Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Absolution and Ascension
Season 3, Episodes 21and 22 Recap


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I knew someone was gonna go. I just didn't know everyone would.
—Daisy to Coulson, "Absolution"

In memory of Dan Schmidt, the founder of Across the Airwaves, who sadly passed away this summer. The tribute episode for him can be found here.

Here we are, right down to the wire. It's the end. The final two episodes of the superb third season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. I would have liked to separate these two to have easier to digest posts, but how could I? They aired together. They belong together the way "S.O.S., Part 1" and "S.O.S., part 2" belong together. Having back-to-back episodes usually means that I get behind on tweets, because there's so much going on and hardly a moment to unglue my eyes from the screen. Yet, I found that there was more than I remembered saying and even more to say.

I made some more time to get some extra screenshots for these than I did for the other tweetcaps. Some are bunched together, while at other times they are few and far between. I just fast forwarded through the episodes and got screenshots of what I remembered I wanted and some things that caught my eye along the way. I've run out of time to get a picture for every tweet or to spread them out more evenly.

Comments in italics were added today. I thought I might point them out since they weren't part of the original comments I shared with Across the Airwaves.


Listen to Podcast Episode

So, how are you guys doing today after an #AgentsofSHIELD finale like that? If you're anything like me, I'm guessing not alright. But these podcasts are a great support system for when TV messes with your emotions. "They have to stop making me love characters," is what I always say. But that's not realy true. If I didn't love the characters then there would be no point in watching them. And if no one ever was put in jeopardy and no one ever died for someone else or to get the story where it needs to be, then a series like this would stagnate...and so I don't really complain, but rather find myself a bit silly for getting so wrapped up in it. But why shouldn't I get wrapped up? It's incredible storytelling all of the time with even more incredible finales. And what are we without stories?

Absolution and Ascension: I had no hope that those would turn out well. Well, I had a hope - nay, a certainty - that they would be amazing to watch and emotionally impactful. But of course they'd been teasing that someone would die. That's my only complaint: that the commercials kept saying it. Wish they hadn't, because then it's expected rather than just a possibility from the vision that Daisy had. I'd rather something so sad be a surprise. Poor Daisy...again. Poor Lincoln. Poor Brett Dalton for finally being dead as a doornail. Can't wait for him to find a new show, because he did a tremendous job as good Ward/bad Ward/Hive/HiveWard.

As all great finales do, I now feel completely emotionally drained. I'm sitting here thinking about Lincoln and Daisy with tears in their eyes - him trying to keep her from sacrificing herself, her believing it was the only way - tears trying to well up in my eyes again. Oh, there they go.

This is the longest night I've had in a while, with two episodes to cover. Less than half an hour ago, I finally finished tweeting, and the show ended more than an hour before that! I hope I didn't spoil anyone too much with these tweets, which I apologize for since there are so many.

This scene! What a way to start a finale. Damn dream sequences. Thanks for scaring me.

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There was so much going on that it looks like I missed commenting on this scene originally. That won't keep me from quoting it now, though.

They're not just fighting Hive. There's a legion of memories inside him. They're up against every soldier, every genius, every killer he's ever been. That's a lot of people to outsmart.
—Coulson to Fitz

This scene seems to have slipped my mind. That was a fantastic summation of the character of Hive, and made him even more intimidating. And speaking of intimidating, or the exact opposite...

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Daisy, you were brainwashed.
So was Ward. We make the perfect pair.
— Daisy

I understand it, in a way. She feels responsible for her actions. Even though it was Hive's doing, magnifying and manipulating the hopes and fears she already felt. She wasn't truly responsible, but it's not like she could forget what had been done with her own two hands and the horrible things she said. Especially when she said she'd rip her friends hearts out if they got in the way. I bet that one weighs heavily.

I can't imagine what you've been through. But that craving? I know something about that. You think vengeance is the missing piece of the puzzle, that it will make you whole again. But all it does is break you further.
— Coulson to Daisy

Another quote I missed, even though I got the one immediately following it. Too much was happening to get everything.

