Title: S.O.S (Part 1 & 2)
Original Airdate: 12-5-15
Season 2 of ‘Agents Of S.H.I.E.LD.’ is considered to be an improvement from Season 1, however the season finale blows away any comparisons to its initial season and solidifies the show as one of the most interesting and nuanced shows that successfully blends super hero action with an engaging drama. Titled ‘S.O.S’, the two-part Season 2 Finale aired back to back as one lone episode, and in some ways, was move effective in pushing forward the story of the shared Marvel Cinematic Universe much more than a recent film set in the same world. With betrayals, the reveal of a clear antagonist, tying up loose ends and an intense cliffhanger ending, ‘S.O.S.’ shocks and awes as Season 3 cannot get here soon enough!
The episode continues from last week as Dichen Lachman’s Jiayang continues to play the victim as her true plan unravels in a not so subtle way. While initially fooling everyone including Chloe Bennett’s Skye, her charade is clear as she launches an all out attack on the S.H.I.E.L.D. ship with plans to kill every S.H.I.E.L.D. agent out there. This is also why she sent Kyle MacLachlin’s Cal to Coulson’s base, after he took some monster making drugs, causing him to rampage the entire base, until Coulson finally gets through to him, appealing to his love for Skye.
After a Season of convoluted tension and conflict with Edward James Olmos’ Gonzalez and minor tussles with Brett Dalton’s Ward, the actual antagonist of the season is finally revealed, and it was a great one. The Inhumans being the super powered villains that no one expected them to be comes out of left field, especially since they were being manipulated by Jiayang, providing some of those characters to find redemption in the following season, like Lincoln. This turn caused a much more effective conflict in the show, given that it became a family drama at one point and eliminating the threat gave Skye a great moment of growth and badassery, which is sure to be great character development for her in the future.
Caught in the crossfire on the ship, Henry Simmon’s Mack ends up pulling a ‘Die Hard’ as he takes on the Inhumans on the ship by himself with only the help of Skye. Jiayang plans on using the Terigen Crystals to either kill all S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents of turn them into Inhumans, as the crystals do. However, with Coulson getting through to Cal, and with the infiltration of the ship by Skye and Mack, the Agents succeed in foiling her plans. Skye and Cal in an act of father-daughter quality time, end her mom, while Skye pushes a Quinjet full of Terigan Crystals into the ocean to prevent their use.
‘S.O.S’ is awesome for so many reasons. We finally see the transformation of Cal into the superpower monster that they’ve been hinting at all season! Skye gets some controlled use of her powers. There is a kick ass fight sequence between Adrianne Palicki’s Bobbi and Ward which is brutally brilliant. The episode even furthers the Marvel Cinematic Universe by planting the seeds for future conflict in the movies and show. The Crystals in the ocean are shown to have dissolved int the water, consumed by fish, which were then turns into fish oil capsules stocked in pharmacies for public use. So… we could easily be getting people who transform into Inhumans, just because they wanted to take a multi-vitamin. Talk about effective supplement use.
The episode also manages to make Ward interesting again. After being tricked by Ming Na-Wen’s May into killing his own psycho GF, Ward is out for revenge by, seemingly taking over the remnants of H.Y.D.R.A. This could have repercussions for the rest of the MCU, because… will Ward be the H.Y.D.R.A. head now? There is also a sweet moment between Iain De Caestecker’s Fitz and Elizabeth Hensridge’s Simmons, which is short lived as the cliffhanger ending has Simmons get engulfed by the Kree rock that Gonzalez had his cargo bay. It’s a more than jaw dropping ending to an episode that already delivered the goods, repeatedly!
‘Agents Of S.H.IE.L.D.’ has officially proven itself to be worthy of sharing the TV Universe of Marvel along with ‘Daredevil’ and the other upcoming TV Series. While not obviously fantastical or flashy, the show about a human organization dealing with super hero threats succeeds in giving us just enough people with powers, while progressively dealing with the consequences of living in a world that is populated by them. The finale more than satisfactorily wraps up all the storylines of the Season, while establishing further conflict to come, and I am eagerly anticipating what’s to come, and how this show will tie into the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.