Same Geek Channel ‘Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ 3.9: Closure, Part 1

Columns Same Geek Channel
Coulson, Ros, ATCU
Nope, no chance for these crazy kids. Image via ABC/Marvel Entertainment

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?

Hi, my name is Ward, and I'm all about revenge until Gideon uses praise as a lure. Image via ABC/Marvel Entertainment
Hi, my name is Ward, and I’m all about revenge until Gideon uses praise as a lure. Image via ABC/Marvel Entertainment

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.

My first name is Phil and I rob banks. Image via ABC/Disney Entertainment
My first name is Phil and I rob banks. Image via ABC/Disney Entertainment

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.

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3 thoughts on “Same Geek Channel ‘Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ 3.9: Closure, Part 1

  1. When I was watching the preview for this last time, my two take-aways were: “Oh no, there’s no Rosalind in this, could it be Coulson DIDN’T apologize and now they’re not speaking?” and then “Geez, Coulson is suddenly acting WAY MORE VINDICTIVE toward Ward than he has been in the past year and a half, where’d THAT come from?” AND I NEVER MADE THE CONNECTION. Even though I was always sure Rosalind wouldn’t survive past mid-season if she wasn’t evil.

    But the truth is, I’m kind of with Coulson on that one. I thought Ward was a great villain and all but I didn’t have any strong feelings toward him even though he was horrible, but as soon as he took that shot I suddenly HATED HIM MORE THAN ANY OTHER CHARACTER IN THE WORLD (except maybe Dodd on Fargo but he got his comeuppance this week, which was kind of refreshing– since I couldn’t strangle Ward with my bare hands, at least I could watch DODD get tortured).

    I have a feeling he won’t actually survive much longer. I also have a feeling Coulson’s headed toward the dark side, which makes me sad, but I’m not sure if that’s better or worse than HIM getting killed off (again).

  2. Is that a picture of Coulson above or Hunter? It’s tagged Phil but if it is I see real, flesh-and-blood fingers wrapped around that shotgun instead of his prosthetic hand. Could be a ‘whoops’ on Marvel’s part.

    1. I think you’re right—it’s probably Hunter, and Corrina mislabeled. But Phil was in that scene, too, with his face covered in the same way.

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