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"But you've never fought me."
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May 13 2014

(SPOILER) Discuss Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 1x22 "Beginning of the End". This episode was written by Maurissa Tancharoen and Jed Whedon. It was directed by David Straiton. It's the final episode of the season.

The First Evil here. Hope I'm not alone tonight!

[ edited by Nebula1400 on 2014-05-14 00:31 ]
My prediction for the night: Garrett reveals himself as The Vision.
Not likely, because Paul Bettany is supposed to play The Vision in Avengers 2.

My prediction is that we've been expecting Skye to manifest super powers, but it will actually be Simmons who does.

Or not.
*holding breath*
There you are, roddikinathome.
My prediction: a modest hike in the number of "I didn't see that coming" comments, followed by an immense satisfaction of being right about the show.
If you hold your breath until the show starts, Valantha, you'll faint and miss it all. Either that, or one or more of us smells bad.
Woot! Husband home from happy hour! I'm here. Mad I didn't solve the Wheel of Fortune "Racing Against the Clock" puzzle.
It's been a fun season, everyone! These threads started out kinda quiet and grew into a nice regular group.
It's only a metaphorical breath-holding… ;)
It has turned out to be a very nice regular group. Thank you, Sunfire, for moderating it!

Valantha, 😃

[ edited by Nebula1400 on 2014-05-14 00:55 ]
I'm actually home in time to be able to heat up a bowl of the mac & cheese I made before work and settle in.

Got a feeling it's gonna get bumpier from here on out. "Honestly, there could be tears."
This is a very very nice group. Thank you @Sunfire. Well done!

I'm really excited. Can you tell?

Do you want to watch a show now?

[ edited by hann23 on 2014-05-14 00:58 ]
And the thing I'm most concerned about is the minor local disaster that appears to be preempting SHIELD

And not preempted!!

[ edited by Valantha on 2014-05-14 01:00 ]
I hope they tell us the incentives.
"There you are, roddikinathome."

Ready to feel the eeeeeeeviiil.
"Don't call me that!" *Wack*
Oh Fitz. He feels... despair. And Simmons said the words.
Here from the beginning, here for the end, and what a great road it's been!

Okay SHIELD, blow me away!
I'm quite pleased with the dramatic FitzSimmons scenario. I'm a terrible person. Who loves seeing them work under pressure.
Why oh why did May let go of the glow stick??

Fitz and Simmons in the pod. :( But they'll figure a way out... right?

Ward, ah Ward, you dumbass. Having doubts now? But did Raina look just a little smug when she said, "he feels good now" with a touch of emphasis on 'now' as in he won't 'later'?
Ready to feel the eeeeeeeviiil.

You've got that right, mister. I'm eeeviiil! The evilest evil there ever was.

@hann23 - If the incentives are good, I may join Cybertek, too.

"Backup isn't coming." I would love if there were like 5 guys just waiting sadly for the call that won't come.
Ward is negotiating. That'll work.
"The truth is written on the back of my eyes."

Huh. Raina is one of the most interesting people on the show.
She is soooo F^#king dead.
First Law of Thermodynamics so sweet!
Weirdest. Date. Evar.
Simmons is creepily in my brain right now.
I wonder if that Clarity of Mind comes from the same place you get Purity of Essence.
@Valantha I was thinking something similar.
Why would blowing the window in at the bottom of the ocean be good?
Why Printy, you look so... dressed up.
I like Tripp!
We need the ATeam music (per husband).
He's... part-time.
"Raina is one of the most interesting people on the show."

Yeah. :( I don't think that's gonna help.
So I've never understood the part of the magic medical whatnot that makes Garrett actually clairvoyant. I was hoping Raina would reveal something about that. Did I miss something?
Boy, good thing I didn't say "punch a hole through me!" Did someone mention things getting darker?
Oh wow I love you Garrett.

Also, like the gore but kind of rough for 8pm. Perhaps it is best at 9pm next fall.
Stabbed in face... with his own rib. Yikes
No, Sunfire. Perhaps Garrett's ability to sense and see the connections between everything is a sign that he might now really be clairvoyant?
So, is Skye going to become a Big Bad?
Ward has a surprising amount of self-knowledge
That Grant and Flowers conversation is pretty great.
"Let's Be Monsters Together" - a large number of fanfics coming to you this summer.
I knew it Fitz. I KNEW IT.
Fitz is making me cry! That adorable jerk.
I have tears in my eyes.
I can't stop crying!
It's a SHIELD channel they said... no one will be listening they said.

Well, not exactly NO one. ;)
Well that played out pretty much as I expected (with the exception of Fury), but great acting.
Ok that was awesome slash upsetting.
best. deus ex machina. ever.
Nick Fury. ❤
tomg -- I'm glad you put it that way. It truly is.
chrisobrien, I didn't even realize that Fitz set that up with the line about the frequency. I would have been OK with this Deus ex Machina, but this is even better.
There's not enough time left!
Awesome May reveal!
All the way, May!
Ok now this is just weirdly cartoony. I don't like it.
Is that the gun from Avengers!?!
Nice call back to The Avengers with that gun!
"I know what it does."

[ edited by Nebula1400 on 2014-05-14 01:45 ]
too many saws! Too many saws to keep track of.

Sorry - that's just what pops into my head whenever someone lets their gun go flying.

And where is Agent J?

[ edited by brinderwalt on 2014-05-14 03:11 ]
Gosh darn the home improvement tools.
May fighting with power tools is my new favorite thing.
I'm not sure I can love this episode more.
Wow! Just... Wow!
Anybody else bouncing up and down with excitement like an eight year old? I know I am. What a great scene!
So May and Skye closed the deal here, while Fury and Coulson made observations right?
I was yelling. I never yell.
@Bishop I am a bit giddy, yeah.
Put the boots to him. Medium style.

I guess things are all wrapped up! Or are they?
Ok now this is just weirdly cartoony. I don't like it.

And you find that surprising?
The way Sam Jackson & Clark Greg were standing like that gave me a brief Pulp Fiction flashback.
Yeah. Skye and May were the action heroes, and Coulson and Fury just talked a lot, and played with their gun.
Yes. I generally have liked the scenes between Garrett and Coulson before now. I was expecting some grade A verbal attacks but not the overwhelming smugness.
"And a little bit external." I love you May
Oh thank god!
OMG!!! LMAO!!!
And we're back to the kind of hilarity I enjoy.
If that wasn't the beginning of a Deathlok spin off I don't know what would be.

LOL… like Buffy killing Dracula.
Director Coulson!!!!!
Yes, they are doing what I hoped for Season 2. :) Agents of Coulson's S.H.I.E.L.D.
Every secret base has an Agent Koenig...?
Lanyards for everybody
This show is frikkin' awesome!
Alpha is Skye's dad?
I REALLY want a lanyard.
@Sunfire LOL
I'm going with Billy and Eric being clones. I bet there is one for every letter in the alphabet.
Okay, I completely thought we were going to see the origin of Ultron. You got me, SHIELD.
@Sunfire --- hehehehe
Alpha is Skye's dad?

That would be cool!
Do I hear a TARDIS?
Yep Coulson is 100% back to... oh.
Mindlessly drawing diagrams on a wall in the middle of the night is never good?
Coulson is connected to everything. He's just not psycho. Or is he?
Loved tonight's finale.
Wow... that was the best hour of television I've seen all season.
That was mind blowing. And body blowing. And those power tools! And Fitz! 😢
Oh my gawd. Can't coherent think. Mind blown.

Also, HA at alpha being Skye's dad.
"I wonder if that Clarity of Mind comes from the same place you get Purity of Essence."

Loved the ep. Favorite of the season. It was so well done.
Was tonight's episode sponsored by Lowe's? It should be. Or May should start doing endorsements for them.
"May fighting with power tools is my new favorite thing."

Best line; "You were never on top".
\Hee hee.
"Was tonight's episode sponsored by Lowe's? It should be. Or May should start doing endorsements for them."

I suggest Black and Wrecker for the power tools.
So, the Blue Man Goo inspired Garrett to (among other things) make the weird circuit diagram on the bus's windows. Either the same stuff had some long-delayed effect on Coulson and allowed him to re-draw it, or a sleepwalking Coulson has an eidetic memory for those diagrams. Either way: sorta creepy.
So, bets on which superhero/villian Fitz ends up as?
"Every secret base has an Agent Koenig...?"

Well, that answers the L.M.D. question, AND WHO HE WAS PLAYED C. O. D. WITH!!
I so didn't want to be spoiled for this that I braved commercials and watched it live. However, I don't have cable and my antenna gave me a little bit of trouble shortly after Nick Fury picked up Fitz and Simmons. Did we see Fitz lying there, out of commission? I heard that his heart was beating, barely.
So did seeing Garrett's diagrams trigger something in Coulson or has he been resisting it all along? Now that he is Director Coulson, has he given into something that may or may not be good but is almost certainly alien in origin?
Can we assume that the incentives are in fact that Cybertek has various loved ones under their control?

