Film & TV Reviews

Emotions, Not Plot, Rescues Agents of SHIELD’s Season 4 Finale

by on May 17, 2017

45 mins


Episode 22 – World’s End

If Agents of SHIELD ended during the season finale, it would have been a confusing and difficult place to leave the series. However, that’s not the case for World’s End. The season concluded with more questions than answers, and was propelled by its emotional elements rather than the action.


After this final pod of episodes, Aida’s death was fairly anticlimactic in the sense that it seemed pretty simple. On closer inspection, that isn’t so much that case when realizing the world Aida has set up. While Aida most likely won’t be around to reap the rewards of the changing world she helped launch, given the evidence of the Framework, the world will be a very different place. Aida will posthumously get what she wanted; Inhumans hunted, SHIELD definitely branded a terrorist organization, and the lives of the agents of SHIELD ruined.


And the best part of Aida’s death – Coulson bargaining with the Ghost Rider to have him inhabit him. It was incredible to watch the ultimate fanboy become a supernatural superhero. And while Coulson sheepishly admits to Robbie that it sucks to be the Ghost Rider, you can’t help but feel he was excited about it. One of the biggest questions to answer next season will be what Coulson bargained in order to get


The plot of this episode stuttered with its ending. From being abducted in the diner to the ending scene in space, the setup just resulted in confusion. With rumblings that season five won’t be dropped until January 2018, the show did not give enough information to satiate the curiosity. It felt completely out of left field, and we can only amuse ourselves with theories for so long before losing interest.

mack daughter

As mentioned before, the real refinement to this episode was the emotional points. Fitz (played by Iain de Caestecker, Simmons (played by Elizabeth Henstridge), Mack (played by Henry Simmons) and Yo-Yo (played by Natalia Cordova-Buckley) took turns on the punching bag of my heart. Each delivered a performance that delivered in its excruciating circumstance. When Aida had Simmons in her clutches, both actors tapping into the pain and star-crossed affairs of Fitzsimmons was almost too much. Mack’s entire arc through these past two episodes has also been a solid gut punch. As Yo-Yo enters the Framework and see firstahnd why, she is nearly destroyed by what she witnesses. However, the most heart-wrenching moment occurs just after Hope is removed from the collapsing Framework. To watch Mack suffer, his palms upturned and his sobs filling the void, was almost unbearable and is certainly one of the most saddest moments the show has produced just yet.


Another strong point of the episode was Daisy letting Fitz know the blame doesn’t just fall on his shoulders and that he doesn’t deserve to be the only one to be held accountable. Her speech was powerful and still adds to the theory that she may be SHIELD’s director one day.

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Robbie’s exit was also a point to talk about. Robbie doesn’t need a Sling Ring like Doctor Strange to open interdimensional portals – nope – in fact he just needs to whip around his fire chain. That was certainly something to be envious about. We wonder where he took the Darkhold to.


The episode pulled in some great team moments. The diner scene, reminiscent of the Avengers infamous schwarma scene, also called back to how unifed the team was in the first season. There was in fact a time when the team had game night and played pranks on each other. Radcliffe’s last scene was also cinematically stunning and very symbolic. The use of color and the fact he didn’t even get to have a sip of the alcohol was fitting for his tragic demise. A man killed by his own creation.

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Despite the faux paus with the confusing space ending, the finale was still a good show in how effective emotional storytelling can be. There are some things we would have liked to see play out a little differently to have a bigger impact. The fact remains, at least Coulson is in space, the Superior/Anton Ivanov is nowhere to be found (at least his head), and the world tide turning on SHIELD will make for an interesting start to the next season, along with whatever state the Inhumans leave it.


Agents of SHIELD will return and surpass 100 episodes next season. It will be moved to Fridays at 9 pm, taking over the Inhumans time spot for ABC after that 8-episode run.


Season 5


A long wait for season 5
What was that ending?

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Expect to cry but also be confused about it.

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