Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D S01E22 'Beginning of the End' recap

I know this is a tad late, even for the UK air date, but I had a bad week ok?! Anyway, better late than never....

We left our heroes in differing states of peril. Coulson, May, Skye and Trip are trapped in the underground lair beneath the barbershop in Havana, surrounded by Centipede soldiers. Fitzsimmons are sealed in a box which has just been ejected from the Bus by Ward. Add in Garrett's new supersoldieryness, and apparently even greater batshit craziness than before, and our 'ragtag' team do not seem to be winning the good fight! Luckily though, this is the Marvel universe, so we know that at least good will prevail.....eventually...albeit with some gutwrenching moments along the way.

Rather than, you know, easing our suspense from last episode's 'cliffhanger of peril', they decided to recap it for us and then go to a scene in an office with two randoms. Thanks Marvel! Anyway, the aforementioned randoms are in an office, The Bossman is giving a new employee the office walk through. He explains how it all started with just him on his own in the basement and now they were growing fast. Normal office chatter and surroundings. So far, so ordinary. Well, that is until the Bossman asks Newboy if he's 'just really into this sort of thing? Or what brings you to the company?' hmmm odd, no? Newboy responds, nervously, with 'the incentive programme', again, slightly odd but no alarm bells just yet. Bossman then looks pensive as he replies, almost sadly, 'noone's turned that down yet' ding ding ding, alarm bells a'ringing! With that over, normal conversation resumes, with Bossman telling Newboy that each operator is in charge of one 'unit', some are volunteers but others are also there for this mysterious 'incentives programme'. A woman then calls to Bossman across the office saying that they're 'in position'. Bossman tells Newboy that this is a good learning opportunity for his first day. We see the team on the monitors, still surrounded by Centipede soldiers. Bossman indicates the screen and says to Newboy 'These guys? We don't like these guys'. He then makes a call to someone to inform them that they have the team in sight, he then tells his team to 'let em have it'.

Cut to title sequence....noooooooo, more suspense! Ok, brief suspense.

Coulson and the team are still surrounded. Coulson throws a good few quips at the Centipede guys and the shooting begins. Skye runs to a computer terminal to insert the drive while the others cover her. One Centipede fella is facing off with May and, rather unwisely as we have previously learned, sarcastically calls her 'The Cavalry'. As we know, she does NOT like to be called that. She displays her displeasure by chinning him with the Asgardian Beserker staff from ep 8, then telling him not to ever call her that. Yay team! Skye completes her computer task and Coulson tells May to 'bring the house down' as they retreat. May follows that order and starts to demo the building like a good team member. She chucks the staff and follows our guys out, leaving the Centipede soldiers to get buried.

On the stolen Bus, Garrett is on the phone with the guy we now know is the Cybertek Bossman, who is telling Looney Tunes that the team got away and their men are still digging their way out of the wreckage. May is gooood! Garrett is supremely uninterested and chucks the phone away as Bossman is still waffling. He goes to the glass door of the lab, and wrenches it off its hinges, Fitzsimmons will be pissed! He then proceeds to demand a nail, which he uses to scratch odd patterns onto the glass. Ward is worried. Quinn is pissed AND worried. Raina is all misty eyed about Garrett's new outlook. Deathlok just keeps glaring at everyone like he wants to destroy them, which he does. Overall, a very dysfunctional little band. Ward wants to know whats next, because as far as he is concerned they've achieved what they wanted, which was to save Garrett. He's no Hydra true believer and isn't keen on being part of a coup, but he'll follow Garrett wherever he goes. That boy needs to grow some balls. Garrett isn't planning a coup, he is planning an uprising, and it will be even bigger than Hydra. Overcompensate much? He placates Ward somewhat with promises of giving Ward what he wants, when he's decided what that may be of course. He calls him 'son' twice in the space of about 2 minutes so the brain washing is still ongoing. Ward may have a tiny sliver of backbone as he still looks rather unsure, but its enough for now to keep him with Garrett.