I'm sure more questions will occur to me!
swanjun,he was without oxygen for a long time. Probably brain damage at the very least, I'm guessing.
@Lioness - That's an interesting thought about him giving in. What Fury said to him certainly seemed to soothe him. And maybe his resistance is part of what's been keeping the insanity at bay.
@Lioness Oh no! Fitz is my favorite. :(
@Lioness And yes, that is exactly what I assumed about the incentives. Everyone there was motivated to work because a loved one was in jeopardy.
Maybe something in that cube Fury gave him triggered something in Coulson's GH325-addled brain.
They didn't have Fitz die, so something is going to happen with him. What and how is the question. What beings in the Marvel universe get brought back from being comatose/brain-damaged and lived to become powerful about it?
Garrett got a much larger dose, so his crazy happened pretty quickly. Coulson's has been on a slow burn. I think seeing what Garrett drew triggered him. But maybe the effects on Coulson being such a slow burn will let him keep them at bay while still accessing whatever info or insight it gives him. (hopehopehope).

I hope when they say that Fitz will never be the same she means because he'll never be so optimistic about people now that Ward tried to kill them and not anything else. *sigh... Even I don't buy that one. :(
We didn't see Fitz again after they blew out the pod. We know that he had brain damage, we don't know how badly. That and what are Skye's parents are the big questions we'll have all summer to ponder.

People keep mentioning (tongue in cheek I assume) Alpha as possibly having been Skye's father. Wasn't Alpha one of the X-men? Also, Iam far enough away from my comic book roots to have no idea whatsoever what the red furry thing that Raina spoke to that was one of Skye's parents was. Was that familiar to anyone on line here?
So, in the upcoming movies, what will happen? Will the Avengers answer to Coulson? Will he be in the movies? Will he delegate Fury to deal with the Avengers?

Yeah, I think FitzSimmons isn't any more. Sad. One of my favourite parts of the show.
Am I the only one thinking that Garrett's mind planted part of itself into Coulson's at the end? I mean, he did go on about being able to see through the eyes of everyone who ever was or will be. So it isn't a huge stretch that he connected to Coulson (possibly through the serum). Then again, that's exactly the sort of far-fetched thing that you'd see in the comic books...
@barboo I think the joke about Alpha was a Dollhouse reference because of the way we first saw his character.
Fitz and Simmons discussing the "afterlife" and being comforted by the first law of Thermodynamics is classic Joss.
So ...

A good episode, perhaps not my favorite, but certainly had some of the best lines / scenes of the season

Loved the FitzSimmons scene. Perfect. The May/Ward fight scene was appropriately personal and brutal. The Agent Koenig reveal was great, as was the pre-emptive end to the Rise of Garrett. The opening CiTW type evil yet banal office setting. The reveal of the "Avengers Gun" Creepy out-of-nowhere ending that makes sense.

PREDICTION: Coulson, like Garrett, begins to suffer from odd technological thoughts which he shares with .... Tony Stark. Who, in trying to help Coulson, inadvertently creates Ultron and leads directly into Avengers 2. They blatantly hinted at the Ultron design with the Garrett revival, and it would confirm that the relationship between Marvel movies and TV works both ways

As to Skye...was kind of bummed that we didn't get more of a definitive take. It does seem her "dad" is some kind of evil thing who likes to bathe in muck/blood .. which would seem to negate all the Kree talk, but could still allow her to be InHuman. Curious to see if that's the last of Ward. Curious to see how Fitz comes back and how he's inevitably altered. When do Season 2 regular cast announcements get released? It seems certain Triplett will be returning

Was a fun season - made more so by joining Whedonesque this year and sharing laughter/joy/frustration/theories with all of you.

[ edited by TallMichaelJ on 2014-05-14 03:04 ]
"Joss wrote a scene specifically for the audition — basically, the two of them in a very close, trapped space, and they’re going to die."
It would be like Joss to write a scene, but not take credit for it. The scene in the pod was probably his.
So, it red-armed guy the High Evolutionary?
Alpha is Skye's dad?

Off topic: When I was watching this week's season finale of Castle, I was dearly hoping that a certain person's new-found mystery former-ex was going to be revealed to be being played by a certain red-haired dude... because imo that would've been absolutely hilarious.

[ edited by brinderwalt on 2014-05-14 03:17 ]
So is this basically the last Marvel Universe thing until Avengers 2 next Summer? I know there is Guardians of The Galaxy but is that tied into the larger universe?
I find myself completely unable to accept that Fitz is gone, even in the sense of being alive but no longer himself. I'm also curious to know if there are any Marvel parallels with characters coming back from this sort of thing.
Ward really saved this season. His turn injected a whole level of excitement into the show and it was all uphill from that point on. His fight with May was AWESOME. I knew there was no way he was going to beat her, but I like that he held his own. Nice seeing both May and Skye get a measure of revenge on him. You know what's worse than a woman scorned? TWO OF THEM. LOL.

Great irony about Ward is that he will be remembered as this great betrayer, yet considering that he knew Garrett long before Coulson's team, his is actually the very model of unwavering loyalty. It's his one redeeming quality. In fact, Ward may be a case study in how loyalty can be a bad thing

Fitz and Simmons have become masters of the tear jerking scene. And I agree on how interesting their takes on the afterlife were. I don't know what I found more touching, Fitz willing to sacrifice himself in an ultimate show of love, or Simmons' reciprocation of that love in her absolute refusal to leave him to die and go on without him. I'm not entirely sure if she loves him the way he wants her too, but he is clearly very important to her. She was completely ready to die there rather than leave him.
Wow. That was one crazy episode. I'm glad they finished Garrett for good - that last scene with him was kind of hilarious. Also loved the Agent Koenig reveal.

Not so happy about not knowing Fitz's fate since he is probably my favorite character. The FitzSimmons scenes were so touching though.

And didn't we see those symbols in an earlier episode. I remember seeing them, but not where, but it makes me wonder who else was accessing that information...
capt4chris: Season 2 of MAOS presumably will arrive before Avengers 2. Apologies if I misunderstood your question.
Did I miss something? I haven't read the comments did Simmons swim up to the top of the water without the oxygen tank and is Fitz in a coma or something?
Were not those the symbols in the Russian compound in eye spy?

I can think of a bunch of people Fitz could be, but they're all x-men. And my Marvel knowledge outside of X-men is limited.
@capt4chris - Yep Guardians is considered part of the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe. I believe it's confirmed Thanos will be making an appearance, and as you know he was last seen in Avengers tag and is assumed to be Big Bad for Avengers 3
I didn't agree with comparisons people have made between Ward and Faith, but after these last two episodes I have to say Ward/Garret is totally Faith/The Mayor. And Ward vs May almost reminded me of Buffy's fights with Faith.
Grack21 - you're right, that's where I remembered the symbols from. So I'm wondering how they got there.
@eddy-Fitz rigged the tools they had to give Simmons one breath of air to swim to the surface with. Fitz is alive but may have brain damage from the lack of oxygen.
I hope Ward is back next season. He and Fitz are my favorite characters. Skye has grown on me alot too.
I enjoyed the episode surely one of the stronger ones. Mildly annoyed they didn't outright say what type of alien it was and that they are still dragging out the Skye thing, but on to the positives:

Garret coming back just to be blown up by was so Joss.

Fitz & Simmons afterlife talk.

"You were going to use it to save an Avenger!"

"Dad what are we? We're a team?"

"You were never on top!"-That's not necessarily a bad thing ;)

All in all, good episode with a clear purpose set up for the team next season.
Thanks for the answers folks. Good to hear we'll have a steady stream of Marvel Universe goodness continuing in the near future!
I'm kind of glad they didn't redeem Ward. He will be good to have around as a possible villain for season two. They have laid the groundwork for his redemption, but there's no way he'll ever make it back on the team. Especially not after whatever happened to Fitz.

Fitz/Simmons scenes were beautiful. Having to wait all summer to see what becomes of him will be torture.

I'm Okay with not getting the info on Skye yet. We need our hook for season two. They did resolve Deathlok's arch, and now another Marvel hero is out there. Coulson's secrets are all out background wise, but now there are more secrets with the mystery writing. They elegantly resolved the issue around the title: start SHIELD anew, from the ground up. Where they will get the backing and resources from is another matter (Stark?)

Nice to see Koeing back! L.M.D's could be part of the arch for next season (leading into Ultron)or he could just be a twin brother.
What a strong ending to the season. I know it's pretty typical of all of Joss's shows that it takes a few episodes for the show to hit its stride, but I really was worried about this one midway through the season. The past few episodes have been fantastic, and this episode was just perfect.

I loved the fight scenes, everything with FitzSimmons, and I love how campy Garrett became. Now I'm ready for season 2 and Agent Carter!
I can't even think straight right now but I just wanted to stop by to say that I LOVED the finale! Like... with the intensity of a thousand Hulks, that's how much I loved it!

It was AMAZING, I felt like I shouldn't even blink, cause I didn't want miss a frame!

They had crazy good action, excitement, suspense, FEELS... also SASS! It was just great!!

EDIT: Although... now that I'm breathing and stuff, all I can think is that "He's alive" didn't sound all that good. So now we have to wait months to know if poor Fitz is ok! =/

[ edited by maxsummers on 2014-05-14 04:47 ]
@capt4chris In the pages of Guardians of the Galaxy #1 there is a mention of Thanos, from the tag of Avengers 1. The series takes place immediately after the events of "Annihilation: Conquest" which features a huge war against an army led by Ultron of Avengers 2. Seems like they could be very closely related indeed.
Fantastic catch up there on Joss probably being behind the FitzSimmons scene down below, it was one of the loveliest we've seen in this series and it wouldn't surprise me if it came from Joss' pen. That said, kudos tonight go to Mo and Jed, and not just for their SkyeWard song styling. Damn, they knocked this episode out of the park. My family and I were cheering and cheering and cheering some more, either for a great one liner or a great bit of action or a great payoff. Tonight's episode was the definition of sticking the landing, and the whole second half of the season has been so rewarding for those who stuck through a few (but really only a few) bumps along the way in the first half.
For someone like Fitz, whose identity is primarily determined by his smarts, his struggle to recover from a brain injury could be quite heartbreaking, if portrayed correctly; it would also add an entirely new dimension to the character. Along with dealing with Ward's betrayal, Fitz could potentially get incredibly dark next season.

