I’ve been singing the praises of this third season but there remains one problem that’s continued to bug me and it’s a large part of why part one of this two-part fall finale didn’t feel as killer as I hoped it would be.
Major Spoilers, as always with these recaps.
Ward is the problem. Ward is now the uber-powerful villain who can strike anytime, anywhere with impunity. Hunter and Bobbi can’t kill him. He’s neutralized May. Plus, he can also manage a Hawkeye-style bullet strike against anyone. He’s like the continued use of Sylar in Heroes. Yes, great character but, after a certain point, it becomes the height of idiocy for the other cast members not to do everything they can to destroy him. It’s a narrative problem.
Query: if it was that easy as Ward made it out to be to assassinate someone, why didn’t Hunter try this tactic on Ward?
This is why Coulson’s rage against Ward, with Ros’ murder being the final straw didn’t work for me as well as it should. Yes, awesome seeing Coulson get his bad-ass on. But Ward has been murdering people for a while. He *tortured* Bobbi and it took her months to recover. He tried to murder Andrew.
Coulson should have been on this bender months ago and it shouldn’t have taken Ros’ murder to set him down the path of righteous revenge. For instance, why did it take Coulson this long to figure out Ward’s younger brother would be his weakness or that Ward reacts in certain ways to authority figures?
So, yeah, that’s the question that puzzled me and tossed a spoke into my enjoyment of a tense, thrill-ride of an episode.
Oh, yes, Ros gets fridged. I say “fridged” because it’s primarily to affect Coulson, though given Ward intended to kill Coulson too, it’s not quite the style of a regular “kill the girlfriend.” I’m going to miss Ros and her sharp comments and her banter with Coulson. Normally, I’d get on a show for a fridging–especially since the last time they did it, it was Trip who was the victim. But….
On the one hand, the two big character deaths over the last year are a black man and a woman. On the other hand, the show has numerous other female characters in numerous roles, and at least Trip isn’t the only man of color in the cast, given how prominently Mack and Andrew have featured this season. Plus, Ros died for her own actions–i.e. she was a danger to Malick.
So, basically, I’m at a draw with myself and my main concern is simply being bummed because I liked having Ros around. But I had little time to mourn Ros because, in the pacing that’s becoming a hallmark of this show, in short order:
Ward captures Fitz and Simmons and kills Ros’ #2 guy. That’s going to put a damper on cooperation with the ATCU.
Coulson goes on his revenge quest by kidnapping Ward’s younger brother. In a nice twist, the younger brother is smart enough to be scared of Ward.
Ward tortures Simmons and Fitz agrees to open the portal if he’ll stop. But not before calling Simmons “Furiosa,” which proves how far Simmons has come this season.
Malick, proving he is the real shark in the relationship, manages to convince Ward to lead the team through the portal to the other side even though it’s likely a suicide mission.
Coulson attacks the Castle from earlier this season, where Ward, Malick, Hydra flunkies, and Fitz and Simmons are located.
Acting SHIELD Director Mack sends out Daisy and her Inhumans to the same Castle to back up Coulson. Secret Avengers Assemble!
Ward, Hydra flunkies and Fitz go through the portal, after Fitz and Simmons exchange longing looks.
Coulson skydives into the portal. Whoa.
So that’s where we are with part one of the finale, which begs the question of ‘what the heck did they save for part 2?’
Guess we’ll find out next week.