“Agents of SHIELD” typically saves their best episodes for the end of their arcs, and with that, Tuesday night’s winter finale was no exception. We saw in here a showdown, a romance, and a reveal almost like no other — even though it wasn’t all that hard to assume that at some point, we were going to see AIDA become something much more than just your friendly neighborhood android.
In starting with a deep dive into that twist, it felt that the timing was right to have her revealed to be building her own army of life-model decoys, even if what we’re looking at here is a little bit of an Ultron redux: Here we have a character, created to be good, instead making a heel-turn and proving herself to be very much the opposite of that. Still, we’ll continue to give this a chance given that we don’t quite know as of yet what AIDA’s true endgame is here. Also, the only LMD that she has out into the universe right now is Agent May, drinking with Coulson and acting as though nothing is different at all.
How screwed do you think Radlicffe is going to be after this? Probably very screwed, given that Jeffrey Mace threw him a bone in order to make him think that he was wanted over at SHIELD to continue his research.
Mace’s finest hour – In general, this was a big episode for the Director. Not only did we see him fight in full Patriot costume, but we gained an even further understanding of precisely what his skills are as a politician. He understood the need to keep up appearances for quite some time with the public, hence his cooperation with Senator Nadeer. He kept his secrets from Coulson, but given how many secrets Coulson was keeping from him, this is almost a “no harm, no foul” sort of situation since they can both move forward with greater understanding.
Not only that, but Daisy can now move forward as Agent Johnson rather than just an Inhuman at odds with SHIELD. After she proved essential in the quest to stop Eli Morrow, he proclaimed to the public that she had been a part of the mission all along, effectively buying her some goodwill and allowing her to come out of hiding for the first time in a long time.
The end of Ghost Rider? – Here is where you deal with the sad reality of losing a villain like Morrow: You also end up also losing some of the good guys at the same time … though it’s hardly to necessarily call Robbie Reyes strictly a good guy per se. His move to take down Morrow was a sacrifice if there ever was one, knowing that in doing so, the odds were great that he would be taking his own life in the process as he descended into what may very well be Hell. We’re not sure how much control he had given the Spirit of Vengeance taking over during the fight, but we figure he knew enough to determine that he probably wasn’t getting out of there. We’ll miss Robbie however long he’s gone from the show; also, wasn’t it lovely to have Coulson throw out the Easter egg that Robbie wasn’t the first Ghost Rider?
Finally, romance – Given that Mack finally came clean to Yo-yo about some of the feelings that he has for her, there could be another romance in the midst! We’ve got these two together, whereas Fitz and Simmons are already an item … and Coulson could end up falling for LMD May by the time we get through with this season, which could be rather unfortunate for him.
Overall, this sort of episode is what we watch “Agents of SHIELD” for: Smart, compelling showdowns between people with powers. There were a few times the action sagged during the Ghost Rider arc, but tonight, the impact that this episode had was more than just a small tremor. Grade: A-.
To see more discussion regarding what is next on “Agents of SHIELD,” be sure to head over to the link here. (Photo: ABC.)