Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Midseason Finale ReviewDecember 12, 2014
It is difficult to write a proper review for the midseason finale of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. without delving into emotional decline. The sophomore season has been full throttle since we first saw them in the premiere. There was action, there was major plot development, and if you’re like me, there was searching for a shock blanket after the last few minutes.
And yes, this will spoil the whole thing for you.
The episode opens with unofficial matriarch of the S.H.I.E.L.D. clan, Melinda May devising a plan to avoid being shot down by Hydra Quinjets. It is the first action sequence of the episode and I was gripping my seat just as tight as the Koenigs, Triplett, and Lance Hunter. May used the ejection seats as decoys for the incoming missiles, cloak The Bus just in time, and in all her badass glory, saved six team members.
After Triplett mentions to May they need to get into contact with Coulson about what happened with Ward taking Raina and kidnapping Skye, we catch up with the Director. Coulson is concentrated once again on getting to the bottom of the tunnel and launches collective science unit Fitzsimmons to tackle the task. At this point, the two crews have met up and Triplett is once again bringing out his 1940’s spy gear, much to the delights of one of the Koenigs (it’s hard to keep track of them at times). Fitzsimmons take to the holding cell to bounce ideas off each other, very reminiscent of their Season 1 banter. They reach the conclusion that the city is controlling Alphonso Mackenzie, that the city is using him as self-defense. We will see the fruit of this conversation later.
In one of the weaker moments of the episode, we get another tender moment of the love-hate relationship of Huntingbird. Bobbi finds consolation in Lance over the apparent loss of BFF Mack. Lance hugs her, and sets her straight on aligning her Puerto Rican contact Diego again to help with the city.
After skirting through a scene of Coulson thanking a disappointed May, we flip sides to see Ward bringing Skye to meet her father. Skye’s father is erratic in behavior, but once he settles down for a moment he delves into some plot reveals. His name is Cal, he tells Skye of her mother’s fate. We are then briefly interrupted by another Huntingbird scene who happen upon Diego meeting with Hydra agents, but he is only leading them on apparently, and slips Bobbi a secret note.
Back at the most awkward father-daughter reunion, Cal tells Skye how he met her mother, how S.H.I.E.L.D. stole her from him, and then hums her the song Skye heard in her dream the previous episode. Cal tells Skye her given name is Daisy, and that he is planning to kill Whitehall.
Fitzsimmons came up with using HAZMAT suits to avoid whatever the alien infection going down into the city brings. Information that Hydra is taking a shortcut to the city sets the next several events in fast succession.
Whitehall meets with Ward, Cal, Raina, and Skye joins in the guarded conversation too. Whitehall is going off on everyone’s role in the plan and expresses high interest in Skye. He brings out the Diviner and has Skye take it, much to her fascination that it did not destroy her. She uses it to take out one of her guards but is vastly outnumbered. The guns are pointed on Ward as well as Raina busts him for not following orders properly.
Fitzsimmons, flacked with Tripp, head down the shaft in their suits. Their mission is to plant four bombs, the bombs Tripp had gathered from his Howling Commandoes legacy gear. They are pressed for time as the bombs are not controlled by a detonator but a timer because electricity does not work down there. With time running low, Fitz separates and as he is one of my personal favorites, I positivity have a miniature heart attack that something bad will happen to him.
Skye finds herself tied up and guarded; her father is on the floor in front of her. Whitehall implanted a device in him that acts as a shock caller. Ward is detained in the same room guarded by Agent 33 but on the other end, out of view from Skye. At the same time Coulson, May, and Bobbi and Lance are infiltrating the building. Cal is able to kill the guard watching them but leaves Skye tied to the chair. He goes off to find Whitehall and complete his vendetta, but he is just stopped short of his justice when Coulson shoots Whitehall in the chest. It seems that Whitehall is down for good, which sends Cal into a blind rage. Agent 33 fires at the two and they go running into another room to duke out their dad duties. Ward is able to kill the guard that was substituted to watch him, untie himself, and then untie Skye. Not a moment after getting her freedom, Skye pulls the weapon from the dead guard and shoots Ward several times in the side. She runs off to find Coulson.
Skye is able to convince Cal to stop mauling Coulson. Cal runs off on her request and she is left crying over a very badly injured Coulson. She then herself runs off despite Coulson’s protest to obtain the Diviner. Agent 33 finds Ward on the floor and after he promises to help her, she helps him up.
Skye gets to the drill Hydra had been using to crack into the shortcut but finds the Diviner has already been taken. Raina had only just went down and encountered Mack, who was still under the city’s possession and acts as Raina’s guide rather than a guardian. Skye heads down as well and Coulson not long after, trying to get to her to stop her from getting the Diviner. Fitzsimmons and Tripp had just resurfaced when May tells them that Skye and Coulson are down there. Knowing the bombs will go off soon, killing them; Tripp heads back down the shaft without the HAZMAT suit to disable the bombs.
Skye runs into Mack, not having known what had plagued him. She leaves him and finds the room Raina is in who is just about to put the Diviner on a stand. At this point, the show cuts to Tripp to see him disabling the third bomb and running to switch off the fourth. The Diviner steals away from Raina’s hands and plants itself on the stand, and the room they are in begins to seal shut. Tripp runs into the room just seconds before it closes, he has disabled all the bombs and was coming to get Skye.
The Diviner begins opening and releases some kind of smoke (maybe it’s Terrigen Mist?), which begins to turn Raina and Skye into stone. Coulson, who was hampered down by a brief encounter with Mack, reaches the outside of the room and pounds on the walls to no avail. Mack, who was behind Coulson, collapses to the ground, apparently being knocked out of his possession. Tripp fears for Skye’s life and knocks the Diviner, but it is too late.
And to reiterate that, it is too late for Tripp. Tripp touched the Diviner, and he realizes there is shrapnel of it in his abdomen. As he turns to stone under the destroying effects of the Diviner, Skye breaks free of hers in a cinematically proportioned moment. The room shakes, and all of the S.H.I.E.L.D. members feel the tremors as Skye has awakened as the Inhuman Quake. Skye sees Tripp completely turned to stone and then disintegrated.
Before the episode ends and leaves us for nearly four months on this both rewarding and difficult moment it leads us to a very interesting closing scene. Something is glowing in a box on a desk, a man walks over to it and picks it up, it is the Diviner, or rather another Diviner. He gets on his cellphone and the camera finally shows his face. He has no eyes whatsoever. On the phone he tells the person to alert ‘the others’ and that another person has been revealed.
And then we are left with so many questions and emotions over this entire episode and beg for the continuation of Season Two.