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5 Thoughts About “Beginning of the End”

When showrunner Maurissa Tancharoen asked our viewing party what we thought after the episode aired, my first reaction was to say “It was a season-finale worthy episode” and having re-watched it since then I stand by that. I don’t know how this episode was only 42 minutes long because they managed to fit so much in, giving us some answers but leaving us with so many “What the!?” moments to carry on into season 2. Bring on September!!

Because there was so much going on this week it was really hard to keep this to just 5 thoughts but here’s my attempt.

Humor

Beginning of the End 1For such a huge and dramatic episode I was surprised at the amount of humor. Pleasantly surprised. If it’s not done well humor in such circumstances can feel forced and risks taking the viewer out of the moment but this is something Marvel always does well. Episode writers Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen deserve credit for weaving in some very funny moments this week.

The Music

Beginning of the End 2If I’m really honest I have to confess that at times for me I’ve struggled with the music in the series, particularly in the early days, it almost felt like it was trying to be the soundtrack to a big screen movie and it just wasn’t working for me. I found myself numerous times distracted by the music which just didn’t seem to sit right, but with this episode in particular, Bear McCreary really nailed it. There were several scenes where the music really added something emotionally, FitzSimmons’ escape and and rescue, Fury’s speech to Director Coulson and the eerie final scene with Couslon that lead right into the end credits.

FitzSimmons

Beginning of the End 3Once again FitzSimmons made my list and I’m sure their scenes are strongly imprinted on everyone else’s minds too. We’ve seen both Fitz and Simmons be heroes before and we get to see it again in a very emotionally gripping way this week. Fitz is finally able to tell Simmons how he feels, knowing it may be the last thing ever says. Such a heartbreaking moment portrayed so perfectly by both Elizabeth Henstridge and Iain De Caestecker as Fitz forces Simmons to live, and gives up his own life in the process. Thankfully it didn’t end there because Simmons somehow managed to drag Fitz’s lifeless body to the surface. I never wanted FitzSimmons to die, and while both survived, I fear that Season 2 may reveal that Fitz’s post oxygen deprived state is worse than death. I really hope my fear is unfounded.

Director Fury

Beginning of the End 4We all knew he’d be back in this episode after Samuel L Jackson spilled the beans in a recent interview, but most of us expected a similar cameo to his first back in the second episode of the season so to see him in such a significant role in this episode was most welcome. I don’t think any of us expected Fury would be the one to rescue FitzSimmons and I think that first shot of him reaching out of the helicopter is one that will stick with us for some time. Again, the humorous moments between Fury and Coulson were classic Marvel moments and a very enjoyable way to break up the intensity of the events in this episode.

Director Coulson

Beginning of the End 5Too many awesome Coulson moments to cover. It’s clear that since Triplett brought out his Howling Commando spy gear he and Coulson have developed a bond and they work well as a team. This is the first time I’ve stopped worrying that Tripplett was hiding something, I’ve always had a suspicion than there was something more going on with him but I think I’m finally coming to a place of putting those concerns aside.

I can’t talk about Coulson without pointing out that he was clearly letting go out some Loki “feels” once he was handed that destroyer weapon, and the way he used it to bring Garrett to his final(?) end was perfect.

Many of us have thought of Couslon as “the other Avenger” since The Avengers and during our viewing party, Director Fury giving voice to our feelings was one of the moments that made us all cheer.

“The principle S.H.I.E.L.D. was found upon was pure. Protection. One word. Sometimes to protect one man against himself, sometimes to protect the planet against an alien invasion from another universe…. but the belief that drives us all is the same, whether it’s one man, or all mankind, that they’re worth saving. That truth lives inside you Coulson, before it was torn apart, S.H.I.E.L.D. was a lot of moving parts, guys like you were the heart, now, you’ll be the head.”

This speech, to me, is why I have always loved the concept of this show. There have been criticisms from some that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. hasn’t been “dark” enough (particularly in the early part of the season) and that there needed to be more angst and bad guys. People loved Ward turning bad because there’s this weird idea out there that it’s cool to love the bad guys, but me? I’m a good-guy girl. I like my heroes to be heroes, I like my heroes to be out there helping people and making the world a better place so this scene really hit the spot for me.