What a terrible burden. But maybe she should, now that I think about it. And now that I have the benefit of knowing the end of the season. Remember, that was still an hour away. The pain of knowing what she had done, though unintentional, may help her to reign in her powers when emotions get to her. That's quite important now that she left S.H.I.E.L.D. and is on her own with no one to remind her of who she is or who she should strive to be.

Too often I've seen shows where they just refuse to get into the emotion of a character, a scene, a situation, like they're afraid of it. They don't linger on a look, look away before the tears fall, fail to capture true emotion. They don't let it become too real and get to the next bit of action as fast as they can. In this case, the emotion was relief and it ended up being quite funny. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D is the kind of show that understands that people need to laugh in stressful times.

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And far more than the getting their butts handed to them moments. ;) But I wouldn't change a moment of this show, even when I really want to, like when someone dies. I will say it again and for all time, I trust the creators know what they're doing with the story they so clearly love.

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You know another thing the devil's capable of? Filling a person with so much anger and so many dark thoughts that it consumes them. But it's up to that individual to make a choice. Either let the darkness fester and grow or let the light inside shine through and vanquish the darkness.
—Mack to Daisy

You know, I just realized that what I get from the Daisy and Mack moments are exactly what I want, and hardly ever get, from the Daisy and Coulson moments. Lots of funny and sweet sister/big brother stuff with Mack, but with Coulson she's more like the rebellious teen and Coulson is the beleaguered dad at the end of his rope.

And by "Clark Gregg" I meant Coulson, but I wanted to mention Clark and there was no time to rethink my sentence before I had to be on to the next comment. Just wanted to let you know that I wasn't really directing that at Clark himself, just joking around.


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What did they do to you?
It's not what S.H.I.E.L.D. did to me. It's what that creature stole from you.

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It's what I look forward to most. Coulson is my kind of people. There's so much personality in this show. Without the humor, it would be completely different.

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Yeah, you did a lot of bad things. All you can do now is balance the scales, do some good. You wanna give up? Live in a box? Go ahead. But that hurt stays in there with you. Believe me.
—May to Daisy

And another wiser person telling Daisy what she went through, how she hurt, and that you can't just run away. Which Daisy literally does, because everyone needs to feel what they feel and deal with it how they can. Lincoln also gives Daisy advice in the end, but she is just too broken to think of anything but the pain she caused.

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Was Iain trying to steal the show here? I think so. He's done it before. They better watch out for this guy. ;-)

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And how did I leave out the word "best"? It was supposed to be "the best description ever" not "the description ever." Ugh. Anyway, because it was such a great line, and don't know why I left it out before, the full quote of this was...

I hunted you down and killed you, unleashing this Ward reboot nightmare hell beast on the planet.
—Coulson to Hive

We're two sides of the same coin, Coulson. Commanders needing soldiers.
The only difference is when you give an order, your followers have no choice but to obey. But when I gave my team the order to stay behind, they just wouldn't listen.

So many quotes from these two episodes and this one scene alone! And then there was...

Which I never think is possible. I'm always sure I love him as much as my little heart can take. But then something like this comes along and I realize I was wrong. This always happens with the best characters.

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I now what you're thinking. You said you can't live with what you've done, but you have to. Okay? Promise me you won' won't try to...atone for your sins or some kind of sacrifice.
—Lincoln to Daisy

Too many people are getting hurt. Daisy you need to listen to Lincoln. I can't find this tweet. I must have never sent it, but it looks like I included it for Across the Airwaves.

I wonder if I was thinking, "Can't get enough of that sugar crisp" when I said that. And now I'm thinking of The Simpsons and Homer singing, "Guess I forgot to put the fog lights in." October is looming. Time to watch all of the Treehouse of Horror episodes.

All kidding aside, the next moments were no fun at all. Achingly sad and beautiful, but fun did not show up to the party. When Daisy realized that Lincoln had taken the necklace, the one she had seen floating in space, then the music that feels like finality started, Coulson finding her as she's falling to the floor with the realization that there's nothing she can do to keep from losing Lincoln, and the rest of the team rushed to be with her...that was one of the best of the series.

