Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. "Closure" Review: No More Half Measures

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S03E09: "Closure"

As the credits rolled on "Closure," I had to double check it wasn't the midseason finale of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. because hot damn, show! Talk about a cliffhanger. Ward is leading an expedition to bring the still unnamed Inhuman back through the portal, and he's doing it with Fitz by his side because Fitz traded himself to save Simmons. Meanwhile Coulson, hellbent on exacting revenge for Rosalind's murder and so much more, jumped from a plane, through the portal, and to the other planet where he's now dozing peacefully after sustaining a blow to the head. I mean. Are you sure this isn't the midseason finale?

This is the type of ambitious storytelling that makes me both love S.H.I.E.L.D. and hate that it always takes so long to get to this point. This season the writers have had to tie together Ward's rebuilding of Hydra, Rosalind and the ATCU, Lash and the Inhumans, Powers Booth and Will and the desert planet, Fitz and Simmons' complicated relationship, the (very) slow building of the Secret Warriors, and Coulson's reemerging emotions. The climax was thrilling, but the build up, while almost always entertaining, rarely compared on the super-scientific Oh Shit Meter of Holy Crap That Was Awesome (patent pending). Now, I know that I've never been mistaken for a patient person, and I know the importance of all of the work that goes into laying a story's foundation so that when we reach big episodes they don't collapse under their own weight, but that doesn't change the fact that at any given point this season one or more of the show's various storylines have felt like they were running in place, waiting for the rest of the show's many connected threads to catch up. That means the same ambition that makes S.H.I.E.L.D. a wild ride is what also slows it down.

We can't blame the larger MCU because the show isn't hamstrung by any major theatrical releases—in fact, it's smoothly doing some grassroots legwork in terms of setting up the dilemma at the heart of Captain America: Civil War—but the size and scope of the show's world simply cannot be contained by 42 minutes every week. That's why it felt like Ward was monologuing about how he was going to kill Coulson for hours on end. It's why I'm glad the series shelved Lash for a bit and Lincoln finally gave up on running and joined the team because we can't have "4,722 Hours" every week, but we can't have 10 different threads, even interconnected threads, going at once either. The good news is now that we're on the other side and the table-setting is out of the way, the streamlined fun can really begin. And "Closure" really brought the fun even though it was largely still just setting us up for the real climax. It was probably the best hour of Season 3 so far in terms of pure adrenaline, but on par with Simmons' journey to the alien world in terms of what it means going forward.

The drama at the center of "Closure" eventually spanned solar systems, but was grounded in reality by the episode's use of established relationships. By building the story upon the backs of the emotional bonds that were forged (and then broken) by the small, OG ragtag group of agents we met more than two years ago, everything felt more personal. And after everything that has happened, after the Inhumans, Jiaying, and a portal to another world, it'd be easy to forget about Ward's once blossoming bromance with Fitz in Season 1 or the fact that he once jumped out of a plane to save Simmons. Hell, you may have even forgotten that Ward once claimed that he loved Daisy since this season he's been driven to seek revenge for the death of another woman. But the best shows build upon the past and S.H.I.E.L.D. smartly hasn't forgotten about any of those things. It used Ward's past relationships with each of the show's original cast members to help Coulson, driven by his own desire for revenge after Ward killed Rosalind, suss out his remaining weakness: his younger brother Thomas, played by Tyler Ritter.

Being back in the same orbit as the rest of the original cast certainly has to be fun for Brett Dalton, but it's equally fun for us as fans because Ward's direct presence reignites an energy in the show that hasn't been seen or felt since the final days of Season 1. It brings everything full circle and makes the danger personal in a way that the simple threat of Hydra, or even Jiaying, never really could. However, if I take issue with one aspect of "Closure" it was this: much like Ward's relationship with Kara, Coulson's reckless reaction to seek revenge for Rosalind's death didn't feel all that authentic given that just last week Coulson was still mostly playing her and distrustful of her motives. It was sad that she died just as Coulson was beginning to open himself up again, and it was awful because the only reason she died was because she was involved with Coulson (insert complaints about the careless use of women to further the storylines of men here), but I don't particularly like that the series attempted to paint her death as the reason Coulson suddenly flew into action. It was just the straw that broke the proverbial camel's back, and that is a perfectly reasonable motive in itself, but it also made him no better than Ward, or even Hunter, who similarly flew off the handle earlier this season after Ward tortured Bobbi.

For what it's worth, Coulson did make a passing remark about how he felt responsible for everything Ward has done to hurt people since he picked him for his team back in Season 1, so it wasn't just Rosalind's death that he was avenging but what it stood for. But there is still another problem beneath all of this: the weakness of both Ward's relationship with Kara and Coulson's with Rosalind is so blatantly apparent when propped up next to the one between Fitz and Simmons that it's kind of not even fair. When Fitz offered himself up even knowing the harrowing details of what awaited them on the other side of the portal, you believed it was something he would do to save Simmons because the show put in the effort. S.H.I.E.L.D. wants to believe it's made the effort for everyone else, but it hasn't, and it makes some of the show's other relationships look poorly constructed. And after all the work that's gone into getting us here, that's unfortunate.

Speaking of all that work, we've known for some time that Ward's abusive upbringing was at least partly responsible for what's wrong with him psychologically and bringing Thomas into the equation dug up all that history. Last season, Ward murdered his father, his mother, and his older brother for their actions, but as we learned in "Closure," he always tried to protect Thomas... until the day he pushed him down the well, which was first mentioned in the eighth episode of Season 1. Afterward, Thomas said Ward was a different person, that he felt guilty but was never able to admit it happened. He kept promising to never let anyone hurt Thomas again, but the damage was already done; he'd already asserted his dominance over his younger brother. And if this abusive relationship felt familiar, it's because we've seen it play out a few times already with Daisy and Kara. Thomas was likely the first broken soul Ward attached himself to in a misguided attempt to feel better about himself and give himself a purpose, and it's a pattern of abuse that he's liable to repeat as long as he goes unchecked. 

