World’s End was a fitting and memorable conclusion to what’s been an amazing season. There were plenty of great moments and a couple of sad farewells. And at least one of them seems permanent.
I was taken aback with Jemma straight up wanting to kill Aida. That seemed out of character for her despite the circumstances of Aida turning Fitz into a murderous, coldblooded psycho.
Aida was still stewing over Fitz choosing Jemma over her and wanted revenge. But first she decided to destroy the Framework. Shutting down the Framework seemed like an odd play for Aida. Scrubbing her sanctuary eliminated any hope of her going back to the drawing board and returning at a later date. Essentially she destroyed her easy reset button.
And with Ghost Rider back and actually able to harm her, this was a very ill-conceived plan. With the last round of SHIELD Security Screw-Ups, a committee wants to shut Coulson and crew down. This was a little weak as every five episodes it seems like the government is shutting SHIELD down again.
This time, it was part of Aida’s plan to discredit SHIELD and the Inhumans in one swoop. Gen. Talbot did manage a great line about a commie double cross proving Adrian Pasdar was one of the smartest recurring casting choices the show has made. Aida’s scheme of having an LMD Daisy shoot up the committee members wasn’t terrible, but it was surprising she didn’t account for SHIELD actually showing up. That provided for a fun little brawl with Quake and Ghost Rider unleashing their ultimate finisher against Aida’s LMD goons.
While she irritated me with her failure to bring Mac back, Daisy worked to fix that this episode. She planted yo-yos on Radcliffe, which led him to where Yo-Yo was being held. That was pretty clever and a trick in hindsight, I wished was used to help guide Daisy and Jemma through the Framework earlier.
But while she survived Hydra captivity, Yo-Yo had a tougher time convincing Mack to leave the Framework. It didn’t help that Hope wasn’t fading out quick like some of the other SHIELD refugees and Framework locations. Even though Hope wasn’t real, Mack’s pain was legit. Natalia Cordova-Buckley and Henry Simmons were excellent in these scenes and I’m glad the writers only teased Mack’s death. We’ve got the Return of the Mack (and Yo-Yo!) back to the real world.
Just in time for the final showdown with Aida. I really wanted to buy in to Aida stabbing and then electrocuting Jemma. But it was a bit much to think she was actually dead after Talbot inexplicably survived a point range gunshot to the head.
There were a couple of fake outs here with Coulson borrowing Ghost Rider long enough to kill Aida. After all the big buildup, Aida got taken out kind of easily. And how would SHIELD have beaten her if Ghost Rider didn’t happen to come back on the scene? But there might have been something to Ghost Rider agreeing to enter Coulson beyond its vendetta with Aida. Robbie warned Coulson to be careful and to eventually tell the guys what’s going on. Sounds real mysterious.
But not nearly as mysterious as what happens to SHIELD next. They’re captured at a diner and the next scene finds Coulson in space? Maybe next season, Coulson and crew will be operating as part of SWORD, SHIELD’s sister agency that operates almost exclusively in space. That could make for an intriguing season. As long as it’s at the quality of this season, I’m down for any direction SHIELD goes.
Of all the characters this season I’m going to miss Radcliffe the most. He successfully managed to remain complex and complicated refusing to be categorized as a good guy or villain. And John Hannah’s performance throughout the season was fantastic. World’s End marked what has to be his final appearance on the show. Unless of course he thought to make another LMD of himself.
Quality wise, Agents of SHIELD definitely earned its fifth season. If the show stays at this standard a sixth and seventh season really shouldn’t be out of the question. Strong job from everyone involved.
Rating: 9 out of 10
Photo Credit: ABC