By: Casey (@DarthHockey)
WARNING: There are spoilers ahead. I like to write about all aspects of a show, including the ending. I write these assuming you’ve watched the episode.
This was Skye’s episode, and she shined bright. As I had hoped, Skye figured out her mother’s ruse fairly quickly, but not before she engaged in some hand-to-hand combat with May. We could see just how much Skye was caught in the middle of all of this. Everything with Skye’s storyline from the first episode of this series came to a head tonight. The former orphan now has two families, and neither one of them could trust her now. It was truly heartbreaking to see the look of betrayal on her face when Jiaying killed Raina.
The one person who came through for her in the end was Cal. Looking back on this season, Cal has always been on a redemption arc, it just didn’t become obvious until tonight. He’s always been presented as someone who cared deeply for his wife and daughter. We now know that Jiaying has been manipulating him all these years, and Skye/Daisy was the only person that could save him (I’m just now picking up on the Darth Vader/Luke Skywalker theme here). In the end, he loved his daughter enough to kill his wife for her. That was tragic stuff. Thankfully, he won’t remember it now that he’s in a magical place.
For the first time since the Real SHIELD revealed itself, Coulson is truly in charge. Everything could have blown up in his face as Jiaying got her little war, but he took control and mitigated the suffering. It’s easy to look at the aftermath of the events in Afterlife and say Coulson should have mounted a counter-attack against the Inhumans. If he had, maybe he could have saved more people on the ship, but I find that highly unlikely. Doing so would have drawn SHIELD into an all-out war with the Inhumans. Being patient allowed him to not only get the facts of the situation, but it allowed Fitz time to come up with a plan to fight Gordon, and it allowed Coulson time to get through to Cal. After taking some serious hits the past few weeks, the writers showed why Phil Coulson has always been the glue of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
You really have to feel for Fitz and Simmons after this episode. We’ve seen this relationship building for two seasons, and it almost finally came to the logical conclusion tonight. Simmons finally almost sort of professed her love for Fitz, and Fitz finally almost sort of asked her out on a date (this whole thing is adorably awkward). Who could have guessed that this would have ended with Simmons being sucked in by an alien stone? Not me. Poor FitzSimmons. Haven’t these two been through enough already?
What Happens Next?
Now that Jiaying has been defeated, SHIELD and the rest of the Inhumans can figure out a peace. The Inhumans have Lincoln and Skye, two trustworthy people who can do right by the people who follow them, and SHIELD has Coulson. Together, they can work to forge an alliance that can fight to protect the innocent.
Speaking of which, we didn’t get the details of the file that Coulson gave to Skye, but it’s clear that she’s going to lead her own team of enhanced people. They weren’t given a name, but we can speculate on that. The Avengers will probably stay on the film side of this story, so I think we can rule out any of its derivatives like the New Avengers or Secret Avengers (the latter will probably be saved for Civil War). I’m going to take a wild guess and say that Skye will lead the New Warriors. If you’re familiar with the comics, you know that the New Warriors were instrumental in starting the Civil War. I think the show will go in that direction, but it won’t be a direct adaptation from the comics. The team will probably be less amateurish than its comic book counterpart, but it will do things that will eventually lead to more public outcry against superhuman people. That’s my long-term prediction at least.
Bobbi, Ward, and Agent 33.
Bobbi didn’t end up being a triple agent as many have predicted, but she did have to make a very difficult decision that led to the capture of Agent 33 while undercover with Hydra. That was a good middle ground for me. Bobbi isn’t a traitor, which makes me happy, but her past isn’t so squeaky clean, which adds more depth to her character. She fought through the tortures of Ward and Agents 33, and took a bullet for Hunter. Long live Bobbi Morse.
Ward’s ending was a little more open-ended. Hydra has been reduced to four people in a bar plus a list of names that fit on a piece of paper. Will Ward become a formidable foe next year, or will May finally get her wish and kill him?
Thanks for reading!