TV Show Review

TV Review: AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.: Season 3, Episode 09: Closure [ABC]

Clark Gregg Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Closure

ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Closure TV Show ReviewAgents of S.H.I.E.L.D., season 3, episode 09, ‘Closure,’ started the mid-finale set-up with a pretty stark set-up of its own. In the previous episode, there was talk about an office romance curse. Well there has been something of tradition, where such curses are concerned: single leads don’t get to have happy, lasting relationships. I’ve seen characters from Magnum to Riggs bear that out – with either their happiness being sacrificed for the material, or the material suffering for their happiness (tension breaking for Moonlighting, Riggs finally getting the girl). That said, I wasn’t surprised by how Agents chose to keep Coulson’s (Clark Gregg) edge. I wasn’t surprised by who they got to do it, either. The moment & timing, however, was pretty effective.

Now, the first thing that needs to be addressed – shock value aside – is why would Ward (Brett Dalton) pass on an opportunity to go for Coulson first; instead of doing that thing, where villains vacate the scene, leaving the principal threat to underlings – like Malick (Powers Boothe) had done to him, no less. I’d say (given Ward’s threat level) that his mentality – his need for the process of revenge/ justice – has been made into an out for the good guys. Of course he didn’t expect underlings to do the job – he wanted to push Coulson further along, towards a more fitting finish.

The man that would walk away from Ward’s work was the man Ward wanted to beat. The man who would, at one point, turn his prosthetic hand on one of his own Agents.

Fortunately, enough of Director Coulson remained to appreciate that fact about Ward’s process & needs; and a key point of leverage – one that goes all the way back to the supposed why of Ward – was found. Unfortunately for Mack (Henry Simmons), that Coulson handed operational control to him, while the Ward survivor set out for a more hands-on response to Ward’s declaration of war.

Just in time, it turns out, as the Fitz-Simmons (Iain De Caestecker, Elizabeth Henstridge) lead, on HYDRA’s connection to Will’s mission, wound up leading them to a waiting Giyera (Mark Dacascos). Not only did Giyera deliver them to Malick (interested in them for having pulled off the only successful retrieval from Maveth) & (specifically) Ward, he killed the last reliable asset Team Coulson had at the ATCU. R.I.P., Banks (Andrew Howard). You were a shite person, but a dutiful soldier; and I suppose I should credit the show for committing to keeping the key character body count coming.

By now, it was to be expected that Ward would try to play the good guy, when it came to the interrogation of Fitz-Simmons. Recognizing their respective developments made for more of a challenge, than the original Fitz-Simmons would have ever provided, and Ward seemed to relish the idea of breaking one or both of them. The Peter-pays-for-Paul technique was particularly unsettling, with Simmons in the role of Peter, in this case; but leave it to Coulson, then, to always know just when to check Ward’s sense of smugness.

After three seasons of Ward family history coming front-and-center, I expect more to come of Coulson’s catch-and-release ace. Tipping Ward off to the closing noose, on the other hand, might as well have been Coulson returning a favor – making Ward aware that he was now part of Coulson’s revenge/ justice process.

If the prospect of a Coulson-Ward head-to-head doesn’t constitute enough fan service bait; consider Daisy’s (Chloe Bennet) solution to the tactical mess Coulson left for Mack to sort out. Both Lincoln (Luke Mitchell) & Joey (Juan Pablo Raba) got their marching orders; so ready or not, the Secret Warriors program was unofficially a go. It will therefore be the show’s fault if my expectations, for a SFX heavy mid-finale, ends in disappointment.

Speaking of expectations, Ward lit a fire under the interrogation – finally getting Fitz to volunteer to go back to Maveth. At no point was Will mentioned; so Fitz’s play had more to it than just sparing Simmons from torture. One field skill that the Wonder Twins have mastered over the years: knowing how & when to play for time & opportunity. Fitz’s plans on the other side may be more difficult to execute, however, since Malick managed to talk Ward into leading the expedition – as a destiny seizing moment. Team Ward crossing over may have inspired Coulson to do something ridiculously reckless; but it was a very daring – and let’s face it, awesome – kind of reckless. Besides, the only way to settle accounts with Ward would be to be where Ward… be – he express followed them in, okay?

Ordinarily, that would be a good enough place to end an episode; but Agents gave us a little more, on the mid-finale set-up – like the fact that Coulson’s stunt turned out to be a tad costly. Most people jumping out of aircraft wear helmets. The more you know, kids….

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About the author

Sam Joseph

Sam is an Avid consumer/observer of Geek culture, and collector of Fanboy media from earliest memory. Armchair sociologist and futurist. Honest critic with satirical if not absurdist­­ wit with some experience in comics/ animation production.

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