Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season finale recap: A temple full of zombies
Well, there you have it. With a two-part finale, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. closes the book on its weirdest season yet…at least until the final outing next year.
While the monolith-produced version of Flint manages to recreate the monoliths for Izel, the others prepare for a final confrontation. Fitz and Simmons are impressed when Deke is able to instantly produce wearable tech that will cancel out Izel’s frequencies, but they’re somewhat less impressed to learn it’s because he secretly moved his entire tech company into the Lighthouse! Deke is able to churn out new inventions quickly, but because it’s all based on stolen technology from S.H.I.E.L.D. and aliens, he doesn’t have a full understanding of how it works. Fitz rips into them for this, and unfortunately getting screamed at by his grandfather is the last thing Deke can take. He finally snaps, yelling that the reason he created his tech company wasn’t because he was a profit-hungry capitalist, but because no one else at S.H.I.E.L.D. liked him or wanted him around. So why not make his mark in the world? But it clearly hasn’t changed Mack’s, Fitz’s, Simmons’, or Daisy’s opinions of him one iota. So, desperate to finally prove himself, Deke straps himself into a new teleporting machine and transports himself to the temple where Izel is holding her captives.
With one tap of his new device, Deke makes Mack, Yo-Yo, and Flint invulnerable to Izel’s body-hopping powers. He even manages to evacuate them from the temple! But when he tries to transport himself out, it doesn’t work. Turns out the teleporter needs to recharge before it can be used again. So now Deke is stuck in a temple full of zombies, because Izel can also control zombies now.
At the same time, May and Sarge are making their way into the temple. Izel is singing her ultimate song to turn the monoliths into a portal to her homeworld, and hearing the song unsettles Sarge. May tries to encourage him by telling him that even if he isn’t really Coulson like she so desperately wishes, there’s still some good in him. That theory’s about to be put to the test. They make it into the ceremonial room with Izel, where Sarge declares his intention to be rid of the nagging pain in his heart. May tells him that pain is love — the love he inherited from Coulson for his team. So that answers Sarge’s question about how to be rid of the pain. He stabs May and pushes her through the portal. And so ends the first episode of this two-part finale, with one of the show’s most storied characters betrayed and seemingly dead. It even looks like Enoch is done for, when he learns that all the Chronicom Anthropologists have been converted to Hunters — including his confidant Izaiah, who attacks him.
Of course, nothing’s ever so simple. May wakes up in the other world and sees hooded figures assembling three stones (correlated to the three monoliths) into an ancient carving in order to open a gateway to Izel’s homeworld full of spirits. But they never counted on being stuck in the same room as Melinda May. As Izel and Sarge triumphantly gloat back in the temple, they’re astonished to see the three stones thrown back at them through the portal, meaning their precious gateway won’t be opening anytime soon. So Izel jumps back through the portal for a swordfight with May while Mack, Daisy, and Yo-Yo arrive for a final confrontation with Sarge.
Meanwhile, the Lighthouse comes under attack from Malachi and his squad of Chronicom Hunters. They are merciless, moving through the station and executing every S.H.I.E.L.D. agent they find. Soon even Fitz and Simmons are cornered and believe themselves about to die. But suddenly the Hunters are shot down…by Isaiah! Except it’s not Isaiah at all, it’s Enoch, who remains my favorite part of this season. In his words: I learned bluffing is much easier if you kill someone and take their skin. He offers Fitz and Simmons a way to fight back against the Chronicoms, but only at the cost of changing the course of their natural lives. They’re more than used to that by now.
Mack was once able to beat Sarge in a fight, but those days are behind us now. The powerful monster version of Sarge is too much for Mack to take down with his fists. Daisy’s powers can shed his Coulson skin, revealing the monster beneath, but can’t take him down. Yo-Yo’s been infected with a Shrike, and it’s ready to take her over. But just in the nick of time, salvation arrives. As Izel steps through the portal intending to stab Daisy in the back, she herself gets stabbed in the back by May, who comes in just behind her. A shocked Sarge gets his skin blown off by Daisy and then cut in half by Mack using the magic sword. The Shrikes die, the zombies retreat, the portal closes, and everything seems like it’s going to work out.
Then Simmons arrives with a squad of people in hazmat suits, who go about gathering all the weapons and monolith stones scattered around the room. She even injects May with some fancy formula to heal her wounds and save her life. She ushers Mack and Yo-Yo onto the Quinjet, where she explains the situation. The Chronicoms want to turn Earth into Chronyca-3, and they think S.H.I.E.L.D. is the only thing in their way. So not only have they destroyed the Lighthouse, they’re also planning to go through time and target S.H.I.E.L.D. at different historical moments. But Fitz and Simmons have a Chronicom friend of their own, and Enoch has helped them turn their plane into a time machine to fight back against the time-hopping aliens. The first stop? 1930s New York City, where the in-construction Empire State Building is the only building that reaches above the clouds. And who better to help them with this task than a brand-new Coulson LMD? Gotta say, I was getting pretty sick of Sarge.
This season felt pretty disjointed to me. I didn’t always understand what was going on, and there was a big revolving door of characters and concepts. But since it’s clearly part of a package deal with the final season, I’ll reserve final judgment until we find out what happens there.