Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s second season has come to an end…and what a crazy ride it’s been.
The finale tied up loose ends while also opening up new doors for our characters, though it wasn’t without betrayal, tears, and surprising twists. And because so much happened in these two hours, it might be best to break down the night’s moments in pieces. Lots and lots of pieces. (As they say, “it’s all connected.”)
In the Inhuman world, Jiaying does a pretty good job of turning SHIELD (and Skye) on her people. She walks out from her meeting bleeding, making everyone believe that Gonzales tried to attack her people. A few Inhumans break into a quinjet and fly it suicide-style into one of the afterlife buildings, which only fuels everyone’s belief more than SHIELD is the bad guy in this situation. It even leads to a showdown between Skye and her own people, as she fights May with her powers. Lincoln is upset with Skye and thinks she’s responsible for bringing war on her people, so Skye goes to Raina for help. Raina tries to warn her about Jiaying, and then adds “it’s you who were destined to lead,” but it’s hard for Skye to believe anything she says. I can’t blame her.
Jiaying, it turns out, heals pretty quickly – thanks to the random SHIELD agent that Gordon brings her, that she sucks the life out of. Skye’s a little wary about how she’s healed so quickly, but Jiaying kind of waves it off. Powers, right? Powers! Jiaying tells Skye she wants to take the battle to SHIELD, and gives her the gift that Gonzales tried to offer as a token of her trust – “bring this back if you want to fight,” she tells her daughter. The thing is, Skye does bring it back – just in time to see Jiaying kill Raina during a secret meeting, just after threatening her. (Turns out Raina telling Skye “we’ll never speak to each other again” was more loaded than we thought.) Yeah, this doesn’t make for good mother-daughter bonding. Jiaying tries to assure Skye she’s just planning for the future of their people, but she knows better – and knows that Skye will turn around and go back to SHIELD. So she knocks her out, and once again assumes her position as All Knowing Leader.
Mack’s still talking about leaving, but changes his tune when he finds out Gonzales is dead. While Simmons tries to figure out who fired the missile from the quinjet, Coulson and Weaver don’t buy that Gonzales would attack Jiaying the way he supposedly did. (Then again, he also believes Skye would never turn against them.) While Coulson eventually figures out Skye’s mother staged the whole thing (at least that didn’t take long), Hunter and Fitz have deduced that the person who left with Bobbi on the quinjet wasn’t May but Agent 33 wearing May’s face…again. Turns out Ward and Kara have taken Bobbi to a facility where she’s being held hostage, and then tortured because of the way she treated Kara and how she handed her over to Bakshi when she was hiding out in Hydra. I’m a little torn on how to react here – on the one hand, it’s kind of rewarding to see Ward care so much about someone he would go to any lengths to fix them. On the other hand, it’s a cruel and unnecessary turn of events to make Bobbi suffer in this way. He stuffs needles under her skin, knowing her weakness for that kind of pain, and tries to force Bobbi into telling Kara why she sold her out. Bobbi’s a champion and a true SHIELD agent – she doesn’t budge, even when she knows it would save her life. (Also, Bobbi’s line “the lives of many outweigh the lives of one”…that feels Avenger talk, no?) She calls Ward out for being a hypocrite and betraying his team, and just when she seems the most vulnerable…we find out why Bobbi Morse is Bobbi FREAKING Morse. She breaks free and starts fighting, putting up a really good battle with Ward and Kara as she tries to escape. Ward eventually gets the best of her, and lets Kara have the honor of shooting her…but Kara realizes she can’t do it. That’s okay. Ward has a better plan: he’ll tie Bobbi to a chair with a gun to her head, rigged to the door…so that the first person who tries to open it will cause Bobbi to get shot. In case anyone cares, I’m basically sitting here with my hands over my eyes trying not to freak out.
While Coulson goes to talk to Cal to try to reason with him, Simmons gives him information on the vials that Cal had. She said he took three doses, most likely to infuse himself with some sort of power that would make him similar to the Inhumans, and by all accounts he should be dead. The fact that he’s not is kind of unnerving. He’s alive, but he’s unstable…anyone see Mr. Hyde coming? Because that’s exactly what happens. Coulson tries to continue to convince Cal that Jiaying is a monster, before going crazy and passing out from the drugs he’s taken. Coulson and Simmons help revive him, which basically accelerates his transformation into Mr. Hyde and Cal goes completely wild. FitzSimmons and Coulson manage to subdue him by pinning him with a car, but only after a massive, insane fight.
Gordon, meanwhile, shows up on the boat to get the alien artifact, while Mack finds Gordon and the multiplying woman – just one of the Inhumans he’s brought along in his fight. While he tries to keep Gordon away, Jiaying takes over the ship fully…with a box of terrigan crystals. And it’s clear that she knows exactly how she wants to use them.
