Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Beginning of the End
May 13, 2014 8:36 PM - Season 1, Episode 22 - Subscribe

Dark secrets are revealed as Coulson and his team put everything on the line to stop Garrett and the forces of HYDRA.

What! That finale was actually pretty awesome! And plenty of time over the summer to speculate about Fitz, Ward, Skye's dad (at least it looked like a male to me), brand new SHIELD, Patton Oswalt, etc.
posted by leesh (114 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
 
The last scene with Coulson and Garrett was hilarious.
posted by homunculus at 9:09 PM on May 13, 2014 [12 favorites]


I actually burst into tears when Fury reached down from the helicopter. I don't know why exactly - I'm not a big Fitz/Simmons shipper, and I'm not super invested in their characters individually. But I guess their final moments in the pod got me all keyed up without me realizing it.

So much good comic timing in the writing & delivery this episode. That Coulson-Fury-Garrett scene was priceless. And yay for not giving Ward a big redemption arc. It's funny though, I was sure after the previous episodes that he was beyond the 'poor woobie' stage for me, but I did feel genuine pity for him during his last scene with Coulson.
posted by oh yeah! at 9:24 PM on May 13, 2014 [1 favorite]


Coulson and Fury just mocking while Garrett blathered on and on... loved it. More of this, please. Also some great call-backs, like "You were never on top," and "I know what this does!"

I also loved that we didn't even get an attempt at redemption for Ward. He just gets shipped off to prison and a great deal of interrogation. (Although hopefully not actual torture, since it doesn't really work and besides, SHIELD is supposed to be the good guys now.)

Ming-Na Wen really sold that last fight with Ward, even though she's so tiny in comparison.

That was just fun. Looking forward to next season.
posted by suelac at 9:26 PM on May 13, 2014


Yes, no redemption for Ward. The tables in my house are safe, for now.

And I guess Patton Oswalt is a clone?
posted by ursus_comiter at 9:45 PM on May 13, 2014 [1 favorite]


Twin brother, I'm thinking. Hoping, anyway: I'd like to keep some vague attachment to reality where appropriate...
posted by suelac at 9:48 PM on May 13, 2014 [1 favorite]


I think new-Patton was way too chill about original-Patton's recent demise for them to have been twins. And didn't he repeat nearly verbatim the spiel about the lanyards? He's gotta be a clone or robot or something.
posted by oh yeah! at 10:11 PM on May 13, 2014 [5 favorites]


Life Model Decoy?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:29 PM on May 13, 2014 [9 favorites]


Occam's Razor suggests that he is just the (twin) brother that Eric mentioned playing Call of Duty with. I don't think you should take his "chill" demeanor as indicative of anything of than him being a professional and thus not being weepy when he meets his new boss.
posted by Jacqueline at 1:14 AM on May 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


Re: Ward and a redemption arc--I had a friend suggest that he'll be gone for a while, then come back a la Faith on Buffy/Angel and get all redeemed. I might be ok with that? My mom is still all bummed Ward turned out to be bad because "he was part of the team!!!"

I also think Patton Oswalt's new guy (Brian? I don't remember) is a Life Model Decoy, because he is EXACTLY the same as Eric and really doesn't seem to know/care what happened there.
posted by leesh at 5:21 AM on May 14, 2014


Oh, here's the AV Club recap, which has some interesting speculation.
posted by leesh at 5:24 AM on May 14, 2014


Yeah, there's no way the Koenigs are real people now. The welcome spiel was word for word.

Fury coming back was great. Coulson with the Destroyer gun was better. May kicking the shit out of Ward was best.

I loved how they sorta-teased a redemption for Ward and then brutally shot it down, complete with making it so couldn't ask for forgiveness if he wanted to. Not as much a fan of the whole Fitz/Simmons escape just because it didn't even make comic-book sense.

Next season, with Triplette on the team from the start and cosmic stuff potentially getting involved...I'm cautiously optimistic. It'll be interesting to see how they build on Guardians with this whole Kree thing.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 5:31 AM on May 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I like Trip, especially the geeking out with Coulson over the Howling Commandos' kit bits.

And I'm going to put my marker down for TripSimmons right now. Sorry Fitz.
posted by ursus_comiter at 5:54 AM on May 14, 2014 [3 favorites]


Occam's Razor suggests that he is just the (twin) brother that Eric mentioned playing Call of Duty with. I don't think you should take his "chill" demeanor as indicative of anything of than him being a professional and thus not being weepy when he meets his new boss.

Occam's Razor doesn't really work as well for comic books.

Also he used the exact same speech that his "brother" gave when he welcomed them to Providence.
posted by inturnaround at 6:04 AM on May 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


Oh, and who wants to see Trip's grandfather more in Agent Carter? I assume they can and will do some Howling Commandos stuff in it.
posted by inturnaround at 6:05 AM on May 14, 2014 [3 favorites]


Agent Carter working with or leading the Howling Commandos could be quite fun.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:13 AM on May 14, 2014


Oh, man, I was so convinced that Garrett was going to be made into Ultron.

I think Koenig is totally gonna be an LMD. Eric and Billy think of themselves as "brothers" because, well, it's better than "fellow android."
posted by Etrigan at 6:16 AM on May 14, 2014


Occam's Razor doesn't really work as well for comic books.

Congratulations on winning the Nobel Prize for understatement. We all believed in you.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 6:19 AM on May 14, 2014 [8 favorites]


There could still be a Ward redemption coming in the next season. I certainly hope not though.

