Warning: this review contains spoilers. You can find my review of the previous Agents of SHIELD episode here.
"Closure" was an intense episode from start to finish. This is how you build to a midseason finale. Last episode brought all the players together, and this week amped up the stakes and laid out the board for the final confrontation.
I won’t lie, I was a bit disappointed that Rosalind got fridged so early. She was a great character and her interactions with Coulson were always fun. Having her killed off when she had so much potential just to give Coulson some extra motivation was, in hindsight, a letdown. But it made sense from a storytelling perspective. The first half of the season is coming to a close, and the ATCU fulfilled its narrative purpose. Sad though it may be, Ros and Banks were no longer needed.
I say "in hindsight" because the execution (no pun intended) was excellent. Killing off Ros when the audience was least expecting it, not in a climactic scene but at the very start of the episode, was a gutsy move. It really set the tone for the rest of the episode and lit the fuse that got the action going.
"Closure" was a great exploration of Ward as a character. The insight of his younger brother and the recollections of his former teammates were illuminating, and gave us a clearer idea of what drives such a deplorable character. And Ward has effectively pissed off every single member of the SHIELD team by now. Fitz and Simmons, Hunter and Bobbi, May, and now Coulson—you name it. Everyone wants a piece of him, and Coulson throwing out the rulebook was a great demonstration of how high the stakes were. Since his turn in Season 1, the show has done a great job of making the audience want him dead as well.
Meanwhile, the FitzSimmons saga of misery continues. As heroic as it would have been for both Fitz and Simmons to die before giving up what they knew about the portal, I don’t think it would have been possible for Fitz to survive Simmons’s torture and possible death. And the episode handled it really well, allowing us to side with Fitz’s decision even though it was in Hydra’s favour.
Finally, the proto-Secret Warriors have assembled! We didn’t get to see Daisy’s team of Inhumans in action just yet, but we definitely will next week. I’m excited to see the storyline that had been promised in the summer finally come to fruition, probably to be explored properly after the winter break.
So not only did this episode do away with some of the loose ends from the first half of the season, it also began setting up the pieces for the second half as well. This is normally the midseason finale’s task, but Agents of SHIELD has done a great job gradually building up to it. And now that half of our heroes and villains are through the portal and the other half are gearing up for a major showdown here on Earth, "Maveth" promises to be an incredible climax. For an episode named "Closure", that was a pretty big cliffhanger!
Rating: 4.5/5 (Excellent)
Notes and Observations
- Simmons recalling Ward’s "ridiculous puns" can only mean one thing: Brett Dalton’s puns are canon! I loved that little behind-the-scenes nod.
- Mack makes a pretty good director. And I’m loving his rapport with Daisy. Fist bumps all around!
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