
posted by ejs at 4:50 PM on August 14, 2020 [1 favorite]

I've watched every episode since the beginning and think the first three years were the best, kind of ludicrous at times after that but I kept watching because I grew attached to the characters. As soon as Deke showed up, the show became almost unwatchable for me, he is just so....ugh. I did really enjoy watching Skye transform into Daisy/Quake and her evolution over the years. I still miss Trip and wish they hadn't knocked him off in the first season. I was happy to see Ward go but not happy to see Linc go. I felt the show start to take a downturn right around the time Bobbi and Hunter left. I loved the whole Blue Planet storyline. I hated the whole Ghost Rider storyline. I mildly disliked the whole Aida storyline. I will miss Coulson and May and Daisy and Mac and YoYo, but am not really actually sorry to see them go.
posted by the webmistress at 6:58 PM on August 15, 2020

So I finally finished watching all of this last night and I really liked how they tied a lot of things back together. There are a few things I wish they'd changed while they were mucking about with the timeline—I think Mace got a raw deal, for example.

Though in my head canon, he is the liaison for Deke's 80s Nu-SHIELD. Some of their top agents include Not-Evil Ward and Tripp.

Of course, I would have also liked the return of Hunter and Bobbie, but I've basically missed them since season 3.

Also, since Chronicoms can't really die, where was Enoch to make some delicious Barracooladas?
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 8:37 PM on October 5, 2020 [1 favorite]

Wow. This season started out so much fun, skipping through time periods, and then it just got more and more grim (although with a pretty great groundhog day episode as a nice break) and my hope that they could pull out a satisfying ending just kept going down. And bottomed at the end of the penultimate episode.

All that just to summon Fitz to a particular moment to save the day? There was no possible amount of technobabble that was gonna make this work.

But no! Fitz wasn't coming to save them. He had sent them off to become the people he needed to bring back and save him! This is the end of Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey from the point of view of wherever the Wyld Stallyns went to learn guitar and have babies.

And yeah, Earth (especially SHIELD) in the timeline where they left Deke took some grim hits, but was still saved from Chronicom destruction and arguably made better in several other ways by the team's intervention.

And wow, ejs's comment about Thanos made me realize this is the same plot as Endgame. Universe A sends people to Universe B to gather the resources they need in Universe A. They also bring back an earlier-in-the-timeline version of the big bad from Universe B. Both versions of the big bad are thwarted in Universe A, saving Universe B from their big bad as well.

Except it's better because the resources SHIELD gets isn't magic gems, it's them becoming better people. And two lives who had been lost in their own timeline (oh, wait, that's like Gamora--but still better because Kora and Sousa aren't undoing a death we'd been supposed to feel sad about).

At first I thought they were going to get out of the "You'll never be all together again" prophesy by lifting a glass to Deke. But what they did was much better. And nicely clued by the seating arrangement and Simmons with the surprised "This is a nice venue!" as if she hadn't known where she was going before she walked in. I liked everybody's happy ending, especially Piper's.

So what I'm saying is the finale was much, much better than I'd hoped/feared. And a satisfying end to the series, one of the better ones I've seen for a show that ran this long. Yay!
posted by straight at 11:31 PM on November 13, 2020 [1 favorite]

I've just finished watching it. I saw the first episode when it was first on, didn't think much of it, and ignored the series for the rest of its run. However, having had a lot of bingeing opportunity, I watched all seven seasons in a little over a week, which was probably not good for my head.

Around the time Simmons was eaten by a stone I realised that the best thing was just to let go and allow the series to be whatever it wanted, something that stood me in good stead as it veered from spy series to superhero series to Dr Who base under seige story to ST:NG to whatever the last seven episodes were. It's one of the most wonderful things I've ever seen, I think. I'm sure I'll recalibrate my opinion when the euphoria wears off, but for the time being I'm lost in admiration for a show that, for seven years, just did whatever the hell it wanted and then came in to a landing so surefooted that Olympic gymnasts would be jealous.
posted by Grangousier at 3:57 PM on August 11, 2021 [3 favorites]

I realised that the best thing was just to let go and allow the series to be whatever it wanted

100% agreed. My partner and I have had a mantra for the show: "Don't think too hard about it." It's really best when you allow it to be the weird genre show it is and not get wrapped up in trying to dissect it. The way they sort of made whatever show they felt like making is something I don't know that I've ever seen in TV before.
posted by rocketman at 6:06 AM on August 15, 2022

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