Thursday, May 14, 2015

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - S.O.S.

The two-hour Second Season finale of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. plays off of last week's big twist involving Skye's father being the more sane of her two parents. (Yeah, it doesn't play any better one week later.) The apparent S.H.I.E.L.D. attack on the Inhumans home and the death of Gonzales (Edward James Olmos) push the two factions to war with Skye (Chloe Bennet) stuck in the middle of the conflict not knowing who to trust until advice comes from the least likely source of all shows Skye the truth about Jiaying (Dichen Lachman) whose bizarre plan to attack S.H.I.E.L.D. with rocks instead of a super-powered army turns out to be a pretty stupid idea.

The close of the season is a mixed affair. The death of Raina (Ruth Negga), who had finally become an interesting character, feels wasteful, and I'm still not buying the huge amount of crazy Jiaying was hiding from her daughter and all of the Inhumans. On a positive note I did enjoy Cal's (Kyle MacLachlan) late heroic turn, even if his much teased transformation into a monster was more unintentionally funny than frightening.

Bobbi (Adrianne Palicki) and Hunter's (Nick Blood) story also concludes giving May (Ming-Na Wen) some closure but again killing off a character in Agent 33 (Maya Stojan) who, like Raina, was never allowed to fully flourish leaving the show with yet another missed opportunity. Originally Marvel had plans to spin-off Bobbi and Hunter into their own series. I'm actually pleased the plans appear to have fallen through as Palicki's addition to the show is one of the few bright spots of the season and her subtraction from the team wouldn't do Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. any favors (especially given the characters killed off in this episode).

Despite its recent turmoil S.H.I.E.L.D. is back in business by the end of the episode and even suggests that Skye will be tapped to lead her own Inhuman squad next season (which makes you wonder if she'll still be part of Coulson's team). I could have done without the groan-worthy cliffhanger involving Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) to end the episode, and Coulson (Clark Gregg) loosing a hand is such an obvious Star Wars reference for Disney and Marvel it falls flat, but the close to the season does put Ward (Brett Dalton) on a new path suggesting a larger role for him as the possible new leader of Hydra and to continue to be a thorn in Coulson's side for some time to come.

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