In Coulson's interrogation of Daisy, she told him that Ward didn't kill because he felt nothing, he killed because he felt too much, which I'd say is half-right but also further complicates the situation. If he was a straight-up psychopath who felt nothing his actions would be easier to swallow, but it would also make him a one-dimensional villain. Instead, Ward kills with a specific purpose, be it to exact revenge or because someone is standing in his way. He doesn't really derive pleasure from killing people, for instance, but he's not above killing or harming them to get what he wants or if he thinks they've somehow wronged him. And that's how he justifies his actions. Everything Ward does is calculated and understandable in that you can see his thought processes, which makes him more terrifying as an opponent.

Daisy understood and even on some level empathized with Ward's damage and how he was able to be drawn in by Garrett and, as we saw this week, by Powers Boothe. He wants badly to be a leader, he wants badly for someone to understand him, to need him. He wants to feel like a part of something, and although Coulson was demeaning when he told Daisy that it sounded like she was willing to forgive Ward for many of the things he'd done, the truth is she did and she does understand Ward on a level that no one else does because she shared those same desires. She's also proof, much like Thomas, that your damage doesn't have to define you. Thomas didn't grow up to be an abusive monster and Daisy has become a hero. You can channel your damage for good, and so when Ward said he and Coulson were two sides of the same coin, he may have been somewhat right, but Daisy might just be his mirror image and that's why, I think, this story is inevitably going to come back to the two of them. 

Ward's slipperiness is one of the things that makes him an interesting character, and when he's in his element, like he was in "Closure," he's still a charismatic presence that the camera loves. But—and I know I'm getting ahead of myself, but bear with me here—how long can the show reasonably keep going on this path? It frustrates me that the writers openly admit to playing with the show's fans regarding their feelings for Ward, and while I appreciate giving him nuances that make him a respectable and even recognizable villain, there is a timeline here. The show has found a way to bring him back into the fray, but the best shows recognize when the jig is up and at some point they're going to have to commit to a path for Ward. He's either going to have to start taking responsibility for his actions as a grown ass man or he's going to have to be dealt with. And I'm still not sure what path the show truly wants to take.

Ward claims he's a leader, but he allowed himself to be manipulated by Powers Boothe even after pointing out that he wasn't going to chase after another man's pipe dream again. And I have to think the show brought in Powers Boothe to show that Ward isn't really the man he thinks he is, that he hasn't learned from his mistakes, that he is still susceptible to manipulation. Because Powers Boothe is just another Garrett with a bigger boner for Hydra. Don't get me wrong, he's the perfect man for the job, when the job is pontificating for all of Hydra's damning ideals but not physically doing anything to see them through, but he's not all that threatening as an actual villain because of that and he can be disposed of at some point. And then what happens? We're still left with Ward, at least theoretically. 

And anything can happen on that planet. Will Ward find whatever he's looking for? Will he be trapped there forever? Will Fitz save Will? Will the Inhuman make it back to Earth? It's anyone's guess (okay, that last one feels pretty obvious). But Ward's time may be limited and I hope the series continues to use what time it does have the way it did here. Because Ward has the power to bring S.H.I.E.L.D. to its knees by simply knowing the team. He knows Coulson—probably not as well as he thinks he does, but he definitely proved this week that he knew how to get to him—and he knows Fitz would do anything, literally anything, to save Simmons. He knows the team members and their various weaknesses and he can exploit them for his own personal gain, and that's why I've been begging for S.H.I.E.L.D. to get to this stage for what feels like nearly a season and a half now. The game is way more interesting when your opponent is an equal and you've got a personal interest in the outcome of events. I can't wait to see what's next. Will Coulson give in to his own darkness and declare that there are no more half measures? It's doubtful because Coulson is supposed to be a better man, but the fact that it's all up in the air right now certainly makes for an exciting hour of television.



DECLASSIFIED CASE FILES

– I have to be honest, I am kind of bummed the writers didn't get my memo about hiring Teen Wolf's Tyler Hoechlin to play Ward's younger bro. Or maybe they did and they just stopped reading after the first name. I don't know. But Hoechlin's facial hair is far superior and he would have made a much better younger version of Ward. And I just think we all need more of his face in our lives.

– "I'm not strong enough to live in a world that doesn't have you in it."

– "Gotta say, I am impressed with this whole Furiosa vibe you've got going on." "Please just shut up."

– "Sometimes you gotta do a bad thing for the right reasons." 

– "We both know common sense was never really my strong suit."

– Mack is so good in this role as interim director. That was a hell of a speech he gave to Joey and Lincoln. But, uh, this better not be a sign that Coulson's going anywhere. 


Comments (186)
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Dec 08, 2015
I can't believe I disagree so much with you this week, Kaitlin.
a) We don't know if Lil' Ward is not a psychopath too. I think he is.
b) Skye is a stupid rude child throwing tantrums. If she is Ward mirror image...we are in serious problems.
c) I saw red when Ward killed Roz. It has nothing to do with "love", it's the fact that he killed her just to hurt Coulson. That is why Coulson exploded and I totally agree with him. I wanted SHIELD, specially May, to kill Ward since season 1. And why I wanted Simmons to kill him when she could. And now, I still want him dead. Preferably by May, but if that is not possible, by Skye, Hunter or Bobbi. I would love Fitz too but I don't think we will see that,
d) Have you considered that the inhuman on the planet is Will? So they bring him back...and Hydra has what it wanted-

Coulson jumping in the portal totally broke my ability to suspend disbelief. It was like a parody.


