And the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent destined to die on board an exploding Quinjet in space was....
...none other than Lincoln Campbell, the one I was actually hoping it would be.
I can't decide if killing Lincoln is an anti-climax or not. On the one hand the show did exactly what it promised to do. They said someone on the team was going to die and someone on the team did indeed die. On the other hand, it was Lincoln. Lincoln! His death just doesn’t register as significant enough to justify all the hype. Not that I’m saying someone more important should’ve died. You have no idea how relieved I am that none of my favourites were left holding the crucifix of doom, but killing Lincoln feels less like a bold plot development and more like the writers cutting loose the dead weight.
It's like the writers looked at all the characters and asked themselves "who can we kill off without enraging the entire fandom?" and the answer they came up with was Lincoln. He's not exactly high on any favourite character lists and he is so inconsequential to the make up of the team that his absence will not create a hole that cannot be filled. His entire role on the show can be summed up as "Daisy's boyfriend". Well, I say boyfriend, but a better description would be coworker she occasionally kissed.
Things could've been different if they'd made him more likeable or actually established a convincing emotional connection between him and Daisy. Lincoln’s death may then have carried a little more weight. But they didn’t, so despite Chloe Bennett and Luke Mitchell acting their little hearts out, their big goodbye scene fell completely flat. That scene didn’t pack nearly a tenth of the emotional punch of Daisy’s reunion with Mack. Now that was emotional. I was wailing like a new born when he told her he forgave her and wrapped his massive arms around her. Their friendship has been one of the real highlight of this rocky season.
Lincoln wasn’t the only one to meet their maker. Hive was also killed in that blast, bringing to an end his dreary reign of boredom and Brett Dalton's time on the show. I’ll kinda miss Dalton (who will provide the awful puns now?), but I won’t miss Hive one iota. He has been a complete flop as a villain, with his rip-off Matrix wardrobe and D-grade Bond villainy. His scheme in this episode was almost the exact plot of Moonraker. With any luck, his defeat will close the door on Inhumans and HYDRA for the foreseeable future. It is time for a fresh start, for some new adversaries and new challenges.
In a way, this finale encapsulated everything I’ve been feeling about the Hive arc and the second half of this season in general. There were some good moments, even one or two great ones (I will never stop laughing at Fitz in the motion capture suit), but far too many made me scratch my head, roll my eyes, and scream at the TV in frustration. Hive's infestation of the base, for example, was too quick and easily could've been avoided if S.H.I.E.L.D. had bothered to actually check their mail and didn’t carry those stupid Icer things. Honestly, why do they still use those? They are absolutely useless. Let your people use lethal force, Phil!
But by far the most frustrating thing about this finale was the two scenes that bookended it. Daisy’s dream, where she was trapped in the module on Maveth with a dying(?) Coulson, was completely random and made no sense whatsoever. It is like the writers just decided they wanted to start the episode in such a way to leave everyone confused. Were they trying to reveal something about Daisy’s current mental state? If anyone knows could they tell me what it was because I got nothing.
As frustrating as that dream scene was, at least it wasn’t real. The same can’t be said for that epilogue. Ever since Alias I have had a burning hated for sudden time jumps being used as cliffhangers. It is a lazy way to shock the audience by showing how different things are so many months or years later. What we saw here, though, was more laughable than shocking. I imagine they were going for Lisbeth Salander with Daisy's new Goth look but the end result is closer to Sk8er Boi era Avril Lavigne.
Intel and Assets
--That damn crucifix changed hands so many times that it turned into some morbid game of pass the parcel. Whoever is holding the crucifix by the time the episode ends dies.
--I wasn’t too keen on the ‘Hive is Daisy’s drug’ metaphor or that it was spelt out for us in big bold letters. Subtlety is just not this show’s forte.
--I hope John Hannah will be sticking around next season, even if it means putting up with a potential low budget Age of Ultron rehash.
--'Ascension' was directed by Kevin Tancharoen who also directed 'The Dirty Half Dozen' and 'Spacetime' which is probably why it kicked off with a great fight scene between Daisy and Hive. He clearly loves to see Chloe Bennett kickass.
--Behold the shotgun axe in all its glory:
--Now that their spin-off is defunct, can we please have Bobbi and Hunter back next season?
--No, Daisy, Ward was not brainwashed.
--Hive revealed his true face and the FX were impressive.
--Coulson is the biggest geek on the planet.
Talbot: "I thought that was a stupid gamble. Seriously stupid. Like betting on Wrestlemania stupid."
Hive: “This won’t kill me.”
Mack: “No, but it will suck.”
Radcliffe: “It’s a science hunch.”
May: "I don't give a damn about your powers. They're not what made you an agent. I did."
Two and a half out of four Sk8er Bois
Mark Greig is sorry for the lateness of this review. More Mark Greig
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 3
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. home
- Watch this episode or the entire season on Amazon now