WARNING: The following is a recap for the “Absolution” and “Ascension” episodes of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and (obviously) contains spoilers.
The two-part Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. finale takes your breath from the very start, with a staggering revelation: Everyone is dead, except for Daisy and Coulson. "I knew someone was gonna go. I just didn't know everyone was gonna go," Daisy says.
After that, the scene shows the background leading viewers to assume that the duo stranded on Maveth, the deserted alien planet on which Hive spent half of eternity; but soon comes the second crazy twist when Coulson says: "Daisy … this is Earth."
And while we were all watching, holding our breath to see what we had missed, Daisy wakes up from her nightmare and goes back to work as usual.
The rest of the finale plays out more or less as expected; not many surprises or plot twists.
With Daisy fighting with guilt – for having been Hive’s minion – the rest of the team needs to take some drastic measures, as Hive is closer than ever to completing the final phase of its plan: Detonating a nuke above the Earth, which would turn most of Europe into those creepy Alpha Primitive monsters.
S.H.I.E.L.D.’s plan was basically to shut down the bomb somehow, scramble Hive's brain and freeze it indefinitely in a gel-matrix chamber, à la Han Solo style.
And of course, in order to have a two-part season finale, the plan could not go...as planned. Eventually, the decision to bring the gel-matrix chamber back to S.H.I.E.L.D. turned out to be a somewhat catastrophic idea.
A few scenes go by, and there it is, the episode’s sole unexpected development: Daisy, begging Hive for another hit of a very powerful drug. “Please. Take me back,” she pleads. However, thanks to Lash, she has become immune to Hive’s brain parasites and hence, when the latter attempts to absorb her again, she attacks full force with her quake powers.
A few not so mention-worthy events follow and then bam; we see Hive’s face, a revelation that was characterized by most viewers as a tad disappointing. It’s our normal tentacle-faced CGI monster. It almost seems like no effort was put to avoid the ultimately inevitable resemblance to the “Pirates of the Caribbean” Davy Jones.
In Hive’s and Lincoln’s last moments, a surprisingly dialogue unfolds, as a result of platonic pathos. "I only wanted to make it better," Hive says, staring at Earth. "I know," Lincoln replies.
After that, we’re taken on a flash-forward, which is set six months after the events of the finale, and admittedly heralds an intriguing new direction for the show.
That is basically what we saw. Now let’s dive in headfirst to the facts and see what we come up with.
The team behind Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. gave it the old college try, but ultimately, the Season 3 finale never reached the heights we know the show is capable of reaching. For instance, many attempts were made this season, to add multiple layers to Lincoln, in order to make him more than just a pretty face, but the result was still not enough to make him an indispensable part of the show in future seasons.
Now, another issue that came up after the end of the third season is who will become S.H.I.E.L.D.’s new director? As much as I’d like it to be Melinda May, a totally new character is also a possibility and a plausible idea.
In sum of the episode, both parts of the finale are well directed. Sometimes, it’s the little things that count. The image of a cross in freefall consumed by fire has been repeated for the last half-season, reminding us that someone would be dying by the end of it. And seeing Mack trying to give it to give it to Yo-Yo while Fitz and Daisy both get it and eventually Lincoln ends up with it, reminds us of a hot potato game which is a great way to keep high the stakes of the finale.
As for the future of the show, we should look at Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s sister series, ‘Agent Carter’ and Marvel's ‘Most Wanted’. The first show was cancelled by ABC while the channel passed on the latter one, leaving us wondering whether Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will resist on bringing two of its strongest characters back into the fold. But who’s to say until next fall, when the new season will begin?
If you’d like to share your opinions or theories on the show feel free to do so in the comments below!