Coulson Turns Bad-Ass in Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 'Closure'

Wednesday, 02 December 2015 - 11:13AM
Marvel
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Wednesday, 02 December 2015 - 11:13AM
Coulson Turns Bad-Ass in Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 'Closure'
During a quick Hydra history lesson last week we found out S.H.I.E.L.D.'s nemesis has been creating an Inhuman army using the ATCU as a front. This week, Ward and Coulson face off in a crazy revenge fueled episode with more twists and turns than your local toboggan run.

Major Spoilers for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 'Closure' follow

 
'Closure' takes a dark turn right from the very start of the episode with a twist that, I have to admit, I didn't see coming at all. While enjoying a romantic candlelit dinner of all-american burgers, Price and Coulson appear to have gotten their relationship back on track. That is until Price is killed by a bullet fired by none other than Grant Ward himself. This heartbreaking development left me almost as hurt and angry as Coulson, and credit should go to Clark Gregg for his performance throughout this episode.

Although I didn't expect her to become a recurring main character on the show, I can't help but feel that she deserved a better exit. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has no shortage of complex and well-developed female characters, but I'm a little resentful that she was killed mainly due to her status as Coulson's romantic interest. Despite this gripe, Coulson having to watch someone he cared for "bleed out on the floor" set the tone for what turned out to be one of the best episodes of the season. Fueled by rage and grief, Coulson goes after Ward with reckless abandon interrogating his own team to understand how Ward's "sick mind works" before recruiting Agents Hunter and Morse to help him exploit Ward's greatest weakness. That weakness turns out to be his younger brother who Coulson promptly kidnaps and threatens at gunpoint all while on a video call with Ward. The S.H.I.E.L.D. turncoat tries to pull the clichéd line "We're not that different, you and me", to which Coulson responds with the equally unconvincing line "Big difference is, I've never hurt anyone for selfish reasons. That is, until now".  We've never seen the big man this riled up before, and it's going to be interesting to see if he can pull himself out of this rabbit hole of rage before it's too late.  
 
Meanwhile we find out that Malik personally funded Hydra's NASA mission with a view to bringing back a superpowered weapon that will elevate him to global power status back here on Earth. With Ward's help he has now acquired the full set of monolith stones needed to set up the portal. (This seemed a little too reminiscent of the infinity stones - apparently Marvel villains are really into magical stone collections right now.)

But Malik still has a major gray area in his plan. While he is more than capable of sending people through the portal, he has never successfully brought anyone back. In an effort to fill this knowledge gap, Malik dispatches Hydra's Inhuman telepath to kidnap Fitz and Simmons, killing Price's right-hand man Banks in the process. Banks's sudden elimination seems to mark the end of the ATCU once again leaving us with a Hydra vs S.H.I.E.L.D. dynamic.
 
 
Now in captivity, Simmons is tortured in an attempt to get Fitz to talk. Fitz's resolve doesn't last long with Simmons' screams echoing across the corridor, and he soon agrees to travel through the portal with a Hydra taskforce. Fitz promises he only plans on bringing Will back through the portal, but Simmons argues that he should have let them kill her instead of allowing them to bring the alien monster back to Earth. In an adorably Fitz-like rebuttal he admits to Simmons "I've lost you once, I can't lose you again. I'm just not strong enough to live in a world that doesn't have you in it". 
 
Meanwhile, Coulson and his team get a tracker on Ward's phone with the help of his brother, but the team loses their advantage when Coulson recklessly lets Ward know they're coming for him. When they arrive Ward has already gone through the portal but just as it's closing Coulson dives hundreds of feet through the air and plunges in after him. I'm not sure why he grabbed a parachute first since he made no attempt to inflate it on the way down- but it was still a pretty bad ass moment.
 
It was nice to see Ward given more depth and back story as a villain without having to be redeemed in any way. I was a little skeptical when his greatest weakness turned out to be that "he feels too much" and his excuse was that he does"bad things for the right reason". But like his younger brother said, "just because you grew up in a family of abusive monsters doesn't mean you have to become one". Ward has continued to step-up his game as a villain by betraying, killing, and torturing some of our favorite characters. This progression into deeper villainy is going to be essential if the show is going to successfully exploit yet another S.H.I.E.L.D. vs Hydra story arc.  
 
Elsewhere, Mack finally got a well-deserved promotion to acting director of S.H.I.E.L.D while Coulson was off chasing Ward. Thanks to Mack we also got the first official Secret Warriors mission this week. Mack sent Daisy, Lincoln, and Joey in to be Coulson's back up, marking the official start of the Secret Warriors plotline. The Secret Warriors and Hydra's Inhuman threat will likely be the main focus of the second half of season 3, and with the mid-season finale next week now is the perfect time to set up that plot.
 
"Closure" was as a dark, exciting, fast-paced episode from start to finish and definitely one of the best episodes of the season so far. With death, revenge, blackmail, and missions to desolate alien planets this week's episode set the stage for what looks to be an unforgettable mid-season finale next week.   In an interview with Hypable, Ming-na Wen teased that "For the winter midseason finale, again, my jaw dropped. Because there is such a huge twist that happens, so the only thing I can say is that it alters a lot of stuff. I don't know how the writers do it!"
 
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