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This is not how it's supposed to be. It should to be me to fix the damage to my you. You can't just die for me like this. It''s wrong.
I don't know. Saving the girl that I love and the world at the same time? Feels pretty right to me.—Lincoln

Every one of the actors on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. can get to me with a look. Then when they add tears and pleading words like that, I'm done.

After six months away, there better be the most epic embrace ever between two people. After everything they've been through, Coulson and Daisy badly need one. He loves her like a daughter. She needs a father who remembers her. I hope they don't lose that family dynamic from the series. I mean, of course they won't because the writers are amazing, but I'm sure they'll tease it out and make us think there's no way back and the team is permanently fractured. I love it. Just stop it... Sometimes I give mixed signals.

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I think we're already gonna share a connection, as we experience the one thing that's eluded me all these years: death.
—Hive to Lincoln

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He's paying for my mistake!
No. He's paying for all our mistakes.—Coulson

Yup, I died again, with those faces and how desperate Daisy was. I must mention again how amazing Chloe did here.

There really isn't enough praise I can give Brett. He knocked it out of the park. I will miss him. And I bet his castmates will miss him even more.

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Six months. SIX! Daisy, what have you been doing?

MacLachlan was so affecting, his performance so achingly emotional. Remember what I said about him in S.O.S., Part 2? "I'm having a really hard time remembering any recurring character in anything that has been so wonderfully entertaining and had such a range of emotion as Cal."

I know there had only been two season finales before this. I also count the mid-season finales.

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I had hoped Ascension wasn't only referring to someone rocketing into space and exploding, as Daisy had seen. I wanted so much for it to be someone changing into something greater, like a phoenix or Phoenix. But maybe, just maybe there's a possibility there. Anything is possible in a story where people have powers, but it would have to work within the writers' vision. Oh, and LMDs look to be the next step, as the very end of the episode teased. It's something many were touting as the way Coulson could return afte he died in The Avengers. Nice to see the life model decoys finally introduced. This is going to be another spectacular season.

It was so hard to watch. But it's so worthy of being watched again and again.

I may have addressed that to Clark, but there are so many people who deserve to be recognized. If I'd had the time, I would have copied and pasted it into tweets for everyone, but I was exhausted. Since Twitter now allows tagging a bunch of people without taking up our precious few characters, I'll probably be using that quite a lot this season.

I don't know if he said anything about that scene, but I hope he would in Blu-ray commentary or the next Declassified book, both of which I haven't heard a whisper about. I was a mess afterwards. (And I just watched it again.) It must not have been easy for him or anyone else standing by watching the brilliance unfolding between Chloe and Luke in their last scene together. I don't know if it was the last filmed scene for the two of them, or whether they were actually performing together over walkies, but it sure seemed like it the way all that emotion poured out.

Finally done with the #AgentsofSHIELD tweets. You can all relax. Sorry, it was the finale and I didn't know where to stop.

Okay, phew. I'm all tuckered out from this emotional roller coaster of a season. What a finale. Now I think it's time to go back to where it all began. Season 1 (plus extras!), here I long as nothing else gets in may way. Yup, shit got in my way. The rewatch will have to wait yet again. It's been a blast, you guys. Have an amazing summer. And I will do the same, thank you, and try to get all these things I've said to you posted. I mean, how hard can it be to copy and paste? For me, very hard, because then I'll start reading what I wrote and want to edit things. *sigh* And, as you can see, I totally just did that.

P.S. Again, I need posters for this season, especially the finale! They could be fanastic, because it was unforgettable. And again I mention the posters. Man, I really wanted one of those things.

Now here we are, finally at the end. It was a ridiculous exercise trying to hunt down all of my tweets, especially today, the day of the premiere, when suddenly wasn't working (in a week where my computer died from a Windows update and I'm way behind on work). I found TwimeMachine and an hour later the search function on that stopped working, too. Then I had to use Twitter's advanced search, which I forgot existed, because I'm usually mobile when writing and the app is limited. I can access it through "request desktop site," but that doesn't always work. Anway, I eventually I got there. In the nick of time, as usual. Goodbye for now...I'll see you in a few. Maybe I won't take an entire half season before posting again. ;-)


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