Agents of SHIELD Season 3 Episode 21 Review: “Absolution/Ascension”

Agents of SHIELD Season 3 Episode 21 Review:

Check out Our Review [WITH SPOILERS] of Agents of SHIELD Season 3 Episode 21: “Absolution/Ascension.”

Well, a two-part finale did justice to what was a solid Season 3 for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. The show delivered on their promise of an Inhuman invasion and even gave us The Secret Warriors (no matter how brief their time together was). We saw our S.H.I.E.L.D. Task Force Members grow and ultimately sacrifice themselves for their friends. All in all, it was a perfect way to wrap up the current storyline.

I could go into everything that lead up to the final moments, but it was truly the final minutes that brought everything together into a nice package that both resolved things… and set up future events. So let’s get right into it, with perhaps the biggest reveal that was worth waiting for.

-Hive Shows His True Colors

Agents of SHIELD Season 3 Episode 21 Review: "Absolution/Ascension"
This is the real me.

Since Hive was first discovered on a distant world there was one thing people wanted: to see what his true form looked like. Well it took nearly a full season, but we finally got our glimpse. In a showdown between Hive and Director Phil Coulson we saw the parasite shed his Grant Ward skin and reveal his… I’m going to go with “octopus look”. An entire season for the character built up to this moment, and wow did Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. deliver.

The look was legit… and Hive came across as a character that could have easily popped up in any Marvel movie (the easiest candidate being Guardians of the Galaxy). Instead of looking like a hokey, CGI SyFy character (or like the “primitive” Inhuman army… with their mouth anuses), Hive was menacing and the wait for his true look was worth it. Sure, he slid back into his Ward-suit for the big finale… but just getting a look at a true Marvel villain made the two-hour finale a success in my book.

(Bonus Points:  When Hive revealed the Coulson he spoke with was actually a hologram. It was priceless seeing the Director say, “Help me Obi-Wan, you’re my only hope.” Synergy at its best.)


-Lincoln’s Sacrifice and Grant Ward’s Farewell

Agents of SHIELD Season 3 Episode 21 Review: "Absolution/Ascension"
You have not died in vain!

Now that we finally got a good look at Hive, it was time to solve the other Season 3 mystery: who was going to sacrifice themselves. We’ve known for months that one S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent was going explode inside a Quintjet hovering in space. Whoever it was going to be had a crucifix on them, but that piece of jewelry passed from Mack, to Daisy, and ultimately to Lincoln; he stole it from Daisy in order to save her, hopping in the Quinjet to destroy a virus that would save the world.

He wasn’t alone in that ship. Along for the ride? Hive (now in Grant Ward form). The two could have had an epic space showdown, but realizing any effort to be futile, they both just floated and waited to be blown to Inhuman bits. It was a peaceful moment and a proper ending for the character of Grant Ward.

Agents of SHIELD Season 3 Episode 21 Review: "Absolution/Ascension"
Thanks for playing!

While the death of Lincoln was something you could see coming (he did say earlier in the episode he had no intention of becoming a S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent), there was still a glimpse of hope that Ward could have been saved. Starting out as a premier S.H.I.E.L.D. Operative, we saw him grow as both a traitor and a leader of HYDRA before being consumed by Hive this season. Brett Dalton has been with the show since the beginning (and has become one of the best villains the MCU has produced), so it’s going to be strange seeing the show move on without him (unless something else is about to go down!!!). If this is the end for him, it was a proper sendoff. But still…

-Where Does S.H.I.E.L.D. Go From Here?

Agents of SHIELD Season 3 Episode 21 Review: "Absolution/Ascension"

Unlike other shows, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is getting another season. It’s also moving to a 10pm time slot and it appears that some big changes are coming. Season 3 ended with a glimpse six months into the future. There, Coulson is leading a team to track down a new target: Daisy (now permanently known as Quake). Even crazier, when the plan to bring her in fails, Coulson turns to Mack and says, “The Director isn’t going to be happy about this.”

Phil Coulson is no longer the Director of S.H.I.E.L.D.? Is the organization heading out of the shadows in the MCU? Who’s taking over, Thunderbolt Ross? Tony Stark? Is Nick Fury Back!?! Also, is Daisy on the run due to the signing of the Sokovia Accords? Are super-powered people now being hunted? Where is Captain America when you need him? So many new questions!

That wasn’t even the biggest reveal. The show ended with John Hannah’s Dr. Holden Radcliffe talking to his A.I. (his version of Jarvis), trying to get Leo Fitz to meet him to celebrate their accomplishments. It’s there we see he’s been working on a project (possibly with Fitz-Simmons); his A.I. System was about to inhabit an Android as part of project “LMD.” That’s right; Life Model Decoys are coming to the MCU. Once a joke by Tony Stark in Iron Man 3, it seems Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is going to bring them right into the MCU. Grant Ward was once a parasite… could his next incarnation be a robot?  Oh what the future holds.