I will give him this - he called out the you-don't-really-buy-into-this-Hydra-crap-do-you thing. I can't imagine that anyone is a true believer. Makes sense that people are just in it for "the incentives program" - which I hope we'll get details on.

The nail gun to the foot was awesome.

Seconding the TripSimmons thing. (God, I hope that doesn't make me a shipper.)
posted by MsVader at 6:47 AM on May 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


I thought the "incentives program" was a Cybertek euphemism for "we have your loved one locked in our basement, work for us or else", no?
posted by oh yeah! at 7:03 AM on May 14, 2014 [12 favorites]


Yeah, I thought that was the clear implication.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 7:04 AM on May 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


Ward will get his redemption arc next season; they set it up with the whole "who are you now?" business. Would've rather seen May take him out. I actually had a brief moment of hope last week that Fitz would be on the one to take him out - some secret device in his pocket, or getting a hold of a gun and getting the whole "you aren't going to shoot-" BLAM! moment. But I guess Fitz is supposed to be a tragic figure instead of the guy capable of more depths of badassness than anyone around him knew.

Lots of fun in this episode - the Coulson/Fury banter; the final Garett scene. And the touches that there's a lot more going on here than just a Hydra/Shield showdown.
posted by nubs at 7:16 AM on May 14, 2014


But how much loyalty can you inspire when the people who work for you HATE you because you've got their loved ones held captive. Certainly Hydra's smarter than that, right? I just figured there had to be more to it than that.
posted by MsVader at 7:26 AM on May 14, 2014


SOME of them (Spoilers: like Alexander Pearce and others in the Captain America movie) were true believers--in order/fascism over chaos/freedom. I guess we just haven't seen any of those in the show.

I also thought the "incentives program" = hostages, though you're right, that doesn't really inspire a lot of loyalty. I guess fear/control is a great motivator though--look at Deathlok throughout the season. Not only did they have power over his actual life, they had his son! He really had no choice but to follow along and give his best effort. So maybe there is more to the incentives program, but it's probably nothing good. Also, all those ppl worked for Cybertek, not SHIELD, so how much did they even know about Hydra?
posted by leesh at 7:36 AM on May 14, 2014


I still want them to bring in Agent Scott Adsit, the SHIELD Agent modeled after Scott Adsit that Brian Posehn created for Deadpool.
posted by inturnaround at 8:09 AM on May 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


I have a problem with the final Garett scene in that Coulson completely fucking ignored the dead scientist on the floor in front of him.

Oh look another dead dude, perhaps I'll let the cleaners know on my way to the rest of the gang.

I know it was a throw-away fan service thing, but are we seriously just decorating scenes with dead randos now? Does that sit right with Coulson's character at all?
posted by fullerine at 8:09 AM on May 14, 2014


He was just sleeping.
posted by inturnaround at 8:11 AM on May 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I wasn't differentiating Cybertek from Hydra, though they seem pretty much one and the same. But I don't think we can use Deathlok as an example, since they had way more control over him than just having his son as a captive. Instantaneous death at the first sign of disobedience (through constant monitoring) is the best motivator there is.

I don't know, I guess I'll be disappointed if the incentives program was just captive loved ones.
posted by MsVader at 8:27 AM on May 14, 2014


I figured Incentives was superpowers or healing or something like that, but now that I think of it, the dude did look less "Well, duh, it's Incentives" and more "Seriously, you're asking me that horrible question?"
posted by Etrigan at 8:37 AM on May 14, 2014 [3 favorites]


I have a problem with the final Garett scene in that Coulson completely fucking ignored the dead scientist on the floor in front of him.

Yeah, while I get what they were trying to do with that (Coulson kills newly minted RoboSteveJobs mid-monologue!), the dead dude on the floor was sort of a turd on the ice cream. Also, the implication that Coulson was just hanging out around the corner while Garrett not only killed the dude, but crawled across the floor, climbed into the robomaker, and screamed was kind of dumb. Why the hell did they leave the body sitting in the medical bay in the first place? To set up the "Whoops, laserblast in your chest" bit?

Look, I'm all for a good 'Fuck You!' to a bad guy by giving them hope for evil dreams, but if you are going to do that, do that in a way that doesn't cost someone their life. Hell, rig it so that the robomaker puts on Chucky Cheese animatronic parts and Garrett is left to dance to kids music for the rest of his unending life.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:47 AM on May 14, 2014


Speaking of things in that last bit that didn't make sense, didn't they load Garrett into a closed metal coffin? And wasn't the strong indication that Deathlok crushed his head (or chest) with a robo-stomp? How was he lying there unattended and intact?

I'm almost tempted to write it off as a dream sequence.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:58 AM on May 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


Hey, we're not going to let what we've shown as reality get in the way of a good joke.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:59 AM on May 14, 2014 [1 favorite]


Well, they showed the closed metal coffin toppled and open in the scene, but you're right about the head stomping thing. I mean, we didn't see the actual head being stomped, but it was strongly implied. I'm not sure what this means for that scene though. Dream sequence doesn't make sense unless it was the very last scene. But then we had that whole Coulson wall-drawing thing.
posted by MsVader at 9:04 AM on May 14, 2014


but now that I think of it, the dude did look less "Well, duh, it's Incentives" and more "Seriously, you're asking me that horrible question?"