Or, Joss could give him the Cordelia treatment and have him never wake up. (He wouldn't be that cruel to my favorite character, would he?)
While I stand by every criticism I've had of the show over the course of the season, as landings go that was pretty solidly stuck. And it had my favorite moment of the entire season.

"But that emergency was supposed to be the fall of an Avenger."

Excellent season finale. I'm pleased that SLJ got more than just a cameo. I'm surprised by how much Fitz's condition is affecting me. The thought that be may be brain damaged is heart-breaking. Waiting until fall is going to be brutal. My hope is he won't be too far gone, and will get a helper monkey, he deserves to finally get a monkey.

I can envision season 2 episode one picking up exactly where season 1 ended, with Skye walking into the storage room, seeing Coulson etching away and silently watching. Coulson then stops and stares at the wall, as Skye takes the tool and continues etching the diagram. I'd love to see Stark and Banner show up to have a look at that diagram Coulson is working on.
One thing is for sure, it's going to be a long wait until season 2. Best episode, I can't think of anything negative.
Man, when fitz and simmons were stuck at the bottom of the ocean, explaining how there was no way out - I was squirming in my seat wondering "wait, is it going to be blue skinned Atlanteans after all?!?!?!? are they going to walk up and knock on the outside of the glass and save the day?!"

Also. I assured my wife that the Koenigs must be a Life Model Decoy line, and she assured me he was a clone (of that howling commando). either way : thrilled to see P. Oswalt can continue to be on the show! (and potentially die a few more heartbreaking deaths!)

ultimately ... I really loved Ward throughout the show (mostly because I was convinced his big brother was The Punisher. still having trouble letting this random fruitless theory go. because. but. ... no way. argh.). still stunned that there was any sort of negative backlash against him though.

But fitz ended up being my favorite character. wondered if they were setting up a scenario where he could only live with some sort of new TAHITI special. ... but. they couldn't... but. i hope they do. poor fitz.

also, haggled with wife over whether "the death craziness" that they had to cut out of coulson's brain was actually just a cosmic awareness. she pointed out that everyone else died screaming. which I don't see as a refutation! kind of lovecraftian!

anywho. so in love with this show. how long do we have to wait? wha?

[ edited by WarrenEBB on 2014-05-14 05:31 ]
Loved the FitzSimmons scene. The existentialist talk was definitely Joss.

"You were never on top." Best line of the ep! I LOVE May kicking arse!

So many moments in the episode when I was cheering!

I was a bit confused by the ocean scenario. Did they say they were "90 feet" below the surface of the water? Am I mistaken in thinking that isn't very deep? And did they have no idea that anyone caught the pod's distress signal, so their plan was to float in the middle of the ocean and hope?

The way Simmons was kissing Fitz when he confessed his love tells her feelings for him are platonic. But that might change over time.

And Fitz? Noooooooo!

[ edited by Ronald_SF on 2014-05-14 05:45 ]
Darn it, my Simmons theory fell apart! Oh, well.

Theories for season 2:

They stressed that Fitz is only injured, not dead, which makes me wonder...Simmons knows enough about the GHB liquid, and both Skye and Coulson have it in their blood stream. Skye might even be a partial source of it. I suspect that Simmons is going to try and "fix" Fitz with Skye's blood early in next season.

The lines and circles remind me a lot of how engineers draw a computer circuit, but they're probably something to do with space--a map, perhaps? Both Thor and Captain America had an impact on the show, so season 2 must deal with Guardians of the Galaxy (and lead into Ultron). Aliens and space will have to come into play next season.

I am REALLY curious whether Ward and Triplett come back as regulars next season (I'm also a little curious about Fitz, but I'm sticking with my above theory). I feel that this can't be the end of Ward's character, but I don't know how they'll get him back on the bus. Meanwhile, his spot on the bus is empty, so I wonder if Triplett will become a regular. I hope so. That sort of news is typically announced pretty early on, so I'll have to keep my eyes open.


[ edited by RoguePirateBunny on 2014-05-14 07:38 ]
Ok, one thing that confused me - I thought they locked Garret's body up? Didn't they close it in a coffin or something for transport? And then he's dragging himself into Printy the Super Soldier Chair and having a full-on Vader moment, stands up all cocky about taking the head of the Hydra and then gets disintegrated by a gleeful Coulson. I felt like I missed something.

Plus which - is that a device we saw earlier?

LOVED Fury giving him the Big-Ass Gun. "I know what it does." The two of them having their snark exchange was priceless.

Gotta say getting stabbed in the face with your own rib has got to be one of the worst ways to die.
Garrett getting disintegrated was a "puny god" moment.
@ShadowQuest: Yes, they locked Garret in a metal box, assuming he was dead, and even if he wasn't, he wouldn't be able to break out. They were wrong on both counts, and in the scene you're discussing, you can see the smashed-open metal crate and the dead handlers lying on the ground before Garret climbs onto the bed.

As for the devices you saw earlier . . . the beam used by Coulson is the HYDRA particle cannon the team found in episode 2, "0-8-4," and was stolen by Garret and Ward from the Fridge in episode 18 "Providence." And the bed Garret used to install his cybernetics was the bed Quinn was showing off to the military brass before Garret came in and killed on of them.

Incidentally, just a fun little comic continuity nod: When Garret got his full body cybernetic refit there at the end, he looked very much like he does in the comics, covered neck-to-toe in silver armor. Course, he's a GOOD GUY in the comics . . . .
Solid episode, but still by and large disappointing. There were some good scenes (the FitzSimmons stuff, Coulson and Fury right at the end) yet the rest all seemed very... inevitable. I was waiting for some twists or subversion. It didn't come. Oh well.

[ edited by Kaan on 2014-05-14 09:03 ]
Hey, wild speculation that will undoubtedly be proven false, but here's a number of crazy theories:

- Skye is actually the InHuman girl Crystal. She's the daughter of Black Bolt and Medusa, as in the Ultimate Marvel comics.

- The man at the end of the episode was Black Bolt, which is why he doesn't make a sound.

- The "blood" he was soaking in was actually the MCU version of Terrigen, a liquid instead of a mist, and one that requires repeat exposure to maintain the superpowers it bestows on a user. Obviously, Skye hasn't discovered her powers yet because she has never been exposed to Terrigen, let alone repeatedly immersed in it.

- GH325, the resurrection drug, is either 1) the healing factor chemicals from the Terrigen-infused blood of an InHuman, and the blue man wasn't an alien, but rather a mutated InHuman . . . .

- Or it's 2) the healing factor chemicals from a Kree, the blue alien race that are allies with the InHumans, and they share similar biology, which is why Skye reacted so much better to it than Garret or Coulson.

- Black Bolt and Medusa slaughtered that village to find their daughter because, much like in the Ultimate Comics, they're VERY xenophobic, terrified of all outsiders, and refuse to expose themselves to the world. Anyone who discovers them must be eliminated, save a few special exceptions.

- The reason they need her back so bad, aside from loving their daughter and concealing the InHumans from the world, is because she was betrothed from birth to one of the rulers of their Kree allies. As in the comics, perhaps even Ronan himself, who is set to appear in Guardians of the Galaxy. Naturally, he'd be pissed if they break their end of the deal and don't give him a bride, and since he's one of Thanos' flunkies, he'd be a SERIOUS threat, so they need to keep him happy and find his future wife NOW.

- Raina is either 1) a human woman who has long suspected she was descended from an InHuman bloodline, and thinks she could be compatible with Terrigen, so she tracked down the InHumans to find her destiny, and is now trying to ingratiate herself to them so they will deem her worthy . . . .

- Or she's 2) one of the lower class of "impure" InHumans, like in the comics, who are forbidden from using Terrigen because it could turn them into actual mutant monsters, but she believes she could possibly be a pureblood, which is why she's so desperately wants powers, but she's trying to find a "clairvoyant" to reassure her and tell her what her mutation will be, because she doesn't want to turn into some rampaging beast and become a slave to the InHumans, like in the comics.

- This could eventually tie in with the Avengers 3 somewhere down the line: in the comics, Crystal becomes Quicksilver's wife, and as we all know of course, Quicksilver will be introduced in Avengers 2.

As stated, utterly unfounded theories, total Epileptic Trees, but fun to consider.

[ edited by Batman1016 on 2014-05-14 10:39 ]
I liked this. The FitzSimmons scene had Joss written all over it, SLJ was really cool, May and Ward kicked each other's butt and Bill Paxton went crazy with the role. I, for one, welcome our new Director Coulson.
Oops, double post. Sorry.

[ edited by Boto on 2014-05-14 10:36 ]
When Garrett become "armored" for lack of a better word, wasn't that a nod to Ultron? The armor they're using must be a rip-off of Stark designs, and I imagine Stark Industries will be responsible for creating Ultron and his super-soldier-robots.

