Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S1 Ep22 – Beginning of the End

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S1 Ep22 - Beginning of the End

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. took a while to find his niche in the season’s early episodes. Many have suggested that the show finally found its footing after the it’s tie-in with Captain America: The Winter Soldier. I would agree that every episode since the tie-in has been very enjoyable, but for me the shift in the show’s quality began with “T.R.A.C.K.S.” Since then every episode has been great, fleshing out the characters and the universe, while providing a fun blend of action, comedy, and drama. Now we have arrived at the season finale of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Is “Beginning of the End” a finale I can add to the show’s winning streak of enjoyable episodes, or did it end up leaving a bad taste in my mouth? Lets find out.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S1 Ep22 - Beginning of the End

Tripp brings “the noise and the funk”

Last week’s episode “Ragtag” ended off with Garrett gaining superhuman qualities through some GH-325, Fitz and Simmons being plunged into the middle of the ocean, Ian Quinn trying to sell his super soldier tech to the U.S. military, and Coulson and the rest of the team being cornered by Garrett’s soldiers.  Fortunately, the team is able to get out of their situation easily thanks to May wielding the Berserker Staff introduced in “The Well.” After that its up to the them to head to Cybertek and stop Garrett.

Fitz and Simmons lay at the bottom of the ocean in a sealed cell. They got a little banged up on their way down, but are still alive and in decent condition. Unfortunately, they are trapped at the bottom of the ocean relying on a S.H.I.E.L.D. distress beacon that no one is listening to. It was touching seeing Fitz and Simmons come to terms with the fact that they might die, even though I suspected they wouldn’t. While it would have been a very Whedon thing to kill off one or two of the series’ best characters, having Fitz and Simmons slowly run out of oxygen until they suffocate would have been too cruel and just wouldn’t fit the overall tone of the show. Luckily, Fitz and Simmons devise a way to break out of the cell and reach the surface using a defibrillator and an one oxygen mask. Being that there was only one oxygen mask and they would need two for both of them to make it to the surface, Fitz gives it to Simmons. A lot of credit has to be given to Elizabeth Henstridge‘s performance as Simmons, when she has to deal with possibly of losing her best friend. It was heartbreaking seeing her react. Fitz is willing to sacrifice himself for her and even admits to liking her as more than just a friend, which I had kind of expected was the case in recent episodes. Fitz then blows the hatch, but Simmons is able to take them both to the surface and as it turns out, someone was listening to their distress beacon. Nick Fury.

Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) makes his first appearance in “Beginning of the End” saving Fitz and Simmons via helicopter. Fitz remained in critical condition, but Simmons was fine, spending time in a decompression chamber. At first I thought this would only be a quick cameo from Nick Fury, but Simmons ends up telling him where to find Coulson and the rest of the team. So, we are fortunate enough to see him in few more scenes later on.

Garrett is a completely changed man in this episode after the exposure to the GH-325. He now has super human strength, can possibly see the future, and spends some of his time drawing weird and complex alien-like symbols on some glass. Actor Bill Paxton really hams it up in the role more than ever before with some evil grins and creepy wide eyes. Garrett even gruesomely murders one military general that Quinn was trying to sell his super soldier tech to. That scene was pretty violent considering the show’s tone, and was unexpected. The other characters on the show, including Ward, take notice of how crazy he’s become and even make comments on it. Later in the episode we get quips from Coulson and Fury referring to Garrett’s new found insanity.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S1 Ep22 - Beginning of the End

May and Skye sneak into Cybertek

Ward, although displeased with Garrett’s behavior, is still loyal and is sent to take out Skye who has made her way into Cybertek and hacked Garrett’s soldiers. He wasn’t counting on May to be there, though. Here we are given a very satisfying fight scene between the two of them. May finally gets to take out all her frustrations on Ward, because of what he did to her and the team. I really, really enjoyed watching her work. By the end of the fight Ward gets his foots nailed to the floor and gets his larynx broken. Good.

Then it’s on to Skye to find her “ace in the hole.” After hacking into Garrett’s soldiers, they lead Coulson and Tripp directly to Garrett. Coulson gets to Garrett but unfortunately didn’t know of his new super human strength. Nick Fury shows up in the nick of time (no pun intended) with some handy weapons that at least help take out Garrett’s men. With the soldiers out of the way all who is left standing are Coulson and Fury against Garrett and Mike Peterson. Luckily, Skye is able to find Peterson’s son and let Peterson know that his son is okay. This leads to Peterson finally turning his weapon on Garrett. This was one of my favorite moments in the episode. Peterson is one of the most sympathetic characters on the show since he’s basically a regular guy who has been forced into doing very terrible things against his will all because of Garrett. He finally gets his revenge and takes him out.

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