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‘Agents of SHIELD’ finale recap: ‘Beginning of the End’ is a furious treat

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It has been a long, bumpy road, but ABC’s “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” ended its first season last night with a continued confidence that has helped make the show must-see viewing. “Beginning of the End” not only brought some (though not all) closure, it also served up the return of Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), who played a bigger part than the promos let on. Throw in an enticing piece of Skye’s (Chloe Bennet) origin into the mix, and Season 2 just can’t get here fast enough.

Warning, spoilers ahead, so don’t read if you haven’t watched the finale.

Is all hope lost?

When we last saw Fitz/Simmons (Iain De Caestecker, Elizabeth Henstridge), Ward had jettisoned them into the ocean.The compartment they were in somehow adapted to the pressure, which helped keep them alive as they fell 90 feet into the bottom of the ocean. The quirky duo realizes they might die, until Simmons starts spouting some science stuff, and suddenly they have a plan to get themselves to the surface. The only problem is that there is only enough oxygen for one of them, and in a heartbreaking and terrifically handled scene, Fitz finally confesses his feelings to Simmons by asking her to let him show her how he felt, since he couldn’t say it before. Of course, Jemma doesn’t leave him behind, and manages to get both of them to the surface in time be to rescued by none other than Nick Fury. Simmons is doing just fine, but unfortunately Fitz will never be the same.

The Messed Up Speech

Yup, Fury isn’t dead, and he found the weak distress signal Fitz set up, which led him directly to the scientists. Fury wants to find Coulson (Clark Gregg) so he can help stop Garrett (Bill Paxton). Garrett, meanwhile, has hopped over the fence into crazy town, and begins writing cryptic messages. Garrett is relishing his newfound strength, but Ward (Brett Dalton) is concerned that his mentor is going too far. Ward asks Raina (Ruth Negga) for assistance, but she is more interested in knowing some key information about herself (and Skye) than easing Ward’s mind.

Garrett knows that Skye is somehow an important piece of the puzzle,and sends Ward to retrieve her. With Ward gone, Coulson (who escaped the super-soldiers thanks to Melinda May and a Berserker staff) arrives and finds Fury, and together they manage to take down Garrett with the help of Deathlok (J. August Richards.)

Not only was this part of the episode exciting, it also had some of the best back-and-forths of the season, thanks to Gregg and Jackson’s easy-going chemistry. The best moment: an angry Fury corrects Garrett when he messes up his speech. Priceless.

She’s Still Kind of Mad

May (Ming-Na Wen) and Skye break into Cybertek, and thanks to Skye’s Trojan horse, they are able to send the super soldiers away and capture Deathlok’s handler. Skye straps a bomb to his chest and tries to force him to talk, but Ward walks in interrupts her with a speech about how Skye couldn’t kill him when she had the chance. Skye tells Ward that she has a better weapon than a bomb, which is May’s cue to come in and do some heavy venting with her fists. She and Ward have a spectacular fight complete with zingers, until May gets the upper hand and literally nails Ward’s foot to the ground. It also turns out that Skye has been communication with Deathlok, and once she safely had his son with her, gave him the go-ahead to take Garrett out.

Raina is still on the loose, and pays a visit to a mysterious person that turns out to be Skye’s father. That nice little bit of information is a great bridge to Season 2, though hopefully this person’s identity won’t be something we have to wait too long for.

A New Beginning

After Garrett is presumed dead (more on that in a sec) and Ward is off to be “questioned,” Coulson finally gets to ask Fury about Project TAHITI. Coulson reveals that TAHITI was supposed to only be used if an Avenger died, but Fury stops him and points out an Avenger actually did. He calls Coulson the heart of SHIELD, and enlists him to start SHIELD again from the ground up. He gives Coulson a new base, complete with an Agent Koenig (Patton Oswalt) of its own. Could there be a LMD in the house?

But all may not be well with Coulson, since in the final moments of the show, he gets up and starts making those same markings that Garrett made before.

Stronger than Ever? Maybe not

Raise your hand if your eyes rolled to the back of your head when you saw Garrett crawl to that Deathlok device and become stronger than ever. Now raise your hand if you cheered when he was blasted to smithereens by Coulson before he finished his speech.

Best line: “You were never on top.” – Melinda May

What did you think? Was this a great finale for Agents of SHIELD? Or were you disappointed?

"Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." airs on ABC. For a local listing in the McAllen or San Antonio area, click here.

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