Monday, 26 June 2017

TV Review No. 61 Marvel: Agents of S.H.E.I.L.D.: World's End (S4, Ep22)

As this is the season finale, everything a spoiler!
Strong Points:
The Framework's end - well done
Radcliffe's goodbye
Mack and Yo-Yo's finale
Ghost Rider's back and has visible anger
Great choreography
Interesting set up to season 5
Awesome acting

Weak Points:
The Framework's end - missed opportunity
Ophelia's death happened too quickly
Slightly unsubtle wordplay
Some quite gratuitous, gory moments
How to Fight Like a Villain 101

In-depth Review:
So, here we are, the finale of another superb season of AoS, and for all 3 people who have stayed with the season after the slow start of season 1, you have been rewarded. We had everything this episode, great acting, choreography, story, character development, a reasonable budget...

We had two storylines running in parallel this episode - one in the Framework with YoYo trying to get Mack back and one in the real world with the team trying to stop Ophelia, which I thought would've been great to carry on with in to next season (it would've allowed us to have Tripp, Lincoln etc. back without having them 'back'. Of course, nice things can't happen and Ophelia turns off the Framework, slowly making everything disappear. This was incredibly well done, with them even explaining why certain characters stayed for longer, and had two of the best scenes in the episode, but I still feel like it's a slightly missed opportunity.

I'll finish with the Framework storyline first before moving onto the real world I think just to keep things simple. All in all, it worked. YoYo, with the help of Radcliffe, tried to get Mack to remember her (Radcliffe found her by looking for the YoYo's Daisy had inputted into the Framework) and leave the Framework, but of course he wouldn't leave without Hope. Slightly unsubtle wordplay aside with the whole hope thing, it was nice to see some more YoYo screen time, and the ending with Hope literally disappearing in Mack's arms while crying and wishing she didn't have to go was *gulp* Excuse me. *sob*

We also had Radcliffe's final goodbye, which was just incredibly well done and poignant. Radcliffe's always occupied that moral grey area, the old 'I'd do anything for science' scenario, but it's been great to see him grow as a character, especially after Agnes died and things didn't start to go his way, and I was sad to see him go (another reason why I wanted the Framework to stay was to keep Radcliffe alive). Playing with our expectations of how scenes are meant to play out, the scene decided to cut out halfway through the quote 'not with a bang but with a whimper', as the Framework finally disappeared. I just sat there, open-mouthed, watching the glass bottle fall to the floor.

Back to the real world now, and we had Ophelia running rampant. I've ran out of adjectives to describe the efforts of the actors this season, with Mallory Jansen being a stand out, and she's done it again this episode, simultaneously making you feel pity for her as she learns about emotions just as an Inhuman, fully grown baby would and abject horror at some of her actions (especially against Fitzsimmons). The scene where she kills 'Simmons' was watched without the ability to turn away on my part, even if I wanted too and even if I'd guessed just before the reveal of Simmons LMD (and Coulson as Ghost Rider) it was still a heart pounding scene. It's a shame they killed Ophelia that quickly by the end, more of a fight scene might've been nice, but I guess they didn't want to prolong it and miss out on some of the other story-lines.

Ghost Rider's back and visibly angry! One of the main problems I had with Pod 1 in season 4 was that Robbie Reyes, and by extension Ghost Rider never seemed to have the fire (no pun intended) needed to give The Spirit of Vengeance justice. He has now gained that passion, not least in part due to the increased budget of this episode allowing Ghost Rider to be seen for longer, and for some incredibly impressive action sequences which seemed to have borrowed from Wonder Woman's slow-mo idea (even if the eye-popping sequence wasn't really needed). The icing on the cake was when Coulson took over The Spirit of Vengeance to get close to Ophelia (she disappears whenever she sees Robbie and he missed his chance by taking down Daisy-bot a la How to Fight Like a Villain 101)

So AoS actually managed to tie up most of their loose ends in the season (we still have Nadeer's brother and The Russian) and with the promise of some sort of space theme of next season, I'm intrigued (although if they'll have the budget for space remains to be scene). Also, what was Coulson talking to Reyes about? Will Reyes be back? Will Fitz forgive himself? OK, maybe we haven't tied up all the loose ends...

Conclusion: a rare sight of an ending to a season living up to the build up and we still have to wait a year for the next season?! Time to invent time travel...

Rating: 94%

Thanks for reading, Satamer.

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