This closing two-hour episode (edited together as one feature-length film, although the differences between the two halves are pretty obvious!) has been described as some as better than Avengers: Age of Ultron, particularly for its nifty mix of superpowered heroics and characterisation. Certainly every key member of the regular cast – and a number of the recurring ones – get time devoted to them, and none of them ends the movie where they started.
In some cases the damage is obvious – Mack makes exactly the right decision when Coulson starts to be affected by the Terrigen mist, and I can’t see the director staying in this restricted state for very long next season (particularly if it means that other people have to drive Lola!) Skye ends up with a new mission which suggests that those with superpowers or who are “gifted” are going to be more visible on the show, if not in the “real world” of the series – ironically, Coulson is now setting up what many believed the Theta Protocol to be earlier in the season. Ward has minions, something that he’s always really needed, and an even bigger reason to hate Coulson and SHIELD; the cynic in me wonders if the reason that he’s now leading HYDRA is because its role in the movies is over… As for Simmons, maybe it’s time for Fitz to start playing Steve McQueen and battle the blob for her.
There are some terrific fight sequences in the episode – Bobbi versus Ward and Agent 33, and Skye against the multiple Inhumans stick in the mind – and finally we get to see Kyle McLachlan revealing Cal’s inner Mister Hyde, as well as gaining some redemption (and on that note, it was also good to see May and Andrew together again).
There’s plenty still left to be dealt with in the new season: Bobbi’s decision to “retire” was clearly setting up the spin-off that’s now not happening, so expect that to be rescinded pretty quickly; the Terrigen-infected fish oil is pretty obviously going to become an ongoing saga (and a way for people to turn Inhuman singly in the way a TV budget can cope with!).
Verdict: Going out on a high note, this is the sort of story I’d hoped for from the show all along. 9/10