I had a feeling it was a way of screening out the true believers from the rest of them; because the guy asking the question had a resigned look on his face when the answer was given as if to say "oh, another poor slob who has someone special being threatened." He probably just wants to know if he has a fanatic or a hostage joining the team.
posted by nubs at 9:05 AM on May 14, 2014


And poor Deathlok, left to, uh, wander off into the night? I want to hear the story of the sentry dude that was supposed to establish a perimeter around the captured base. "What? Point lights at the hills around the base where people can watch our activities from? Not feeling it."
posted by robocop is bleeding at 10:05 AM on May 14, 2014


I thought I remembered them carrying the coffin with Garret in it out of the room, although now that I think about it I'm not sure where they'd actually take his corpse. They don't have SHIELD morgues anymore, and they probably didn't want him cluttering up the office.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:23 AM on May 14, 2014


I thought I remembered them carrying the coffin with Garret in it out of the room, although now that I think about it I'm not sure where they'd actually take his corpse. They don't have SHIELD morgues anymore, and they probably didn't want him cluttering up the office.

Yeah, they carried his coffin out alongside the line of prisoners. It looked to me like everything was being taken by the US Military...so when he's suddenly back and getting into the chair, I was totally confused...and it got no better when Coulson disintegrates him and then walks back out like it was no big deal - isn't someone going to notice the open coffin and the lack of Garrett's corpse sooner or later?

I can forgive Coulson bypassing the dead tech - this is a facility he wanted "burned to the ground", so ok, the tech is just another bad guy. But the rest of it makes no sense.
posted by nubs at 10:46 AM on May 14, 2014


I *just* finished watching it and OMG!

The thing, with the things, and the thing, and the noisemakers, and the 'I know what this does" and the helicopter, and the Nailgun, and the kissing, and the ::hyperventilates::


Soooooooooooooooo goood.

Eagerly looking forward to Season 2.
posted by Faintdreams at 11:19 AM on May 14, 2014 [2 favorites]


Poor Glenn Morshower - he must be Marvel's go-to guy for playing senior US military figures who meet with spectacularly grisly ends. I guess it's a living.

Also, while I find a lot of SHIELD pretty hokey, I must say that the exchange about reviving Coulson was pure comic book heartwarming:

Coulson: "Yes, but that emergency was supposed to be the fall of an Avenger!"
Fury: "Exactly.
posted by adrianhon at 1:40 PM on May 14, 2014 [8 favorites]


The io9 recap.
posted by nubs at 2:31 PM on May 14, 2014


And the one thing I'm going to say I'm very uncertain about - Skye being something superhuman. And Coulson potentially also becoming something more than human.

One of the initial things that made this show appealing to me is that it's a bunch of normals running around dealing with super-sized problems; I like the fact that they don't have someone with super abilities of any kind (they are skilled and intelligent, but not superhuman) that can save the day deus-ex-machina like, and it looks like they are going to change that.

One of the things I found a little weird about Buffy was that it starts off with a Slayer, who is a teenage girl with some special powers, and her friends, who are high school students. Together, they fight supernatural crime! By the end of the series - Buffy has a crew of Slayers; and all of her friends (but one - and to me this is what made Xander interesting, despite all of his other problems as a character) has some super ability as well. Just made it all seem a little less interesting.
posted by nubs at 2:46 PM on May 14, 2014


FitzSimmons give some technobabble about how the capsule sank because "the density of the walls increased" and then have the nerve to wax poetic about the First Law of Thermodynamics? Oh dear. :)

Crazy Garrett is awesome Garrett. I wish the whole series had more of Raina. I'm a bit worried that season 2 will bog down in Coulson's organizational rebuilding, though I guess that could also be a fun way to bring in new characters. ("Why did you decide to interview for this position? Where do you see yourself five years from now?")

"Fitz will never be the same." That's nice and vague. Could be a statement about his recovery, or just about his disillusionment.
posted by mbrubeck at 3:05 PM on May 14, 2014


I also do not think they would have decompression sickness because they were never compressed - the air in the container was never subject to pressure, so they didn't get any additional nitrogen dissolved in their blood, right?

It is possible I paid more attention to this than usual because I learned how to SCUBA dive last month and found it fascinating.
posted by flaterik at 3:16 PM on May 14, 2014


I also do not think they would have decompression sickness because they were never compressed - the air in the container was never subject to pressure, so they didn't get any additional nitrogen dissolved in their blood, right?

It bugged me too. I learned to SCUBA dive years ago, so I'm rusty on the book knowledge, but they were sitting in a container that was pressurized as if they were at the surface (it sealed itself off and apparently "increased wall density" to keep integrity - and I'm not sure that 90 feet is really enough to crush much of anything). So their bodies consider themselves to be at the surface; a rapid ascent from 90 feet wouldn't cause any issues in terms of decompression - heck, free divers go much deeper without issue. The problem comes from a lengthy stay at depth/under pressure - then the nitrogen is forced into the blood and joints and expands again at the surface.

Anyways, comic book science is great for the comic book stuff. It helps to get the real world stuff right.
posted by nubs at 3:35 PM on May 14, 2014


iirc, 90 feet/30 metres is regarded (in the scuba world) as the safe limit for an emergency ascent without significant risk or narcosis. What's less plausible is that Simmons is such an amazing swimmer that she could ascend with Fitz in tow without oxygen.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 3:44 PM on May 14, 2014


What's less plausible is that Simmons is such an amazing swimmer that she could ascend with Fitz in tow without oxygen.