What will Deathlok's role be from now on. Will he assist our team if they need help, or end up following another agenda?

Also, if Coulson is in charge of SHIELD now, doesn't that mean he should have a direct line to the Avengers when they return? Won't that be an awkward conversation. "Hey, guys, you thought I were dead, but I'm not so, any questions?"
Thinking more about the episode, I did think that the "Ward has no life beyond Garrett" thing was way overdone. We got it! But everyone harps on it over & over and when Ward asks for orders and Garrett tells him to do whatever he wants, he just stands there.
I imagine that will be part of season 2- Ward figuring out who he is now that he is on his own.
I don't think we'll see Ward again for a while. Maybe not at all in season 2. But I think he'll be back at some point as a villain. I don't see any redemption arc for him. He made his choices.

Deathlok is off to do some Angel-style Redemption Heroing. Coulson and his team are able to monitor him through the Cybertek equipment, so they'll be able to contact him if they need some extra superpowered muscle. I see him as a recurring character from now on, and there might even be talk of a spinoff.

I'd like to know what became of Quinn and the Cybertek assets. There are several government officials who witnessed Quinn's "consultant" brutally murder a U.S. army general. And there are dozens of techs forced to work for him through the "incentives program." Did Quinn manage to escape, or is he sitting in a maximum security prison cell awaiting trial for treason?

Also, there are now several important government officials who owe their lives to Coulson and his team, which should be a good start for rehabilitating S.H.I.E.L.D. in the eyes of the government.

I hope Coulson's team gets custody of all that Cybertek stuff. That would probably come in very handy for rebuilding the agency's tech assets.

I expect that finding a way to "fix" Fitz will be a major storyline next season.

I'm glad I had a correct theory (for once) about Koenig being the whack-a-mole agent that never dies. He's probably not an LMD (or Simmons would have discovered that when she did the autopsy on Eric's body). They are most likely clones. And it means Patton Oswalt can keep coming back as often as he and the producers want him to.

I do think B.J. Britt (Triplett) will be promoted to series regular next season.
"She was completely ready to die there rather than leave him."

Total 'Dusty in here' moment.
@AndrewCrossett - From the post game interviews it appears delving into Ward's story in Season 2 will be a major plot pillar, which frankly disappoints me. I was nervous early in the finale when Ward was questioning the value of the Hydra association, thinking they were setting things up for a redemption moment, and was relieved when he again acted out in his efforts to kidnap Skye and kill May. I think continued efforts to provide backstory about his family (as Jed n' Mo mention in the Buzzfeed interview) further dilutes his betrayal. After killing numerous SHIELD agents, Victoria Hand, critically wounding Fitz, trying to kill May, and knocking off a Koenig Klone .. further attempts to rehabilitate his image will annoy me.

Only other major character disappointments were the Deathlok piece, and that was more aesthetic than anything. The budget simply did not support a fearsome killing machine and instead we got a Power Ranger leotard on someone. Never bought it, which is too bad because there's a lot to work with there

Otherwise - much to look forward to next season. Ragtag underdog commando team, Coulson's mental state, Skye's scenario, Fitz' situation. Hopefully now that the heavy lifting is done, the writers will pick up the pace a bit and deliver on answers a little faster ... another season of slow burn waiting for payoff will kill any good will the show has built up
"I do think B.J. Britt (Triplett) will be promoted to series regular next season."

I'm going on record here; His performance of the role really grew on me. He was so stiff the few eps. I was thinking the character was irredeemable. Glad to be wrong, and welcome to the bus.
I think Triplett was being written as slightly bland at the start to help us question his loyalty after the Hydra reveal. I didn't dislike him in the early episodes, but there wasn't much there to love, either. When he was in the room with Simmons during the attack, we really didn't know what side he was on.

For me, I started to really like his character when he brought out Grandpa's box of tricks. He seemed to light up a bit and get a little more animated after that.
Ward's story frankly doesn't interest me much. I think they need to let that character lie fallow for a while, rotting in prison somewhere. I at least hope he won't continue to be a series regular, so they have to shoe-horn him into every episode.
Yes, that FitzSimmons scene had "Joss" written ALL over it. So... are Jemma and Trip gonna be the Fred and Gunn of Season 2? With Fitz recovering from an injury and going darker and darker? Cool. Cool, cool, cool.

Sad to see Bill Paxton go, but, man, he delivered. While I chuckled at his second death, there was something that didn't entirely sit right with me. Coulson killed another human being and made a gag out of it? That was off. I think of the same joke in, say, Buffy or Angel, where instead of Garrett we'd get a demon or something, and it works much better. Or Mal doing the shooting. But Coulson? I don't know. I mean, yes, we could argue that Garrett was no longer human and beyond redemption, but I couldn't help but flinch a little when it first played out.

That's about my only quibble with this finale. And I really, really hate those GoPro-looking shots they sometimes use in action sequences. Other than that, boy... what a finale.

Can't freakin' wait for Season 2.
I'm almost caught up on the episodes (season finale tonight!) but I admit I skipped all of Ward's history. It doesn't interest me at all, and doesn't provide any justification for what he's done (because there is no justification).

Fitz has been getting darker and darker throughout the entire season. He's finally been pushed over an edge, and if he does recover (he better!) then the show should explore how he and Simmons lose a little bit of the light they had as scientists. They can't be in their cocoon when evil people harm those they care about, and they have to start asking whether they're willing to exact their own justice or revenge, even if it means picking up a weapon themselves.
superboy13, Coulson shot Loki through a wall and said, "So that's what it does." I felt this was pretty consistent.

Once Coulson's written someone off as a human being, it's over.
My guess is that Fitz is going to be brought back with a little something extra. I'm hoping it won't be a chip in his head that stops him from killing humans ... :)
Just re-watching, while I do my morning work out ...

Definite fist-pumping moment, when Fury shows up. I'm all teary! (I think last night I might have shouted "YES!" To an empty house. (I think I've fallen in love with Fury! I never saw him in very much before, but I thought he was just fantastic in this episode.)

"I have a weapon much better than a bomb, that will absolutely destroy you." Hee Hee Hee!

And those last 15 minutes or so - they packed so much brilliant dialog in - too much to quote, but I was loving it. Along with the rest of you, obviously! It's been so fun to hang out here, even if I don't post much. Looking forward to more of same this fall. Anybody heard a premier date yet?
Jason_M_Bryant, it's a very different scenario, though. But to clarify, I don't have a problem with what happened, I just don't think it COMPLETELY worked as intended, if that makes sense.

[ edited by superboy13 on 2014-05-14 17:24 ]
I have found the AV Club reviews to be insightful this season, and they have a similar theory on the InHuman/Kree connection, referenced by both @TallMichaelJ and @Batman1016:

"According to Marvel comics history, back in prehistoric times, Kree aliens came to Earth and experimented on Neanderthals, creating a race of beings that developed extraordinary powers when exposed to Terrigen mists. The Inhumans are essentially a superhero royal family with all the drama that entails, but in the past year, Marvel has started an event that revealed Inhuman descendents have been living among humans, waiting for Terrigen mist to expose their full potential. If the creature held in Project: T.A.H.I.T.I. is indeed a Kree, that means the show already has an Inhuman connection, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was revealed next season that blue alien goo has replaced Terrigen mist as the catalyzing agent for Inhumans."
I'm starting to support the theory that Raina is an Inhuman descendant. (Or whatever they end up calling them in the MCU.)
So much to reply to!

For someone like Fitz, whose identity is primarily determined by his smarts, his struggle to recover from a brain injury could be quite heartbreaking, if portrayed correctly; it would also add an entirely new dimension to the character. Along with dealing with Ward's betrayal, Fitz could potentially get incredibly dark next season. - Herb Saunders

And I really do think Iain de Caestecker is capable of playing this brilliantly.

I'm surprised by how much Fitz's condition is affecting me. The thought that be may be brain damaged is heart-breaking. Waiting until fall is going to be brutal. My hope is he won't be too far gone, and will get a helper monkey, he deserves to finally get a monkey. - andOtherDreams

OMG. If Fitz really does get a monkey, I am going to bawl my eyes out. It would be the perfect therapy animal for him!

For me, I started to really like [Triplett] when he brought out Grandpa's box of tricks. He seemed to light up a bit and get a little more animated after that. - Jason_M_Bryant

I agree that he really did light up at that point and I have loved him ever since. I first really noticed him as an individual, though, during the lie-detector chair scene with Eric Koenig.

Speaking of Koenig, I really hope he sticks around and helps them out next season! I also wonder... is Coulson going crazy, or his he developing some sort of superpowered brilliance, or both? Probably both...

[ edited by swanjun on 2014-05-14 18:14 ]
Really loved the episode -- fired on all cylinders. My only minor criticism was when May threw away the Asgardian staff. In a fight with super soldiers, you don't throw away a powerful advantage like that (and she didn't seem corrupted by its power).
Here are a couple of reviews:

Den of Geek
Inhumans? That's a lot of backstory, I feel like they should be a large theme in the next season if they are at all introduced. Now,is there a small chance that the red goo actually is blood and that the father of little Miss Skye actually is one of the more vampiric characters in the Marvel universe? Or are vampires a hundred percent of the table, like clairvoyance is/was?
I love this show, and Joss, and the MCU, and I look forward to next season. That said, I would be thrilled if they could focus on getting some much stronger writing next season.

