Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S7 E12-13 “The End is at Hand” and “What We’re Fighting For” Series Finale
It’s fitting that Marvel’s first tv series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (AoS) survived the others that followed on Netflix, to reach its seventh and final season. It’s also fitting that it ends as it began, with Coulson exiting exactly as he entered, in style, looking cool in his Pilot shades. Any more details about the final scene would spoil the last surprise. It seems like every tv series since LOST has made the decision to “bookend” their first and last episodes this way; as creatively fulfilling and emotionally satisfying as it maybe, it’s becoming predictable.
But first, Coulson and the other Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. had to get through two final episodes to see if everyone gets their Happy Ending, or not.
LAST EPISODE RECAP: It’s still 1980-something. From the hijacked Zephyr in orbit, the Chronicoms have just directed their summoned sister spaceships to destroy every S.H.I.E.L.D. base on Earth, except the secret speakeasy and the Lighthouse, which is too heavily, ahem, shielded. Meanwhile, anarchy-hungry Nathaniel Malick and irritating know-it-all Chronicom A.I. Sybil are still trying to find out where Fitz is, because in every future outcome they see, Fitz is the focal point of their defeat. Fitz has been absent all season, his location a tightly guarded secret. So secret, that Fitz and Enoch implanted a memory-blocking device in Gemma Simmons’ skull to prevent her from spilling the beans to the Chronicoms. Malick invaded her mind to try to find Fitz himself, but now Simmons’ brain is so scrambled she doesn’t know who anyone is, much less Fitz.
Actor Elizabeth Henstridge does an admirable and effective job conveying Simmons’ confusion and efforts to remember everyone she comes into contact with. These last two episodes revolve around her struggle to remember Fitz, and what she is supposed to remember to help the Agents win the Endgame. It’s an emotional ride.
During the orbital attack, Director Mack, Agent Sousa, and Daisy manage to sneak back to the Zephyr, and dock the quinjet. Just before one of the Chronicom ships locks onto the Zephyr with a tractor beam. Is this bad news, or do they now have the Chronicoms right where they want them?
This scene and those that follow in the hanger bay of the very alien-looking Chronicom ship reminded me how the special effects on this show have gotten better and more impressive with each season. The spaceship shots and battles are as good as in a big-budget Marvel movie. The colorful design and execution of the Chronicom ships is a highlight of this episode.
The plan of the Zephyr’s escape from the Chronicom ship is brilliant and well-designed visually. All agents then converge on the S.H.I.E.L.D. speakeasy/safe house, to rendezvous with other surviving agents from all over the nation. Key agents had been instructed to bring with them the locked cases that have been passed down through their families. They each contain mechanical components, but no one knows what they are for. Except Simmons, who sleepwalks through putting it all together, as if muscle memory is taking over.
The device opens a quantum wormhole between timelines and dimensions, and a familiar face steps through. One that Simmons still doesn’t recognize, heartbreakingly. Finally, Fitz and Simmons are together again, and if anyone can safely restore her memory, it’s him.
Although Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has increasingly centered around the evolution of Daisy/Quake the last several seasons, the Fitz/Simmons love story has been the heart of the show since the beginning. Watching them together is always a treat, and I had my fingers crossed for a happy ending for them, especially, since they have suffered so much, together and apart. The final scenes reveal a secondary reason why Simmons’ memory of Fitz needed to be suppressed, and why it’s so anguishing for her to remember “What we’re fighting for.” The reason is simultaneously painful and heartwarming. Get your tissues ready.
A complex plan is hatched to use the quantum device to transport the Agents back to their original timeline, ALONG WITH THE CHROMICOM SHIPS. Wow. The catch: someone has to stay behind in the 1980s of the alternate timeline to calibrate and press the switch from that end. One guess who wants to stay behind in the ‘80s. More amazing special effects follow.
Back in their own present and timeline, the rest of the Agents’ plan to defeat the Chromicoms begins. It includes time-loopy weirdness, mostly about Fitz and Simmons, and won’t be spoiled here. Let’s just say part of the plan involves the out-of-left-field reason for May developing empathic powers finally being explained.
Daisy gets an epic fight scene with enemy soldiers and then a showdown with Malick, who has Quake powers like her (since he stole a copy of them from her). It’s a magnificent superpowered fight to the death with a very Luke vs Vader look and feel to it, that has major repercussions.
While AoS hasn’t always meshed tightly with the events occurring in the Marvel Cinematic Universe—The Snap was never referenced, for one—for the most part it has always been a very integrated part of the overall MCU experience. It has pulled established powered characters like Quake and Ghost Rider from the comics, and even created new ones, like Yo-Yo, and Daisy’s sister Kora.
It has grown from a show that struggled to find its way or develop an audience large enough to avoid each renewal season being a nail-biting experience. Credit and gratitude to Disney and ABC for sticking with the show, and letting it find its legs.
I, for one, didn’t get enough AoS, but am glad I will always have these 7 seasons to enjoy over and over. I think I will start next week!
Go to abc.go.com/shows/marvels-agents-of-shield to watch the exciting final episodes!
• a hilarious, spot-on visual/vocal impression Deke gives of his grandfather Fitz
• One more grand entrance of the Cavalry