Back with the non-Fitzsimmons part of the team, on their backup Bus, or rather Minibus as its teeny tiny in comparison. Skye is extremely chuffed as her trojan has worked and she now has eyes on all of their operations. May is tending to Trip's wounds when Coulson enters looking shellshocked. He has to deliver the news that Fitzsimmons' tracker has crossed the ocean and the Bus, which they managed to tag,  is in New Mexico. Fitzsimmons, however, aren't answering. They risked everything to tag the Bus so they have to focus on getting to Garrett, as he is the only hope of finding them.

Then we see the dynamic duo, stuck in a box on the ocean floor. Fitz has his arm in a sling and Simmons is lying unconscious next to him. When she comes to he explains the predicament, basically they're trapped, no amount of maths or science has helped Fitz come up with a way out. Even if they did get out of the box, they would be stranded in the middle of the ocean suffering from the bends, not good.

Back to the Minibus, Coulson is going over the plan with his remaining team. He throws in some card play jargon (which foreshadows something that happens later in the ep) and May tells him its a solid plan, but it hinges on a gamble (see, more card stuff?). Coulson agrees and also helpfully points out that there is also no backup and that they are outmanned and outgunned. The pep talk does improve when he quotes Fury's favourite 'one man' speech (again, more foreshadowing) 'A man can accomplish anything when he realises he is a part of something bigger. A team of people who share that conviction change the world. Are you ready to change the world?' to which May responds 'No but I'm ready to kick some ass'.....'That works too' replies Coulson. I am shipping them so hard!

Back on the Stolen Bus, Ward is asking Raina to talk to Garrett, he's worried he's lost it. Um, Ward, keep up! We knew he'd lost it ages ago! She agrees to have a chat with the Mental One and enters the room to find him fascinated by the Gravitonium. He and Raina now live on the same crazy wavelength so when he says he sees her 'soul' she isn't freaked out like, oh say, everyone else would be. She was disappointed when it turned out he wasn't clairvoyant as she had a question. She's obsessed with evolution, specifically of 'special' people apparently. She wants to know what she will become....um even more crazy maybe? Just a wild guess!

Fitzsimmons are having a chat at the bottom of the ocean, they're both 'scared and hungry' apparently! They then have a very sweet conversation about what they think and hope happens after death. Simmons is gazing out of the window as Fitz gazes lovingly at her. Simmons likes to think of the first law of thermodynamics, that energy cannot be created or destroyed, but can be transformed into something else. She hopes this means that every part of her will go on to give life to other things, that way she will never die. She then has an epiphany. The window seal can be ignited using some of the materials they luckily have to hand, the pressure from outside would then blow the window. This still doesn't solve the issue of being stranded with the bends but its a start!

At the Cybertek manufacturing facility Quinn is showing around a group of Armed Forces chiefs, waxing lyrical about how the Centipedes will replace all special forces. Army guys don't seem overly enthralled with the idea of giving him money without seeing something.

Outside the facility, Coulson and Trip are scouting for a vehicle. Trip decides on a big ass Humvee (do they come in any other sizes?), but then something even bigger shows up....boys and their toys. Coulson asks him if he brought a 'Noisemaker'. Trip's response is just perfect 'sir I bring the noise AND the funk wherever I go' love it!  I also love the Noisemaker! Its a 40's cheery chappy voice which says 'hey ho friends! The enemy approaches!' so brilliant! Now that the naughties are distracted, Coulson and Trip take the bigasstruckwithrocketlaunchers (no clue what it actually is!) and storm the compound, blowing a handy hole in the wall for Skye and May to get inside.