The power of love is a curious thing
Make a one man weep, make another man swim.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 4:04 PM on May 14, 2014 [13 favorites]


Considering she didn't even kiss the guy on the mouth after his reveal of his love for her, and his plan to make sure she was the only one to survive...
posted by nubs at 6:05 PM on May 14, 2014


Considering she didn't even kiss the guy on the mouth after his reveal of his love for her, and his plan to make sure she was the only one to survive...

Ha, I was actually really touched by that whole sequence and it made me tear up, partly because I loved the performances, but also because I loved the bittersweetness of Fitz confessing his love for Simmons, and Simmons being unable or unwilling to return the confession even as it's very clear she does love him, she's just probably not in love with him. I don't know, I liked that there was no definite resolution either way re romance, but that you're not left in doubt about how much they care about each other.

Admittedly though, I can't bring myself to worry about Fitz too much. I'm way more worried about Mike Peterson/Deathlok :( Maybe he can join up with the Winter Soldier on a rampage of revenge against Hydra, and then they can both reunite with their loved ones and live happily ever after the end?
posted by yasaman at 9:18 PM on May 14, 2014


So Deathlok is responsible for... how many crimes? And they literally let him walk away? Not even a tracking collar or something, or a "keep in touch" speech? I understand there's a right to bear arms in America, but when those arms literally contain mini-rockets and other weaponry...
posted by GhostintheMachine at 4:11 AM on May 15, 2014


So Deathlok is responsible for... how many crimes?

If someone holds a gun to your head and forces you to shoot a third party, are you responsible?
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:21 AM on May 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


GhostInTheMachine: As Mike / Deathlok said to Skye before leaving, the team have his hardware and software specs, they can spy on him any time and anywhere. They just need to 'dial-in' to his head.

Plus with S.H.I.E.L.D in such a shambles, there are superhumans in the general populace with actual feelings of malice towards everyone. Irrideemably bad people.

Mike just wants to atone for all the terrible things he was forced to do.
posted by Faintdreams at 4:48 AM on May 15, 2014


So Deathlok is responsible for... how many crimes?

Committing acts of crime under duress is generally a good defense.

I watched the episode last night and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. I do agree, as the conversation picked at, I found the dead (unconscious?) tech being ignored by Coulson kind of odd.

I do think they set the ground for Ward to be redeemed, but obviously, not immediately. The old SHIELD might have put him on some kind of leash with a deal to have him help hunt down other Hydra members, etc, but I'm not sure if I can see Coulson doing that.

In truth, Ward is this sad picture of someone doing their best to be a good psychopath but continually being limited by unwanted feelings.

I was surprised (delightfully so) by Fury's cameo and thought it was a great response to Fitz's sour comment that no one would be listening to the distress signal because it was on a SHIELD frequency. If anyone would, it would be Fury. The conversation between Fury and Coulson was great, as well the nod back to the Avengers with the gun...and as quoted above, Fury's inclusion of Coulson as an Avenger. I wanted the scene to freeze and the animation from the Grinch Stole Christmas when his heart explodes to overplay that for Coulson. I don't know if you could really say much of anything else that would have so touched him (except, maybe, making him the Director of SHIELD).

I'm tepidly excited about Season Two, hoping they can continue the momentum.
-Simmon's smooches Lordy, it was incredibly sweet the way the machine gun kisses just exploded all over Fitz and the rest of Simmons' reaction. I do agree that the lack of smooches on lips implied that poor Fitz will just have to accept being a best friend unless things change.

-Evolution It also looks like they're ramping up to create a Marvel world of superheroes and super villains, which continues the flow of the Marvel universe storyline that the world is changing (and hence SHIELD's need to exist to deal with it).
posted by Atreides at 6:58 AM on May 15, 2014


Rib-eye stake.
posted by curious nu at 8:05 AM on May 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


Who would have guessed two months ago that I'd start a comment with "My favorite Ward moment"? But anyway, my favorite Ward moment was during his conversation with Raina. She asks him something like "But were you born a monster, or did Garrett make you a monster?" And Ward's reaction is he just shrugs. Ha!

It's a nice character moment, of course, hinting at a lack of self-reflection or interior life on Ward's part, but it was also just a funny moment to answer that typically clunky SHIELD philosophizing with "beats me, don't care."
posted by Ian A.T. at 8:09 AM on May 15, 2014


"There’s a reason why they say, 'Cut off the head!' AND NOW I'll BE UNSTO-"
*KABLOOIE*
"Hey guys, I found it!"

Love it.
posted by zarq at 8:59 AM on May 15, 2014 [5 favorites]


Was there something significant about Fury's exit line & look to camera? It looked like his bad eye got glowy for a second (my Marvel knowledge is mostly from the movieverse, so I don't know the backstory for Fury's injuries).
posted by oh yeah! at 9:23 AM on May 15, 2014


oh yeah!: "Was there something significant about Fury's exit line & look to camera?"

I don't believe the line itself is particularly significant except that it plays into Fury's mystique.

