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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - Maveth - Review

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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. closed out its fall run with “Maveth” written by Jeffrey Bell and directed by Vincent Misiano. This was perhaps one of, if not the, best fall finales of the season. While we might have lost Ward, we didn’t lose Brett Dalton, and I’ll count that as a win! The episode had what we’ve come to expect from the show – some great action sequences, some great one liners, and some terrific acting - from pretty much the entire cast.

The episode picks up right where the last left off – with Coulson’s (Clark Gregg) precision jump into the portal – it’s a great shot and who knew that Coulson was such an accomplished skydiver! On the planet, Ward is in charge, but Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) clearly has a plan. He makes a play for Ward’s gun only to have Ward knock him down an hill and tell him that if he doesn’t return, Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) will die, and it will be all Fitz’s fault. Fitz, however, tells Ward that it’s a snark hunt – ie a wild goose chase, there’s nothing to find. Furthermore, Fitz tells Ward that Malick (Powers Boothe) sent Ward because Ward is expendable – feeding nicely into Ward’s deep-seated insecurities. It was a nice move on Fitz’s part to keep Ward off his game. However, as they continue, they stumble upon an ancient statue of the Hydra symbol, making it look a lot less like a snark hunt…

Bobbi (Adrianne Palicki) and Hunter (Nick Blood) return to base to face Mack’s (Henry Simmons) displeasure. Hunter admits that he not only wasn’t stopping Coulson, but he was going to jump too – less thinking, more feeling. Once again, Hunter is the master of the one liner in this episode. Mind you, Mack gives him a good run for his money! While I hate the thought of losing any of the core S.H.I.E.L.D. members, I can definitely see loving the show that features Hunter and Bobbi, especially if they decide to throw in Mack too!

Bobbi tells Mack that all they have to do is take control of the castle and open the portal so the rest of the team can come home. I loved Mack’s, “That’s it?” And then the comment that she’s wired differently from others. I also loved the banter between Hunter and Bobbi here when he asks her to tell him it’ll be easy and then tells her it doesn’t work when he knows she’s lying!

Daisy (Chloe Bennet) calls them all up to control to tell them that Hydra is bringing in a bunch of the Inhumans. May (Ming-Na Wen) shows that she is also doing more feeling than thinking these days as her first reaction is that Andrew (Blair Underwood) could be there. We finally get to see more of Joey (Juan Pablo Raba) in this episode as he joins the mission. He asks what the plan is as it seems to be changing. He’s really clear that it’s just him being the new guy, trying to figure out how S.H.I.E.L.D. works.  Hunter breaks it to him that they simply make a new plan each time the old plan turns to rubbish! Lincoln (Luke Mitchell) wants to make sure that the Inhumans are all safe.

Mack takes charge and really proves he’s a terrific leader throughout the episode. He tells them that they’ll break into two teams: one to search for Fitz or Simmons and the other to secure the portal. He promises that they’ll take care of the Inhumans too. I loved him turning to Daisy and saying, “Find us a backdoor, Tremors.” That nickname is just never going to get old! She finds an old aqueduct through which they can infiltrate the compound.

Simmons is tied up in Malick’s headquarters. He tells his men that the Inhumans aren’t their toys. They’re a present for what’s coming back through the portal – every General needs an army. Simmons tells them that their calculations are off and clarifies that she’s not helping them but simply doesn’t want them to muck up Fitz’s return. Malick tells her that nothing is coming back alive. While Malick and his men are distracted, Simmons uses her bone knife to get free! I loved that we saw the knife again.

Back on the planet, Fitz asks Ward how they are supposed to find the “Hellbeast.” Ward says it can smell blood – and Fitz is bleeding from his fall. But once again, Fitz has had a plan, and has lead them to Will (Dillon Casey). Ward’s first reaction is to kill Will because Fitz didn’t follow his instructions, but Fitz tells him that Will is going to be their guide. Ward doesn’t kill him, but it’s more likely that after seeing the NASA patch and the Hydra symbol and then noticing the beds pushed together, that Ward reconsiders because he thinks that Malick might have a connection to Will and there’s the added bonus of making Fitz squirm. He even asks Fitz if he wants to shoot Will. Fitz, of course, tells Ward to grow up.

Will is injured and tells them he was attacked by “it.” He asks Ward why he wants to find “it,” and Ward tells him he has a present for it. Ward clearly means that Fitz is to be a sacrifice, but Fitz studiously ignores him, refusing to let on that he knows or that Ward is getting to him.