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Dec 07, 2015
I'm liking this season so far. But how can an episode entitled "closure" offer no closure in it? And I too thought it was the midseason finale. I'm glad it's not.
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Dec 06, 2015
Well, I felt that 'Closure' was a misleading title at best. Now, don't get me wrong, I truly enjoyed the episode and it finished off in a good place as a cliffhanger.

But there was no 'closure' here. Merely a convergence of plot points leading to something to be resolved...

Let's face it, Ward dying, would be.. well, very wasted, since he's been evil, he's been entertaining as hell. So, how will this go? Someone has to wake up Coulson, I would bet it will be Will. There will be a sacrifice to be made, not all key players will make it back from that planet. It could very well be that I am wrong and that Coulson, Fitz, Ward and Will are to make it back. However, maybe Will won't, maybe he will sacrifice himself to save Coulson, who knows.

How will Team Daisy do? Can't wait to see that happening.

Anyways, more answers to come in a few more days....

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Dec 08, 2015
Ward is not entertaining. He was entertaining when he was revealed as a vilain who still loved Skye. But now, he is just a person I want to disappear from Earth.
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Dec 06, 2015
P.S. If you have slightly dense heroes, that's adorable. If you have slightly dense villains, then BLARGH
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Dec 06, 2015
Huh, rewatched it and still think the name of this episode should be: "The Most Fabulously Uncertain 400-year Shortcut Plan to World-Domination Ever Devised"™ by Hydra ;)
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Dec 05, 2015
I'm with you on the Tyler Hoechlin part we definatly need way more of him on our tv screens, although I will admit the guy they got to play Thomas looked a lot like ward. I've always loved ward and I just hope that his final path is his death honestly that would be a waste of such a character, they've spent so much time building ward adding layers upon layers to his ever growing damaged personality that killing him is just stupid, they need to commit to him being a villian like a true blue villian kill everyone in my way villian or somehow redeem him in some way but even that wouldn't feel right he's past redemption and I can't see how or what he could do that would make everything he's done right.
I really enjoyed every minute of this episode and honestly couldn't fault it. IM so excited that their finally starting to build Daisy's team, now I would just love some exploration into Lincolns past.
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Dec 05, 2015
For now I quite enjoy Ward as a villain, but at some point he has to go. And there is only one man who should have the pleasure to end him: Fitz.
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Dec 04, 2015
If Ward & Sky don't get together in the next season or two, than what's the point? I only want them together b/c Ward's evil so...that's all.
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Dec 04, 2015
Until I read this, I thought it was the midseason finale! It sure felt like one. Not just the cliffhanger, but the opening scene, too, and how it raised the stakes, as if Ros finding out she's working for Hydra, Hydra keeping May's actually-a-monster boyfriend prisoner and trying to bring back an even bigger monster from the alien planet and Hunter still out for Ward's blood wasn't enough. I've watched too many Joss Whedon shows not to know that Coulson and Ros's dinner wasn't going to go smoothly, but I still didn't see that coming.
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Dec 04, 2015
Damn! Coulson and Rosalind couldn't finish their burger and fries in peace!
"Once I caught him alone in my bunk like some sort of creeper."
"But I was gonna check out the distant star facility with Fitz and Simmons."
"I need you to step up and do the damn job."
liked the Mad Max reference
I like angry Coulson! and that leap though!
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Dec 03, 2015
I love Ward as much as the next person, but if the writers take the path of redemption for him I will never buy it. Don't get me wrong, he's a wonderful villain and adds a lot to the show... it's just that after all of the things that he's done to characters that we adore like Fitz, Simmons, and Bobbi (among many, many others), there is no going back to how things were. It would cheapen his character to mold him into a "good guy" again, and the only reason certain fans want that arc is because it feeds into their Skyeward delusions (or whatever the ship name for that is now).
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Dec 03, 2015
What Ward did this week pushed him closer to irredeemable, but I still don't want him to be killed off. He's the best and most interesting villain. They need to commit to that and make him a true Big Bad. My friend thinks he will merge with the Inhuman somehow and become that. Or he will be tricked and left trapped there.
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Dec 05, 2015
I have a bad feeling that Will might actually be the inhuman and he's got this split/multiple personality thing happening.
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Dec 03, 2015
hm. well it was a good episode.
nonetheless: we are still in bs-country, i disagree, ward has outlived his purpose. really? you can be a leader, and if you bring Him back, sure, he'll share. we will sit to his right and left. how about asking simmons what this otherworldly creepy critter's intentions might be? even if you don' believe her, you mjght get some kind of gist.
"ward, even you couldn't be that stupid to bring that creature here, its only intent is destruction."
i hate this so much.
yeah, mr. Dalton looks and acts awesome with what he was given. well, the writers never gave him anything! he's just another slimy wacko-villain, with uninspired writing at his back (not that mr. Boothe wouldn't suffer the same fate).
in a nutshell: remove 'em both, remove stupid hydra and put some more ambiguous antagonists in. everything and everyone will be the richer for it. my bet: in the end, ward will sacrifice himself for the greater good ("The greater good")
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Dec 03, 2015
Now, there is something really pissing me off : its the way that the ATCU arc was completely dried-out in a few scenes.

ATCU was a promising organisation, that had the benefit of being tied to legal institutions, without being the stupid-governemental-enemy-agency that the US Army played last season. Well, now it's Hydra related, so it's a bad organisation, and with no competitors, I find it pretty easy for Shield to win the "good-guys" contest.