Regarding the eye backstory, that hasn't been revealed yet. Spoilers here. Would probably violate FanFare's spoiler rules to talk about it in this thread.
posted by zarq at 9:51 AM on May 15, 2014


Like Agent Triplett, I, too, bring the noise and the funk wherever I go.
posted by maqsarian at 11:38 AM on May 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


I couldn't navigate that wiki on my phone, but I'm ok with waiting on an in-MCU reveal of Fury's backstory -- mostly I just wasn't sure if his eye was doing something flashy in that shot because (a) the F/X people were doing it just to look cool (b) as an in-joke for the comics fans (c) it didn't do anything at all and I should get my vision checked.
posted by oh yeah! at 11:44 AM on May 15, 2014


What The “Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.” Bosses Learned From That Tumultuous First Season
There are also a lot of question marks surrounding Ward, especially after the final two episodes. What was important to accomplish with him toward the end of the season?

Maurissa Tancharoen: We wanted to represent, in our characters, the different voices factions of our audience would have. Fitz still believes that Ward has been conditioned to be this way, and that’s definitely an opinion some of our audience has. We want to play the question of, Is he redeemable? There’s still glimpses of Ward where you feel there’s more going on with him being a bad guy. And, of course, we show in Episode 21 the conditioning. But we have yet to see what Garrett pulled him out of. We saw glimpses of his family life in Episode 7, but we still don’t know how dire or how toxic that was.

Jed Whedon: We saw in the finale it was a little bit of one step at a time with helping Garrett and now that they reached the finish line, he was looking to Garrett for answers and Garrett’s not giving them to him, which emotionally affected Ward. For the first time he’s lost, and how that will play out in Season 2 is one of the things we’re excited to explore.

Maurissa Tancharoen: In a way, there’s a nice parallel between Agent Ward and Agent Coulson, two men who’ve sort of been stripped of everything they’ve believed in and are left with nothing — all of them, collectively, are searching for their purpose. What is the purpose of S.H.I.E.L.D.? How will they define themselves now? Now that Garrett is gone, what does that mean for Ward? Will he come to something on his own? That is something we hope to explore in Season 2.
Derp.
posted by Ian A.T. at 12:06 PM on May 15, 2014


For the first time he’s lost, and how that will play out in Season 2 is one of the things we’re excited to explore.

That sounds incredibly unexciting. He was great as a bad guy.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:09 PM on May 15, 2014 [2 favorites]


which emotionally affected Ward.

If Jed hadn't pointed that out, we would have no other way of knowing that Ward was emotionally affected by anything.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 12:11 PM on May 15, 2014 [4 favorites]


I am still bothered by the whole TAHITI project. From what the video said, they were experimenting on human subjects with this alien goo, and the results were that the people were in pain and began going crazy. I find it hard to believe that Coulson, positioned as the moral center of SHIELD (other than Cap, I guess, who isn't really SHIELD anyway), would have approved of such a project, much less managed it.

And then to have Fury override his explicit recommendation to shut the project down, and put Coulson himself through it, with the extra horror of the mindwipe, which was apparently so painful it made him want to die!

I don't think a single argument with Fury is enough to address that. It was a horrifying violation of his trust and his bodily integrity, and Fury doesn't appear to acknowledge that at all.
posted by suelac at 12:13 PM on May 15, 2014


Doesn't have to. Once could say that what Fury did in terms of bringing Coulson back was indefensible. I don't agree, but one could certainly make that argument.

But the deed is done, Coulson's back. Bosses have overriding employees recommendations for centuries and will no doubt continue to do so. The point is that Coulson was worth it.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:27 PM on May 15, 2014


Bosses have overriding employees recommendations for centuries and will no doubt continue to do so.

And in many cases, have created festering resentment by doing so.
posted by Etrigan at 12:34 PM on May 15, 2014


Can someone tell me what the deal is with the gun the coulson "found"? That seemed kinda outa nowhere for me.

The whole final episode seemed a bit too slapstick, but actually I would really prefer a bit of humor mixed in with the generic "secret government agency gone rogue" tropes.
posted by rebent at 12:37 PM on May 15, 2014


Can someone tell me what the deal is with the gun the coulson "found"?

That was the 0-8-4, from the episode of the same name (they found it in Peru), and when Garrett used it to break into the Fridge.
posted by Etrigan at 12:53 PM on May 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


Now that Garrett is gone, what does that mean for Ward? Will he come to something on his own? That is something we hope to explore in Season 2.

*facepalm* Hey everyone! Instead of the Heel Face Turn happening in an episode, let's do it over the course of a season!

Much rather spend time with the team, thanks.
posted by nubs at 1:11 PM on May 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


ward is team, he just doesn't know it yet.
posted by rebent at 1:30 PM on May 15, 2014


What do you do with a Season 2 Ward? He doesn't really set up as a big bad, and a redemption arc would be... problematic. The first hurdle is dealing with him being locked up - do you do a prison break thing or as a Hannibal Lecter informant? Considering they've set him up as strictly a physical threat, I just don't see it. And he's a follower, so no charismatic leadership potential. Does he get rescued and turned into Deathlok 2.0? (wait... would that be 3.0?)

If someone holds a gun to your head and forces you to shoot a third party, are you responsible?

Committing acts of crime under duress is generally a good defense.


Yeah, but generally there's a court case involved. Until then, you could just as easily say he was "just following orders".

Look at us, trying to rationalize what's essentially a motion comic book. 12-year old me would be proud that I haven't changed one little bit.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 1:37 PM on May 15, 2014


If someone holds a gun to your head and forces you to shoot a third party, are you responsible?

Committing acts of crime under duress is generally a good defense.

