MARVEL'S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. - "Absolution/"Ascension" - It's a showdown a season in the making as S.H.I.E.L.D. takes on Hive, and when his master plan is finally revealed, the team must spring into action. Who will live, and who will die? Things heat up in the exciting two-hour season finale of "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.," TUESDAY, MAY 17 (9:00-11:00 p.m. EDT) on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/Richard Cartwright) LUKE MITCHELL, NATALIA CORDOVA BUCKLEY, HENRY SIMMONS, JOHN HANNAH, MING-NA WEN

Here it is, folks – the grand finale to season 3 of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. They’ve come a long way since the show first aired and now they’ll be wrapping up the Hive storyline and moving on to something else. What will happen to everyone? How will the team defeat Hive and stop his plan to turn a big chunk of humanity into semi-mindless, sort-of-Inhuman, thug-slaves? And which character will they be knocking off? Scroll on to find out.

We begin with Daisy and Coulson. She’s having bad dreams about everyone dying. She’s also locked away in an isolation chamber while she deals with the withdrawals that come from leaving the Hive collective. The only good thing is that she has a bunch of information that might help S.H.I.E.L.D. defeat their enemy, so she’s been helping out in that regard, if not in the field.

Meanwhile, the team is going straight for Hive’s throat. He’s trying to launch his doomsday missile filled with Inhuman gas and they’re out to stop him. One part of the team tracks down some kill codes for the stolen warhead while the rest infiltrate Hive’s hidey-hole. After some back-and-forth, S.H.I.E.L.D. ends up the victor in this struggle, though Hive’s cronies steal the warhead and run away to fight another day.

In the process, the team faces off against Hive and even manages to mess his head up a bit using some sort of science weapon. And in the end, they trap Hive in a block of gel and imprison him for good. Or at least that’s what they’d like to think. At this point, there’s still more than an hour to go, so Hive ain’t done yet. Also, S.H.I.E.L.D. captures Radcliffe and brings him back to help them in their continued struggles against Hive’s potential Inhuman-gas attack.

fitz being weird

Unfortunately, it doesn’t take much for Hive’s lackeys to come and rescue him. Due to some incredibly poor planning by S.H.I.E.L.D.’s security coordinators, they sneak some Inhuman gas into the loading bay that Hive-in-a-box is being transported through. One short battle later and the evil bad guy is free once again.

So what’s Hive’s next move? Send in a squad of his “Primitives” to bust up S.H.I.E.L.D. HQ while he hijacks one of their planes and takes the warhead far up into the sky so he can launch it. In the chaos, Daisy busts out of her cell and goes to meet up with him – but not to fight. She gets down on hands-and-knees and asks to be returned to the collective. And Hive would have had her back too, if not for the fact that Lash’s cure also appears to have made her immune to Hive’s abilities.

Unable to get her fix, Daisy goes on a rampage. Then it’s 5 minutes of Daisy vs. Hive in a brawl that messes the S.H.I.E.L.D. hangar up pretty good but leaves her enemy undamaged. When his cronies show up with the extraction team, they also knock Daisy out and steal her away yet again. It looks like things are pretty much hopeless, but lucky for S.H.I.E.L.D., Fitz and May manage to sneak aboard Hive’s getaway jet.

On the other side of things, Coulson and the remaining S.H.I.E.L.D. members are fighting for their lives against the small army of Primitives. Elena the Yo-Yo takes a few bullets, but she ends up surviving. Then Simmons discovers that the Primitives are rendered blind when the heat is turned up nice and high. One escape plan later and Coulson’s crew is ready to go play back-up against Hive in the final showdown.

coulson hologram

After a brief encounter with telekinetic guy, Daisy, May and Fitz continue their mission to stop the warhead. Coulson shows up a short time later and runs distraction while everyone tries to figure out the best course of action. Some fighting ensues, Lincoln takes an explosive to the gut and Coulson decides they’re going to send the warhead into deep space so that it explodes harmlessly, far, far away from humankind.

Then Daisy starts to figure out what her death-vision meant. She believes that she must be onboard in order for the plan to work. While the rest of the team gets set to enact their plan, she bolts and takes care of it herself. Hive, however, is having none of it. He shows up to stop S.H.I.E.L.D.’s last-ditch effort at victory, but neither he nor Daisy are ready when Lincoln sneaks in and busts up the party. He knocks Daisy out of the jet and launches, taking himself and Hive into deep space.

Then we watch for 10 minutes as everyone sheds tears, waiting for the warhead to explode. We even get a nice little heart-to-heart between Hive and Lincoln as they spend their last few moments contemplating the world below them and talking philosophy. Then – BOOM – S.H.I.E.L.D. has won.

At the end, we get some 6 months later stuff. Daisy has apparently gone rogue and Coulson and Mack are hunting her down. And Radcliffe is now back on top, working with Fitz and Simmons and building some sort of sentient robot. I’m guessing we’ll be seeing that particular robot show up in season 4 as the new baddie.

final moments

So was it worth the wait? All-in-all, the season finale for S.H.I.E.L.D. was pretty good. There was plenty of action and tension, even if it was bogged down at times by people sharing their feelings at incredibly inappropriate times. The cross passing from hand to hand was a nice touch, though it would have carried a lot more wait if the death of a character hadn’t been marketed to death for the last 2 months. If the viewers had been wondering whether or not someone was actually going to die, rather than which person would die, there would have been tons more tension. Alas, keeping people watching these days involves plenty of spoiling and teasing. An unfortunate thing, really.

The high point for me was the struggle that Hive had with his inner voices. The destruction of the glue that held his collective consciousness together was interesting, but unfortunately much too short. They could have dropped this bomb 5 episodes ago and made it into something big and that would have motivated some potentially excellent writing. Instead, they decided to use it as an aside and only give us a glimpse of what Hive would be like should he/she/it lose control. Honestly, I could have watched an entire episode revolving around schizophrenic Hive and been very pleased.

fitz badass

But the best thing by far (and this is from a selfish perspective, for sure) was the death of Lincoln. He’s been an uninteresting and mostly annoying character since they introduced him and I’m glad they got rid of him instead of someone who I’m actually fond of seeing in the show. And that little moment between him and Hive at the end was actually done pretty well. There was no “I will have my revenge!” super villain crap to round out Hive’s death. Instead, they sat and forgave each other and talked about the inevitability of death. It was very Zen-like.

The one major issue I had with the finale was the way Hive – the most dangerous opponent that S.H.I.E.L.D. has ever faced – was just left in his gel prison on the fucking loading bay. Seriously? Shouldn’t pretty much every armed agent be there to make sure that his body got moved IMMEDIATELY? Nope. Gotta do those standard check-in procedures. And don’t worry about the hangar doors being stuck open like that. After all, nobody’s gonna try to break him out, right?

It was pretty piss-poor writing, in my opinion. But it was one thing among many and the majority of the show was enjoyable. I’m looking forward to seeing where they go next season and if Daisy (or is she Skye again?) will be kicking ass as a vigilante. So, until then my readers, have fun watching things and try not to take it too seriously.

cool new skye

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