Last week I gave praise (in the form of a slow clap) for the twist ending that May appeared to be a double agent; this week I give a standing ovation. It looks like Agents of SHIELD
may have finally got into its groove. It was not a flawless episode, as a few parts took on a very predictable path, but overall “The Beginning of the End” will make you want to watch more.
So what’s the story…?
We start off in Sydney, Australia- Agent Garret and Agent Trip go into a safe house when all of a sudden Mike Peterson (who, since his transformation, will now be known as Deathlock) breaks in and, despite being shot multiple times, keeps going. Eventually he escapes by jumping vertically up into the roof leaving a hole in his wake.
As an Australian, I would just like to point out how random the location is. Apart from stock footage of the Sydney Harbor Bridge, there was no indication or need for it to be located here.
Anyway, the ‘big wigs’ (consisting of Agent Hands, Agent Sitwell, and Agent Blake along with Garret and Trip) all arrive on an aircraft carrier ship and are greeted by Coulson on The Bus. They go up to a high altitude on the remote chance that, if the Clairvoyant is actually psychic, he will have a hard time listening in this far up….
…I’m sorry, that is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard…and last week we had a woman who can control men by touching them….
So the team has narrowed the list down to 13 potential candidates, looking at a list of potentially psychic people interviewed by SHIELD but that were rejected. They plan to coordinate the attack with Skye’s super hacking genius and make her an official SHIELD agent.
Fitz and Simons are trying to convince Skye to talk to Coulson to let them study the drug, but she shoots them down. That, however, does not stop them from trying later on when Simons is sent to the Hub.
Hands says she plans to monitor the attacks at The Hub and Sitwell is sent off on assignment (this has to do with Captain America: Winter Solider movie tie in for next week).
So almost out of nowhere, Skye and Ward seem to now have some sexual tension; and with the events that happen throughout this episode, I just didn’t buy it. In fact, this love interest angle really took me out of the story. Ward and May having casual sex I could buy; but Ward all of a sudden having lovey-dovey feelings for Skye without any really build up made me cry foul!
So Deathlock is in a room when there is a knock at the door with the Clairvoyant texting him: “Don’t say I never gave you anything.” It is a package containing a gauntlet that gives him an upgrade- He says “they are coming for me, it’s time we meet.”
Simons accidently lets slip about Skye’s blood work in front of May. She asks the pair if any of them exhibit strange behavior to contact her first as she can help. The way she does this is very friendly, and is completely out of character, yet nobody notices. To the audience it is clear this is to make it more sincere with May still apparently a double agent, but I feel they could have kept her in character without the neon sign saying “I AM A SPY!!”
So the teams are sent to interrogate the potential suspects. Ward and Trip are sent to Milton Keynes Prison, UK. They have an exchange about how they both have revenge in mind, but Ward says that’s not the job, but Trip states that, given the opportunity, he will kill the Clairvoyant because he got his partner killed. They walk up to the guard area and it is empty.
Garret and Coulson drive into Muncie, Indiana and are directed to a detour and think they are about to be ambushed.
May and Blake are in Macon, Georgia at an “assisted living home.” Blake goes to check the room of their suspect, Thomas Nash, and gets attacked by Deathlock. Blake is seemingly dead while May tries to shoot him, but it doesn’t do much good as Deathlock’s new gauntlet fires a rocket that blows up half the corridor and walks away. Hands gives the order for backup and everyone just heads back to their transports.
How…dull! And actually, confusing…it seems like there was a scene missing.
Back at the Hub, Blake is in critical condition and Hands isn’t happy; but since they now believe Nash is the Clairvoyant, they all focus their attention on locating him. Before he was wounded, Blake fired a tracking bullet into Deathlock so they know where to find him. Simons is staying at the hub as a resident expert about Deathlock (and also to try to run Skye’s blood).
The team storms the place while Fitz sends off some mini retrievers to find him. One of them does and they discover he is part machine under the skin. A fire fight and lots of running ensues, and Coulson is in pursuit when he runs into Garret who is also down there. They find a room with monitors and a guy in a chair. Nash is talking through the computer as he is completely physically disabled. He starts doing basic mind reading, which even a kindergartener should be able to see is just cold reading. He also says a force is coming for both Coulson and Sky and they have something ‘we’ want and she will die giving it to us. Ward kills him in cold blood.
Let’s go back a second…Ward…kills…an unarmed, disabled person in cold blood…for the benefit of the 6 stories left and the movie tie in, I will wait to see what happens and how they handle this. But if he gets away with those kinds of actions I am certain the fandom will rise up and turn on him.
So Ward is put under house arrest. May informs Coulson that Director Fury is back and Coulson says he has many questions he wants answered.
Skye and Ward have an exchange in the cube on the plane. He says the Clairvoyant just pushed all the right buttons and he did it to keep her safe and the team…
…oh yes Ward, that seems like a perfectly good reason to kill an unarmed, disabled man…sorry…sorry, I will see where this goes.
Coulson thinks Nash was a prop as the whole thing was too easy…meaning Ward killed an INNOCENT UNARMED DISABLED MAN! Skye thinks the Clairvoyant is pushing the right buttons because he has access to their personal psychological and monitoring files, and they realize the only one who could have access to them is an Agent of SHIELD.
Fitz calls Simons secretly on a secure line and finds May’s secret line. May comes in and he makes an excuse and leaves quickly, running into Skye and explaining his discovery. She tells him to cut the line before she can call out. While this is going on Coulson comes in with Ward and yells at him wanting to know if someone ordered him to kill the Clairvoyant.
May starts a report as Fitz cuts the lines. May grabs a gun and goes looking for Fitz (she fires but he is behind glass). Coulson gets the drop on her and she says it’s not what he thinks and her gun is an Icers (Formally known as the NightNight Guns). He says his is not, then Sky also pulls a gun. May says she can’t tell who is on the other line she has been calling. Just then the plane goes crazy and starts flying on its own back towards the Hub. Hands is the one controlling the plane and says to kill everyone once it lands.
Ok was this a good episode? Yes! Yes it was! Again I am very annoyed with a supposed love interest thrown in and Ward’s actions need some serious explaining; but I will most definitely be tuning in next week. The reveal that Hands is a bad guy was always alluded to but I suspect it is a major red herring. In fact here are my predictions of where the story will be going:
- The “we” Nash was talking about will be Hydra or AIM (more likely AIM)
- May has been calling Fury because the plane has been bugged which is why she couldn’t say anything
- Hands is not the clairvoyant (not sure if she is a bad guy though)
- The Clairvoyant will turn out to be Garret
Overall I give this episode a 4/5.
And, as a side note, Saffron Burrows (who plays Agent Hands) totally rocks the strict look with glasses and black hair with red streaks…it really, REALLY works. She can cuff me any day!
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