“Welcome to Level 7”
That’s how Marvel entered the uncharted waters of TV drama in 2013.
After 136 episodes, the voyage is about to end, but who will be sunk, SHIELD or the Chronicoms?
The final result was very complicated to unpack, but borrowing some things from Endgame made it work.
Besides, it gave fans the ending that’s really needed these days.
As we saw last week, the Chronicoms have destroyed all SHIELD bases, and Simmons has forgotten Fitz (you know, the other cute scientist).
In the first half, it looked like Sibyl (Tamara Taylor) would win, while Nate and Kora plan to rule over everyone once they stop the chaos they created thanks to the Chronicoms. In Earth 616B (the timeline next to the MCU), May feels the death the bad guys have caused, almost an Obi-Wan moment.
Kora is starting to doubt, but Nate uses his influence by telling her Daisy’s bad. His evil attitude is a little better than last week, but he’s no AIDA. He’s an abusive boyfriend, and that’s still very bad.
Sibyl is hoping dissolving the implant inside Jemma will make her reveal where Fitz is. Meanwhile, Jemma’s saying words at random but has also forgotten everyone.
At this point, Danny Sousa (Enver Gjokaj) becomes more useful despite being so 1950’s (which is like Fitz telling Jemma she is so English). He’s able to help Mack blast the alien ship by turning several Chronicoms into bombs as in that episode in Area 51. He even gets a kiss from Daisy, which may or may not hint at something. More on that later.
May and LMD Coulson also try to stop young John Garrett (James Paxton) from blowing up the Lighthouse. They stop him from teleporting thanks to a gizmo, and he also learns that Nate thinks he’s expendable. Thankfully, Elena moved the bombs. They also get an interesting signal from an 084 (object of unknown origin) and Garrett decides to transport them out of there. Also, more on that later.
Daisy tries to convince Kora that Nate is using her by saying bad things about Jiaying. Kora says Daisy sounds like mom, but her sis won’t give up on her. Daisy insists she can help Kora if she’d just break from Nathaniel.
There’s been some complaints on how Kora didn’t work as a villain because she seemed too confused on who to trust. She trusted Nate because he actually helped her control her powers while Afterlife wanted to be rid of her. Kora should have pointed that out better. Daisy would agree and insist she could do a better job than Jiaying did. If they had more time, it would have worked.
Still, Kora lets Daisy escape. Nate decides to take more power away from her, and start with the killing.
Again, Kora winds up as the girl with the toxic boyfriend.
Cut to SHIELD’s Swordfish bar, where May, Coulson, Garrett and Elena arrives. Sadly, Garrett is shot…by Victoria Hand (Saffron Burrows). If you remember how she died, that’s ironic.
The other agents stand down, when they revealed they guarded unknown items for decades. Not only that, Enoch probably delivered them.
When Jemma arrives with Daisy and Deke, she knows how to put them together, saying “Math is my faithful husband”. She even adds her wedding ring (once she remembers she is married), and the machine opens a secret room, which leads to a portal. Guess who slides down?
It’s Fitz, but Jemma doesn’t remember him.
First things first, because this is the best part of the finale. He actually explains why this season has unfolded, and does a great job doing this.
He’s been in the real MCU, observing more or less what’s been happening along with several alternative timelines like Dr. Strange. This does not please the other agents, but he was just careful to keep them alive.
He says he can get them back to the real timeline through what Jemma reassembled, and traveling through the Quantum Realm (yep, the same road the Avengers used). He also needs Kora…who’s still with the Chronicoms.
What follows is a bumpy road to resolving the season, but the fans do get to where they’d hope to arrive.
Meanwhile, Sibyl learns this is the last time SHIELD will be together, and she thinks the Chronicoms will win.
Does it? Nathaniel just wants chaos.
What it really means is that it’s possible to send SHIELD and the Chronicoms to the real MCU, but someone has to turn on Fitz’s gizmo and stay behind. Deke sacrifices himself, so the breakup does happen. It’s not too bad, since he’ll stay in Earth 616B and run that version of SHIELD.
So long, Deke. Maybe you can get a Grammy and a Quinjet.
So everyone is at the true MCU, but the Chronicoms can still blast the Earth. This is where it gets tricky. The agents try to fool the aliens into thinking they blew up the Zephyr but they blasted the Monolith temple. We also get a new view of how season six ended, and how Jemma explained their new mission. Take a close look, and you’ll be surprised.
Meanwhile, Fitz slowly rebuilds Jemma’s memory by recounting the end of last season. We remember that Flint (Coy Stewart), who was recreated by the Monolith, and Piper (Briana Venskus), were waiting for them in a Quinjet. They’re told to guard a spot for a short while, although it’s really many years for FitzSimmons. They hide near a star called Alya, where they turn the Zephyr into a time machine and enjoy married life.
Cute, isn’t it? Oh, and the daughter’s name is Alya.
But duty calls, and they head to the endgame.
Sibyl captures Coulson, and is about to turn him to the dark side, while Nathaniel and Daisy finally have their final battle.
The final results are surprising.
First, Coulson tells Sibyl Fitz and Simmons are at the Lighthouse, and she sends Hunters there…which was the idea. May knocks her out, and takes over the Time Stream. Add Kora’s Power Hands (Mack found her and convinced her to help) to May’s empathy, and the Chronicoms are now members of the Enoch Fan Club (and maybe future SHIELD personnel).
Meanwhile, the battle between Nathaniel and Daisy gets brutal as they go full force with their powers before takes a shocking turn. She sacrifices herself to kill him and blow up the mother ship.
As fans see Daisy’s body floating in space, they are cursing the show. It’s still a reminder great sacrifices have to be made, like Natasha gave her life in Endgame
But this is Agents of SHIELD, and they were not going to lose Daisy.
The agents get her body and Kora revives her. Kora’s soul is saved after all, and Daisy Johnson has a new life.
Sadly, this would be the end of this version of SHIELD, but they’re doing just fine…and the band is bound to get back together.
Reuniting at a Swordfish bar one year later (in virtual form), we learn that
May does become a teacher for Coulson Academy with Flint as a student, Elena’s working with Piper and LMD Davis as they squabble (just like old times), and Mack’s a bigwig at SHIELD. FitzSimmons (FINALLY) have their family life, of course, but this may be even better…
Some fans are speculating this is a hint to Agents of SWORD, who does what SHIELD does but aliens are involved. Hopefully, this will be on someone’s “to-do” list in a few years.
What about LMD Coulson? He’s traveling, with a new Lola that is quite the upgrade. Let’s see Brie Larson try to sell him a Nissan now.
By the way, since Sousa winds up living in 2020 after “dying” in 1955, does what Steve Rogers did to return to Peggy Carter balance that out?
So, with a dash of Endgame, SHIELD gets an excellent ending to its seven-year run on TV. It won’t be the same without them, but maybe a Falcon, a Winter Soldier and a Scarlet Witch can make TV Marvel-ous again.
Until we meet again, Agents of SHIELD…let’s hope we meet again.
Oh, and also see these articles about the finale at the AV Club and