Remember a few weeks ago ? There was a debate about how to deal with the inhumans. Dangerous, but not ill-intentioned, should we lock them in and teach them how to control their powers ? Or use a very humane cryptogellic wimey until we come with a thoughful plan ? Well, think no more, because the ATCU is actually breeding inhumans into an army, not helping them. Debate over.

Oh, I think we forgot about something. Yeah, sure, it's ATCU related. Let me remember. There is this guy. What's the name ? Yeah, Banks, that's it. Well, we gave him a bit too much screen-time. And now he works for a useless-organization with a dead-leader and corrupted-ideals. What are we gonna do with that guy ? Well, there is FitzSimmons kidnapping that looks rather cheap. What if we send him there to be disposed of, so it makes the kidnapping look real ? Yeah sure. Sorry, Banks, you were in the way of the ATCU-arc wipeout.

And that's it. Clean slate. ATCU was just a cover to get the scenario back to Hydra-stuff.

What a waste !
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Dec 03, 2015
I'm suprised that so many people don't believe in the Coulson Rozmance.

Though I disliked Rosalind character, she was the match Coulson never met before. She was the first character he didn't need to patronize. In the Shield family, everyone looks like a surrogate son or daughter when Coulson walks into the room. May was the closest character he had to an equal, but even her ended up too damaged. And they had too much history together to even think of a romance.

Over the episodes, Coulson always seemed to take a genuine pleasure in his friendversary relationship with Roz. When Skye confronts him about it, were you convinced by the "business as usual" answer ? I myself found it kind of hypocritical.

Of course, you cannot compare the RozPhil romance to FitzSimmons. FitzSimmons are hurt, but still young and full of hopes. They live in a world of danger, but they still trust and feel. Coulson's world is colder, more cynical and trustless. I guess he thought love was for other people.

And I would even dare to say that maybe that's partially what enfuriates him about Ward killing Roz. Because Ward understood that Coulson was in love before Coulson himself. Because Coulson thought he was entertaining a fantasy. He didn't had time to picture himself into a romance. He had no time to confront his own feelings, even less to open up to Rosalind. And when she dies, he maybe suddenly realizes that she could have been so much more. And that he will never have a chance to walk down that road. I think Coulson does not truly realises he loves Roz before she's dead.
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Dec 03, 2015
Take note Walking Dead - this is how you do a mid-season finale - BUT, as Kaitlin notes - this wasn't even the mid-season finale, we've still got a new ep next week! Great ep - sooooo much better than Walking Dead - I wish Agents of SHIELD got those kind of ratings though - this is such a great show. Man that opening 5 minutes was so powerful - and sad - and wild. Coulson was awesome - and Ward, well, Ward has to die. There is no way around it now. No going to "Tahiti", no going to prison - there will be no redemption for Ward. Can't wait for next week's ep! 9/10.
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Dec 02, 2015
That was a good episode. From start to finish, 100% good.
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Dec 02, 2015
First 5 min reaction: 'Nooooooooooooooooooo!'
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Dec 02, 2015
Coulson you showoff. He just wants a good story when he meets Fury again
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Dec 02, 2015
All you Grant Ward haters, must see by now that #AgentsofSHIELD might never be so hyped up without him. Kudos to the writers and to Brett.
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Dec 08, 2015
But it was ok on season 1. They show shouldn't have been renewed
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Dec 03, 2015
I love Ward. What I think is silly are all the people who still think he can be redeemed. I wonder if they think that after last night's ep...
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Dec 05, 2015
I wanted him to be redeemed, but after he did a few more things since - he won't.
Love him same way.
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Dec 02, 2015
OMG! At first I thought this was the mid-season finale. But then that preview was for next week.

I figured that Rosalind was toast, but not so quickly. But I get Coulson losing it over that last straw. I've been there.

FitzSimmons...

Mack makes a great Director.

OMG, that dive into the portal was AWESOME!!!
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Dec 03, 2015
too bad he didn't stick the landing.. doh
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Dec 03, 2015
Hehehe...
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Dec 02, 2015
Solid review. I am still having a problem with Hydra being retconned to focus solely on that creature, that's just too far out of left field, and how the hell do they know about it if they've never been able to return through their portal?

Their satanic pentagram portal.

Killing Rosalind was pretty low writing, although not as low as the godawful CGI city the bullet path view took us down.

Leaving Fitz & Simmons alone with the ATCU guys was also weak writing, but this show at least didn't spend a lot of time on it.

I guess this was too crammed an episode for my tastes, as I would have liked Coulson's deep discussions on Ward to have had more substance, more teeth. Instead it was a hustle to get to the most obvious answer.

So Fitz can't live in a world without Simmons, but he's willing to destroy the Earth to test that theory? That's the end result of his choice to give in to Ward's demands, he knows they're going after something beyond dangerous.
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Dec 02, 2015
As people already pointed out before, HYDRA backstory is in line with comics, where WW2 hydra was started by a cult that reaches all the way to ancient Egypt.
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Dec 03, 2015
As I understand it, it's inline with a 2009 retcon which certainly wasn't solely about getting this one Inhuman back from the other side of the galaxy.
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Dec 02, 2015
He isn't going to bring him back man, he just needed them to stop hurting Jemma so he can figure a way to save Will and stop the it! Fitz has the brains to do it so long as he as ample time and a clear head to think and he has 12 hours or so.
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Dec 03, 2015
If only the show had a way to suggest that to the audience instead of asking said audience to fill in the gaps on their own.
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Jan 12, 2016
"The only thing I'm gonna bring back is Will" - I think that 'suggests' Fitz's intentions quite clearly! :)
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Dec 02, 2015
The thing about Hydra is that they have always been compartmentalized. Whitehall, Strucker, and Malick are only a few of the heads of Hydra. I have no problem believing that Malick didn't inform Whitehall or Strucker about what he was up to. Why share the power? Ward, in his view is a useful audience; someone with some power, but not enough to challeng him.

