Agents of SHIELD opens its two-part series finale with the team’s back against the wall and time running out one last time in the battle against Chronicoms. Of course, what starts as an action-packed adventure soon turns into a rumination on the meaning of friendship and family, as is the longest-running Marvel television show’s way.
The End Is At Hand
Now that Sibyl has her body – or simulation of one – back and all SHIELD targets other than the Lighthouse have been destroyed, things are looking bleak for the team. However, she’s still not satisfied with Malick’s work because Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) remains alive and therefore able to mess with her plans.
The Chronicoms continue trying to extract from Jemma’s (Elizabeth Henstridge) mind, but now she’s starting to forget even his face despite Deke’s (Jeff Ward) best efforts at impersonation. By the time Daisy (Chloe Bennet) rescues her, she is but a shell of who she normally is.
Speaking of Daisy, she and Sousa (Enver Gjokaj) share another lovely first kiss, and their coupling is approved once more by Mack (Henry Simmons). They quickly go their separate ways in order to fight the enemy, but it’s clear that they are in it for the long haul from now on – which is something fans have longed to see for Daisy since Ward’s betrayal in the first season.
Another long con payoff in “The End Is At Hand” has to do with the dearly departed Enoch (Joel Stoffer), who ended up leaving pieces of the larger puzzle scattered throughout the decades for the Agents of SHIELD to find. While Jemma is still fuzzy on her life, she knows that “math is my faithful husband” and uses the metaphor of marriage to rebuild a time machine that brings Fitz directly to her – in front of shocked agents from the 1980s and just in time for a final Chronicom showdown.
What We’re Fighting For
“What We’re Fighting For” takes viewers through Simmons and Fitz’s lost years as a way of showcasing the title of the episode and the theme of the series – we do it all for family. Of course, they bury the lede by not revealing their daughter until close to the end of the hour, but that doesn’t mean they don’t wink at the camera and the audience several times throughout.
The theme of family is also echoed in Kora defying Sibyl’s odds by recognizing that her sister Daisy is actually a good person, and eventually using her healing powers to bring her back to life when Daisy quakes Nathaniel in order to save the world and the timeline. We also get a return of the Cavalry, and it’s amazing!
Fitz actually explains that there is a way to return to the original timeline, which makes a lot of the work done in the final season feel pointless but also preserves a semblance of continuity for Agents of SHIELD and the greater MCU. It also allows fans a chance to see characters like Flint and Piper again, even giving them a major role to play in the protection of Fitz and his family.
One person who doesn’t make it back to the original timeline is Deke, as he once again stays behind in a heroic sacrifice. Thankfully, he reminds everyone they will see him again when Simmons’ grandson is born – and hopefully this time his life will be less chaotic. Meanwhile, other characters realize that new is not bad, as when May (Ming-Na Wen) and Coulson (Clark Gregg) have a moving conversation about how they like who they are now.
Everyone gets a relatively happy ending, even among the bittersweet realization of the prophecy that the SHIELD team will never be together again as it once was. Daisy and Sousa are making their unconventional love work while integrating Kora into their family, Yo-Yo (Natalia Cordova) is commanding her own team just like Mack, and May is even giving lectures at Coulson Academy. And if there’s a few more jets that before, who’s counting?