I'm glad Ward's still alive. I think he's worth keeping. His turning evil was, in my opinion, the best thing that happened to this show.

I'm extremely glad Koenig's back. He was my favorite character all season, I think. (I also really liked that Asgardian professor type from the staff episode.) Do we know whether he's a twin, a clone, or an LMD? Did no one think to ask him or would that have been seen as gauche? I hope we see a lot more of him and that they give him some strong additional layers beyond just being a funny nerdy guy.

[ edited by Squishy on 2014-05-14 20:03 ]
What I wouldn't give for Jane Espenson to write something for this show!
LOVED the finale!

Before anyone ever again asks if Ward is redeemable, just remember what he did to Fitz-Simmons. Fitz will likely never be the same because of it and Simmons will likely never forgive him. Nor should she or anyone else!

Also, could it be that Coulson now has a super-power and season one was actually HIS origin story?? I just hope that he doesn't turn out to be Ultron.

[ edited by Penthos on 2014-05-14 20:30 ]
Now that Revolution has bitten the dust, I would love to see Ben Edlund sign up with AoS for next season.
Given time, any villian can be redeemed in the Whedonverse. I liked Ward's character from the beginning and look forward to watching his character arc. He didn't kill Buddy and he didn't kill FitzSimmons... he helped them get away when he could have put a bullet in them. He's not a good guy, but not totally evil, either.

I hope the writers keep Fitz human. It'll start to feel like lazy writing if every character becomes some kind of superhero. With prolonged oxygen deprivation one of the first parts of the brain to suffer damage is the part that does mathematics. Poor Fitz! I can see him growing dark like Wesley.

Coulson had a memory wipe in T.A.H.I.T.I. to keep him from going insane. Garrett didn't. They might have the same knowledge and abilities but Coulson can channel it better.

So looking forward to Season 2. Way to go, Jed and Maurissa!
Yes. Ben Edlund, please. Just because the wacky would be amazing.
Outstanding finale!! Loved every bit of it. Can't find the proper words to say more, really!

But one thing I'd like to say is that I'm really happy that they kept Ward on the evil side and not do the obvious thing by having him sacrifice himself for Skye. I'm glad that he's now incapacitated, he can and probably will return sooner or later, and there's a lot of interesting stuff that can, and likely will still happen with him, possibly including some sort of a redemption tale, which I'm sure will be great if and when they do it - but for the moment the Ward-arc's been resolved completely to my satisfaction.
Ward killed Buddy with a sniper bullet and he had every intention of Fitz and Simmons dying. He is evil. That doesn't mean we might not see him redeemed 2 or 3 seasons from now, but he's killed with intent and wholly responsible for his actions
Fitz and his monkeys. FitzSimmons destroyed me with that scene. Man, those two. Cannot get enough of it.

Waiting for S2 will be brutal.
Ward didn't kill the dog. He let him go and Garret saw he let him go and sniped the dog. Also..

"He is evil. That doesn't mean we might not see him redeemed 2 or 3 seasons from now, but he's killed with intent and wholly responsible for his actions"

So did Spike. And Angel in Season 8. Even Anya. etc.

Basically I think he can definitely be redeemed.
I told you the writing was on the wall.
You also said super soldiers, Simon! You can see The Future.
That took me a minute, Simon.

I can't wait to see Ward's journey next season and Fitz's. Of course, Brett will still be a regular. Everyone seems to be searching for something or some part of themselves except maybe May. She just needs someone to realize she is there. :) Great jumping off point.

Yesterday I was trying to figure out how they will fit 22 eps of AoS and 13 eps of Agent Carter into the TV "season" and I think they will need to launch AoS S2 in early September rather than wait for the usual post Emmy week in late September.
Just watched the finale and loved it. Payoffs galore AND setting up storylines for S2 in a very satisfying way.

Gutted for Fitz. The Fitz-Simmons scenes were the heart of this episode for me, just heartbreaking.

Gonna miss that magnificent bastard, Garrett, but look forward to seeing how they develop Ward in S2. He's deeply DEEPLY damaged. That threat to Skye, about taking what he wants? I found that scarier than what he did to Fitz-Simmons. If he's on a path to redemption, he's taking a detour through hell first. That said, I thoroughly enjoyed the May/Ward fight and I'm glad she didn't kill him.

Loved seeing Agent Koenig v2.0, hah! Billy is clearly the "brother" that Koenig v1.0 played TOD with. I'm going with clone rather than twin brother. More lanyard fun!

The teases for Skye's parentage and Coulson's writing on the wall should be fun/terrifying for S2.

As for getting the chance to rebuild SHIELD, is this Coulson's Wolfram & Hart moment?

Can't wait for Season 2!
Ward didn't kill the dog. He let him go and Garret saw he let him go and sniped the dog. Also..


That is complete speculation on your part.

To "settle" this "did he shoot Buddy?" argument:

IGN: I was going to ask this question later, but because you mentioned the dog I’ll jump ahead… Did Ward shoot that dog? Did Garrett shoot that dog? Did that dog get away? What can we take as the fate of poor Buddy?

Bell: We have our opinion, but we put it together in a way that I think three people sitting next to each other can have a different opinion, ideally.

Loeb: What do you think happened?

IGN: I feel like Ward or Garrett probably shot Buddy, but even if Ward didn't, he took it as a lesson for the future that he needed to go through with it next time... But I'm conflicted on that one. I hope Buddy made it away!

Loeb: Here's the thing: we told -- and I'm sitting next to the writer of that episode Jeff Bell -- but we told a story about Ward's background. It really gave people some insight as to how troubled he was as a kid. It made people hate him more and love him more. That was really the goal of telling that particular story. The more that we can get our audience involved in the characters, the better the show becomes.

IGN interview with Bell & Loeb

= nobody "knows"
Buddy is actually an Animorph and is Skye's real father.
I too am unconvinced that they can pull off any prospective Ward redemption in a satisfying manner given all he's done. However, I am at least reassured by the fact that they didn't attempt to do that in the finale, which would have felt completely unearned. So, I'm skeptical (and, of course, this is partly informed by my general boredom with the character), but am perfectly willing to see how they address it in S2.
I didn't think Ward could just put a bullet in Fitz and Simmons because they locked themselves in a box with bullet proof windows. He released them into the ocean with no thought or care that anyone would find them as a second best option to putting a bullet in them.

I'm not sure if I want Ward to have a whole redemption arc or not. I would like to see him finally and fully understand what he has done and how none of it was OK though. And outside of May kicking his ass, despite the horrible things he did, (BTW, Buddy got away. Stop saying he didn't! ;P ), I'm not keen on the idea that SHIELD, or what is left of it, are going to drag him someplace and torture him for torture's sake with the pretense of answers about HYDRA to justify it. Sorry, but nope. Not on board with that. And I think it would only justify to Ward that SHIELD is just another side of the same coin and he'll escape (because you know he will) and be just as bad without a clue he was in the wrong before. What would be worse for him is if SHIELD treats him like a human, which he never really did for anyone else. And he's left alone with the horrible realization that he is nothing without someone telling him what to do and what to think and now he has to think for himself for the first time and he hates what he is and has to just live with it.

ETA: Now Mike's 'redemption' arc I'm interested in. Even though most of what he did was under duress. And I hope we get more Raina. She fascinates me.

[ edited by NYPinTA on 2014-05-15 01:41 ]
Garret shooting the dog doesn't make sense. He gains nothing from it. And if he knew Ward didn't do it, he would have told Ward how weak he is. That makes more sense than him saying nothing to Ward and killing the dog for no reason. Where's the logic in that?

They're just playing coy in that interview, Ward was the only one seen using a sniper rifle in that episode, they showed us that for a reason. He shot that dog, and that was the moment he fully turned. That flashback loses all its potency if we're to believe that he didn't shoot the dog.

I don't think Ward is comparable to Spike or Angel, who were soulless things unable to feel. They weren't human. Faith is a much more relevant comparison.
Of course Ward could be redeemed. The question is why bother? He's way more interesting as a f@cked up villain.

Besides, the show's got too much preachy morality already. It needs a crapload more moral ambiguity. Saving the world from super threats requires you to fight dirty and make sacrifices. It's a little strange that none of the agents (or writers) seem to recognize that. Fury certainly does. Or at least he did in the Avengers and Captain America 2.

One thing I don't get: What is Ward's motivation if he doesn't believe in Hydra's mission? Was he just trying to make Garrett proud? I hope it's something more interesting than that.
@Angel@Faith, Garrett keeps referencing Ward's sentimentality as his weakness and has done so in several episodes. I take it as a direct recall to Ward not shooting Buddy. Garret killed the dog (except Buddy escaped dammit) because he told Ward to do a thing, he didn't do it, so Garrett was going to. Because I think him telling Ward to shoot Buddy was a test to find out just who Ward was. Knowing that Ward is not the type to kill the dog but find a different way to get rid of him was more important to him than giving him crap for it right then. But then he shot the dog so we see the difference between the two. Ward still has some humanity, Garrett doesn't. Because he could have let Buddy go but he chose not to. All of that seems pretty pointy to me in terms of character reveal.
Was it just me? Or did any one else notice that the noise maker was Joss's voice?