They had to leave Fitz and Simmons with the ATCU guys. How else was Hydra (Ward) supposed to get their hands on them. :D

The end of Earth is probably not what Fitz is imagining. I'd guess that he intends to take Ward thru the portal and strand him there. Fitz has a few issues with Ward that he wants to work out. Leaving Ward on a planet that has unfriendly lifeforms? Not a bad way to resolve those issues.
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Dec 08, 2015
Problem is Fitz agreed to go throught the portal before knowing Ward would go too.
Also, Jemma looked too pretty to have been tortured so hard.
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Dec 03, 2015
And yet Malick keeps saying through this revelation that this was Hydra's "sole" purpose throughout the ages.

Fitz dumb.
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Dec 04, 2015
Malick's chapter of Hydra may have been devoted to bringing back the monster, I'd lay odds it was the only one.

Whitehall and Strucker were more fascinated by powers and how they worked. And while Whitehall knew about the Diviner, he really didn't have an understanding of it until Raina and Cal explained it to him. Which made me think he DIDN'T know about the Inhumans existing as a whole. Jiaying was simply someone with powers that benefited him.

As for the Red Skull.....do you really see him as willing to share power with anyone? He enjoyed an audience, but no way would he share actual power with anyone or anything. He wouldn't have risked bringing something that could be used against him.
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Dec 02, 2015
Actually whitehall knew.
When we first see Whitehall he says that Diviner is important because it holds "the answer to death itself".
Monolith is called "Death" in the scroll Fitz found in the premiere.
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Dec 02, 2015
I was under the impression that Whitehall wasn't aware that the 'death' referred to was the Inhuman on the other side of the portal.

He did know that the Diviner killed people who touched it. Doesn't mean he knew WHY it did.
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Dec 03, 2015
Considering shitloads of ways to kill people, its quite clear whitehall wanted it for another reason. He also was one of only few hydra heads shown experimenting on inhumans.
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Dec 02, 2015
I thought last night's episode was good. I really liked that Simmons was able to stand up to Ward. I felt really bad for Coulson because he really cared about Rosalind and Ward killed her to make him suffer. Ward has gone too far!
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Dec 02, 2015
I am wondering if Will is not as wonderful as he is portrayed...part of Hydra perhaps ?
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Dec 03, 2015
He was almost certainly part of Hydra when he went through - whether he knew it or not.. bigger question would be - is Will the Big Bad that Hydra is looking for?
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Dec 03, 2015
that is a good insight and would fit with simmon's 'bad boy' fetish versus her love for the goodness of fitz.
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Dec 02, 2015
I think Ward has become a terrific villain this season, perhaps if you stopped thinking of him as a possible anti-hero or even that some kind miracle will happen and he will redeem himself. Once you remove those possibilities from your mind you'll appreciate the screwed up nature of this kind of complex evil that Dalton is doing so well in portraying in Ward!

Regardless, if you still hate or love him at this juncture, then Dalton is doing an amazing Job, otherwise you wouldn't care
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Dec 02, 2015
ooh oooh oooh, and I bet Will found some way to defend against or defeat the big monster on the blue planet. He's been there a while. He's had to have learned something.

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Dec 02, 2015
damn that was fun.

my thoughts...

Ward (captain douche) redeems himself at last minute on blue planet and is killed by big monster. Everyone makes it back.

Ok well, maybe some get left behind but they come back after the big break.

Great episode and pretty exciting when you really dont have anything to say or speculate.
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Dec 02, 2015
Watching the first scene...
Me: (Rosalind speaking about going back into ATCU) "Oh she is so dead." And then not even a second later - THROAT SHOT!
Me: "I DIDN'T MEANT RIGHT NOW SHOW!!!! WHAAAAA!

And at the end I also had to frantically double check that this wasn't the mid season finale. I think the writers should win a prize for most ironic episode title - there was certainly no closure in this ep for the viewers!!! Argh, and next episode will probably be even worse!
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Dec 02, 2015
I don't get the big deal with Ward? Sure he's good looking but there are prettier faces for me to look at on TV, it can't just be that?! I feel like they've dragged out his story for far too long for no reason, why is he even still alive? I'm ready for him to die a gruesome death, it's long overdue. If they try the whole redemption thing with him after everything he's done I'm not gonna be happy, he's never been likeable or compelling enough as a character to redeem, they should just finish it. I'm usually the first one to root for the anti-hero type but I've just never bought that with Ward, not sure if its the actor or the writing but I'm so done when it comes to him. Don't mean to moan but I love the show, just never understood the Ward fascination.
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Dec 02, 2015
Ha! Coulson gets a big WTF for the full-speed sky dive from hundreds(?) of meters into maybe a 1.5m diameter "hole" in the ground that could have disappeared any second during his drop.

I also noticed I that was back to disliking Ward again, until Malick was sharing the screen, criticizing him for being such a poor, careless villain in his absence.

