Arts and Entertainment

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: The Final Mission

With stunning action scenes, witty humor and memorable characters, the long running “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” delivers a heart wrenching final season.

Reading Time: 3 minutes

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By Vivian Teo

After six amazing seasons, “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” wrapped up its final season last month, concluding the incredible journey the characters had been on for seven years. After the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s spike in popularity, “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” first debuted in 2013 as a spinoff series exploring how the world advances in between Marvel movies. As the years progressed, the TV show strayed further away from the Marvel timeline and eventually branched off into its own universe. Formed to handle smaller threats without the help of the Avengers, S.H.I.E.L.D. is composed of team members with supernatural abilities enhanced with avant garde technology.

Following the final battle in season six, the S.H.I.E.L.D. team is whisked away through a time dimension which brings them to 1931 New York, where an evil alien force called the Chronicoms seeks to destroy S.H.I.E.L.D. and inhabit Earth. The catch is that the Chronicoms and the S.H.I.E.L.D. team only have a limited amount of time in that time period until their planes jump to a new time period. The team use the fluidity of time travel to their advantage, alternating between different years to fight the Chronicoms and search for their lost teammate, Fitz (Iain De Caestecker).

Halfway through the season, the Chronicoms join forces with a man named Nathaniel Malick (Thomas Sullivan), who proves to be a formidable force after he steals the team’s supernatural powers. Daisy Johnson (Chloe Bennet), one of the most powerful members of the S.H.I.E.L.D. team, loses her earthquake powers to Malick. As clashes intensify between the two forces, S.H.I.E.L.D. face difficult challenges such as being stuck in separate time loops without each other, stacking the odds against the team. In an outstanding two-episode finale, the team realize they must activate a machine in order to summon Fitz, who knows how to defeat the Chronicoms and save the world.

The numerous physical threats the team face are reflected in their emotional struggles, which humanize and provide depth to their characters. One such example is Jemma Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge), who is married to Fitz and struggles to cope with his disappearance. At the beginning of the season, she develops amnesia, elevated by her stress and trauma. Another main character, Yo-Yo Rodriguez (Natalia Cordova-Buckley), mysteriously loses her power of superhuman speed, which is linked to her mind, and struggles to overpower her mental blocks in order to get her powers back. Some team members also faced racial discrimination as they time traveled to earlier periods such as the 1930s, which depicting how society has warped and changed with time. Through the heart wrenching losses and exhilarating successes, the actors vividly bring their characters to life, wholeheartedly captivating their viewers.

The action scenes and special effects illuminate this evocative acting and the characters’ special abilities, creating an impressive setting. Daisy and Malick’s earthquake powers launch objects into the air and left debris in their wake. The setting was further enhanced through the stark contrast in fashion from different time periods. The attire from the ‘30s and ‘50s consisted of monochrome suits and long conservative dresses, while ‘80s clothing was vibrant and eye catching, with popping colors that reflected the hip-hop vibe of the era.

This season was also filled with plenty of infectious humor that kept me smiling. For example, the S.H.I.E.L.D. team picks up an agent from the ‘50s named Daniel Sousa (Enver Gjokaj) who was targeted by the Chronicoms when the team visited that time period. As the team ventures into different time periods, Sousa’s incredulous reactions to all of the new trends and technology available in later years grow more dramatic and hilarious. In one episode, when two members get stranded in the ‘70s without the rest of the team, one character adapts to the new period in solitude, while the other forms a band with misfits and becomes a musical sensation, though he’s actually stealing songs from the future since he knows what music is going to be written. These clever situations and witty instances highlight the ingenious screenwriting and balance the melodramatic moments with comedic relief.

A fresh take on the decades old comic book conflict of good vs. evil, “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” delivers a tumultuous and emotive performance that is more than worthwhile to watch. Seeing how the team bond, grow, and overcome their respective challenges is extremely gratifying. The incredible plot, character development, setting, acting, and humor all make this season a stunning conclusion to Marvel’s longest running TV show, which is available on Netflix if you’re looking for a great action packed series to binge-watch.