Picking up from the end of last week’s episode, ‘Ascension’ sees the agents struggle to prevent Hive from releasing his toxin into the atmosphere.
This is definitely the lesser of the two-part finale, proving less exciting and struggling to hold onto the momentum throughout. Last week I was intrigued by the notion of Hive vs SHIELD in the enclosed SHIELD base but this is dispelled incredibly quickly. However, the opening fight between Hive and Daisy is a real highlight and perhaps the best fight the show has ever produced. Hand-to-hand combat is mixed well with Daisy’s powers to create an energetic battle. Hive leaves as soon as the conflict is over splitting the team between those on the Hub and those still trapped at the base.
The scenes featuring Coulson and co trapped in the base aren’t particularly interesting, mostly due to the lack of terror induced by the primitives. Other than enhanced strength, they lack any real powers and Simmons easily comes up with a way to render them blind and useless. From here it’s a simple matter of sneaking the agents onto the Hub for the big finale. The fight between the various agents and Hive’s primitives is also quite well done, being intense and exciting. Hive again feels quite weak here – his powers should make him able to annihilate the team easily but instead he just leaves. He has struggled to feel like a big threat all season and is easily defeated, hopefully this time for good.
The reveal of the agent to die is again played around with this week, with Daisy claiming the cross in an attempt to sacrifice herself. The fact that it is Lincoln to die isn’t a massive shock; last week he spoke about his desire to leave SHIELD and he basically breaks up with Daisy before leaving. The goodbye between Daisy and Lincoln feels like a copy of the goodbye between Steve and Peggy at the end of Captain America. However, it’s still quite an impactful scene, particularly as Daisy begs Coulson to find a way to help Lincoln.The scenes between Lincoln and Hive as they bro out in space is less well done. Hive doesn’t feel a well realised enough character for these scenes to really mean anything. It feels like it would have been more meaningful to end things with Lincoln’s confession of love for Daisy.
The surprise six-month time jump is an interesting scene, the idea of Daisy now acting as Quake in a vigilante form is quite cool. Things seem to have changed a lot in the six-month gap; Coulson is no longer director of SHIELD and its unclear if the other agents are still part of the organisation. The final scene of Dr Radcliffe constructing a robot form for his AI seems an odd way to end the season, particularly as it’s something that hasn’t been addressed before. I’m intrigued to see how these elements are picked up next season.