Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. made waves among in the fandom last weekend when they premiered one of the most satisfying finales in Marvel TV history. Minds were blown. Stories were wrapped. Tears were shed. Here, we breakdown the season finales biggest and most tearjerking moments.
Daisy vs. Talbot
The showdown between Daisy and Talbot has been on the horizon for quite a while. Talbot’s had a justified grudge against Daisy since her LMD shot him in the head last season. And even though his anger toward her and S.H.I.E.L.D. is somewhat misplaced, it’s understandable why he doesn’t like them. He’s been lied to, manipulated, and made to look like a fool. So now that he has so much power, Talbot is able to fight back. It’s just sad to see him become so destructive. Their fight also incorporated the reveal of Coulson refusing to take the serum and giving it to Daisy. In her last moments, before Talbot tries to absorb her, you see Daisy use the serum then blast away his Gravitonium tendrils. Even though we don’t expect Daisy to fail, it was a very intense scene. Especially because it means Daisy finally accepted Coulson’s decision not to fight his impending death.
The conclusion to the fight was a bit strange and it wasn’t (at least to me) super clear about what happened to Talbot. Regardless, the last we see of him is his frozen corpse floating through space. This also leaves the possibility that he could come back. Talbot isn’t necessary 100% dead. Visually, the fight was amazing and it’s clear where a large portion of the budget went this season. The sequence where Daisy flies into Talbot and they both barrel through the city was a great use of their powers. It’s just another reminder of what the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. team is able to accomplish.
Mack Taking the Lead
Daisy deciding to make Mack the leader of S.H.I.E.L.D. was a huge moment for all the characters involved. Mack has been incredibly loyal and strong member of the team. He’s also grown a lot and we as the audience have learned much more about his past. He’s always had a very strong moral center which sometimes puts him in conflict with the rest of the group. Whenever S.H.I.E.L.D. is faced with a no-win scenario and must choose between bad options, Mack has always argued for finding a better solution. Sometimes this means he can be indecisive, but it also means Mack’s always trying to do the right thing. Which is what you want in a leader.
Not only is Mack suited to be a great leader, but he also commands respect from the other members of S.H.I.E.L.D. And right now, that’s what the team needs. They’ve been at odds with each other for some time now, especially Yo-Yo, so seeing her support Mack was really endearing. The two of them have disagreed quite a bit recently, but she knows that Mack will always do what he believes is right. And seeing Coulson also support Mack helps unify the team going forward.
Since the show has been building up to Coulson’s death, Fitz’s injury came as quite a shock. His death scene was beautifully acted by Iain De Caestecker and Henry Simmons. The way Fitz was focusing on Robins safety felt incredibly real which made the scene so much more intense. Then when Mack arrived back at the lab, Simmons’ reaction just poured salt on the wound. Apparently it didn’t take them very long to break their promise of never splitting up. And we see just how much she regrets that decision. A great aspect of Elizabeth Henstridge‘s performance was she brought a sense of acceptance and understanding. She seemed to know that this was always something that was likely to happen. They have life-threatening careers so it’s always a possibility that one of them may not come back. So even though it’s something she never wants to happen, she knows it’s a possibility.
The other aspect of Fitz’s death is how they plan to bring him back and what that means for the future of the show. As a reminder, when Fitz wasn’t teleported to the future, he had Enoch put him in stasis which is how he met up with everyone in the future. So the Fitz who came back with them to the present day is the one who died. But in order for that to happen, Fitz had to wait in stasis until 2091 when the Earth was destroyed. So that means that there’s a version of Fitz waiting to wake up in a future that will no longer happen. So if the group can find him, they should be able to wake him up. But he won’t remember anything from the future (or the past several episodes) because it’ll be a slightly younger Fitz.
Saying goodbye is never easy. He’s come a very long way since we first saw him in Iron Man and we’ve been incredibly lucky to have followed Coulson after he was killed in The Avengers. He’s been a fan favorite since his first appearance so it’s no surprise we’ve seen so much of him. Even though we never want to say goodbye, his departure in the finale was as perfect as you can get. Coulson’s relationship with May has blossomed since their first episode. So to see them now together and happy, for once, is incredibly touching.
Coulson deciding to spend his last few weeks enjoying life, rather than in a medical lab looking for a cure that they won’t find, is very fitting with the character. He’s always been someone who looks at what’s practical and makes the most sense. And his decision to spend his last days in Tahiti brings the character full circle. We’ve followed him for so long and through all of his hardships, from coming to terms with being brought back to life, being possessed by the Kree blood, losing those he cares about, and so much more. Coulson has been with us since the beginning which makes his absence much more difficult. While many heroes depart in a blaze of glory, Coulson’s poignant exit is fitting for the character and the show. But luckily we’ll get to see a younger version of Coulson in Captain Marvel next year!