Yeah, but generally there's a court case involved. Until then, you could just as easily say he was "just following orders".


Superhero universe law: guilt is determined by courts, innocence is determined by superheroes (note: not applicable in grimdark universes).
posted by Etrigan at 1:40 PM on May 15, 2014


I think something needs to happen to s2 ward - a call to action, a manufactured change in personality via technology or supersyrum, etc. I don't think ward can be redemed, but I think he can still be useful - to help recapture all those runaway baddies, for example.

I could see him escaping from jail (it's just military jail, not shield jail after all) and being hunted down by deathglock, and then having a "enemy of my enemy" experience, the two becoming a renegade broforce to "write the wrongs" of breaking open the shieldgates.

Or i could see him retaining some vital information that shield or flowers needs to move a plan forward.
posted by rebent at 1:52 PM on May 15, 2014


It is clear from this episode that Coulson (as a character) works best when paired on screen with colourful characters played by charismatic actors such as Jackson, Paxton or Oswalt (or Johansson, Downey Jr and co in the movies). He's like a whiteface clown who needs a scenery-chewing auguste to perform. One of the problems with the first half-season was that he had nobody exceptional to banter with.
posted by elgilito at 2:07 PM on May 15, 2014 [7 favorites]


Hopefully Hill turns into either a regular or a frequent guest star in season 2. Cobie Smulders was good for that stuff.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 2:09 PM on May 15, 2014


*facepalm* Hey everyone! Instead of the Heel Face Turn happening in an episode, let's do it over the course of a season!

God, I hope that over the break they take a good long look at the show they actually created and then have all that soul-searching lead directly to cackling supervillainy. He could found the Serpent Society!
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 2:18 PM on May 15, 2014


but I think he can still be useful - to help recapture all those runaway baddies, for example.

He would be great as bounty hunter they regularly use. Something like Firefly's Mrs. Reynolds who's path the team keeps crossing. Let him do that for a season or two and then maybe a redemption arc.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:25 PM on May 15, 2014 [1 favorite]


Reading that Buzzfeed interview... jeez, I could not care less about Ward, there is no negative value that can express how very little interest I have about his 'journey'.

More Trip please.
posted by cendawanita at 8:33 PM on May 15, 2014 [6 favorites]


Always more Trip. He's a complete delight. I don't even know what it is about him, but he lights up the screen and seems just so. damned. thrilled. to be a secret government agent who is exceptionally good at his job. Plus he is very handsome. Please tell me he's going to be a regular, he's the best.
posted by yasaman at 9:51 PM on May 15, 2014 [4 favorites]


Always more Trip. He's a complete delight.

Plus, he has the effect of making Simmons more interesting, too.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 6:42 AM on May 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


All right. Here ya go. At some point Skye will be captured by Flowers and her Pa, and somehow, Ward will be involved in her rescue. She is, after all, the only thing that he cares about. Make it a several episode arc and that can be part of the Ward redemption Arc. This isn't what I necessarily would like to see, but I'm guessing it is likely to happen. Outside of revenge for Garrett's death, Skye is the only real motivation he has for doing anything else other than moping and designing a nail gun that will somehow sense it's about to be fired into a foot and stop.
posted by Atreides at 7:08 AM on May 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


So last night, here's what I was thinking would be the best possible arc for season 2:

-Fitz recovers, but realizes that Simmons won't ever return his feelings. And besides, she's got hunky Trip hanging about now. He gets pissed off and leaves.

-Fitz busts Ward out, and the two of them become a kickass crime duo - Ward with the muscle, Fitz with the technowizardy; that eventually leads to them founding (or joining - I guess neither of them are really leaders) some type of rival organization to SHIELD. Or, they work together to catch people who've escaped from the Fridge, but using means that aren't exactly SHIELD approved - sort of good guys, but not really...in either case, they keep crossing paths with SHIELD and causing problems.


-there's no real resolution to this; they just kinda keep popping up at inconvenient times and throwing a wrench into whatever SHIELD is rebuilding and being a nuisance.
posted by nubs at 8:06 AM on May 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


-Fitz busts Ward out, and the two of them become a kickass crime duo

"We're rogue demon hunters now."
"Ooohhh... What's a rogue demon?"
posted by Etrigan at 8:17 AM on May 16, 2014 [8 favorites]


"I mean, aren't they all rogue, by definition?"

"Well, by our definition, yes, but I suppose you could have a rogue demon in the sense that they aren't following the orders of whatever master they serve, but that's not the point! We're the rogues, and we hunt demons."

"Really? Ok. But do we have to be rogues? Couldn't we be more just offbeat, or maybe unconventional?"
posted by nubs at 8:34 AM on May 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


Bothered by the potential for a Ward redemption arc. They worked so hard switching him back and forth from good to bad to what the heck.

Delving more into the TAHITI project would be interesting, and to see the MCU rebuild after this and Winter Soldier.

At the end of it, it's interesting to see how this all has played out with/for Coluson, who was sort of a throw away ending tidbit tossed into the first IronMan, IIRC.

I was kind of upset when Fury reached out of the helicopter. If he'd shown up 5 min earlier they could have just shot a rescue bell or something into the damn container. Shoot bell down, have it reach over and drill a mouse tunnel into the container, seal it up, yank it up. Yadda yadda no kiss and iffy Fitz recovery.