In with the Army fellas, Quinn is desperately trying to calm everyone down, with the Army fellas demanding to know why the alarms are going off. Garrett saunters in and tells everyone to shut up and then bangs on about his crazy shit. Quinn suggests a demonstration, in the hopes of keeping the money men interested. Garrett agrees and proceeds to shove his hand into Head Army Man's chest, waffles for a bit longer, then rips out a rib and stabs him with it. Nice. Ward is, once again, unhappy, plus disgusted this time, yet he still doesn't have the balls to tell Garrett where else he can shove that rib! Next we see Quinn rather hurriedly loading the Gravitonium into the back of a van, Raina not far behind him. Ward stops Raina and kicks off about how Garrett is a feckin nut job. Raina doesn't think he's insane, in fact she believes in him and his whacky vision, but that Ward just follows him wherever he goes. She says he should keep following now, as they both need the same thing, which is also the same thing she needs. Skye. She tells Ward that Skye is what he's always wanted, and that she'll be a part of this 'evolution' they keep taling about. She tells him that the world is going to change, and when it has he could have Skye. Ward tells her that she's crazy, that Skye despises him and thinks he's a 'monster', to which Raina responds 'Are you? Is that your true nature? Or is that what Garrett made you to be?'. Ward doesn't know, but Raina tells him that 'darkness lies inside Skye'....have we just witnessed the birth of a real bad guy now? He thinks that nothing he could do would persuade Skye to love him now, so maybe he should just become truly evil and work towards unleashing Skye's bad self? Or will they try for a redemption story? Who knows!

May and Skye bust their way into the Cybertek office that we saw at the start of the ep, with Skye telling everyone that she has a 'bomb'. The Bossman tells them that they won't be able to hijack the Centipedes, that they have thought through every emergency scenario, including the one they're in right now....'Don't tell me you just switched the soldiers to default directive?' says May. 'Yeah!' says Bossman.....then...oh shit! The penny drops.

Turns out that the default directive is to protect John Garrett at all costs, thus halting the Centipede's assault on Coulson and Trip in the bigasstruckwithrocketlaunchers, and leading Coulson straight to Garrett. Result!

Ward tells Garrett that the compound is being hit. Garrett then gets a call, answers it to find Skye at the other end all snarky and smart arse, which lasts until he mentions Fitzsimmons. Garrett does a little flirting, ew, which seems to rub Ward up the wrong way, but is quickly forgiven when he's tells Ward to go after Skye. Garrett taunts Deathlok/Mike Peterson with the fact that he's been ordered never to leave his side. Foreshadowing.....

Fitzsimmons are still preparing to blow the seal on the window. Fitz tells Simmons that there is just enough concentrated air to get her past the pressure and get her to the surface. She is horrified by this and they argue about who should take it until Fitz finally admits he loves her and asks her to let him show it. She is heartbroken, finally relents and the Fitz sets off the explosion. We hear Simmons scream 'Nooooooo!' then the shot cuts outside where we see the window blow. Eventually we see Simmons swimming out of the window, towing Fitz! Yay!! They reach the surface and Simmons does her best to hold the unconscious Fitz out of the water, but they are still stranded. Until.....Simmons reaches out and Nick Fury grabs her hand from a helicopter hovering just above the surface! What a rescue! Then we cut to a shot of Simmons lay in a decompression chamber on a jet. Fury comes to talk to her, Fitz's heart is beating, but....She did save his life though.

At Cybertek, Skye is busy threatening the Bossman and asking what the incentives programme is, when Ward strolls in. We get some back and forth between them, with Ward attempting to dangle knowledge of her parents in front of her, she calls him weak. He tells her he knows she won't detonate the bomb to which she responds 'I have a weapon much better than a bomb that will destroy you' and when he asks what she gets to deliver this 'You slept with her and she's really pissed off!' cue May flying in to kick some traitor ass.

In the hangar area, with all the prototype stuff, sounds another Noisemaker. Coulson sneaks up on Garrett and punches him. Sadly for Coulson, Garrett punches him back and sends him flying, 'Thats new' is his only reaction. Then he sees feet enter his field of vision and looks up to find Fury looking back at him, all casual. 'Sir?' says Coulson, 'You don't have to call me sir, Coulson. Look at me, I'm dressed like I live under a bridge' says Fury, then. 'I went to great pains to make sure you didn't die the first time'. Coulson responds with a very Coulson line, 'Now's probably not the best time but I'd like to have a lengthy conversation about that. It might get loud.' and Fury admits 'And I owe you that, but right now we owe Garrett a punch in the teeth, wouldn't you say?' then pulls the huge weapon that Coulson used against Loki in The Avengers out of thin air. Now thats talent! He tells Coulson that it 'packs a pretty good punch' to which Coulson replies 'I know what it does' and starts shooting Centipedes. Meanwhile, Fury shoots at Garrett with a regular gun, which he soon finds out does bugger all. Garrett gets up, heals and grins in his crazy ol' way. Fury and Coulson look at each other in a 'huh' kinda way...Clark Gregg and Samuel L Jackson are so great together!

