I sit here typing away with bloody stumps for finger tips because the anticipation of knowing that we are only one episode away from the season finale of “Agents of SHIELD” has left me biting my nails down to the bone. Everything has been leading up to the finale and every action, decision, and consequence will lead up to a gripping and exciting conclusion of epic proportions. However, you would think “Agents of SHIELD” would leave off on some kind of cliff-hanger or “to be continued” moment to set up for the next episode. This episode doesn’t really do that, so is this a good thing or a bad thing? And does that mean that this episode can still hold up on its own merits?
This week’s episode deals with the team having to investigate a woman who appears to be empowered with psychic abilities. However, the team soon realizes she is instead being hunted by some teleporting apparition that has been haunting her since a laboratory accident that took the life of her fellow colleagues. The team must band together in order to protect the woman and stop the “ghost” from killing them when it takes their BUS out of commission. The two sub-plots intertwined in this episode deal with both Agent May coming to terms with her past as Skye slowly learns more about her, and Fitz-Simmons playing pranks on Skye. I’ll leave it up to you to decide which of these sub-plots is worth the amount of fucks you want to give.
“That’s why they call her The Cavalry.”
I’m a little bit disappointed with how the writers for this episode handled Fitz-Simmons. Instead of using their brains and super-powerful quirkiness to help the team solve problems, they are instead reduced to this majorly stupid sub-plot involving pulling pranks on Skye because (insert lame set-up for blah blah blah). It doesn’t really go anywhere other than to give some character roundness to May and to set up a high-pitched girly screaming gag courtesy of Fitz.
Now, don’t get me wrong, this episode is not bad. I just had to get that out of my system before I get into what made this episode really good. This is mostly a May oriented episode which I really enjoy because she is really starting to grow on me as a character. She has the best moments in this episode; you finally get to learn about her back-story and the reasons why she is the way she is makes for a very sad moment where your heart-strings will be tugged to the point of snapping. I also didn’t mind that Skye was finally given something to do other than being told to go sit in the corner while the grown ups talk. The religious discussion she has with the psychic girl may come off a bit clichéd at first, but it slowly turns into this simplistic bonding moment that really helps to relieve the tension we originally had regarding her past transgressions.
“Let the Girl Go.”
The fight scenes in this episode are both visually stunning and very well choreographed. There is, surprisingly, a few times where the fight scenes invoke a laugh or two. I would say the ending climax has a nice twist, but only because it ties in really well with May’s character development. The moment at the end of the episode where you see her smile is the perfect way to finish her character arc. Also, just a heads up, don’t try and question whether or not Ward and May make it a thing to sleep with each other often because it doesn’t really seem to matter to the Whedon team so it shouldn’t really matter to us.
All in all, I’d give this episode one big giant thumbs up. This episode in no way sets up for the finale of “Agents of SHIELD,” but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. This episode could be watched completely out of linear context and still be enjoyed for what it delivers: great fight scenes, amazing character development and some nice heart-to-heart moments that help round out the pacing. Here’s hoping the season finale ends with a bang instead of a whimper.