That brings us to the end of the first half of the finale, so let’s get right to the second half – which basically picks up right where we left Cal, still trapped by a car, and Coulson, trying to talk to him about Skye. He uses the family peg to try to get through to him, and interestingly enough, it actually seems to work. Cal breaks down and opens up about Jiaying and her actions, how everything he was doing was just to save his wife and daughter, and the two finally agree on the fact that they’ll do whatever it takes to save Skye. As Fitz and Simmons work together on getting Cal back to being stable, Hunter and May find where Bobbi’s being held, and breaks into the facility. Ward and Kara try to head them off, and Kara decides to change her face into May again in order to get the upper hand. Her plan backfires this time, though – in a fit of rage, Ward fatally shoots Kara while thinking she’s the real Agent May. At the same time, Hunter’s getting closer and closer to finding Bobbi, who is getting more and more desperate about her situation because she knows what will happen if Hunter opens the door. She manages to move herself enough so that she takes the brunt of the bullet for him, but it leaves her in critical condition – and as Ward holds Kara and begs her not to die, Hunter does the same for Bobbi, who is looking worse by the minute. It’s a really powerful parallel. The group gets Bobbi back to SHIELD, and it’s really, really not looking good. (More wine, anyone?) May calls Andrew, clearly shaken about the whole thing.
Mack manages to free Skye and tries to get her to use her hacking skills, since Jiaying wants to expand the beacon and invite all the remaining SHIELD agents to the ship…after dumping all the terrigan crystals into the air conditioning vents. It’s kind of a parallel with Hydra taking everyone hostage – to build a better world means tearing the old one down, and that’s exactly what Jiaying is trying to do with the Inhumans. Lincoln is a bit freaked out by Jiaying and her war ideas, but he’s still not ready to believe she’s a bad person – until Skye corners him. He attacks her, before Skye manages to tell him what really happened to Gonzales. Mack knocks him out, but not before Lincoln gives up what Jiaying is planning to do with the crystals.
Thanks to Fitz’ science, he’s figured out a way to shut down Gordon’s teleportation…kind of. It will at least contain him to one place, which will be somewhat helpful. Simmons tells Fitz to be careful on his mission, and the two have a moment where, after being shaken by Hunter and Bobbi, Simmons finally brings up their conversation from last year’s finale. She wants to talk about it, but Fitz wants to keep ignoring it, likely because he’s still scared. Simmons breaking down when he leaves is quite possibly one of the saddest things this show has done.
Jiaying soon realizes Skye’s the one hacking into the signal to let them know that it’s a trap, and decides to release the crystals right away. One problem: Coulson’s not going to let her. Mack and Coulson and Fitz find the boxes of crystals in the room with the vents, while Cal opts to take on his wife by himself. He attempts to talk to her the way Coulson reasoned with him, but Jiaying’s not so easy to get along with. While Coulson, Mack and Fitz fight Gordon, Skye ends up in a battle with the multiplying redhead – and does a pretty decent job of holding her own, until the fight gets to be too much. Enter, Lincoln! And May, who both come to save her. Lincoln removes the cuffs that have been put on Skye to keep her powers at bay, and Skye goes to find her mother. And now it’s Skye’s turn to try to reason with Jiaying. She seems receptive, at first, and then her greed takes over and she uses her abilities to start sucking the life out of Skye. But Skye’s more powerful than Jiaying realizes – she uses her powers to crash the quinjet into the ocean. Cal shows up and kills Jiaying himself, in order to save Skye, making good on his promise.
And while all THAT’S happening, Fitz manages to kill Gordon after trapping him in the room (“that’s science, BIATCH”), which means Gordon drops the crystals he’s holding. Knowing that the crystals shattering means sudden death for everyone, Coulson uses his softball skills and catches it safely…but not before it starts to destroy his hand. Mack takes care of that pretty easily – exactly the way you’d imagine he would. It’s not pretty. (Can we get Coulson a Bucky arm, now?)
A few weeks later, everything seems to be on the mend: Bobbi’s recovering okay, but she’s not sure she can do this job anymore. (We’re not sure what this means for Bobbi, but I hope it she returns next season.) Mack’s decided to stay, May’s attempting to reclaim her life, and Coulson is talking to Andrew about a new team and a new program. Cal is shipped off again, but his goodbye to Skye is much more normal and genuine this time. Turns out that Coulson has promised him the Tahiti program, which seems to work well enough when Skye goes to visit (she sees him happy, operating a veterinary shop.) Unfortunately, he has no idea who Skye is. That’s okay, though. It’s nice to close that chapter on Skye’s life, in a way that ties up both her family loyalties.
Where do we leave Ward, then? At a bar, looking at a picture of Kara, still upset. He meets with a guy who gives him a list of names from Hydra, and Ward’s not impressed. He wants more names. Is Ward the new head of Hydra now? And what does that mean for his story?
If you thought that we were leaving for the summer on good terms, think again, because the two endings of the show are enough to make you crazy. First, we’re shown that the ship Skye crashed into the ocean had crystals in it – crystals that broke, that fish ate, and that got packaged and distributed around the world. This can’t be good. Second, we finally get Fitz asking Simmons out on a date. The two are in the middle of doing science (clearly), working to figure out the artifact, and it’s the most adorable moment.
So it would figure that the last shot, after Simmons accepts Fitzs’ dinner plans, is of her getting eaten by the artifact, Little Shop of Horrors style.
It’s going to be a long summer.
Odds & Ends:
- Loved Cal singing the daisy song, a nice throwback in an episode that dealt with Skye finding out who she was.
- Ward brought up Buddy! For me, that was a nice easter egg.
- “I’m the guy who kills Gordon.” I laughed.