Published on May 14th, 2014 | by Sharp-O0
S.H.I.E.L.D. Exposed: “Beginning of the End” SEASON FINALE!
This has “pure Whedon shenanigans” written all over it!
Seriously, if I didn’t know any better, I’d swear Joss penned this finale himself. No doubt this episode was written under the hanging sword of Damocles that is cancellation/non-renewal because it feels a tad rushed. That said, it was still a wonderfully intense, emotional and funny end to a series that had a very rough beginning. Luckily, with the news that the show has been picked up for a second season, we may be able to see more of what was great about this show.
Enough about the broad strokes though, let’s get to the meat and potatoes of this season finale! With Garrett now hopped up on goofballs, the once affable villain has gone full bonkers. Paxton is clearly having a lot of fun in this episode as he hams up every line of dialogue. Garrett’s got everything he wanted and as the team rally against him with what resources they can scrounge together for an all-out assault, we catch up with Fitz and Simmons at the bottom of the sea.
This sequence is ridiculously dramatic. A hopeless situation that, despite their combined mental acuity, has the odds looking grim. They pull together to work out an escape plan but Fitz, knowing how dire this is and having been injured, gives Simmons the only working oxygen supply. Simmons refuses and Fitz finally lets it slip how he feels. He doesn’t even have to outright say that he loves her but he’ll show her with one defiant act. When they blow the hatch, Simmons still grabs Fitz and just manages to bring him to the surface. They’re still in the middle of the ocean however and Simmons outstretched hand is thankfully grabbed by Nick MFin’ Fury!
Samuel L Jackson returns to the show in more than a 2-minute cameo, actively helping the team in their darkest hour. SamJack’s performance is oozing with the kind of charisma he’s previously brought to the role and he’s even brought Coulson a present. HIS FUCKING PARTICLE CANNON FROM AVENGERS! YOOOOOOOOO! I applauded the return of this weapon, it’s so damn awesome.
The Ward situation wraps up nicely, with Ward getting his shit pushed in by Melinda May. It’s an amazingly entertaining fight that culminates May using a NAIL GUN. That’s brutal and I fucking LOVE IT.
Mike Peterson’s son is rescued by Skye, allowing him to turn on Garrett and, with the knowledge that his son is safe, begin to atone for his actions. Flowers abandons ships along with Ian Quinn. Garrett’s forces are subdued and Garrett himself carted off. UNTIL he breaks free of his containment and fully Deathloks up, only to have his future as a Season 2 villain cut short by Coulson vaporising him with the 0-8-4 weapon from 0-8-4. It’s a wonderfully subversive twist and it’s pure Whedon. It’s basically Mal kicking the henchman into Serenity’s engine in Firefly.
Coulson and Fury finally have it out over Coulson’s resurrection and points out that the Tahiti project was only meant for a fallen Avenger and the look on Coulson’s face when Fury says “Exactly.” is golden! The man who head-hunted the Avengers, the man who brought them all together and idolised them is considered an Avenger by the one other person he idolised. It’s beautiful and makes Fury’s next move all the more amazing. He makes Coulson the Director of SHIELD and tells him to build it back up using the “toolbox”. Coulson and his team arrive at their new base of operations that is manned solely by Billy Koenig, the twin brother of Eric! It’s a shocking twist and I can’t help but feel there’s something sinister going on there, especially with Patton Oswalt repeating the same exact speech he gave in Eric’s first appearance. The team poses for sweet hero shot and that’s a wrap!
In the pre-epilogue, Flowers arrives at a mysterious room and tells it’s sole occupant that she’s knows about his daughter, as a bloody hand lifts a picture of Skye. MYSTERIES!
In the epilogue proper, a sleeping Coulson awakens and wanders into a storage area. He looks at the mad scribblings Garrett had done earlier and proceeds to mark them into a large wall, seemingly in a trance. These hieroglyphs, for lack of a better word, are the same as the ones we saw way back in Eye-Spy. SPOOKY!
I loved every second of this finale! It had everything I wanted out of this show and more, it presented us with plenty more story potential and, given the high quality of the post half-dozen episodes, hope that the second season will bring in more viewers. I can’t wait for both that and the announced Agent Carter series too! Tell me what you thought about the finale and the show as a whole in the comments below!