(Marvel Studios 2015)
Summary: Agent Phil Coulsen leads a ragtag group of agents through the mud as he fights Hydra and any other baddies that comes along the way. As our heroes learn to adapt to one another, and the changes happening around them the lines between fiction and reality begin to blur. This is a tale where not every superhero needs a power to save the day. This is a tale about survivors.
“S.O.S – Part 1”
Directed by Vincent Misiano; Written by Jeffrey Bell
“S.O.S. – Part 2”
Directed by Billy Gierhart; Written by Jed Whedon & Maurissa Tancharoen
Review: It’s the beginning of the end as we get to see Jiaying’s plan begin to run its course. After the surprise death of Gonzalez last episode and the reveal of Skye’s mother as being the big bad for the season, a reveal that was incredibly well built-up, I was on the edge of my seat waiting to see what happens next.
These were very strong final episodes for the season as all the characters find themselves scattered and fighting for their lives. You actually get the sense that someone could die at any moment, and when Skye used her powers on May for a second I thought that was the end of her.
One thing I’m still not big on is that this war started over the Inhumans simply assuming that SHIELD was going to hurt them using an item we JUST found out about. I get it, old wounds don’t die easily, but I will say this was sloppy storytelling. There were a few passing comments about Gonzalez holding something secret on his ship, but the build up to this sudden new item just wasn’t very well written.
However, I do like the arcs many of these characters have taken this season, even the one’s introduced this season. Like Mac and Hunter. Mockingbird is still more or less the same as she started out, but Mac is a badass in these final two episodes. But even though majority of the characters have gone through great story lines, I really think Ward went through a reverse character arc and devolved as a character. I don’t believe for a second that he ever truly cared for Agent 33, and in the end he’s just looking for a reason to belong to someone. He’s not a leader, he’s a follower… and yet… a leader is exactly what he’s going to be next season and it feels so weird.
I like Hunter a whole lot now, his devotion to Mockingbird even though their relationship is so poisonous to the two of them is quite endearing and I hope the two of them can patch things up by the time the next season airs. That’s one thing I like about Marvel’s real time approach to stories, it feels like the characters still live their lives off-screen when we’re not watching.
While this was only a war in name only, being one of those “wars” that doesn’t actually take but a day to wage, and also only encompasses one real battle, I was real impressed with how they handled it all. Seeing the various Inhumans take on Coulson and crew was really cool, and I hope some of these Inhumans make a return next season.
While Mockingbird and Ward’s subplot was fun, it felt wholly unnecessary the entire time. Like it was just an excuse to get Ward in the finale. I would’ve been perfectly okay with the episode where he escapes from Coulson’s grasp and gives Agent 33 to SHIELD being his last scene of the season and then seeing him next season or whatever. I like Ward, I LOVE that they made him a villain, but I still feel like they’re not sure exactly what to do with him and that hurt him a lot in the latter half of this season.
But where as Ward is on one side of the character arc spectrum, on the completely opposite side, and who ended up becoming one of my new all-time favorite MCU characters by the end through a stellar character arc, is Cal. I just GUSHED when he went into full Hyde mode and loved seeing him ham it up as the insane villain. I love that we got to watch Cal go from being the antagonist, to loveable anti-hero, to full blown hero by the end. I won’t spoil anything else he does, but damn it Cal… your story’s not done… sorry, crying over things that happen in the end.
I think it is interesting that they cut off Coulson’s hand, given he’s still gone through worse (losing his life, anyone?), but it’s not a bad change. Really interested to see where they take it, if he’ll get a cybernetic hand or if he’ll keep himself permanently handicapped. I’m also extremely excited for the pseudo-Secret Warriors story coming into season 3. Regardless of what the creators say, this is exactly what Skye will be doing is leading the Secret Warriors. And I hope to be able to call them such by the end of season 3.
The season 2 finale episodes are exactly what we all call good storytelling. All the characters get their own arcs, and majority of them come out changed by the experience. Plots come full circle, and we get a lot of pay off for sitting down week after week following these adventures. Season 1’s finale was good, but season 2’s was amazing, and I truly hope season 3 is even better. I’m glad SHIELD didn’t let Age of Ultron throw off their story, and they didn’t play out the last 3 episodes as AoU aftermath, what we got was far better, and that makes me so happy.
Also the season finale cliffhanger is stress inducing, and I need to know what happens next RIGHT NOW! Damn it, why did you end it like that?!
Final Score: 4.5 Enemies of SHIELD out of 5
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