AOS – Season IV – Ep. 22 “World’s End”: A Review

Posted: 05/18/2017 in Uncategorized

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Easily demonstrating its worthiness for renewal as well as the title of best superhero fare show on network tv, AOS finishes off with a flourish. Brilliant fight sequences, featuring Inhuman/human vs robots? Check. Surreal sequences featuring Ghost Rider? Check. A holy friggin hell  twist that made for both one of the show’s best moments and superior visuals? Check and mate. My florid, gleeful opening comments presented, on to my review.

You can’t always give fans what they want, but dammit AOS gave it one hell of a good try. We open with Coulson (Clark Gregg) and crew on the “bus” trying to figure out their next move as Aida (Mallory Jansen) is now more or less unbeatable. A follow up moment between Jemma (Elisabeth Hentsridge) and Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) shows that while he is recovering from his time in the framework, he is wracked with guilt for his actions. His confession to Jemma that he made Aida into what she is, including experimenting/killing on Inhumans they knew to give her a broad range of powers. She consoles him but pushes forth the question that he might not want to end Aida as he is one of her creators. As always, all moments between the two were gold.

The ep itself balanced emotional moments with kickass action. The show runners proved so adept at juggling multiple plot arcs and bringing them all to one tight conclusion. The emotional moments were genuine. Elena/YoYo (Natalia Cordova-Buckley) finds herself in a horrible situation having acted purely on emotion and not having sussed out here potential landing point in the Framework. Her savior is an unlikely source and Daisy’s (Chloe Bennett) cleverness played extremely well as she leaves a literal trail of yo-yos to lure her friend’s salvation to her whereabouts, a Hydra Inhuman testing site. The ep then splits into two parts as YoYo follows Radcliffe (John Hannah) to find Mac (Henry Simmons), while the real world team attempts to defeat/eliminate Aida and her crew comprised of Ivanov/Superior (Zach McGowan) and other constructs.

Both arcs played out fantastically. Aida is shutting down the framework so long and short, the world is “going away” in quadrants. Mac and the S.H.I.E.L.D. resistance attempt to bus their way out of the city while the world around them disappears. Elena is shocked that Mac doesn’t recognize her and attempts to reach him, telling him this world isn’t real, but as Radcliffe points out, he already knows this. His attachment to his daughter Hope (Jordan Rivera) is beautifully performed. His commitment is such that it elicits Elena’s staying with him as the world around them falls away. A later sequence in which his daughter fearfully proclaims she doesn’t want to die and the aftermath is absolutely gut wrenching and terrifically performed by all parties.

In the real world, the return of the “Spirit of Vengeance” is well….awesome. Gabriel Luna has it down. A continuation of the character occurs so organically that a series should be put in play. His whereabouts while in a hell dimension would make for amazing viewing. Robbie Reyes/The Rider has grown tremendously, his lessons hard won. His advising the S.H.I.E.L.D. crew that hell is a matter of perspective, and levels, has resonance. His fight sequences with Aida’s ‘people’ are movie level. His wounding Aida and her barely escaping his wrath sets up for the final showdown. She is unable to heal from the wound he inflicts, despite having a healing factor, which causes her greater distress. Already un-tethered by her new found humanity and ridiculously powerful, Aida is now an even greater threat. The revelation that the rider/spirit hates her profoundly due to her originating from the Darkhold adds a greater level of tension.

The fight sequence with Daisy/Quake and Ghost Rider tearing through LMDs earns the gleeful “Missed it again. You two together and we missed it. Damn!” from Coulson. Two scenes annihilate with this run and both illustrate how deeply brilliant and resourceful Coulson and his team truly are. The ‘fatal’ wounding of Jemma is a holy eff moment topped only by a later team work laden moment featuring her prominently. Coulson’s absolutely brilliant strategy elevates the show to a new level as well as advising how deeply committed the true director of S.H.I.E.L.D. is to his cause. The Rider/Aida showdown with superb visuals was as good as anything hero genre based on small or large screen. The newly gained skill by Robbie gives a shout out to Dr. Strange. There is just so much that gets done with this ep.

Gen. Talbot (Adrian Pasdar) manages to get in some choice lines before being taken out of play. The temporary incursion by Ivanov and co is met with an outing of the secretive S.H.I.E.L.D. team and it is nothing but action until the final moments. The team coming together finally leads to an earned sequence before an unbalanced ending and time jump set the stage for season 5. The introduction of S.W.O.R.D. at the end would be my best guess. We shall have to wait and see if May (Ming Na Wen) and Phil ever get to open that bottle of Haig to explain his previous opening of said bottle. AOS kills it and delivers on the promise proffered at the season’s opening. AOS is simply outstanding and well worth your time.

Banner lines of the night include:

Coulson: “I have a cybernetic hand and I’ve been to another planet. In S.H.I.E.L.D., these things happen.” when Talbot calls his explanation about Aida unbelievable.

Talbot: “I smell a load of L Ron Horsecrap.” while confronting Ivanov and his associate during a hearing as they attempt to corrupt every one present with the Darkhold.

 

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