Agents of SHIELD: The End Is At Hand

How do we get out of here again?

After seven seasons, lots of fighting, battles, and successful missions, it’s the end of the line for the Agents of SHIELD. The series wraps up with a two-hour, double-episode finale, so this will be split in two parts. Also, as both a season and series finale, there will be spoilers. Read on at your own peril. But first, take a moment to bid farewell to Phil Coulson, Melinda May, Jemma Simmons, Daisy Johnson, Leo Fitz, the surviving originals, and Director Mack Mackenzie, Elena “Yo-Yo/I need a new codename now” Rodriguez, and Deke Shaw. I dearly hope we see these characters again. The rumors and signs are contradictory.

Ghost Rider, who appeared on this series, was supposed to get his own show, which was cancelled in pre-production. Bobbi “Mockingbird” Morse is going to be on the Hawkeye series in Disney+… but recast, which bodes ill for the Agents. There’s a rumor floating around that Fitz and Simmons will at least appear on the upcoming Fury series, but since that one is in very early, one might argue pre-pre-production, I wouldn’t hold my breath. I think it would be a great disservice to fans if Coulson doesn’t pop up in the MCU at least once more, but then, I was annoyed he was snubbed in the big funeral for Tony Stark, the late, great Iron Man.

The seventh and final season has been our heroes fighting the Chronicoms for control over history. The time traveling alien robots continue their plan to erase SHIELD before it grows to be the force that defeated them, and the latest twist in their plan has brought an entire fleet to Earth to blast SHIELD out of existence back in the 80’s. Mack, Daisy, and Sousa are on the Zephyr, taking the fight to the enemies in Earth orbit as best they can, while the others man the Lighthouse and try to come up with more counters to the Chronicoms’ plans. There’s a great scene of a sort of standoff on the Zephyr, in which Sousa, once again, gets the best line, before the Agents leave their ship to explore an eerily empty alien vessel.

Malik’s attempt at interrogating Deke and Simmons goes about as well as you’d expect with Deke’s attitude, and they get shoved in a cell after Simmons gets a little something extra Sybil cooked up. Malik and Garret have a chat about the future, and Garret’s role in it, while they plot against the Lighthouse, the last SHIELD facility left intact. Speaking of, Coulson, May, and Yo-Yo are doing their best to defend the place from computer and physical intrusions. While this goes on, Malik continues his manipulations of Kora, Daisy’s previously unknown and potentially more powerful sister.

Garrett, the earlier, younger version, is making use of Gordon’s teleportation powers to wreak havoc at the Lighthouse. Back in their cell, Simmons is feeling the effects of her unasked-for treatment, and Deke does what he can to help her. Team Mack goes hunting for their captured teammates, and there’s a touching goodbye that amuses their leader. Coulson does what he can to come up with a way to stop Garrett, which isn’t easy. Up on the Chronicom ship, Sybil makes life difficult for Daisy, Mack, and even Malik. Fuming over the restrictions Sybil has put on him, Malik keeps doing his best to hone the hatred Kora has for Daisy/Quake.

Coulson’s trap for Garrett draws on teamwork from his agents, which is fitting, and maybe a bit from Saturday morning cartoons, which is entertaining to watch. Coulson and May get in some philosophical musings as they wait to spring the trap, which takes advantage of Garrett’s overconfidence and survival instinct. Garrett does his best to cooperate, since he has no choice, and gets a big surprise from Malik. With some quick thinking, minor pun intended, Yo-Yo helps save the day, and the other three characters.

Sousa and Mack improvise some defenses as Chronicom-Hunters come for them. The good news is their trick works. The bad news is, it’s a one-shot deal. Daisy sneaks through the ship with some weird interactions with the crew while Coulson gets Lighthouse command up and somewhat running. Garrett tries to make a new deal, and Coulson finds a pattern in some faint signals that might give them a new way to approach things. Daisy finally finds Deke and Simmons, but the rescue is a bit more complicated than it could have been due to Simmons’ memory issues. There’s also a running joke about Deke that I’m not wild about. Sybil and Malik talk about Kora and then she turns him loose on Mack and Deke.

Proving the value of a fresh set of eyes, Sousa makes a suggestion drawing on his first run-in with Chronicoms that gives Mack an idea, and requires more duct tape. Since SHIELD is ending, maybe he’s looking to be Mack-Gyver? The difficult escape attempt, with Simmons babbling a lot, hits a much bigger snag with Kora shows up, out for Daisy’s blood. Apparently, this throws off the future that Sybil envisioned, and she’s not happy with Malik. Daisy and Kora fight, but Daisy wins her over eventually.

Coulson figures out what he’s been listening too, and he gets the clue about what to do next. Unfortunately, this involves trusting someone none of them do. Mack and Sousa revamp their plan when Deke and Simmons show up, asking for more time for Daisy. Kora tries to share her recent revelation with Malik, but he’s not about to listen, and takes some dramatic steps to end the discussion. Daisy finally makes it back to the Zephyr, and the team makes a really impressive, and somewhat comedic, escape. The first part ends with Coulson and company arriving at a secret safehouse, and some really dramatic things happening really quickly.

What I liked: The team is determined to go down swinging, and they won’t stop fighting even against a vastly superior force. Thomas Sullivan does a great job playing a really sociopathic Malik. It’s interesting watching Sybil’s precise calculations undone by Malik’s emotional tantrums. Coulson, Yo-Yo, and May make a great splinter team.

What I didn’t: We’re about at the end and still no Fitz. I’m also hoping we get to see Enoch again and Grant Ward for that matter. It would have been nice to get some of the “big kids” in for this ending, like Nick Fury or Maria Hill.

I don’t want the show to end, but they seem to be doing it well. I’m giving this first part of the finale a 3.5 out of 5. On to part two.