REVIEW: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S5E22 – The End

Ohhhh, this show. My heart. Now that I’ve finally started to wipe away the tears, I’ll write my review.

“He saved the world. A lot.” (With his team.)

So. After all the buildup, Talbot’s takedown isn’t even the main climax of the episode. But that’s not surprising, and not really a criticism either. This show has always been about the team, this beautiful, messy found family of heroes. It’s always been about how much they love each other, and what they’re willing to give up for each other. And that’s what the finale is about, too.

But we’ll start with Gravi-Talbot. He convinces Robin – not that it was hard to do, since she’s a freaking child, you monster – to tell him where to look for gravitonium by taking her mother away from her. And apparently the gravitonium is under Chicago. So it falls to Daisy (not Coulson – more on that later) to make one last-ditch effort to stop him by appealing to his humanity and sense of duty as a soldier … or take him out, if that doesn’t work. I bet you can guess whether it works or not.

Yeah, supervillain. So Daisy has to use the Centipede serum that the hero of heroes Coulson has smuggled into her Quake wrist guard things to blast free of Talbot’s attempt to absorb her, and then she just blasts him allllll the way out into space. Where he dies much like a certain other SHIELD baddie. Bye, Talbot.

Now, back to the real meat of the episode. I’m so glad that after all their machinations and secret plans to save Coulson no matter what – even against his wishes – no one actually forces Coulson to use the Centipede serum. He’s given the choice. And yeah, sure, it’s obvious what his team wants him to do, but still. (Incidentally, May, I know you were in a lot of pain and that you love Coulson, but throwing the Odium on the floor so it’s not even an option? Not. Cool.) And of course, because he is Philip J. Coulson, hero of SHIELD, he gives it to Daisy instead.

Other heroes of the night: Mack and Fitz and May, going back to Talbot’s plane to rescue Robin and her mom. I was so terrified Mack was going to die – yes, sometimes the show’s obvious misdirection works really well, okay? Then they legit made me cry with that Fitz death scene. Iain De Caestecker and Henry Simmons (and Ming-Na Wen) nailed every agonizing moment. Fitz definitely figured out what kind of man he wanted to be – a true selfless hero. And then Elizabeth Henstridge’s face after she found out? Cue more sobbing. I’m honestly not sure if I would have been okay with rewatching this episode ever again if there had been no hope for saving Fitz.

And as if that wasn’t enough, then there was the farewell scene for Coulson. Guys, I really need to be able to see the screen if I’m supposed to be reviewing this episode! But you can definitely tell this was written to work as either a season finale or a series finale. I would have been very satisfied with that beautiful beach ending for the whole show, if I’d had to be. As it is, though, I’m so glad we get at least thirteen more episodes with this fantastic group of characters. I can’t wait to see what extra abilities Daisy will discover as a result of the Centipede serum. I can’t wait to watch Mack, the team’s heart, be the director – with Yo-Yo back at his side. (Loved her emotional journey in this ep, too!) I can’t wait to see the Fitz who’s asleep out in space being rescued.

And yes, I want them to find a way to make sure #CoulsonLives for at least the rest of season six, especially if that’s the last season. Because Coulson is the whole reason I watched this show in the first place, and if Mack is the heart, then Coulson is the soul.

Couldn’t be any more magical.

Plus, since the next season isn’t going to air until right about the time the next Avengers movie comes out, that means the Infinity War implications can be explored in an entirely different way than we’d thought. I want to see how that plays out, too.

What did you think of the finale – and the entire season? Did it leave you with complaints, or are you smiling through your tears? Let us know in the comments! Also, check out Clark Gregg’s response to the finale over at EW.