Poor Roz, but yay, Mack. Looking forward to next week's mid-season finale.
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Dec 08, 2015
You know? I was very irritated at the sky dive too but now I am thinking...the kreel blood. We knew he is very agile. I think he has super human skills so perhaps he knew exactly when and how to jump. Still silly but at least there is a chance of explanation.
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Dec 02, 2015
Well..... THAT WAS AMAZING

Poor Coulson :( i was starting to like Rosalind - ironic that i care more about Ros' death than the death of a certain character that occurred in The Walking Dead Mid-Season Finale

Love this version of Coulson, yeah he is reckless but he has SO many reasons to be like this - it didn't feel forced

FitzSimmons continues to make me teary eyed

And i agree Kaitlin, it DID feel like a Mid-Season Finale - so i expect an even BIGGER cliffhanger next week :/ (then THREE MONTHS break)

The one thing i really don't want to happen is the redemption of Ward, it would feel forced, he is a GENUINE villain and he needs to stay that way - in a show dealing with portals, aliens, inhumans and such, Ward being redeemed would be the most unrealistic aspect of this show
I still LOVE him though

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Dec 02, 2015
when Roz said that they would finally eat the burger I was like "oh no they will never eat the burger, something's gonna happen", but I wasn't expecting the way things went... And I also felt for Banks..

I think Fitz plan was to rescue Will and leave Ward on the planet.. as Simmons found out, the portal opens in different places on the planet and I think Powers Boothe told Ward to go to the same point they arrived... Hope he finds Coulson before that..
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Dec 02, 2015
I love the show and loved this episode but for all that's saint, does anything have to revolve around fracking Ward?
What do people see in him that I don't? I love the characters we love to hate, but here I don't get it. Ok he's handsome so the ladies will root for him whatever he does, but apart from that? He CAN'T act, period! He isn't a compelling villain or adversary, he has overstayed in our screens for far too long, let him die painfullly on the faraway planet and never hear from him ever again. He doesn't bring anything and frankly all this "it isn't that simple" nonsense is starting to spoil my fun when I'm reading the reviews :(
Sorry if I'm a bit angry, but all this had to come out.
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Dec 02, 2015
Last week I wondered if actor Powers Boothe had a superpower to make Ward likable. Now, after this episode, I'm thinking it may be that Ward (the character) just doesn't work as a villain. He needs a "boss" to give him direction, otherwise he's pointless, useless and/or boring.
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Dec 02, 2015
I guess that other characters don't have the depth Ward has.
I like him as a potential anti-hero as he is one of the only interesting male character of the show. He suffers, he doubts and nobody likes him (even himself). Makes me want to see him do something about that.
He's also one of few things in which AoS innovates.

Still, I have to say, that the character should do some more soul searching. The guy, at one moment or another, should realize that he's been on the wrong path and hurt too much people.

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Dec 02, 2015
"He isn't a compelling villain or adversary, he has overstayed in our screens for far too long"

Exactly, he needs to go.
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Dec 02, 2015
Ward is the main antagonist of the protagonist of the show(Skye) not to mention a literal embodiment of Hydra right now and Hydra is a primary and eternal antagonist of SHIELD.
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Dec 02, 2015
Always remember, Hydra is eternal (in their minds). Cut off one head, two more will rise up to replace him. Daisy Johnson won't be lacking in antagonists in the future. Nor will SHIELD.

Ward is only ONE of the latest leaders of Hydra. He won't be the last; nor is he likely to have one of the longest leadership runs.
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Dec 02, 2015
Very good episode! Emotionally charged and with some nice action!

So, Ros existed only for Coulson to fall for her, then get her killed by Hydra and push Coulson off his limits!? Their affair was a bit of a torture but it's ok... it served its purpose, it's over now and that's what matters!

Fitz and Simmons had some powerful scenes! Their romance is wonderfully "exploited" by the show.

No commend for Ward. He officially made it to the vicious villain list! LoLL

Very good episode! Can't wait to see the developments on the blue planet next week!

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Dec 02, 2015
Sorry, but for me the blatant Fridge-ing of Ros was a real boulder around the neck of this episode. Put me off the whole thing for a while.

But once I got to the point of "okay, this show made a choice I disagree with and actually find distasteful. It happened, I'm not happy about it, but now let's see what else it's got and where they take this" I found the rest of the episode pretty interesting and I'm looking forward to seeing where this goes next week. I really liked the interview scenes digging into Ward's motivations in particular. Seeing Coulson so emotional and raw was pretty cool. Director!Mack was pretty neat.

Ward's own arc, though, there's something that just hasn't clicked for me. On paper, it seems okay - Ward's betrayal, going from being Garret's surrogate son, to striking out as a rogue argent, to rebuilding Hydra, to becoming a leader, it seems like an okay character trajectory. But in its execution, it just felt too haphazard, it came across as the writers trying to keep him in the story by throwing one thing after another at the wall to see what sticks.
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Dec 02, 2015
I'm not feeling Ward's arc at all. Fitz-Simmons, heck even Andrew-Lash arc is more compelling
P.S.: thank you, kevbuffylost108, for spelling check :)
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Dec 02, 2015
This comment has been removed.
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Dec 02, 2015
It's an Arc - not an Ark
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Dec 02, 2015
Thank you, will edit. Oh, wait...
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Dec 02, 2015
If you knew how Whedon family writes, you would have expected that. Anyone who is even remotely happy gets suffering. I'd worry for either FItz or Jemma right now. One of them is bound to bite the bullet.
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Dec 02, 2015
Oh, I know all too well. That opening scene had me first wondering "wait, do they think her place is bugged by Hydra so they're trying to play it off like they don't know about Hydra-leader-guy?"

