By the end of "The Beginning of the End," the title of the "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." season finale, at least one thing was clear: Coulson's team isn't going anywhere.
Deputized by Nick Fury to rebuild S.H.I.E.L.D. from the ground up, Phil Coulson and friends remain tasked with protecting civilization from internal and external threats. Grant Ward, meanwhile, will rot in a prison cell for the rest of his life, or until he's broken out. And John Garrett, the man formerly known as the Clairvoyant, is a pile of goo in a sub-basement somewhere.
It was a satisfying finish for the show's turbulent first season, but it left more questions in the air than it answered. Here are 12 of our most pressing questions coming out of the finale:
Seriously? No Outer Space?
Between the Kree connection, the fact that Skye is an 0-8-4, Garrett's ability to see and feel "the universe," and the upcoming release of "Guardians of the Galaxy," the "S.H.I.E.L.D." finale was all set up to take the team to the cosmos. But that didn't happen. Instead, the agents are staying right here on Earth, focused on rebuilding their agency. Will next season take us to the stars, once "Guardians" firmly establishes the Marvel galaxy? Or will Coulson's team always stick on this planet, protecting it from external threats?
Did Garrett Have To Die?
Yeah, he did. It would've been nice to leave the door open for Bill Paxton's return (and, frankly, it's still possible; this is a show based on comics, where nobody ever truly dies), but the Clairvoyant needed to go down in order for this season to have a satisfying finish. Plus, his death scenes — all two of 'em — were fantastic. Especially the last one. Coulson for the win.
Who Is Ward?
Without Garrett in the mix, former agent Grant Ward is a man without a leader. Kudos to the show for sticking with Ward's dark turn, and not veering into some kind of redemption story. Redemption remains a possibility for season two, seeing that Ward is still alive and not-so-well. But it would have felt forced in the finale. Ward has to earn his way back into the team's good graces, and that's an assignment that will require much more than a single episode — assuming he doesn't just plunge further into darkness.
Who Is Skye's Father?
We have no further information on who or what Skye really is. But we do know this: Skye's father, the "monster" that fell out of the sky and ravaged an entire village, is still alive, and in communication with Raina. We only saw him from a Doctor Claw vantage point — which is to say, seated in a chair, his back to us, his bloody palm clutching a picture of his daughter. Safe to say that Skye's dad will be the big bad for season two? That's the working theory.
How Awesome Was Nick Fury?
So awesome. Looks like we won't see much of Big Nick in the show's future, but at least his absence makes sense, now that Coulson is director of S.H.I.E.L.D. — speaking of which…
How Awesome Is Coulson's New Job?
Pretty awesome! Although as the new head of S.H.I.E.L.D., perhaps we'll see Coulson as less of an action hero and more of a pencil-pushing bureaucrat next season, which would not be awesome. But knowing Coulson, he'll always find a way onto the field.
Can We Get More Triplett, Please?
The Howling Commando descendent became one of the breakout characters in the back half of "S.H.I.E.L.D." season one, filling the void created by Ward's betrayal, and then some. He adds a much needed dose of confident swagger to the team. He's more then earned a full-time spot. Trip deserves series regular status next season. Make it happen, Marvel.
What's Next For FitzSimmons?
Fitz confessed his love for Simmons moments before sacrificing his life to save her. Thankfully, the sacrifice didn't actually kill him — he's just mostly dead. With a heartbeat, but without consciousness, Fitz's future is far from certain. How will he factor into the future of "S.H.I.E.L.D.," and what will Simmons do now that she knows how Fitz really feels?
What's Next For Deathlok?
Mike Peterson is in control of his life again, but rather than resuming his responsibilities as a father, he's back on the streets, ready to put his powers to good use — depending on your definition of good, anyway. We'll see Deathlok again, and when we do, hopefully he'll actually look like Deathlok.
What's With The Koenigs?
Didn't Patton Oswalt's character die? He sure did — but that was Eric Koenig. The guy at the end of the episode is Billy Koenig. Is he Eric's brother? His clone? Are the Koenigs a series of life model decoys? Honestly, who cares? A Marvel Universe with Patton Oswalt is better than a Marvel Universe without Patton Oswalt, regardless of explanation.
Do You See The Writing On The Wall?
Of course you do. But do you understand it? We don't. Coulson might not understand it, either. It's connected to the GH-325 serum flowing through both Coulson and Garrett's veins, presumably, but beyond that, who knows. Another major lingering question going into season two.
Can Season Two Start Now, Please?
No? Well, that sucks. Guess we'll you in the fall, Agent Coulson.
What did you think of the "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." finale?