Agents Of SHIELD: 2.22 S.O.S (Part 2)
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'Who are you?'
'I'm Gordon. Who are you?'
'I'm the guy that kills Gordon...'
And with that, Mack became one of the coolest characters on the show. Audiences were teased the SHIELD tech guy going all psycho on the Inhuman invaders and this week he delivered as he marched through the helicarrier, rescuing Skye, forming a battle plan and going toe to toe with Gordon with a big ass axe.
As the second part S.O.S that aired as one double-length finale in the States, this episode dived straight into the action and didn't let up. Coulson battled with Cal, trapped for the moment behind a SHIELD car and was able to convince him that he wasn't the monster, Jiaying was. Kyle MacLachlan continued to play a sympathetic character even when he was his deformed 'Hyde' self and joining with Coulson to save his daughter transformed him from villain to semi-hero by the season's end.
Lance and May's rescue mission wasn't without drama too. Bobbi appeared to sacrifice herself to save Lance from Ward's trap and I wondered for a moment if the whole 'Bobbi and Lance spin-off' idea was a smokescreen for her death at the season's end. May also got to play a ruthless game, tricking Kara / Agent 33 into wearing her face long enough for Ward to accidentally kill her. It was a tragic end for the SHIELD agent turned HYDRA pawn and you had to feel for Ward as he realised what had happened. Still, he looked set to forge his own evil team by the episode's end.
But it was on the SHIELD helicarrier where all the real fun was had and Mack wasn't the only one with the great one liners. After the tease of a real discussion about his feeling for Simmons, Fitz was back to his old season one self, as he took to the field to stop Gordon and help save the day, I loved his response to Mack over not coming up with the Quantum field disruptors.
"It's okay. You've been busy. And you're not a quantum physicist. Completely understandable.. Just as hilarious was his "Science, bitch! when Gordon realised he was trapped.
Just like Bobi getting shot, that battle with the eyeless teleporter really played with audiences emotions. After a spectacular fight between Coulson, Fitz, Mack and Gordon it genuinely looked as if Fitz had been impaled, before we discovered it was actually Gordon. Just as shocking was Coulson losing his hand - thanks to Mack's axe - after the crystal started to turn his hand to stone. As Coulson mentioned at the episode's end, it was a very physical reminder of the cost of the battle with the Inhumans. And it also allowed him to 'blackmail' Mack into not quitting after he cut off Coulson's hand without asking!
Elsewhere, Lincoln switched sides - it was kind of inevitable really - and Skye got to demonstrate her SHIELD training against three female Inhuman copies before racing to stop her mother. Any hope of redemption for Jiaying was lost the moment she turned on Skye, draining her energy to save herself. Fortunately Cal was able to save the day, literally breaking the woman he once put back together and stopping the threat once and for all.
Not that the threat was completely over, only Jiaying's insurgence; I'm intrigued to see what the fish oil contaminated with Terrigen crystals will do to the unsuspecting public and if the Inhumans return, giving they have a movie a few years from now.
Season two rounded off nicely with SHIELD reunited, HYDRA dead and Cal getting a very bittersweet ending; nice use of the T.A.H.I.T.I programme to wipe his memories and give him a new life as kindly veterinarian. I will miss him - though Kyle MacLachlan will be busy with Twin Peaks after all. It will be interesting to see of his monstrous self starts to reassert itself somewhere down the line.
May ended the season a different person after all, reconnecting with her husband Andrew and even wearing purple! Skye meanwhile looked to get an exciting new mission as Coulson established a new covert superpowered team. I'm sure Lincoln will be joining her - and possibly Deathlok too - and fans who lament not getting the Avengers on the show might be appeased. We even got the shocking cliffhanger as Simmons was dragged screaming into the black rock the Inhumans feared.
The finale of Agents Of SHIELD felt like a strong bookmark to two year's worth of storytelling and capped off a greatly improved second season. If anything, it feels like the show has now starting to really get going and I can't wait to see what year three brings!