Then when I realized they were just having a genuine nice moment the overwhelming sense of imminent dread set in immediately.
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Dec 02, 2015
For me it was last week when they started talking about a tactile feel and smell of old books...*shudders at memories*
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Dec 03, 2015
And now that made me remember ol' "touch and feel of books" Giles finding Jenny's body. :-(
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Dec 02, 2015
I think I must have missed something, so if someone could please fill me in, that would be great. What did Fitz do in order to bring her back, that Hydra has never done?
I thought he just grabbed her and got yanked back?
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Dec 02, 2015
It wasn't so much Fitz as it was being able to calculate where and when the portal opens. Jemma figured it out on the planet and back on Earth they made a program that could calculate it.
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Dec 02, 2015
Ah OK, so it wasn't the bring back that was the issue it was knowing where to go. Thank you.
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Dec 02, 2015
I'm sure the astronut is just another aspect of the evil thing beyond the portal.
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Dec 02, 2015
truth be told, im legitimately sick of wards shit. Im truthfully waiting for anyone of team shield to put a bullet in his head.
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Dec 02, 2015
I am kinda pissed at Fitz on this one and i can't put my finger on exactly why.
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Dec 02, 2015
Because he didn't push Ward through the portal and run away with Jemma when he had the chance.
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Dec 02, 2015
A geeky scientist trying to wrestle a superagent assassin serial killer in a room full of armed people? Seems legit
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Dec 02, 2015
No is more the "I will let lose an unspeakable evil to make you feel my love" trope that I never liked. It's one of the reasons I stopped watching Supernatural years ago.
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Dec 02, 2015
I was fine with Rosalind dying. She never gelled for me. Maybe it was the actress but I never bought her and Coulson as an item. In fact when it happened I was surprised - there had been no sexual tension between them (that I inferred). So his maniac outrage revenge over her death seems over-the-top to me. But I was actually sad to see her #1 die later since he was much more interesting.
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Dec 02, 2015
I agree with the whole Coulson-Rosalind thing not being as well established for us the viewers. In their world perhaps yes it's justified, but to the rest of us...meh. Now, if Grant had sniped Daisy.... Also, am I the only one who was hoping for another kiss between Leo and Jemma? Just laying her head on his shoulder...too "friend-zone" like for me...I mean come on, what if it's the last time they see each other, what if Leo (let Simmons call him Fitz on the behalf of everyone...his name...is *Leo*) -All of a sudden he pulls a Neo as Ward is holding him like Agent Smith and jumps and slams him into the ceiling...ha- Seriously though...has she ever called him by his first name? I mean clearly he is fine with her always using his last name...but you don't see him always calling her Simmons. Sorry it is still a point of contention for me.

In any event, this was indeed a good episode, despite the weak (to most of us anyway) motivation behind Coulson's quest to kill Ward now. He was so right, he should have killed the son-of-a-bitch sooner.
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Dec 02, 2015
I just realized like 37 seconds later that I never finished that "what if Leo..." thought. What if Leo dies, after all Ward did try to kill him and Simmons once already...and some force on that planet does drive people insane... Also, what if in some brazen act, if Leo were mortally wounded, he would then shove Will through the portal to be with Jemma...final act of love and all that. Gosh I sure do the ... thing a lot lol -Screams at my monitor- I'M CAPTAIN KIRK!!! (x
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Dec 02, 2015
I am thinking its more likely that the evil thing will assume the form of dead Fitz and enter our world pretending to be him. Either that or fuse with Ward.
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Dec 02, 2015
You're on to something there...the ancient being, Inhuman or not, has been shown to appear as other people.
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Dec 02, 2015
I'm a little let down that Thomas Ward apparently changed his name to Macguffin... Guess that's why Grant wasn't able to find him until now.
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Dec 02, 2015
Honestly, pretty good review. One of the first true reviews on this site, I've read fully. However ... I kept getting thrown off by "Powers Boothe". I'm sitting here thinking to myself, did he spell his name wrong? I myself didn't know the actor's name until this review, but what threw me is your transition from "Character" to "Actual person". You talk about Ward and everyone else as their characters, but you mention Gideon Malick as the actor. Best to watch for that.
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Dec 03, 2015
i was super confuded too!! I was like "who the hell is Powers Boothe? Did i miss something?" but yea the whole using the actors name with the rest of the characters made for an awkward reading.
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Dec 02, 2015
Kaitlin said a couple reviews ago that his name was way cooler thar the character's , so she would use Powers Boothe forever haha
I think it's funny :P
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Dec 03, 2015
yea ive missed a couple reviews so i was lost on that transition lol
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Dec 03, 2015
Whoops! Sorry. Yeah. Malick just feels so less cool in comparison to the actor's real name. Apologies for the confusion!
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Dec 03, 2015
no worries!! i do agree that Powers Boothe is a bad ass name and sounds better than the characters tho :)
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Dec 02, 2015
amazing episode .................
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Dec 02, 2015
Anyone else half expecting Rosalind's to come back alive. I know Ward thinks he killed her and I know Coulson thinks she's dead but my spidey senses telling me we haven't see the lack of her.

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Dec 02, 2015
You've got no spidey powers, complete powerless stranger I've never met before.
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Dec 02, 2015
A real reason for them not being able to call in the helicarrier and it forces to provide backup should have been given. This would have been a ten minute job for the Helicarrier

For example Stark industries refusing to hand over the fuel or provide replacement parts for the air carriers, a first hint for the fans that Stark is turning into a jerk before the civil war film. Even it being on a mission to stabilise some made up country or helping out in a natural disaster, would have been better than simply ignoring it existence in the show.



