Hmm, guess we wrapped up the whole Ghost Rider thing, huh? Kinda felt anti-climactic. But I will give credit on still managing to surprise me even if it was by doing something I think might be a mistake.
So the midseason finale of Agents of SHIELD decided to wrap up a whole hell of a lot of plot lines while resetting the stage for the back half of the season. Robbie’s uncle Eli sure did go bad in a big way here, didn’t he? Makes you wonder how he hid what a monster he is from his nephews all this time. Maybe Robbie is just a terrible judge of character, or maybe it was just a script convenience that wasn’t terribly well thought out. I did really enjoy the ways he started using his powers. From making a lackey’s lungs fill with precious diamonds to impaling Robbie on giant spikes. My biggest regret is they teased such a cool power set and only gave us a taste of what he could do. Instantly teleport water or other elemental items anywhere he wants? The possibilities are endless.
Some other awesome moments for this midseason capper came from the team coming together and truly acting like a team. Yoyo doing recon was an incredible sequence and then they topped that by having her help her team mid fight later on. Mack’s axe shotgun actually is shown slicing through an enemy (thanks 10 pm timeslot!) and Coulson puts together a plan that perfectly uses every single member of the team in tandem. Even Director Mace suits up. Daisy gets new magic tech that negates the pain she had all season, so yeah this is a huge cheat and it feels like one too. Who’s betting they find more reasons to limit/expand her power based on the situation week to week?
But back to that action sequence. I’ve complained that some of the action set pieces this season were not as up to snuff as last year’s, so this one made up for that in spades. This single fight scene was one of my favorites of the entire series. It was just so clever and well laid out. Big props to the writers, crew, and stunt people.
Also I enjoyed the revelation that Eli really doesn’t make matter out of nothing. As the title suggests, the basic laws of the universe still apply and Eli is little more than a thief, an interdimensional one but still a thief. Now as disappointed as I was that Eli got defeated so quickly, Robbie’s sudden exit from the series had me even more shellshocked. Although they obviously will be bringing back Ghost Rider somewhere somehow down the line, Coulson even says as much, I couldn’t believe they just had him vanish into god knows where without any real attempt by the team to retrieve him. Coulson and Co. got brought back from the other universe before, why not Robbie? The reason obviously being … yup you guessed it, writers’ convenience. Sloppy guys, c’mon try a little harder. But at least we got one more badass transformation first, though not much more from him.
The biggest leaps in story and development had to be for Aida. Coulson wisely revealed her true origins to Mace, both covering his butt and playing the manipulation game beautifully. By giving Mace the information, he buys some credibility while truly losing nothing. That sort of secret was sure to come out eventually and damage Phil and his team. By getting ahead of it Phil shows he’s seen these types of shows before. Aida became so important so suddenly, another impressively shocking plot turn I would not have seen coming. First by having Mace embrace Aida as a tool to use, then approving the LMD program. Okay, awesome cool stuff coming down the line right?
But then finding out that Aida has May kidnapped as a prisoner with a duplicate May LMD in her place and opening that damn bottle she had been saving with Coulson … it’s official Agents of SHIELD hates relationships. Joss Whedon’s fingerprints are still all over this series. With the end credits reveal that the back half of the season is subtitled “LMD,” it appears Aida will become exactly what everyone feared out loud several times — Aida is a new Ultron. I hope that there is more to this than the obvious but we won’t know till next year.
So a very satisfying winter finale, though far too many lazy writing crutches were in use here. Thankfully the action and character moments were so damn good we could gloss over some unbelievable plot points. I’m excited to see where “LMD” goes and what it means for the team going forward. There is still also the issue of Senator Nadir and her mysterious Inhuman friend. Lots of stuff to contemplate for the next few weeks.
On the next episode of Agents of SHIELD, returning January 10:
What did you think of the midseason finale? Tell us in the comments section below!