Are we sure that Garret killed that last scientist? And again with the getting out of the box ... makes no sense.
posted by tilde at 1:10 PM on May 16, 2014


i have a feeling that Fitz is going to be recovering for a while if not incapacitated, leaving Simmons feeling guilty about any sort of moving on she could do without him (ie Trip.)

i feel like i'm the only Ward sympathizer around, but i'm rooting for him to figure his shit out and understand what it really means to be part of a team and work for the greater good. (i admit i'm into skyeward, i watched that scene where Ward and Skye were fighting in Nothing Personal like twenty times over.) he needs to figure out what the wants - not just Skye, but for himself. so i think more can be done with his character and well also he's a hottieeeee
posted by cristinacristinacristina at 1:46 PM on May 16, 2014


Good call Atreides. If I had to bet, I'd go with your theory. However, I don't think it would necessarily mean Ward would be completely redeemed; in fact it might be that he manages to upset even more people in the process of reaching Skye (which, sadly, would be a damsel in distress thing, but there you go)
posted by adrianhon at 4:13 PM on May 16, 2014


Ward = Spike?
posted by double bubble at 5:57 PM on May 16, 2014


They're nothing alike; their coloring is totally different.
posted by flaterik at 7:44 PM on May 16, 2014


also in the back of my mind i am still thinking that in Nothing Personal when Ward is talking about how he was on a mission and tells Skye "someday you'll understand" - i sort of hope that mission was at some point after he was brought in to shield by Garrett (as a Hydra spy) that he was found out or switched sides without Garrett knowing and became a spy ON Hydra. i don't know! more could be there, or maybe not. as evidenced in the winter soldier, Fury didn't exactly clue one part of shield with what was happening with another. what did he call it? compartmentalizing?
posted by cristinacristinacristina at 8:11 PM on May 16, 2014


Tripp is delightful, but as of yet, appears to have no character flaws or weaknesses whatsoever, and that kinda bugs me. He's a little too perfect, you know?
posted by redsparkler at 8:25 PM on May 16, 2014


Them not being actual brother and sister have just made this show unwatchable. Why couldn't they at least have left it ambiguous.
posted by bleep at 9:33 PM on May 16, 2014


My Fitz theory is that he's going to have average or even above-average intelligence for a while instead of off the charts and have to deal with how that impacts his relationship with Simmons (can they even have a conversation?) and of course his job. He can train to kick ass instead for a while. Then he'll recover somehow thanks to Simmons.
posted by girlhacker at 9:38 PM on May 16, 2014


I think something needs to happen to s2 ward - a call to action, a manufactured change in personality via technology or supersyrum, etc. I don't think ward can be redemed, but I think he can still be useful - to help recapture all those runaway baddies, for example.

Taskmaster.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 4:21 AM on May 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


They kind of have to redeem Ward, though; while Garrett used Hydra to further his own ends, I still don't buy that he is totally in charge of Hydra infiltration. A large piece of their success, lots of free reign but not the head.
posted by tilde at 8:04 AM on May 18, 2014


Hoping for a Coulson/May relationship arc. Why the heck not? She's clearly into him.
posted by amtho at 11:15 AM on May 18, 2014


Hoping for a Coulson/May relationship arc. Why the heck not? She's clearly into him.

I've seen the theory floating around the internet in a few places, that they had a quite serious relationship, up until Coulson got mind-wiped, and now Coulson just doesn't remember any of it.

I gotta say, I think it's pretty compelling, especially with how it makes some scenes (like their fight back at the secret bunker, just before she storms off into the snow) make a good deal more sense than they do otherwise.
posted by mstokes650 at 2:30 PM on May 18, 2014


But that would mean Coulson was cheating on his cellist - I could believe that May and Coulson have a past relationship, but I can't see him being unfaithful.
posted by oh yeah! at 4:15 PM on May 18, 2014


I concur, Coulson isn't cheating on the Cellist. Weren't we told that May was essentially done with Shield until Coulson reached out to her to join his team? He basically had to drag her back into uniform, so to speak, and even then, at first it was on limited terms, such as flying the bus. I'd reckon that they either had a relationship many years ago, or it's just an intense friendship between two people who have been in many, many life threatening situations.
posted by Atreides at 6:56 AM on May 19, 2014


The past between May and Coulson has to be work and friendship. Mostly because I'm tired of every great "couple" always being tossed in with a past/future/current sexual relationship almost everywhere all the time.
posted by tilde at 7:32 AM on May 19, 2014 [2 favorites]


And he can't cheat on Cellist, she thinks he's dead. I'd love to see Coulson/May shipping be put to bed (hah!) with some sort of kissy face scene and it's like in Back to The Future where Lorraine and Marty kiss ... they back off and are like, "yeah, no."
posted by tilde at 7:33 AM on May 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


Mostly because I'm tired of every great "couple" always being tossed in with a past/future/current sexual relationship almost everywhere all the time.

Plus it would be nice for someone ever on TV to say, "No, I think having a relationship with a co-worker would be a bad idea," and actually mean it and not suffer horrible psychic trauma because he or she was denied the One True Love.
posted by Etrigan at 7:35 AM on May 19, 2014


Not to drag in another show, Etrigan but Mad Men finally did from thrice-burned Peggy (does Pete count? I guess sorta.). The episode The Runaways had a little speech near the end between Peggy and Michael Ginsberg though one could argue he wasn't all there.
posted by tilde at 7:58 AM on May 19, 2014


Hoping for a Coulson/May relationship arc. Why the heck not? She's clearly into him.

