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New Member? Read This First

First and foremost, welcome to the Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Google Plus community. I hope you find some interesting contributions to read and good people to interact with. I built this community for the sole purpose of sharing our love for the show and I strive to ensure everyone has a good time here.

However as this community grows, and it has grown far beyond what I first imagined when I first started it in April 2014, so does the number of opportunists who think they can spam this community for their own benefit. If you are one of these people, please know that the likelihood of your attempt to spam this community to be caught by the filters are really high, meaning your post will never reach the eyeballs you're seeking. In short, if your intent is to spam please don't bother, your post will be deleted, you will be banned permanently and you will have wasted both our times.

If you do post legitimate content but your post does not appear right away, please be patient. All new members go through a vetting process to ensure that the content in this community is relevant and safe for all to read. Your post will be approved (or rejected but anything related to the show is typically approved) as soon as possible. It's a necessary process for me to build trust in community members. As long as you post about the show (please avoid more generic Marvel movies news and posts if they have no direct correlation with the show) you will be a full member in no time.

If the order of posts in the community make no sense or you can't find your post, ensure you have the post order set to "most recent" instead of the default "top posts" in the community post settings. Unfortunately Google decided to change this ordering some time ago and there is no global setting for it to be applied to all communities, nor can I as community owner set this order for you.

If you receive comment spam on your posts, if I haven't commented on it I won't be notified of it so please let me know as soon as you can by simply plus mentioning me and I will take action as soon as I can.

If your first language is not English but you wish to post in your own language please use the "MAoS in Your Language" category.

If you have any questions the easiest is probably to leave a comment on this post so everyone may benefit. Thanks again for joining in!

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==In this episode James and Regie talk to Mike Romaine about his website Superherojacked.com. They discuss hitting their one month mark in the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. workout routine. Mike talks about his nerdy inspirations and how he is bridging the gap between the fitness and nerdy worlds.

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Season 5 of Agents of SHIELD could feature one of Marvel's most iconic villains.

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It looks like season 5 could start as early as December if Inhumans doesn't have gaps in its 8-episode run...

Also don't let the heading fool you, no date has been given yet for the season 5 premiere.

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First casting announcement for season 5. Are we finally gonna see Clay Quartermain? If this is a regular role I don't expect him to be a Kree or anything...

S1 E22: "Beginning of the End"

I'd like to say that Beginning of the End caps an excellent quarter of the season with a superb season finale. Unfortunately, I was surprised by how weak I found this one to be upon rewatching. On the whole, my memory of how much I liked this season's episodes upon first viewing has proven to be boringly accurate. The ones that I remember working well for me, have generally still worked well for me, the ones that I remember as a bit of a slog to get through, are still a bit of a slog to get through.

But BotE is an exception. My memory of it was very positive, but I'm afraid that this time it just didn't seem to live up to the stretch of episodes that precedes it, from End of the Beginning through to Ragtag.

That's not to say that it was bad. It's not. There's a welcome sense of fun and silliness that works for much of the episode. Coulson and May posing as (in effect) Fitz and Simmons is solid. The file transfer by throwing a file cabinet out of a window. This is the sort of thing that the first half of the season was missing to its detriment, producing staid pedestrian episodes that felt as if the show was afraid to alienate mainstream network audiences by departing too far from the tone of your standard-issue police procedural or hospital drama.

And BotE is strongly plotted. The device of the "incentives program" is a clever play on the culture of tech companies, and it elegantly allows the action of the climactic scene to pivot to Mike Peterson's face turn - which brings the season back to its very first episode and Peterson's relationship with his son.

There's also some excellent character work. Fitz and Simmons trapped under the sea is a nice application of the always reliable principle of putting two good actors in a confined space and letting them go at some weighty material. I'd maybe like to have seen a little more sense of Ward's world falling apart as he realizes that Garrett has lost his mind and isn't the person any more around whom Ward has built his entire adult life. But the new Ward remains interesting to watch, especially in his super-creepy confrontation with Skye.

So what doesn't work for me? I said above that much of the fun and silliness works. And it does, in the earlier parts of the episode. But it keeps going at times when it just shouldn't. The silly coda with Garrett rebuilding himself, then being disintegrated by Coulson — I just didn't need a parody of the Dracula villain-coming-back-at-the-end trope at that point.

And the endless (well, it seemed endless) quippage between Coulson and Fury in the final confrontation with Garrett seemed tonally entirely out of place. AoS did an excellent job of creating in Garrett an antagonist who was vastly more compelling than most of the MCU film villains (OK, a low bar). That character deserved far more in the scene in which he is finally defeated.

Which brings me to another problem with the episode: the use of Nick Fury. Fury hasn't consistently been this totemic presence, not onscreen but felt in the background, throughout AoS S1. But at its best, especially in the last few episodes, he has been. So he does need to be in this episode. In particular, Coulson does need to have that conversation with him about T.A.H.I.T.I. And I like his initial introduction, seen through Simmons' eyes as he reaches out of a helicopter to rescue her. As I suggested in my post on Providence, Fury is something of a religious figure (he returns from the dead!) in AoS S1, and here he appears as a miraculous saviour.

(The best kind of miraculous saviour, one that is entirely plot-credible. Fitz's distress call is set up early in the episode, then dismissed on the grounds that no-one will be listening for SHIELD frequencies. It seems a detail there to quiet the viewer who asks "Can't they radio for help somehow?" But in fact it makes sense that Fury is listening for those frequencies.)

But Fury just doesn't need to be in the scene in which Coulson faces Garrett, even if he hadn't then been used to trade quips with Coulson. It would have been far better to hold his meeting with Coulson until afterwards, when he could have delivered Fitz and Simmons, and then had that conversation with Coulson about Coulson's resurrection. I'd go so far as to say that Fury's presence in the earlier scene undercuts that later scene, by diminishing Coulson when the later scene is about Fury establishing that he brought Coulson back because, to him, Coulson counts as an Avenger and that Coulson is the person who he trusts to rebuild SHIELD as it should be. When that could have been validated for the viewer by showing Coulson's success immediately beforehand in leading his team to defeat Garrett.

And whether or not that's the case, Fury's presence clutters up the confrontation scene unnecessarily. That scene is about four people: Coulson, Garrett, Mike Peterson, and (in another location but making the crucial move) Skye. The focus should be on them and them alone.

And this suggests to me a failure of confidence on the part of the showrunners. A revealing use of Fury in this scene, for me, is when he gives Coulson the huge gun that he used in The Avengers to shoot Loki, allowing Coulson to quip that he knows what it does. It's a moment that comes across as, rather desperately, saying "Hey, you know that film that you really liked that had Coulson in it? Here's a reference to that."

One comment that I remember the showrunners making about AoS's less than stellar reception in S1 was that people wanted to see Iron Man every week, and they couldn't deliver that. This moment, and the use of Fury in this scene in general, suggests to me that at the end, they fell back on trying to fulfill that expectation instead of concentrating on producing an episode that would serve as the right conclusion to the 21 episodes of Agents of SHIELD that they had made.

- One weird little additional note. I had been assuming that Ian Quinn must have been killed at some point towards the end of S1, and I had just forgotten it in the intervening years. But, no, he just leaves the story in the middle of this episode and we've never heard from him again. Being friends with Franklin Hall must give you magic plot-thread-dropping powers.

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Scheduling conflicts are a common reason why characters don't return or appear for a cameo. It's unfortunate but actors have to work too
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