"The Enemy is coming"

I'm surprised no one has mentioned it.
I'm gonna go listen to that. I hope you're not wasting my time.
No, not wasting your time, to me it wasn't even a question, I'm just surprised no one picked it up. Sounded just like the bank teller in Serenity who opened the safe, Joss over dubbed the actors voice for the movie.
I'm hoping that Fitz's story might fulfill the broken promises of Frank Pembleton's story after Homicide's fourth season closer (which was beautifully begun, but eventually discarded), and Eric Foreman's after House's Euphoria (two episodes of fallout? really?).
Alright, I think you might be right, although it's not obvious to me, even when I'm looking for it. If you're right, then nice catch. Now I guess I better check out the one in serenity that you mentioned.

Edit: The one in Serenity is even less obvious to me, which I guess would logically back up your claim that that's him in last night's SHIELD.

[ edited by Trentaferd on 2014-05-15 05:13 ]
Of course Ward could be redeemed. The question is why bother? He's way more interesting as a f@cked up villain.

Besides, the show's got too much preachy morality already. It needs a crapload more moral ambiguity. Saving the world from super threats requires you to fight dirty and make sacrifices. It's a little strange that none of the agents (or writers) seem to recognize that. Fury certainly does. Or at least he did in the Avengers and Captain America 2.

A million times this. I don't want to see Ward "redeemed" next season. At least not completely. Certainly not by the Power Of Love. But I also want to see him become something other than the weak punching bag he's turned into. I'd actually like them to make his storyline separate from the rest of the cast so he can be the protagonist in his story. Have a Walter White-like arc for him.

And then totally redeem him in season 5. ;)
MAN, did I miss you all last night!

Finally saw the episode (thank you, Google Play), and ... whoof. Fitz and Simmons's final moment together underwater had me actually in tears, which was startling, as TV rarely gets to me. A lot of the rest was very funny indeed, and on the whole? I was so satisfied. Go forth, sad Deathlok! Kick ass, Agent May! Lisbeth Salander's nail gun is an excellent tool. Be increasingly cool, team! Including Skye and Tripp - and then holy shit, Director Coulson. Fury and Koenig = double happy dance. Die, Garrett, spectacularly! (Though Bill Paxton will be badly missed.)

Loose ends are loose, of course, and Coulson's drawing is worrisome, but I didn't want everything tied up in a bow. Looking forward to Season 2 now :)
Crypto, nice catch on the voice! I have to go listen again.
Also, I can't believe that Koenig is twins:
A) He was far too nonplussed about his other's death.
B) He had the exact same spiel.

I'm completely convinced that they're LMDs.
Ok, so I thought I'd chime in on this, I understand the comparison of Ward to Faith(who is one of my favorite Buffyverse characters) and I can see it, the thing to remember is Faith's story didn't happen all at once, we had the intro and the fall in B3, along with (if I remember right) Faith helping them beat the Mayor by telling Buffy how to lure him into the trap via slayer dream, then she's in a coma for most of a season until she wakes up, and we know she's been having dreams where Buffy is the enemy/ruins her happy life for at least some of the time(presumably all of it), Faith then wakes up and fights Buffy again, then she gets the mayor's gift which she views as a way to get a fresh start almost, to get away from what she did, even when she has the chance(including getting rid of Buffy via the council) she goes back to save the people at the church and is thus shown she isn't totally bad even with what she's doing(what I also forgot to mention is that throughout B3 she's shown to be having issues morally and such, it isn't just she's evil) we then go over to Angel where she hits rock bottom and is pretty much trying to get killed because of the guilt, she is then convinced to try redemption and goes to jail, and instead of going oh, let's explore her more in the next season she pretty much goes away for 3 seasons other than 1 appearance to talk about how she's working on changing.

Wow that sort of got away from me, the TL:DR is Faith took SEASONS to redeem and that was with her actually being shown to have qualms about what she was doing.

That's what worries me when I see stuff suggesting Ward will still be a major player in season 2 when mixed with the way they really seem to be setting up his redemption, I'm not saying that he has to go to prison to think about the wrongs he's done for 3 seasons to earn the redemption, but just having a tragic back-story and being manipulated by a strong personality isn't enough to redeem him in my eyes, it wasn't enough for Faith and she is no where near as bad as Ward.

My other problem with redeeming Ward is he has the same thing going on as Spike which I hate, which is the being the love interest of one of the main characters, I'm afraid they're going to do the whole he changes sides because of Skye thing, and I really hope they don't do that, because it's an uninteresting story device, it was bad when they did it with Spike and it would be bad here, it would be much more interesting if he changed because his views were opened during the undercover work or something, idk I'm not a writer, but him having his world challenged like that or even him just going full bad would be way more interesting that this wishy washy is he going to be good for Skye or not stuff, now this whole paragraph might just be my personal preference, I will admit I find I like Spike more the less he interacts with Buffy(I preferred him in Angel than anytime in Buffy other than Season 2, I like his Lynch comics more than any Buffy season 4-7)

Wow I have written way more here than I set out to, I hope it makes sense.
Finally saw it. And read this really long thread. It never occurred to me that Ward didn't shoot the dog. I thought they were just reinforcing his obsessive obedience. I can't imagine why they're going to tell us more of his background next season, but any story can be good--it all depends on the execution.

And I agree with b!X about this:

And it had my favorite moment of the entire season.

"But that emergency was supposed to be the fall of an Avenger."


Now that's the way to pull my heartstrings. Simple, earned, and not over-written. And Coulson's reaction was pure gold.
Maurissa Tancharoen has confirmed on Twitter that the Noisemaker was Jed, not Joss.
Yep, I just asked her.
Ha! Guess the FitzSimmons underwater scene was not penned by Joss either(IS that you asking silly questions again? :P )
If the writers decide to do the redemption arc, maybe it will begin with Ward breaking out of prison to locate something to help Fitz recover. More GH325 or some other healing item he and Garrett were looking for (or Garrett already had but wasn't enough to heal himself fully) prior to learning of Coulson's resurrection. Maybe that's what Ward wanted to tell Agent May right before she crushed his larynx. Just a first step, and at this point I can't see Coulson ever letting him back onto the team no matter what good Ward might go on to do.

Personally I don't see a redemption in his future, his character strikes me as one that will hold Coulson and team responsible for Garrett's death and his own incarceration. It seems more likely to me that he'll be a future nemesis to team Coulson. Going to be watching for twitpic's of Brett with a mustache suitable for twirling.
Wow, can't believe people find Ward boring somehow. really?
- who is his family? are they still alive? i'm DYING to know. I expect they will find out he's still alive next season, and come for him. (or they'll turn out to be some big bad, and our heroes will need Ward's help to deal with them).

- I think Ward just entered the awful place coulson spent all season leaving- everything Ward has ever worked for is gone. He has no reason to go on. I think it'd be hard for Coulson to just leave him in that lonely hopeless headspace to rot.
It'd be ideal if Coulson & crew wiped out Hydra next season, and then - despite every effort to help Ward accept the goodness within himself - he'll end up handed the keys to Hydra in the end. Herr Director Ward, with a mission to rebuild hydra in season 3 (quietly. off camera).

- I get that whether Buddy was shot by the reticule viewer is ambiguous (they cut on the noise of ward slamming a lever as I recall). but. The reason Garrett would kill that dog is to teach Ward that he can't disobey orders to set anyone free. it's leadership 101. "you didn't agree with what i ordered? whell, bam, now it's done. next time don't muck about."

- i felt the whole point of the Ward executing fitzsimmons scene was fitz shouting the fact that some part of Ward cares for them. Ward confirms this as true, when he says "it's a weakness." Fitz was right! everyone on the team who gave up on Ward was wrong. Part of him does love them. The problem is he's just so brainwashed he sees this "belongingness" as something to overcome.

- p.s. I thought it was a huge mistake to show the fitzsimmons box safely dropping into the water. Probably expensive fx too.
Could have been setup more as a parallel to Loki dumping his brother out of the helicarrier. (though i guess that's kind of there?)
... it just would have been so much colder to hold on Ward's face as his friends drop out of the plane behind him, to reveal blue skies. The assumption being that he DID just kill them both. people would have been in a tizzy over two characters being killed! nom!

As it was, I felt like the show was taking great pains to assure me they were ok. And then I was really surpised to see it had turned out so badly for them. I fully expected them to be hanging out in a floating metal box drinking daiquiris and laughing when someone happened upon them.

This idea that Fitz might have sustained enough brain damage to no longer perform his core function of dazzling those around him with super smarts makes me tear up (because we know it's not all he has. but he doesn't). makes me think of Flowers for Algernon. ... God i hope they go there. ... And then the masochist in me hopes that damaged pathetic Fitz still finds a way to help/trust Ward next season. only to be burned again.
>> "I wonder if that Clarity of Mind comes from the same place you get Purity of Essence."
-- @brinderwalt

Well, at least we'll know the prefix code for the CRM-114.
One more thing. I never got the impression that Garret actually was able to see into souls or any of the other stuff he claimed he could do. He was just crazy.

Except for the weird circuit diagram. Since Coulson was doing that too, I'm sure that adds up to something.
I'll go out on a limb and say it's part of Ultron's plan to take over key personnel in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
This episode was all Jed and Maurissa writing. They're really talented.

