Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S03 E21: Absolution


As the third season of “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” and the Fallen Agent saga hurtle toward their end, Hive puts his master plan into action, spelling doom for mankind. Meet me after the jump for my thoughts on “Absolution.”

ABC’s Red Wedding

When Hydra affiliate the ABC network announced their fall line-up last week, they proved that they were “Game of Thrones” fans because they threw their own Red Wedding. Not only did they axe fan favorite and critical darling “Marvel’s Agent Carter,” but they also killed “Galavant,” “The Muppets,” and the train wreck behind the scenes that was “Castle.”


As if that wasn’t enough, ABC also officially passed on the “Marvel’s Most Wanted” pilot. Does that mean that Mockingbird and Hunter might return to the original series? I hope so. As if that wasn’t enough, “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” is moving to 10 PM in the fall, yeah, that’ll work. I’m not even going to get into Chloe (Daisy) Bennet wanting the Marvel Cinematic Universe to acknowledge the show more (rather than not at all), because she’s right.

Dreaming of Maveth

We open with intrigue, on the planet Maveth, with Daisy and (an aging? dying? maybe it’s just the blue hue that makes him look bad) Coulson in the flying elevator. The cross-wearing Daisy is working madly to kitbash a solution, to get back to Earth. In her monologue, she mentions her glimpse of the future, how she thought someone on the team would die, not everyone.


There’s a comment made about survival being in their blood. Interesting in that on this probably Kree planet, both Daisy and Coulson have Kree DNA in their blood. When she mentions Earth, Coulson corrects her, “Daisy, this is Earth,” and she wakes up, back at the S.H.I.E.L.D. base. It was a dream. Is she Batman now, suddenly having dreams of the future?

Espionage Montage

What follows is a fantastic sequence showing what this show could be if it really tried. Smart, high tech, tense spy action, with the clock running and the world at stake. Why can’t every episode be like this sequence? While May and Mack lead the Secret Warriors in an assault on the silo Hive is using to launch his missile, Fitz, Talbot, and Coulson override the launch codes.


At ten minutes into “Absolution,” we have some of the best stuff we’ve seen in a fairly good season comparatively. However, now Hive is angry, and has turned his eyes back to S.H.I.E.L.D. With an assault team on base and Radcliffe working to re-obtain the launch codes, can it get worse?

Finally Some Success

The action doesn’t stop except for momentary vignettes with Coulson and Daisy, and Yo-Yo and Mack. We follow encounters between Lincoln and Hive, May vs. Alpha Primitives, and finally a trap that scrambles Hive’s minds. He is disoriented, reliving lives he’s stolen, repeating words he’s said in the past. James and Giyera think he’s gone a bit gonzo.


Hive manages to get it together enough to tell Giyera and James to take the warhead and go. Meanwhile Yo-Yo releases the hostages and gets everyone, including Radcliffe who has switched sides, to the quinjet. And then, with a gel-matrix chamber with flying elevator tech, they finally capture Hive. In the words of Glenn Talbot, “Finally some success.”

Faith and Absolution

Yo-Yo gave the cross to Mack as a sign of faith. He tried to give it back. He leaves it in the lab and Fitz finds it. The cross is around Daisy’s beck in her dream, and it’s floating in the zero-G quinjet cockpit of Daisy’s future vision. This damned necklace is almost like the Tabu from the Hawaii episodes of “The Brady Bunch.”


Absolution is the release from guilt and punishment, and it’s also the title and theme of the first episode of this two-part season finale. Hive is obsessed with it, and Daisy needs it. Absolution is also a town in Nebraska, where a box of spare hydraulic parts came from – but that’s just a disguise for a bomb with the gas in it. Now there are Alpha Primitives in the base hangar.

The Hangar

Twenty-eight Alpha Primitives, formerly S.H.I.E.L.D. personnel, are now in control of the hangar. I thought for sure that Fitz was a goner, especially since Simmons had just made vacation plans for them, but he got out in time. The Primitives smash through Hive’s chamber with their bare hands, so now he’s free, still disoriented, but free.

Daisy makes her way to him. There was much talk earlier in the episode of Hive’s power being like a drug, and how she was obviously behaving as if in withdrawl. The final clincher comes when she kneels before him and begs, “Take me back.” The painful truth is revealed when Hive tells her that Lash made her impervious to his power… he can’t take her back…


As Daisy’s rage grows, the hangar, and the base begins to shake, and she lets loose on Hive with the full force of her quake powers. This will not be pretty…

Next: Ascension!

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