Think back seven years ago when Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. first premiered. The craze of comic book movies was really starting to kick into high gear. Marvel was taking over the big screen, and everyone just expected them to take over the small screen as well. The fact that "it's all connected", and the presence of Phil Coulson, were just supposed to be the beginning of another juggernaut. Well...that didn't really happen. As a matter of fact, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was a rollercoaster often forced to adhere it's storylines to what was going on in the cinematic universe that all but acted like they didn't exist. Good stories would go by the wayside, suddenly replaced by something that normally felt out of place. For as many great episodes that this show had, there was an equal share of duds. So, headed into the series finale, I was skeptical that this show would end on a proper note. Good thing that this show, just like the team that has been a part of it, seemed to find a way to pull out a win in the end.
(WARNING!!! SPOILERS AHEAD FOR THE SERIES FINALE OF MARVEL'S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.)
I'm not going to break down the whole episode here, or the season as a whole. As a matter of fact, I thought a lot of the episodes in this seventh and final season just didn't feel like they were part of an epic series finale. As a regular storyline, or for a show in the middle of it's run, this season would have been fine. What we got were a lot of time jumps, a lot of nostalgia in scenery and music, a time loop trope episode and a couple of familiar faces. Yes there were a couple of phenomenal episodes mixed in, but this season had been mostly forgettable until this two part finale.
Getting Fitz back was a big part of that. This show always works better when Fitz and Simmons are both on the show, and even better together. Even before they were a couple, their dynamic was simply the best part of the show. It wasn't just the evolution of their characters over seven seasons, and them eventually realizing their feelings for each other. It is the simple fact that they were the most essential members of this team. Devoid of powers and super suits, it was their knowledge and skill that always seemed necessary to help win the day. Sure they caused their fair share of problems, but without them, this team would have been dismantled or dead long before now.
Think about that for a moment. Fitz comes back, helps Simmons get her memory back and solves the Chronicom problem in short order. Not just solving it, but doing so without a large body count. Using super charged empathy to help turn the entire Chronicom army was a stroke of brilliance, and a good message the empathy can go a long way. The larger message of the finale about fighting for family was also centered around Fitz and Simmons once it was revealed that they had a child while working on time travel. In short, it all comes back to them.
That's not to say that the other members of the team aren't important. Coulson is the one that they all rally around and that keeps the team together. Much like the Avengers rallied after his death at the hands of Loki. Lucky for Coulson, he actually got to live this time around. Seeing those shades and Lola again were a nice touch too. I'm not even upset that he and May didn't end up together. Quite frankly, that never felt quite right anyway. I understood it, but I was never sold on them as a couple. Seeing May gain empathy of her own and pass her knowledge on to new recruits was a nice twist to her arc as well.
The fact that Mack is still the Director seemed fitting, and his commanding presence was felt throughout the season. That's what made it so hard to see him give up during that episode midseason. He was the rock, the constant fighter, and it showed in this finale. The ideas might not have always been his, but the execution and the drive always pushed the team forward. It looks like things are going to work out with Yo-Yo too, so that was something I'm glad that we got closure on.
Daisy finally got the one thing that she had been looking for since Season 1, family. Sure, the team ended up being a family and her extended family. That wasn't what Daisy was really searching for. Especially after everything that happened with her parents, she needed that true family dynamic. Finding Kora, and having that all work out in the end, was a nice touch by the writers to give her that family she had been longing for. I will admit, the relationship between Daisy and Sousa is something that grew on me throughout the season. I always like the Sousa character on Agent Carter and he ended up fitting in nicely with this team. Plus he's a bit of a goofball, which fits right in with Daisy. It seemed like the relationship with Deke was never going to work out, and also never felt quite right. Having him stay behind closed that door (and potential plot hole), while also letting Deke walk his own path.
So the team is split, but we also know that they are never too far apart. There were no major deaths, no flashy cameos, just this S.H.I.E.L.D. team finally getting to tell their own story, even if it was one last time. Like I said, it had some ups and downs, but this show ended on the correct note. I never needed to have Nick Fury or any other characters show up. I will admit, it would have been nice to see Brett Dalton back, but honestly Grant Ward would not have fit in this story. I needed to see this team get the win that they deserved, and that was to have a life. Sometimes a happy ending, even a bit of a sappy one at times, is the right way to say goodbye. There really aren't any loose ends, no base that wasn't covered when it comes to the core team members. There also wasn't this sense of having a happy ending that could be potentially interrupted by some impending doom. No, this was a classic TV, ride off into the sunset kind of moment. Quite frankly, what's wrong with that? Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.D., with all of it's hits and misses over the years, got their final episode right. They realized that, for their fans, it wasn't about the Marvel Universe. It was about these characters, and this incredible cast. In my opinion, as a fan myself, I got what I wanted and I felt like all fans deserved. That makes it all worthwhile.
Photo Credit: ABC