I thought the episode was great as it called back much of the setup through the season (and even back to Coulson's role, fate and weapon in The Avengers). All that ground work with characters, I think, paid off here. I mean, that Ward/May fight - it means something because of the build up.

Also, Bill Paxton was amazing in this show. He knew exactly what he was doing.
It was a fine episode, but Garret's death scene nearly ruined for me. As someone pointed out, that scene would have been great in Buffy (a mix of the Judge and Dracula), but I doubt Coulson would take the death of a human that lightly. Worse, instead of checking on the two injured or dead handlers, he cracks a joke and leaves?

More generally, Coulson is supposed to care about every human life, but the writers are quick on forgetting red shirts. It's very common in TV shows, but after the first few episodes, I expected AoS to be different.
This show has maybe gone a little too far at times in portraying Coulson as a teddy bear. He's a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, and that means he makes a distinction between good human lives and bad human lives. I have no trouble at all buying that he'd blow away Garrett like that, and with a smile on his face. I'll bet he would have done the same to Ward, too, if not for the fact that Ward might have valuable intelligence to extract.

(S.H.I.E.L.D. agents don't necessarily have a problem with killing helpless prisoners, either... witness Agent Hand's request for Ward to execute Garrett on the plane.)

As for Koenig, I think he's more likely some sort of clone than an LMD. We know that LMD's exist in the MCU (only because of an offhanded quip from Tony Stark), but Simmons' autopsy of Eric Koenig would have revealed the truth. LMD's bleed when you shoot or cut them, in order to fool assassins, but an invasive examination reveals them for what they are.

[ edited by AndrewCrossett on 2014-05-15 14:25 ]
I have had a lot of problems with this show, and in recent episodes I've been more optimistic about the show's direction. But the fundamental flaws are still there, so I am hoping the off season allows for some reflection on what works and what doesn't, both in terms of what a show like this should be and what all good TV shows should do, period.

It's a very high bar to set to say that Coulson should care about every human life. Is that even realistic? Evil people should be stopped. That doesn't mean killing is the only option, but it does mean being willing to go to that length if it means saving innocent lives. The conflict comes from the consequences of your actions and having that kind of burden and responsibility.

Along the lines of Tony saying "an intelligence agency that fears intelligence," SHIELD is a quasi-military/international security type of agency. What kind of agency like that doesn't employ lethal force?
I always have interpreted Tony's lmd comment as him just making up nonsense to get rid of Coulson. I don't know if that alone proves that they're a real thing in the mcu yet.
@Ninja Report - "fundamental flaws are still there"
Care to elaborate? Because while the first half dozen episodes definitely had issues, and there have been issues here and there since, I don't really see any "fundamental flaws" that might be anything other than personal opinion, taste, or preference. Most the reviews seem to agree that the show has righted the course. So I'm curious what YOU see as "fundamental flaws" still remaining.
I don't mean Coulson shouldn't kill anybody, but it seems weird to have him joke about it, and not even care about the fate of the not-evil guys lying on the floor. I'm not a big fan of the "we only care about the regular cast" mentality in most TV shows.
I can't speak for the Ninja, and I've enjoyed the show, but I also think it has deep flaws (that I hope they can fix before season 2).

- TV SHIELD feels smaller/softer than movie SHIELD. Even when they have a flying car, they're less badass than Fury trapped in a car that only has fully operational air conditionning. It's clearly not about money.

- They tell a lot, and don't always show much. They say every life counts, but they forget the red shirts. They say Ward owes everything to Garrett, but apparently he only got him out of jail and then dumped him in the wild? They say TAHITI was bad-bad-bad, but then Fury says it's not, and that's it?

- They're not spending enough time on the payoffs from what they build up. They rushed through the cellist's story, through Coulson's breakdown after the events from Captain America, and through a lot of stuff that could have worked better.

[ edited by Ragondux on 2014-05-15 16:43 ]
@Penthos-I cannot speak for anyone else and while I agree the show has improved, it's still has some issues. Most of which aren't major but still relevant.

First and foremost to me is the pacing of the mysteries. We had at best 4 episodes of 22 where they gave us information on how Coulson came back, and this was our central question about our main character. They even had Fury himself show up and didn't tell us what type of alien it was or at least how/where/when they found it.It's probably Kree to tie in with GotG, but at minimum telling us the name of it wouldn't infringe on the movie. And Coulson should be immediately asking Fury what is exactly in him and Skye especially if it makes people go insane.

Second, we had three episodes with information on Skye's mystery, including the finale. We find out she's an 084 and a village was killed when SHIELD found her and hid her as a baby. That's fine as clue 1. But the only other thing we get is a bloody hand in the very last scene of the season and Raina is somehow involved. Isn't Skye's being an orphan supposed to be very important to her character? Even a name drop of her father or what species she is would have shown at least some momentum instead of stringing us along.

Granted, I may be biased as I am also watching Orphan Black which has a lot more questions then SHIELD but it's plot moves like lightning while still deepening the characters. And yes, OB has an easier schedule with only 10 episodes as opposed to 22. But I am very annoyed these characters are more or less sitting on there hands most of the season when shows like OB have shown how well it works if characters are proactive in figuring out things important to them. And then Coulson has the guy in front of him who knows the answer and doesn't even ask him the question! Ugh!

Other smaller issues I have but they seem to be fixing:

For much of the season May was very stoic which can be interesting at first but after a while makes her boring. I enjoyed her fight with Ward and hope she opens up more in S2.

They didn't really differentiate between Fitz and Simmons for a while. Fitz's brain injury story should fix that and has me interested.

There were no clear stakes in the beginning but I am interested into see how Coulson plans on rebuilding SHIELD.

Lack of people with powers. I know full well the show is not the movies and their are restrictions like budget. However, SHIELD is an organization specifically supposed to deal with super-threats. They have multiple prisons for super-beings. The lack of the agents dealing with them made SHIELD seem to have no purpose. It'd be like if Buffy only fought a vampire or demon once every 5 episodes. Had they had two or three other characters like Deathlok re-occur throughout the season it probably would have been alright. Hopefully next year they'll go after some Fridge break-outs.
I really enjoy the show, but I agree it needs a lot of work. And I think the "fundamental flaws" are mostly with the writing. Characters need more substance. Plot developments and mysteries need to develop faster and be more compelling. Dialogue needs a lot of work (e.g., no more exchanges like this. Q: "Are you ready to change the world?" A: "No . . . But I'm ready to kick some ass!").

And I definitely agree that the writers have frequently sacrificed consistency in tone and character for the sake of cheap thrills or laughs. Coulson's bizarre jocularity and indifference after Garrett's murder of two redshirts is an example of a jarring break in character. Especially when on other occasions they have taken his character to the opposite extreme, imbuing him with an almost naïve and overly emotional response to moral wrongs.

Other examples of these sorts of issues, in my opinion: May's pointless acrobatics in flipping down a hallway last episode; Fury's and Coulson's casual and unhurried banter when they are supposedly in mortal danger during a conflict with an ultra-powerful Garrett; and the abrupt and quick dismissal of the supposedly huge moral issues surrounding Coulson's resurrection (which never struck me as all that huge to begin with).

These sorts of things detract from the drama and suspense of the show, in my opinion. And they could be dramatically improved, I think, if they would spend more time and resources focusing on the writing.

That said, I'm enjoying the show for what it has been so far and will continue watching for the foreseeable future. I just think they could do a lot better. And I would be really really happy if they did.

[ edited by Squishy on 2014-05-15 17:58 ]

[ edited by Squishy on 2014-05-15 17:59 ]
Dusk, just saw your reference to Orphan Black as an example of the type of pacing and character development that SHIELD should be trying to achieve. I've been watching that show too and had actually been thinking the exact same thing. Great, great show. And the lead actress is phenomenal.
Really don't understand why AoS needs to be some sort of moral preachy evening with the Waltons kind of show. Kill the bad guys. Then move on. I'm good with that.
Gotta rock the boat on the Orphan Black. It's a great show, well written and charming, but it is about as flimsy in the writing and build-up department as Agents of SHIELD, and take into account that they can compress their story into ten episodes and do not have to stretch it out over 22 episodes, plus all the other factors that make show in essence, a bigger show than Orphan Black. Now, admittedly, the transhumanism and clone theme of Orphan Black is damn exciting, well executed and well played, but I feel like it is quirky and silly and not too serious, kind of like SHIELD.

Also, I quite like the one-liners in SHIELD. Like when Trip said: "I bring the groove and the funk."
@IrrationaliTV: they don't have to preach that every life counts, but then if they choose to do so, they should stay consistent.

That said, I don't particularly want AoS to turn into 24-with-superpowers either. I'm find with the moral preachiness they had in the pilot, I find it refreshing.
@Squishy-Thank you and yes, Tatiana is incredible beyond words. Are you up to date? The last 10 minutes in that bathroom scene may be the best we've seen out of Tat yet.

@Alber-I actually think it pulls build up quite well, it's plotting can sometimes use "story reasons" to bend things a certain way but it plays fair with the mysteries, if their is a delay or roadblock in the answer it's for a logical reason and the characters react appropriately. As for the silliness I like it as I often like Whedon silliness. OB often uses Alison for farce but she's still her own complex character even if she gives the audience a break from doom and gloom of some of the other clones and villains.

A show like Lost had phenomenal character building but even as a fan of the show the plotting a dropping of mysteries that turned so many people off the show is a fair criticism. Just as long as people don't think they were dead the whole time!