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Dec 08, 2015
They were "keeping a Helicarrier a secret," perhaps with good reason... now that it's out it's possible that it was confiscated by NATO after the incident (considering the "Sokovia Accords" it's not entirely unreasonable to expect that) as well as the practical matter that it's simply too big to fit inside Coulsons base and probably too resource intensive to operate for an extended period of time for a secrete organization with no official backing (The refit, being mentioned, taking half of their existing operational budget... and where does Shield get it's money from again?... At least MIB had a bunch of patents they've been making money on).
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Dec 02, 2015
DavidK, I agree...those would have been excellent reasons for not being able to get the Helicarrier over to Coulson's crib (as well as establish the foundation for the upcoming May 2016 film). Although I understand Coulson's fight scene was to show how much of a badass he is, but we knew that already!! Tell us something we DON'T know LOL
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Dec 02, 2015
Another good episode from Agent of Shield, thought it was the final until January but it look like we have got another 2 episodes before then.

Anyone else interested to see if Will is really a Nasa Astronaut or is he a hydra agent. For Jemma stake I hope he doesn't say hail Hyrdra.

But bum that Banks died.

Looking forward to seeing Daisy, Luke and Joey kickarse. Hopefully there a couple of hydra inhumans to give them a real fight.
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Dec 02, 2015
The whole issue of bringing Will back seems to have been ignored. If he is Hydra, leaving him on the other planet is best for everyone. It isn't as if Jemma and the others haven't been played by Hydra agents before.

And, yes, it was reported today that Agent Carter is returning in January, but is delayed until Jan 19th, due to the State of the Union address. No idea if that means they will do a few extra 2-hour episodes for Agent Carter or if SHIELD will be delayed.
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Dec 02, 2015
No, there is only one more episode left this year: next Tuesday's Winter Finale.

I TRULY hope Will is not with Hydra!
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Dec 02, 2015
I just hope Will is not the inhuman they are trying to bring back (somehow). That'd be too much for me
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Dec 08, 2015
I think he is. And I am not liking it either.
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Dec 02, 2015
Two according to http://epguides.com/AgentsofSHIELD/

But this felt like a fall final to me that why I'm surprise we still got two more episodes.
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Dec 02, 2015
"thought it was the final until January" -- Pretty sure there is the mid-season finale next week and then it returns in like... April or March. I don't think January. I'm pretty sure January counts as mid-season break-time, when they toss in all the mid-season filler shows. In this case, I'm pretty sure Agent Carter comes on in January.
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Dec 08, 2015
Carter comes January 19, it was advertised in this episode. But we have another episode today.
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Dec 02, 2015
Hope we don't have to wait until April/March.
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Dec 02, 2015
I greatly enjoy this show, really looking forward to it every week, but some things needs to be said


Are you f* kidding me? Another tear eyed Fitz/Simmons conversation and sacrifice? I adore Fitz/Simmons, but every bloody episode they do the same thing with them, stop it!

Killing Rosalind was predictable and that also becomes the problem of the show, it felt like they did it just to speed things up. Although it would probably drag a story a bit, they could've give Coulson and Rosalind more time to grow an emotional relationship because until now it was just light flirting. I know it's Wheadon trademark, but it becomes a joke, a device, not unexpected tug on heart strings if you know what I mean.

I also have to complain that Hunter is everybodies monkey now as well, he really did not deserve what everybody is throwing at him.

Everything else was excellent though, that dive into the portal was fantastic (head hitting the stone was stupid though, yeah, we really need one more obstacle in the mix, like it is not thrilling enough *rolleyes*)

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Dec 08, 2015
Agree about the hitting the stone. It was too much
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Dec 02, 2015
No matter what, the story/relationships this show builds are legit -- decent/good. The shit they put on TV these days were the plot just crumbles after the slightest bit of pressure, it's just depressing. Examples would include: OUAT has turned into a joke, and Supergirl started as a joke and is continuing to be a mess.
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Dec 02, 2015
I agree they are great, especially compared to other shows, sometimes I just feel they go too much in one direction banging our heads with it, sometimes I just like more subtle approach.

Did I come off too strongly? Didn't mean that :)
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Dec 02, 2015
Just a great episode.

I still don't see that we've had too many stories going on. The bigger plots have moved along well & the smaller ones have developed along the way. I missed the usual funny one liners in this one but there wasn't much room for them really. Hunter managed to sneak in a few.

The whole interrogation room with Coulson & the originals was fantastic. I loved May's reaction in particular and Fitz's estimation of Ward, spot on.

Fitz said it himself, he was only bringing back Will but I hope he finds room for Coulson as well. Psycho Ward stuck on a deserted planet, light years away.. That gets my vote!!
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Dec 02, 2015
That's what I'm hoping for, Ward by himself on that planet as Coulson smiling, turns and walks through the portal.
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Dec 02, 2015
This continuing complaint from the reviewer about the show having too many storylines has got to be fairly tedious and also incorrect at the same time and I wish they would give it a rest.
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Dec 02, 2015
Great episode, its one of the few episodes of SHIELD that makes me say "I cant wait to see the next one." It is sad, however, theres only a few ones that make me say that. I wholeheartedly agree with the assessment of the show the writer has written in the beginning. Every season of SHIELD almost always suffers from "too many thread" syndrome that kills poor young ambitious shows every year. Its real tragedy.. someone should start working on a charity foundation.

Even though pay out of the build up has been almost always great, I can't honestly call the show as "one of the greats" just because of one or two episode out of 22 episodes happened to be awesome while the rest can best be summarized as "meh" *shrug* This is the show that regularly spends more episodes on build up than Season 3 of the Homeland. Frankly, it is something that I now expect from the show. I will watch five to ten lukewarm episodes just so I can get another "4,722 Hours" or "Turn, Turn, Turn." And frankly, I am not complaining, but I am lamenting the fact that if they can just cut down few of meandering plot threads and maintain focus this could be great show. Except, I will just settle for a good one.

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