May and Ward are still battling away. Ward manages to pin May to a table saw by straddling her, May has a length of iron pipe but Ward has her hands trapped. Ward makes the oh so unwise mistake of telling May that it reminds him of the old times....'You were never on top' she replies. Oh snap! She then manages to shift the hand holding the pipe sideways so that it connects with the saw blade, which jars it upwards and she clocks him in the head with it.

Garrett, Deathlok, Fury and Coulson are all stood looking at each other. Garrett asks 'When was the last time anyone saw a tag team wrestling match with four dead guys?' as crazy as the character is, Bill Paxton has great fun delivering those lines. Coulson tells him that he sees only one dead guy to which Garrett responds 'The power is all on this side'. Don't speak too soon mate! He then bangs on about his new batshit crazy visions, says that he and Coulson are blood brothers and they knew the same things, that Phil should be helping him blah blah blah. Fury tells Coulson 'You didn't tell me he'd gone this crazy' to which Coulson responds 'He's really stepped it up a notch' love it!

Ward appears to get the upper hand in his fight with May, that is until she nail guns his foot to the floor. Really lucky that Cybertek were doing so well that they had to expand or else May might have lost without the building site and tools. Who am I kidding? She'd still have kicked his ass! He tells her to wait, and she responds by punching him in the throat....wish I'd have thought of that way to shut my ex up! She then tells him she's waiting long enough for this and boom, Ward is down!

Skye is apparently down in the basement with Bossman, who she's strapped with the 'bomb'. She unlocks a door to find Bossman's wife....ah the incentives programme! She starts looking for someone else and Bossman asks who she's trying to find, she answers 'Our Ace in the hole'. She opens a cell to find Mike's/Deathlok's son Ace....told you there was foreshadowing!

Garrett is still talking. Turns out he'd mangled Fury's 'One Man' speech and turned it into 'One man can achieve anything once he realises he can be something bigger'. Fury looks irritated, saying 'A part. A part of something bigger'. Garrett seems unpeturbed, saying 'Is that how it went?'. Coulson points out that Garrett is not a great listener and Fury tells Garrett 'If you tell me this whole Hydra path thing you took is because you misheard my damn 'One man' speech...'.Garrett starts ranting that he is the 'key to the future of the universe' and 'the origin of all things' yada yada until Fury interrupts him by asking Coulson 'You got it, right?' and Coulson responds 'Totally. Loud and clear'. At this point Garrett seems to have got bored of trying to impress/intimidate his audience with his craziness and signals to Deathlok to take them out.

Skye is kneeling in front of Ace, reassuring him. She then goes to the 'bomb' on Bossman and takes out a Hulk action figure. Bossman is relieved and irritated all at the same time.  Skye goes back to Ace with the figure and tells him that they need a message that his dad knows could only have come from him. Bossman tells her that it doesn't matter because they can't communicate with Deathlok from there. Skye holds up her phone and tells him that she's been in communication with him all along.

Coulson tells Garrett that he only thinks of himself, and that is why the good guys will always win. A message appears on Deathlok's cybernetic eye saying 'Dad, what are we? We're a team', tying us in nicely with the first ever ep. Deathlok turns and blasts Garrett who goes flying across the room. Garrett is still waffling about how they need him to translate the language of creation, and appeals to Coulson to back him up and stop Deathlok. Coulson responds by saying 'Mr Peterson is free to do whatever he wants' which is apparently stamp on Garrett's head. I suppose that was the best way to shut him up. Fury asks if Coulson thinks that Garrett has learned his lession, and Coulson says that he's learned something.