On the other hand the last two seasons of Once Upon A Time make developments happen to move the plots along but even with magic in the show a lot of it doesn't feel organic and nothing is given proper time to be absorbed by the characters so their personalities sometimes seem inconsistent.

SHIELD is a unique animal in that it is a sidekick to the movies so unfortunately they had to hold back on the Hydra reveal for too long. But after that the main plot against Garret seemed pretty good. It's characters need some work but it has potential to be good in both plot and character departments.
Ragondux, I'd rather have a show written by 2 writers from Spartacus. Oh wait...
Someone very close to me has limited brain damage after a fit. She has been very detrimentally affected by this - mobility issues, multi-tasking problems, speaking, doing anything when tired - but is still smarter and better than me in every respect. I'd be quite happy seeing Fitz dealing with such problems but still being brilliant. Also, I love Iain De Caestecker so much; he's such a wonderful actor, I haven't seen him be anything less than wonderful in any of the five things I've seen him in. If he had a much reduced role in the second season, but appeared in other things instead, I'd still be fine with that.

I really enjoyed this season, even when it wasn't at its best. I didn't love everything about the finale, but it was pretty fine. I hope to be surprised and wrong-footed throughout the second season just as I was throughout the back end of this one. Admittedly, I'm rubbish at predicting what is going to happen; but I'm also rarely surprised, as I was with Ward.
Ragondux, Dusk, and Squishy hit on a lot of what I would consider to be "fundamental flaws."

I don't think any of the fundamental flaws have truly been fixed yet. There might be some good progress, but the flaws are part of the structure of the show itself.

1. The characters weren't well-formed with definable personalities. Ward turning evil was a good first step, but I could not care less about his family and history. I am much more interested in the show exploring what a life working in SHIELD could do to a person's moral compass and the lessons Skye should learn from this.

2. Unimpressive villains. I like J. August Richards but Deathlok's suit was a mess. He looked like he was playing laser tag. That the Clairvoyant ended up being Garrett and not Zola or a real psychic was incredibly disappointing.

3. Poorly connected plotlines and direction. Maybe Marvel wouldn't let them use Zola as the Clairvoyant, but I felt like TAHITI, the Clairvoyant, and Hydra connected incredibly poorly because it's still not clear to me what the overriding goal was in showing these disparate plots and later trying to convince the audience they were related. I think there was very little cohesion between the plots.

4. Uninteresting plots. Villains aside, the cellist episode made a lot of the flaws obvious. Poorly constructed plot, bad villain of the week, and because there was so little character development in the previous episodes, I didn't care at all about the cellist or Coulson and why they cared for each other. It rang emotionally hollow because we had never felt that Coulson lost anything. There's also very little payoff, which is something I think Ragondux mentioned. I got to the big reveal and thought "that was it?"

5. Telling, not showing, and too many shortcuts. There is too much exposition and not enough showing. Also, it's just sometimes too convenient that they can build whatever they need. Fitz says he can develop a bunch of magic highbeams that take down Marcus Daniels and then he does and the day is saved! Without any explanation as to how they work, why they work, etc.

6. Too much novelty. Sometimes novelty is good, sometimes it's just kind of lazy. May didn't need to flip down a hallway, and the fact that she did just made the show seem silly. I don't like the flying car, I think I've made that very obvious.

7. Not enough comic book characters. Comic book characters shouldn't be done with a wink to the audience. This is your world; embrace it, use these characters. Half the characters on Arrow are a nod or translation from the comics. Stuff like this doesn't cost money. It just requires imagination.

8. Special effects are terrible. Aside from Deathlok's suit, I just think this show could use better special effects. There are many other shows out there that have similar budgets, yet their fight choreography and special effects are better. Effects help build and destroy your world. If they look bad, it's distracting. If you can't do good special effects, limit your use of them until you can do better.
One of my pet peeves about finales is a rush to tie too many things up prematurely and I really liked that the show avoided that completely with Ward. He's a nasty piece of work and if there's any sort of redemption arc coming it's going to take a lot of time for him to really earn it. I like the character enough to want to see his arc really matter.
I know I am harping on the dog thing, and that we've moved past it a bit with recent posts, but I have to voice a few more thoughts.

The flashback episode falls apart a bit if Ward didn't shoot the dog. First of all, him cowardly shooting the dog through a sniper rifle is thematically consistent with him having to turn his back on Fitz/Simmons and indirectly kill them by dropping that thing in the water. I don't believe that if they let him in the room he would have been able to just kill them to their face.

Secondly, it doesn't make sense that he couldn't kill some dog he knew for a few months, but he could kill actual PEOPLE that he bonded with (Fitz's reaction to Ward's betrayal was like finding out that your own brother turned on your family)

Thirdly, him not killing the dog just becomes a typical TV cliche. How many times have we seen a character about to do some terrible thing and then realize at the last minute that they couldn't? Him actually going through with it, is powerful and a nice surprise to the audience after seeing him shoot the air and seemingly decide to not kill Buddy.

Lastly, if Garrett KNOWS Ward had to snipe the dog from afar rather than just walking up to him and putting a bullet in his head, it totally explains why he is always calling him a soft touch and why Ward keeps talking about his own weakness. Killing that dog should have been easier for him and he knows that and views that as weakness within him. Ward CAN hurt the ones he loves, but he struggles with it and he sees that as a weakness.

That could be what leads to his redemption someday. He can and has done bad things, but there is a part of him that feels SOMETHING. He's not a cold killer, not when it comes to people he is close too anyway (he doesn't seem to lose sleep over offing some random cops though).

Ward is a man trying to push down his humanity like his mentor has taught him, but there are signs in recent episodes that he hasn't completely succeeded. I like Ward as a villain, but the writers have already laid down some seeds for redemption if they choose to pursue that one day. I would like to see them hold that off as long as possible though. Ward is interesting as a villain.
Ward's name works on so many levels I realize now

Ward - definitions:

The action or process of guarding - What we originally thought his purpose was on the team, before the betrayal

A division (as a cell or block) of a prison - Where he currently resides, and where he would have been had Garret not saved him in the flashback. A possible clue to his true criminal nature.

Old English warian to beware of, guard, wær careful — They all should have been wary of trusting him, he was the wolf in the flock.

Ward also makes me think of something like a psyche ward, fitting for something of a sociopath like him
The potential of Fitz's future story has me on the edge of my seat.

I suffered a traumatic brain injury in an equine accident in 2006, and it left me with short-term memory problems, auditory processing disorder, disnomia, generalized anxiety disorder, and major depressive disorder.

As disabilities go, mine isn't bad, but early on it was incredibly difficult for me. For months, I could barely string two words together without having to stop and mentally thumb through my vocabulary, sometimes having to say things in convoluted ways because I couldn't find the right words. As often as a few dozen times a day, I would catch myself saying a completely different (and unrelated) word than intended & have to correct myself. Both of these have improved, but continue to plague me to some extent.

Growing up, I was able to coast on my excellent recall and never really had to develop study skills or the like, so I had to figure out new ways to learn due to the short-term memory loss.

It's been a very interesting and enlightening experience, full of fear and self-doubt and an intense sense of identity loss. At the same time, finding ways to take back ownership of my life has been very empowering.

I would love to see a story like mine in a Joss-adjacent project.
@QingTing, I'm very sorry you had to go through this. My mother experienced very similar problems and it affected her much the way you describe. It's very impressive that you have learned how to take your life back; my mum has managed to do the same. It would be wonderful if Fitz's story could go along similar lines.
@Angel&Faith thank you for mentioning Ward's name! I love me some names. @QingTing, your story about taking ownership of your life is inspiring.
Thanks, @Maclay & @gossi!
I wasn't able to watch the episode until yesterday, and then I had to read the thread to make sure this wasn't mentioned:

The exterior of the Cybertek building is the same as the exterior of the hospital on Ariel. Coulson runs in on the same walkway that Mal, Jayne, and Zoe take from the ambulance.

And yes, I could have just searched the page for 'Ariel' which I totally realized before reading 3/4 of the thread. Really.

Everything else I might have discussed seems to have been addressed.

@Angel&Faith, Ward lived with the dog in the wilderness for 5 years.
Now that the season is done (and I've finally finished it) I can get this off of my chest: this show was this awesome thing that I shared with my 11-year-old daughter.... until the two-parter last month. She and I can't watch the show together any more, and I'm frustrated by that.

Yes, there were some moments that were closer to "TV14" than "TVPG" in the early part of the season, but with the gunplay neatly covered up with "icers" and with the real gore of the movies toned down and implied rather than expressed... we watched it and loved it.

Then... Ward shot two agents, in the face, from point blank range, with guns that weren't an icer. The only reason that scene didn't get the show reclassified is that magically, the bullets didn't exit the back of the agents' head and we didn't see exit wounds.

I finished the season to... have finished the season, and to stay current with the Marvel stuff. But the fact that this was something I *could* share and now I can't... took away from the finale for me.

@Andrea2s1 - I don't think it would do your daughter too much hard to see that stuff. I saw much "worse" when I was that age it didn't stunt me none. But each to their own, of course.

Marvel have been getting more and more "adult" as they go along. Winter Soldier was probably the most extreme version of this, yeah? Either way, if you're making a show about "specialists" and "trained assassins" then there should be more of that sort of thing. The absence of it is what brought the show down for me.

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