Meanwhile, Coulson is having a wonderful dream about Rosalind (Constance Zimmer). Even in his dream, however, Rosalind tells him he’s overslept, and while it was nice, it’s time to get up because his team needs him more than ever. Coulson, who was unconscious, wakes up with a pretty good bump on his head. I adored his response – “I’ll be damned. Tattoine.” After checking his weapon, he sets off after Ward, eventually coming upon Fitz’s coat and their tracks.

Joey gets his introduction to field work, beginning by melting the iron grate to the aqueduct, earning him a “Nicely done, Rookie,” from Mack. Mack gets another great line when he tells May to “take the Power Rangers” and find Simmons.

Daisy recognizes the Inhuman with the telekinetic powers (Mark Dacascos). Joey asks whether that means read minds or move stuff because he doesn’t want anyone reading his mind right about then. Lincoln does a fine job in reading his mind because he thinking the same things – you’re freaking out and you’d rather be anywhere but here and you’re not a hero. Lincoln says they’re all feeling that, but of course, May clarifies that she’s not! It’s a nice scene as Daisy clarifies, “everyone but May.”

Lincoln takes out the generators so that they can have the cover of darkness, and Joey discovers he’s bullet proof when he jumps between Daisy and Giyera’s bullets – and melts them in the air so they simply stick harmlessly to him!

Meanwhile, Simmons has stumbled upon the other Inhumans and comes face to face – through the container – with Andrew. He asks if Coulson sent her and asks her to let him out to help. Simmons says she’s seen his help – she’s autopsied that bodies! She does clarify that they were trying to help him and didn’t realize they were giving him over to HYDRA. He complains that Melinda shot him, but Simmons takes her side – “I can’t say I blame her after how you’ve misbehaved!”

When the Hydra soldiers arrive, Simmons has no choice and lets Andrew out. He turns into Lash, but Simmons gets away. He seems to have gained control enough to basically do it at will. She runs into May who says the mission isn’t to save Andrew, but of course, she goes back for him anyway. All she finds is carnage. Lash/Andrew has disappeared.

Back on the planet, Fitz and Will get to know each other a little. Fitz asks Will if he can run – he says yes. Fitz tells Will what’s going on, including that Ward is nothing more than a toady. Fitz also tells Will that he’s the only one who can read the data to get them to the extractions point, but before that, the two must find a way to lose the others.

Ward also gets to know Will. He asks him about the statue. Will tells Ward that “it” used to live there. Ward is impressed that Will was able to survive for so long on his own. Will tells him that he learned to adapt. Which is hilarious when we come to realize that Will is actually Maveth at this point. And in another nice bit of foreshadowing, Ward answers, “Change of die. That’s worked for me as well.” And of course that is why Brett Dalton is still on the show!

A storm blows up, and Fitz offers a pair of goggles to Will who declines, saying he’s used to it. It’s the first major clue – that I noticed – that Will isn’t who we think he is. It’s under cover of the storm that Will takes out the soldier guarding him and the one on Fitz. The two sneak off under cover of the storm.

Back at the castle, Mack, Bobbi, and Hunter infiltrate the portal. I loved Hunter waving at the infrared – “You’re welcome!” to verify it’s them. Mack observes that they need to get past about a dozen soldiers and with a “Copy that” Bobby goes off to take care of them. Again, I loved Mack asking “Are we just supposed to wait here?”

Everyone meets up at the portal, and it’s a nice moment as Daisy and Simmons hug hello. Mack wants to know what they have to do with the rocks, but Simmons says they won’t have to do anything. It’s at that point they realize that May isn’t with them. Simmons, meanwhile, fills them in on Malick’s plan to bring the creature back. Bobbi asks if Simmons saw it when she was there, but Simmons tells her that it was more like she felt it. It was old and tired like it had once had great power and lost it. She tells them that the entire planet is a wasteland and her sense is that the creature caused the desolation. Lincoln insists that they have to destroy the portal – they can’t risk it getting through. Daisy points out that they still have to save the Inhumans, but May returns at that moment and tells them that Lash has already killed them all.

Meanwhile, Coulson has come upon Ward. He kills the soldiers with Ward and manages to wound Ward and take him prisoner. He tells Ward that he’s not there for Fitz. Coulson says Fitz is a smart guy and will find his own way home. Ward tells him that Fitz is bleeding, resulting in Coulson hitting Ward and telling him that he’s bleeding too. But Coulson does let Ward lead him toward Fitz.

Ward tells Coulson that he saw something that changed him. He never thought he meant anything or was worth anything, but the statue has shown him that he’s part of something bigger than he thought. He tells Coulson that he’s been where he is – filled with rage – and that the chose Hydra for vengeance, for closure – last week’s episode title! Coulson responds by shooting Ward again and telling him that it feels pretty satisfying to him. But Ward tells him that “This place isn’t death – it’s a new beginning. Malick was right.” He insists that Coulson following him simply confirms that he’s part of some grand plan. Coulson tells him that he has no idea what he’s talking about. At this point Coulson really is too consumed by his lust for revenge, but I’m betting that once he has time to think about this conversation, it will means something to him.