Garrett is in a nice metal box, wouldn't even say coffin cos that sounds a bit too grand. Centipedes are in cuffs and being led away. Apparently they'll go back to normal without regular injections and without the cybernetic eye, 'Minus an eye of course' says Trip. Good point there lad. Ward is walked in by May, looking all sulky and beaten up. Coulson asks if she had the chance to express all her feelings, May responds with 'Is he still breathing?' and Coulson concludes that she must have kept some to herself. Turns out that May fractured Ward's larynx when she punched him in the throat, so he's having trouble speaking. This pleases Coulson immensely, and he takes the opportunity to let Ward know that he failed to kill Fitzsimmons, but that Fitz may never be the same again. Coulson will make Ward pay for that for the rest of his life, along with finding inventive new ways to get Hydra intel from him. He tells Ward's torture will be internal, but May adds 'And a little bit external'. Coulson tells Ward that he now has the rest of his life to decide who he is without Garrett. I'm guessing it could go either way, but for some reason after this ep I'm leaning more towards baddie.

Deathlok is stood outside the buildings watching Ace be reunited with his aunt, Mike's sister. Skye approaches him and asks why he doesn't go to him, but Mike doesn't want him to see what he has become. Skye thinks he means his burns, and tells him Ace won't care. Mike is talking more internal though, he was turned into a killer. Skye tells him that Coulson wants her to bring him in but Mike says he's going away to make amends. He tells her to watch his every move by tapping into his hardware if she likes, but all she'll see is him trying to atone.

Back where all the action happened, we see Garrett's box empty and a dead body of a tech lay beside it. Ruh Roh. Garrett is, shockingly (yes, sarcasm) not dead and drags himself into the prototype Centipede machine and repairs himself. He smugly stands up and starts to say 'Now I will be unstop....' at which point he is blown to smithereens by Coulson who has come looking for something. He turns and walks out of the room calling to the others that he's found the weapon. So very Whedon!

Finally back on the Bus and Coulson and Fury are having that loud conversation they talked about. It consists of Coulson shouting 'Stupid, stupid, stupid, and cruel, anc very stupid!' at Fury. Fury listens, unpeturbed, until Coulson is finished. Coulson wants to know why they brought him back, after he warned them that people lost their minds afterwards. Fury says that he had May watch Coulson to make sure it didn't happen, and he'd had no problems (uh oh, foreshadowing). Fury tells Coulson that it was a 'break glass in case of emergency' situation, to which Coulson replies that it was meant for the fall of an Avenger. Fury responds with 'Exactly'.....*sniffle* we all knew Coulson was an Avenger but its nice to have it confirmed! Fury goes on to tell Coulson that he is his strong foundation, that S.H.I.E.L.D was founded to protect. Men like Coulson are the heart of S.H.I.E.L.D, and now he is also the head, as he hands him a tiny box. Fury wants him to start over and rebuild S.H.I.E.L.D! Yay! Director Coulson! Fury goes to leave the room and then turns back and pulls down his shades to reveal his damaged yet oddly glowy eye, cybernetic maybe?....he may be gone for a while but he'll still know everything!

The team wait in the cargo hold as the landing ramp lowers, to find Simmon's awaiting them. They have an emotional reunion and they ask about Fitz, Simmons tells them he is 'alive', we need more than that dammit! The reunion is interrupted by a Koenig lookalike/clone/identical twin (?) welcoming them to The Playground, with the same speech as the previous Koenig gave. The rebuild will now begin.....which is lucky as they were renewed! Phew.

We see Raina being led through a ruin of a building, to a room with a man sat with his back to the camera. She lays a photo of Skye on the table next to him, which he reaches for with a hand oozing and dripping blood. Raina tells him that she has found his daughter....I'm guessing Skye got the non-blood oozing from her mother's side of the family....

Coulson wakes up in the middle of the night and goes for a wander through some storage areas. He then proceeds to scratch the same symbols that Garrett was making on the glass door...including ones about 2 feet above his head which he couldn't reach but we'll let that pass! This does not bode well for our hero!

I'll do more recaps when the US TV season starts in September/October....I'll try and make sure they aren't quite as late as this though!

Thanks for popping by!


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