Honorable Mentions

  • The fight between May and Ward was pretty epic, nail guns and power blades? That’s serious stuff!
  • I’m so glad Ace is safe and I’m eager to see what Mike dose to “make amends” for what he’s done.
  • Bill Paxton was so very entertaining in his mad-man portrayal of the “evolved” Garrett. We heard at our viewing party that what we got was the toned down version and I’m hopeful we’ll get to see some of the outtakes from those scenes on the DVDs!
  • I don’t know if anyone else noticed how part way through the episode, once Garrett basically called Raina out, she dropped the persona we’ve seen up till now and adopted a more straight forward cold, manipulative attitude, I enjoyed seeing that reveal.
  • Skye essentially taking control of the super soldiers and communicating with Mike to let him know they were working on freeing Ace, and therefore freeing him, was impressive. I’m glad Skye’s Trojan Horse worked so well! And just who is her mystery father in that end scene!?

Do you agree or disagree with my thoughts? What were the stand out moments for you in the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 1 finale?

 

 

About Director E

Director E is the primary founder of MarvelTV.org, SHIELDtv.net and AgentCarter.net

Twitter: @SHIELDtv
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Comments

  1. I think the same you think: Marvel Agents of SHIELD it’s great,

  2. Yeah, the final was really awesome. So much things in one serie. I thinked how first season can end when we have so much questions, but last 2 series answeared to most of them. The only questions are who was that alien, who is Skye, how shield will stop hydra and be part of government again, who is in the head of hydra (I think its that doctor of hydra which lives in digital world, and was in Captan America 2).
    Also I think that guy at the end is not human :)
    Its cloun of one guy)))
    We know that most workers of SHIELD now works to Tony Stark, he is protecting workers of shield and I think we will hear his name again in second serie.
    1st Season was really good, lets see what will be in second one, I expect only Hydra and Skye’s father.

  3. AgentFC says:

    Agree with all points, especially your opinion about Fury’s arrival and Triplett. When Fury suddenly appeared and reached out his hand, I immediately jumped out from my scene and applauded. I like Trip now, and relieved that I no longer have to worry about his mysterious allegiance/persona, and the same thing goes for Simmons who has been acting ‘strange’ lately as well. Skye demonstrating her hi-tech badassness was great too.
    Looking forward to Season 2!

  4. Agent Aeryn says:

    I agree with all your point Director E!!
    Because of the time difference I watched the episode before going of to work and I woke the entire house cheering when Fury showed up to save FitzSimmons hahaha.
    Raina got her anwer from Garrett and I’m still wondering about the monster part. If Skye will become a monster will Raina also? She doesn’t seem that worried.
    Tripplett, yeah he still isn’t working as in “part of the team” for me, I’m still hung up somehow on Ward allthough I think redemption will be hard but I can’t see him as the Big BAd for S2 or even a little Bad.
    The humor in this episode was amazing !!!

  5. All fantastic points, it was a great end to the series…

    what is doing my head in is the ending, where Coulson was writing those alien hieroglyph things on the wall (I don’t know what to call it!). We see that Garrett was doing that previously which leads to the conclusion that it was the GH Serum in their veins (or brain even) that is filling them with these “Messages”. If that’s the case, then WHO wrote those hieroglyphs in Russia (in an earlier ep) where Ward was led (by the clairvoyant) into that room? and… how did the clairvoyant (Garrett) know what they were at the time??

    …or did Coulson write them (in russia)?

    …do you think that Coulson was asleep (…like sleepwalking) when writing them into the wall at the end of the EP?

    This probably means in SE2 of AOS we’ll see further exploration of that – maybe there’s more than 1 alien sheild had been using? Exciting!

    As Jeff Loeb said in his interview with MTV, when asked what to expect from SE2, he says “Evolution”

    • I don’t think Coulson was sleepwalking at the end, he looked pretty awake to me. And I am very worried about him now.

  6. The music playing at the end, when Coulson is drawing on the wall, is the same music that’s played whenever anything is going on having to do with TAHITI. The music with the eerie voice. It’s the same music they played during Coulson’s flashback of his surgery, and I believe they also used it when he found the blue alien.

  7. Also the humor scenes between Coulson and Fury were classic Marvel movie style. We especially got to see a lot of that in The Avengers, and it was great to see it on the show too. It really takes some of the weight off of the serious scenes, without undermining them.

  8. agent spencer says:

    I totally agree with everything you said director, but does any have a hint on what coulson was drawing in the end?

  9. agent spencer says:

    Omg I just realized that coulson was probably writing in skrull and that blue alien was probably skrull

  10. Also, I’ve always thought the music was just fine, I never thought they were trying to make the music seem like the soundtrack to a big screen movie. But that’s just my opinion.

  11. Agent ?? says:

    I love all these guys except Ward. I like heroes to be heroes, too. What touch me is their courage and kindness, not being bad and play cool

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