With Matthew taking over review duties from Doug for the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season finale, I’m going to be taking over the breakdown. And since the season finale was a two-parter, today’s breakdown is going to be a bit on the longer side as I couldn’t pick just three moments. So without further ado, let’s kick this thing off, shall we?

Fitz and Talbot


Okay, so maybe this isn’t a big moment, but it’s a pretty great moment, if not one of the best from the entire finale. Given all of the chaos that erupted over the course of season three, it’s nice to have a few “fun” scenes tossed in here and there that also serve a purpose. This one being a perfect example of just that. With Hive and his crew of Inhumans and Primitives ready to unleash a war head that’ll lead to the creation of even more Primitives as part of his grand plan, the S.H.I.E.L.D. team is forced to go to extremes to try and secure a kill code before the war head launches. This leads to, perhaps, the best opening scene on any S.H.I.E.L.D. episode ever as Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) goofs off while in the CGI tracking suit, with Talbot (Adrian Pasdar) looking near ready to strangle him.

Brain Fried Hive


I’ve said it multiple times now, Brett Dalton has easily been this show’s secret weapon – well, one of them. He played such a huge part over these past three seasons, going from the perfect S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, to a double agent working with Hydra, before ultimately “dying” and becoming the ancient Inhuman known as Hive. It’s all rather impressive, but it’s nothing compared to just how great he is in the scene where Lincoln, Yo-Yo, and Mack set out to try and rewire his brain. You see glimpses of the memories of those he has inhabited rear their head, taking him from a menacing, powerful Inhuman, to someone trying desperately to retain some sort of control over their mind. It’s a powerful scene, and one that sets the trap for S.H.I.E.L.D. to capture Hive – at least, temporarily. (Come on, guys, you don’t leave a dangerous Inhuman out in the open like that – even if they are trapped.)

Mack And Daisy Attempting To Make Peace With The Past


One of the best relationships on the show is the one between Mack (Henry Simmons) and Daisy (Chloe Bennet). We’ve seen them develop a tight partnership over the course of season three, and then we saw Daisy destroy that very partnership in a matter of minutes as she nearly killed Mack while under Hive’s sway. It was an intense scene, one that showcased an entirely different side to not just Daisy, but also her strength and abilities. And yet, even though she nearly killed him, Mack still thought of her as his partner. So naturally, once they manage to secure Hive, Mack feels it’s only right to let her know that he’s within the building. (Reasonable given what Hive made her do.) Which brings us to a fantastic scene between the two characters as Mack goes to Daisy as her partner, refusing to turn away as she hits him and pushes him away, fearing she’ll just hurt him again. It’s a small scene when you consider everything else that happened during the two-hour finale, but it’s also a pretty important scene.

Hello There, Hive


We’ve seen glimpses of Hive’s true self in one prior episode, but this was the first time we’d gotten to see the character’s face head-on, and it was pretty dang great. Remember back in season one, when Ward dove out of a plane to rescue Jemma? Remember how terrible those VFX were? We’ve come a long way since then, guys. The VFX in this scene, which was way too short for my liking, were absolutely fantastic. Sure, the character doesn’t look identical to its comic counterpart, but it’s close enough, and Dalton’s performance in this scene truly captures just how terrifying and dangerous Hive truly is… before leading directly into a nice Star Wars gag with Coulson.

Adios Lincoln and Hive


The big death that the show has been teasing for quite some time now finally happened near the end of the season finale, but surprisingly, it wasn’t just a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent that was killed off in the finale. While we’ve known that someone, that not only had Elena’s cross necklace in possession, but was also sporting a jacket with a S.H.I.E.L.D. patch, would meet their end in an explosion aboard a Quinjet hovering in space, we didn’t know that Hive would also meet that agent’s fate. While some found the ending/Lincoln’s death to be predictable, there’s no denying that it was a powerful way to kill off these two characters.

We see these two beings, one an Inhumans unsure of whether or not his head is in S.H.I.E.L.D., the other an ancient Inhuman intent on “saving humanity”, come together in what is easily one of the best written scenes on the series. In that moment, the writers manage to give Hive a sense of humanity, allowing him to be more than just a monster hellbent on overtaking the world. They give him a true moment of weakness as he comes to accept his fate alongside Lincoln. It’s the perfect way to cap off the third season, breaking Coulson and his team free of Ward once and for all, and giving Daisy a reason to leave S.H.I.E.L.D. and follow through on her promises…

Daisy on the Run


…Which of course brings us to that six month time-jump.

It’s crazy to think of where Daisy (formerly Skye) started off at, I mean, we met her as a hacker who was working against S.H.I.E.L.D. back in season one, and now she’s a full fledged superhero. Although, going into season four, it appears Daisy is going off on her own. What causes this drastic change in the span of six months? Its hard to say for sure, but I’d wager Lincoln’s death probably had some weight on her reasons for doing so.

Here’s the thing, as much as I enjoy Daisy being a leader and working with her fellow Inhumans – did we seriously just get one Secret Warriors episode this season?! – I’m excited to see her work on her own. I’m even more excited at the possibility of a reunion between Daisy and Calvin Zabo (Kyle MacLachlan) who she casually refers to in the final moments of the episode. A lot has changed since we last saw them share a screen together, and while he doesn’t remember her, or at least didn’t the last time we saw him, Bennet and MacLachlan worked so well off of one another that it’d be a waste not to bring him back for season four in some capacity.

Life Model Decoys Finally Join the MCU


Before Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. debuted back in 2013, fans speculated how the series would go about bringing back Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg), a character that was killed during The Avengers. The most speculated possibility? That the series would bring him back as a LMD – a life model decoy. Of course, as we as know by now, that couldn’t be further from reality. Coulson was brought back with the use of Kree blood and underwent some disturbing procedures in the process, but it appears as though, three seasons later, we’re going to finally meet our first LMD within the MCU. Granted, this isn’t too surprising. Dr. Holden Radcliffe (John Hannah) is a character from the Machine Teen comics, after all, which featured the Autonomosly Decislve Automated Meachanism (aka A.D.A.M). Still, that doesn’t make it any less exciting to see how the writers plan to go about using the LMD going into season four. (It’ll be a nice change-up from all of the Inhumans.)

Honorable Mentions:

  • That one shot group fight was pretty dang awesome.
  • Mack and his shotgun-axe.
  • Every scene with Doctor Radcliffe – the man is a delight.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will return for its fourth season on ABC in the Fall!