TV Review: “Agents of SHIELD” Episode 16 – “End of the Beginning”

Written by Alex Bowman April 03, 2014

After ANOTHER break, thanks to whatever excuse ABC Studios wants to collectively pull out of their butt, we are back with another thrilling episode of “Agents of SHIELD.” This episode was, in my opinion, extremely cheeky in regards to how the plot progressed throughout the episode. I love when writers place a red herring within the plot of their story that leads your focus away and makes you, as the viewer, rethink your suspicions in relation to exactly who is out to get whom. This week definitely delivered on the suspense and I am here to give you (almost) every crunchy detail.

“You’ve been betrayed…”

The team has gathered SHIELD’s top brass together and has decided to finally bring the fight directly to The Clairvoyant. However, Dethlok is back in the fold and is trying to prevent the team from closing in on the Clairvoyant. Despite what appears to be a break in the hunt for this man behind the curtain, not all is what it seems and our fellow agents are soon pitted against each other when trust once again becomes an issue within the group and the agency as a whole.

“Dammit, Ward”

This episode had a really nice flavor added to it in the form of mystery and suspense. The show, up to this point, has had its fair share of mystery elements but it wasn’t until this particular episode where it actually felt genuine in regards to how the story is set up. First off, it was really nice to see Skye get made an honorary member of SHIELD; she even gets her own shiny badge and everything. It is also highly entertaining to see Bill Paxton reprise his role in the show, smothering the scene with buckets of coolness and gravitas.

Agents-of-S.H.I.E.L.D.-1x16

However, the one thing that stuck out the most to me in this episode was the climax. We finally get what we think is the big reveal of who the Clairvoyant actually is. And it would appear that Coulson and the gang have saved the day… or have they? I like that Coulson starts to figure out that SHIELD is still working things from behind the shadows and they may have to keep things pretty close to the chest in order to solve the problem that is constantly eluding them. This premise of a villain constantly being one step ahead of the group is providing for a really great whodunnit motif that is doing really well in preventing itself from becoming static.

“Dammit, May”

This show is really stretching the bonds of trust that each member of the team has for one another. The team has now officially become suspicious of not only Ward and May, but also the entirety of SHIELD itself. The episode really became a nail biter when the team immediately starts pointing fingers and we, the viewer, are left guessing as to who is actually telling the truth. The writing for this show is really stellar because it doesn’t just take the lazy route and give you the answer to the twist prematurely or without you realizing it. Whedon is really getting a good sense of how his writing team is taking the direction of the show and we can now look forward to how the plot will thicken even more next week when SHIELD takes the fight to the team head-on. I always knew Saffron Burrows was evil!

I think everyone just needs to calm down.

After coming back from its umpteenth break, “Agents of SHIELD” delivers with another great episode that is both thrilling and pulse-pounding. The Clairvoyant is still as elusive and the team has been stretched beyond their limits. This episode is applauded for continuing to deliver one great mystery after another and by maintaining a smart villain that is more than it appears to be. Let’s hope the team can get their shit together when SHIELD brings the fight to them. SAVE THEM, BILL PAXTON!

My Rating: 8/10

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