The penultimate episode of 2015, Closure serves as a great lead-in to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s mid-season finale next week, and offers far more questions than answers. Check out Grant’s review of the episode here and read on for our breakdown of the biggest moments from this week’s episode.
1) Coulson And Rosalind’s Bad Date
The episode opens with one of the most delightful scenes we’ve seen so far this season — a genuine, almost normal date between Coulson and Rosalind that showcases their playful chemistry and similarity. The easy, charming rapport between the two makes it all the more shocking and painful when Ward shoots Price in the neck (from an impressive distance, I might add) and calls Coulson to gloat after she dies in his arms.
It’s frustrating, because we were just starting to get to know Rosalind, and many might understandably feel that it’s a waste of a phenomenal actress like Constance Zimmer. However, like it or not, there’s no denying that Rosalind’s death at the hands of Ward drives Coulson to a place we’ve never seen him before, and that could have some fascinating implications for the future of the show. Coulson has always walked the line between hero and anti-hero, but there are a few lines we’ve always been safe in assuming he won’t cross. He wouldn’t betray S.H.I.E.L.D. or its core mission to protect innocent lives, he wouldn’t abandon a member of his team, and he wouldn’t kidnap a family member of a former team member and hold a gun to his head.
With Coulson blaming himself for all of Ward’s crimes, he’s willing to cross at least some of the lines that we never thought he would. It forces us to wonder exactly how far he’ll go, which is something we’ve never really had to wonder before. If it comes down to killing Ward at the expense of letting Fitz and Will die on the alien planet, can we be absolutely sure he wouldn’t consider that a worthwhile risk? I’d argue that the show is too concerned with preserving Coulson’s status as a nearly flawless hero to allow him to let someone as beloved as Fitz die. Will, though, is another story. He’s not a fan-favorite; far from it, he’s preventing a relationship that fans have been rooting for since Season One. His death would easily resolve the love triangle, so the audience may forgive Coulson’s part in that. But if Will died because of a choice Coulson made, could Fitz or Simmons ever really trust him again?
Fury made Coulson the director at the end of Season One because he trusted that Coulson would uphold S.H.I.E.L.D.’s core values. In this episode, he promotes Mack to acting director because he believes that the choices he plans on making are choices that the director of S.H.I.E.L.D. shouldn’t make. Once he makes those choices, will he really be able to lead S.H.I.E.L.D. again, or is the character reaching the point of no return? Personally, I wouldn’t mind seeing Director Mackenzie stick around for a while — as Grant pointed out in his review, he might be better suited for the job at this point.
2) The Secret Warriors Have (Finally) Arrived
Speaking of the new acting director, Mack’s first decision with his new promotion is to finally approve Daisy’s Secret Warriors for field action. One of my biggest pet peeves with this season so far hasn’t been with the show itself, it was the almost singular focus of the pre-season marketing on the Secret Warriors. The team has taken its sweet time to finally form, and even now it’s still in its infancy with only three members.
Still, the slow buildup was worth it for the excellent payoff of Mack, the team member who was least trusting of Inhumans last season, being the one to give the team its first mission. As satisfying as it is, it also gives us some ideas about the second half of this season. The marketing we saw for the Secret Warriors may have been misleading for the first 10 episodes of the season, but this episode assures me that the second half of the season will truly be about the Secret Warriors training and expanding as a team.
If the ancient Inhuman on planet Maveth makes its way back to Earth (more on that further down), having an Inhuman team fighting for the good-guys is vital. An Inhuman/Secret Warriors focus in the second half of the season could help Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. turn into the superhero show that many have always hoped it would become. Much of the disappointment in the first season of the show came from fans expecting the show to be a follow-up to The Avengers, dealing with S.H.I.E.L.D. co-ordinating the efforts of superheroes and finding new candidates for the Avengers initiative. Instead, the first season offered a fairly mundane procedural spy show that inhabited a slightly crazier world than NCIS or CSI. That’s not necessarily a bad thing in and of itself, but it was a major disappointment to those who were expecting something different.
For those who have wanted Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. to become the show many believed it would be when it was announced, Mack pulling the trigger on the first real superhero team we’ve seen on the TV-side is an exciting and long-awaited moment.
3) Phil’s Skydiving Adventure
I’ve mentioned a few times before about Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s refreshing ability to introduce questions or storylines before quickly resolving them, rather than stretching it out over multiple episodes. Sometimes, quick resolution of storylines can make interesting plots feel rushed or wasted, but most of the time, this works to the show’s advantage. For example, saving the audience from a torturous four-episode plot-line showing Andrew going to great lengths to hide the fact that he’s Lash from the other team members is a mercy that might not have been given to us on a different show. The swift resolution of plots on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. makes discussing the biggest moment of this week’s episode somewhat frustrating, since any speculation I offer here will be proven right or wrong in a matter of days.
Still, I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk about the final moments of the show, when Coulson dove out of a plane and through the portal to Maveth after Ward and Fitz. Next week’s winter finale will obviously show the complications and consequences of Hydra’s mission to the alien planet, and Coulson’s part in that plan. The greatest implication, though, is that “It,” the powerful Inhuman on Maveth, will likely find a way through the portal with whoever else makes it back alive. It’s completely possible that It will simply follow everyone else through the portal on its own, in whatever form it takes on Maveth. However, based on what we know about It from 4,722 Hours, it also seems possible that It will return to Earth by possessing one of the humans on the planet and using them as a vessel. There are four likely candidates for It’s possession if the show decides to go this route, and each has interesting implications for the future of the show.
Fitz seems to be the first likely candidate for possession. If Fitz returns as “evil Fitz,” that would follow the pattern of taking an incorruptible character like Fitz and giving him an impossible handicap, which makes for good drama and complicates his relationship with Simmons even further.
Coulson made a point of promoting Mack to acting director, and it seems likely we’ll get a larger payoff from that promotion than we’ve seen so far. If Coulson gets possessed, the second half of season three could see a phenomenal story-line involving Director Mack leading the Secret Warriors in a mission to take down Evil Coulson, and hopefully save the director that we love so much. Coulson as a villain would be a tragic, complicated, and interesting choice for Season 3.
Will is perhaps the least interesting option for It to possess, but also arguably the most likely. Will is kind of a non-character at this point, so he would serve as a good “empty-vessel” for It to take over. This has the added benefit of simplifying the FitzSimmons love triangle, offering the writers an easy solution to a complicated problem.
Ward becoming possessed is perhaps my favorite option, as it could turn Ward into an even more powerful villain than he already is. It seems likely that, instead of full-on possession, Ward might form a symbiotic relationship with It, like Venom or Carnage, blending his own evil ambition and It’s power to become the God-King of Hydra.
Let us know in the comments which character you’d like to see become a vessel for It’s return to Earth. We’ll find out for sure which, if any, option turns out to be true in just a few days. In the mean time, make sure to follow us on Twitter for all your MCU related news and features!