Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Review – “Beginning of the End”

The first season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. comes to a close, shortly after an announcement that season two will be a “split season” in a time slot one hour later, and that the period series Agent Carter will also play in that time slot instead of reruns.

Cast and Crew Information

Clark Gregg as Phil Coulson
Ming-Na Wen as Melinda May
Brett Dalton as Grant Ward
Chloe Bennet as Skye
Iain De Caestecker as Leo Fitz
Elizabeth Henstridge as Jemma Simmons
BJ Britt as Agent Triplett
Bill Paxton as John Garrett
J. August Richards as Deathlok / Mike Peterson
David Conrad as Ian Quinn
Ruth Negga as Raina
Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury

Written by Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen Whedon
Directed by David Straiton


The season comes to a head, wrapping up most existing plot threads and starting new ones.

High Point

“I hear you are involved in a dispute I probably want to weigh in on.”

Low Point

There seem to have been a lot of codas to this one. Not quite up to “Return of the King” levels, and they all have clear purpose, but there are a lot of them.

The Review

The episodes starts with a wrap up of the season to date, which doesn’t feel terribly original. It picks up a lot as it establishes the direction of the next season, though. I give it 5 out of 6.

The effects were plentiful and effective. They were clearly planned in conjunction with the editing of the episode, particularly during the vehicle rampage, but that would be transparent if I hadn’t been looking specifically at production elements for the review. I give it 6 out of 6.

The story effectively wraps up the season, giving enough closure to feel satisfied and enough new content to keep us looking forward to the second season this fall. The way these last seven episodes played out, I expect solid DVD/Blu-Ray sales with an early release and a ratings spike for season two. I give it 5 out of 6.

The acting was great. There are some very emotional moments for a cast that has a handle on who these characters are. I give it 6 out of 6.

The production is excellent once more. I give it 6 out of 6.

The emotional response is great. There were six or seven serious contenders for the “High Point,” which is always a good thing. I give it 5 out of 6.

Overall, this was a strong way to end the season. If they could have had all of those codas come through a little bit quicker, it would have helped. I give it 5 out of 6.

In total, Beginning of the End receives 38 out of 42.

15 replies on “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Review – “Beginning of the End””

  1. I was actually groaning when Garrett crawled back over to his super soldier machine. Another “dead” villian makes a comeback moment. I cheered when Coulson immediately vaporized him.

    That was my high point for the episode. Totally turning that old, tired trope on its head.

    • I found that highly enjoable as well, along with Coulson’s line that followed.

    • Until the Coulson thing happened, I honestly thought that part was going to be a lead-in to the next Avengers movie

      • My High Point has to be the moment that Coulson is handed what is known as Coulson’s Revenge in Avengers Alliance and he says “I know what this does.”

  2. Acting was great? It was a decent finale but, honestly, we were rolling our eyes and laughing (where it wasn’t supposed to be funny) at some of the dialogue, and the delivery did not consistently help. Some of the actors do better than others, of course, but this show’s dialogue beats out Arrow in the cheese department. YMMV.

    • I think Bill Pullman was channeling pre-PoS Chet from Weird Science there for a bit.

      There were definitely some over-the-top moments, but I don’t recall thinking anything was badly written, just comic-ish.

      • Well, there’s comic book and then there’s comic book. As George Lucas demonstrated, there’s a distinct difference between, “Don’t try to frighten us with your sorcerer’s ways, Lord Vader,” and “Hold me like you did by the lake on Naboo– so long ago when there was nothing but our love.” I really find this show is too little of the former, too much of the latter.

    • Whedon shows tend to be best when they get a bit over melodramatic, the style of the last few AoS reminded me a bit of Angel.

      I think they did well for the effect they wanted though I’m not sure if we’ve had enough time with them in a good show to appreciate the characters emotions.

    • Nuts, cannot delete that post. I forgot if [ spoiler] was the format for that or not, guess it was.

      Anyway, one of the things that caught my attention was when Ward has his throat smashed in. He seemed to want to say something right before, didn’t he say “wait”, before she crushed him? Probably is nothing, but I just have a feeling, this is not the last we will see of Ward.

  3. My argument for high point is “I swear, if this whole hydra thing is because you misunderstood my ‘one man’ speech, so help me…”

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