Back at the castle, Malick and his men are still trying to break in. Lincoln wants to know what happens if they can’t stop or kill “it” from getting in. Hunter, once again gets the great line – “I can’t speak for everyone, but I’ll probably run.” Mack takes charge again, telling May to get everyone out. He’s planning on staying until the last minute. Bobbie, Hunter, and Daisy all want to stay with him, but he rightly points out that they can’t lose all their best agents at one time. Daisy says ok, but she is still staying because she can help to keep the portal open and she’s his partner! Mack agrees, and there is a significant, long look between Daisy and Lincoln.

On the planet, Ward has given Coulson his countdown watch. He’s seen Fitz and Will in the distance. Fitz is worried about Will’s leg. For his part, Will says it must be hard for Fitz to be saving him – he doesn’t say because of Simmons, but that’s clear what he means. The come upon the remains of an ancient city. Fitz takes a bunch of pictures of the city – something Simmons never saw because it’s in the no fly zone.

      Will tells Fitz, there used to be nine cities. They were fairly advance but they feared change. They warred among themselves and destroyed their entire race. They had a chance to become something great, something beautiful. And isn’t this exactly where the earth is right now with the inhumans? Those who fear change are ready to go to war and destroy those not like themselves. This is definitely setting a lot of the themes of Civil War in play.

As Will speaks, Fitz is unwrapping his leg and soon discovers that this can’t be Will because the bone is completely exposed. Will is actually Maveth. He tells Fitz that Will died saving Simmons from him. He kicks Fitz down a hill and the two fight. Coulson shoots Maveth, who still manages to get up and stagger to the portal before Fitz sets him on fire with the flare gun.

There’s a nice parallel fight between Coulson and Ward. Coulson asks Ward, “How many lives have you taken?” He tells him it’s over. Once more Coulson see’s Rosalind’s face. He makes it personal as he uses his mechanical hand to crush the life out of Ward. Fitz looks on, shocked. Coulson takes the hand off and leaves it beside Ward.

Meanwhile, most of the team has made it back to base. May orders all weapons online. By this time, even Bobbi is worried they aren’t going to make it out. The portal starts to open and Daisy is hit by the headache and nosebleed again. Mack insists that if anything other than their people make it out, they signal May to blow the castle to pieces.

We see a worm-like creature crawl out of Will’s mouth, and then Mack is telling May to blow the castle. Out of the explosion, the containment cell comes flying up and Mack signals them to open the doors! It’s a nice nod to the very first episode this season when they collected Joey. I love the careful writing on this show!

We see the gang do the slow motion hero walk out of the pod – of course, that also heightens the tension on exactly who is coming out. Daisy follows Mack out, and Daisy goes right to Lincoln. They share a moment before kissing, so I guess that is happening. Fitz and Coulson then emerge. Simmons has flown to the window, looking in for Will. May hugs Coulson.

        Simmons, with her eyes full of tears turns to Fitz. It does leave us to wonder what would have happened if Will had made it back. The scene ends with Coulson and Fitz sharing a long look. Coulson gives Fitz the coldest, hardest stare we’ve ever seen from him. Honestly, I’m not sure what else Coulson could have or should have done. It’s not as if S.H.I.E.L.D. hadn’t tried – and failed – to kill Ward before…

And then there was the final, final scene! Malick is driving down a dark road when suddenly “Ward” is there in the middle of the road – holding Coulson’s abandoned hand. It was a great scene from Dalton, who gets to play yet another character on the show! Great special effects too as we see the worm still settling under his skin. What kind of powers will Maveth have on Earth? Will his first order of business be to go after Coulson?? All these questions will have to wait until after the second season of Agent Carter as Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. doesn’t return until March 8th!

What did you think of the fall finale? Favorite scene? Line? Will S.H.I.E.L.D. need to work with Lash to get Maveth? What will Maveth do? And what of Agent Carter? Will you be watching while you wait for S.H.I.E.L.D. to return? I will be, so I hope you’ll join me to discuss Agent Carter too!

About the Author - Lisa Macklem
I do interviews and write articles for the site in addition to reviewing a number of shows, including Supernatural, Arrow, Agents of Shield, Agent Carter, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, The X-Files, Defiance, Bitten, Killjoys, and a few others! I'm active on the Con scene when I have the time. When I'm not writing about television shows, I'm often writing about entertainment and media law in my capacity as a legal scholar. I also work in theatre when the opportunity arises. I'm an avid runner and rider, currently training in dressage.
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