I'm betting that Coulson and May are Skye's real parents.
posted by jbickers at 1:32 PM on May 19, 2014 [1 favorite]


Coulson and May are siblings, and Skye is their parents.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:38 PM on May 19, 2014 [4 favorites]


It'll be interesting to see how they build on Guardians with this whole Kree thing.

Speaking of which: New Guardians of the Galaxy Trailer Is Sensational!
posted by homunculus at 3:40 PM on May 19, 2014


I don't have an issue with Ward around next season, but that's pretty contingent on any "redemption arc" not meaning he is redeemed in the eyes of the team. Or maybe even the world. But I think there's room in the MCU for a character who is maybe as blood-stained as Black Widow but who isn't currently surrounded with people who think "it's cool, they're good NOW."

Is Ward dirtier than Natasha? We don't really know, though she seems pretty haunted by her actions. As was pointed out in the Winter Soldier thread, she visibly winced when it was laid out that all her grubby past would be revealed (though I guess that wasn't all awful enough to keep them from letting her speak to Congress unshackled...). I don't think that means the team has to ever forgive him but I think there could be interesting stuff to mine if he's out and about in the world doing stuff seeking his own personal peace.
posted by phearlez at 8:59 PM on May 19, 2014 [2 favorites]


Wow, that was possibly the funniest episode since the pilot. "I found it!" And Skye saying exactly what I was thinking: if Ward is so obedient, I do hope Garrett tells him to go walk in traffic.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:18 PM on May 21, 2014


I saw a Tumblr post that I can't find now, which mentioned liking the symmetry in Fitz being saved by Fury since Fury was saved in Cap 2 Winter Soldier by the 'mouse hole' (or something) that Fitz created. Does anyone know what that might be referring to? I did see Cap 2 (twice), but I'm drawing a blank.
posted by oh yeah! at 9:43 PM on May 28, 2014




Finally managed to watch the second half of the series thanks to a Mefi angel who hooked me up with the episodes that were missing from Hulu. So glad that I did, it was definitely worth it as the series really did get a heck of a lot better.
posted by octothorpe at 7:07 PM on May 31, 2014


%n: "The io9 recap."

Heh. From the comments in that story: Bill Paxton, the only man killed by a predator, and alien, a terminator and an avenger.
posted by octothorpe at 5:28 AM on June 1, 2014 [2 favorites]


At some point Skye will be captured by Flowers and her Pa, and somehow, Ward will be involved in her rescue.

With Flowers' obsession with Evolution, and her speech to Ward about who made him a monster, I predict she will break him out of prison, and be directly involved in his "redemption" and then use him to "capture" Skye for Monster Dad (she would likely willingly go with Ward if he can prove he's redeemed and offers her the chance to meet her father, don't you think?).

I don't think Skye has a superpower, I think she literally has some thing (an 0-8-4?) inside her that other people want. Now, since we know that her and Coulson's blood is manna from heaven, people will want her even more.

As far as Deathlok goes, Raina knows where all the secret labs are, so she probably still has access to him as much as SHIELD does.

I have to tell you guys, I had a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach this whole season because I could see they were working on the series-arc and season-arc plots. Generally, that has not worked well for the Whedons. I guess because they're trying to keep them within the MCU they might have a better chance. But still, not super happy when they hint at a deeper backstory to a character because I always feel like we will never get it.
posted by sarahnade at 5:21 PM on June 2, 2014


I guess because they're trying to keep them within the MCU they might have a better chance. But still, not super happy when they hint at a deeper backstory to a character because I always feel like we will never get it.

Part of the reason is that they always have their shows canceled before they get around to it. (Which is not an excuse!)
posted by Atreides at 7:02 AM on June 3, 2014


Only once. Buffy and Angel got a combined twelve seasons, and Dollhouse had plenty of advance warning to sort its shit out. Firefly is the only time Joss has ever been thrown off the train before it got to the station, and even then he got a follow-up movie.
posted by Etrigan at 7:12 AM on June 3, 2014


Okay, so I finally caught up on this show and I got all emotional about it on Tumblr, and I have some thoughts that i thought I'd share even though this is a super old thread. I hope that's okay. There are some spoilers for Winter Soldier starting in the third paragraph, so, uh, don't read those if you have somehow managed to avoid the "who the Winter Soldier is" reveal.

I really have no interest whatsoever in Ward; I wish they'd killed him, like for real, beheaded and everything, no takebakesies, because I am just not at all interested in the redemption of the Nazi spy guy.

I do, however, have interest in Mike/Deathlok, and I really, really hope we get to see more of him. I feel like there's a big parallel to be drawn between Mike and Bucky. They both went through hell, but Bucky wasn't in control the way Mike was; the result ends up the same for mind control and coercion, but the lasting effects are different. I really hope we get to see that explored. I think Mike is just as tragic a character as Bucky, and I hope that somebody in the MCUverse, whether or not they're associated with SHIELD, will set up a support group for all the folks who were coerced into working for Hydra, through brainwashing and threats and whatever else.

I also cried when Simmons got saved but just because I like Simmons. I'm not into Fitz/Simmons, really, but that's because I'm a slasher at heart and want Skye/Simmons even though that will never actually happen (but it would be great if it did).
posted by NoraReed at 12:44 AM on July 24, 2014 [1 favorite]


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