Damned Season Finale Tear Jerkers!

As the 2015-2016 television season comes to an end, some of my favorite shows decided to nail us viewers with a stake through the heart. What am I talking about? Damned tear jerkers!

Two shows I follow are NCIS and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Both satisfy me with fun characters, fun plots, and often some great good guy moves that get missed when plot calls for the heroes to be an idiot and let the bad guys win to amp up the stakes. I enjoyed a particular episode of NCIS several seasons ago when the children of the man responsible for the deaths of Gibbs family came back for revenge for Gibbs killing their father (pant, pant... what a vicious cycle). They worked out a hell of a plan that the team saw through and then turned the tables on them. When the bullets flew and the dust settled. I was applauding the investigators for causing one sibling to kill the other. Justice!

So it's fitting that I start with NCIS. I've watched this show for about seven years and have come to see Mark Harmon's Gibbs as today's Dirty Harry. His steely-eyed approach that shelters a slough of emotions gives the rest of the team a place to explode in front of the camera. And for this finale Michael Weatherly did. Damn him! I hate to admit it but...

***Spoiler Alert!***

When he was trying to process the death of Ziva I was grabbing up the Kleenex by the fist full. It was a twist I wasn't expecting and his reactions pulled me in. I felt like I lost a loved one at that very moment. I cried for you, Tony. So a huge hat's off to Weatherly for hitting that moment with all of the power and rage you'd expect... and more. He's been a fun character to follow. Weatherly has done some solid work with Tony, switching back and forth from fun loving goof to hard-nosed detective. But what really sucks is that he's left the show. I'd loved to see him stumble through parenthood and trying to come to terms with the lose. He may sneak back on some day but until then we will just have to deal.

Though, as the episode progressed it lost some momentum. It was not the most poetic of endings or one of the game changers that I've come to expect but it changed the landscape of the series. The NCIS team has been dealt some horrible losses. It will be interesting to see how the pick up the pieces next season.

And now for S.H.I.E.L.D. ... I have to say the two-hour finale was one of my favorites so far. They wrapped up a major story line. They tied up a pile of loose ends. They scrambled against deadly odds. And they...


... said goodbye to two characters. One of which they've  killed before but this time it was permanent.

With the death of Grant Ward we lost a major player in the series. I always hoped he'd come back to the fold but he was a lost cause that gave them so much trouble. I really enjoyed Brett Dalton's performance. He walked a frayed tightrope so well earlier on when we thought he was redeemable. And after we learned the truth he was a royal prick. Well done, Brett!

But at the end, when Hive planned to turn a chunk of the population into Alpha Primitives and the team stepped up to squash his plan, I was inching closer to the edge of my seat. For those who watched this season, we have all been waiting for months to see the outcome of Daisy's premonition. You remember, that scene in space as a golden cross floats through the cabin of a craft near globs of blood but no idea who was hurt and who was going to die? That kept a knife's edge pressed against the story line.

I'm not going to delve much more into the whole plot. What I want to talk about is the last ten or so minutes of the show. The golden cross changed hands numerous times. No one was totally sure who was going to die. I had my suspicions. Hive was ready to launch a Quinjet with his genebomb. Daisy felt responsible for many set backs and took off to stop him for personal redemption. But, before the bay door could close, Lincoln popped up. He'd been mortally wounded earlier but managed to drag his near-dead ass to the ship and zapped Daisy out, leaving him alone with Hive. They launched into the stratosphere and the bomb detonates harmlessly. That's it. That was the last ten minutes of the show. Sort of...

The team behind SHIELD spent some time playing out those ten minutes. There was a lot of build up with the story lines and plot. Love and loss played heavy on many characters for most of the season but more so during the ladder half.  And Chloe Bennet's performance punched me straight in the gut. She screamed and cried. She begged for helped. They couldn't bring the sip back in because Lincoln fried parts of the system. So Daisy a Captain America moment with Lincoln, getting in a final heartfelt goodbye with via radio. And honestly, that moment hit me a hell of a lot harder than it did when I saw Capt. America. No jabs at Evans or Atwell. They were great but Bennet was way better.

As the scene moved on there was a moment when Lincoln and Hive connected. Not the gross, eating up the people sort of way he did in other episodes. They hovered there and shared with each other. Lincoln was ready to die and Hive knew that he couldn't avoid this outcome. It surprised me. And I continued to dump the tears. They got in a few more words then the scene shifted back to the team watching a video screen. A simple flash on the horizon lets us know that the ship and men were destroyed. And then Daisy totally lost it. I thought I was done crying but what an idiot! As I said before to Weatherby I say to you Chloe Bennet... damn you!

I felt horrible after the show. It wrenched on me for hours. And it was one of the best endings I've ever seen. I don't know how the hell they can top next years finale. It really isn't possible. They hit such an emotional level that the bar is floating on the edge of the moon. By not blowing up the ship within a minute of the launch and dragging out the time as they did, it gave the whole scene intense gravity. After all of the build up it paid off, for me, in a powerful way.

What? Don't agree with me? To each his own is what I say, but I'm willing to bet there are many out there who felt the same kick in the crotch that I did. As much as I hate turning on the water works I'd have hated myself for missing out on those two actors tearing up the screen.

It's those kinds of emotional performances that pulls me back to writing. They drag me to the laptop and demand that I find a way to tear my characters a new asshole just so I can feel that pain again. It was some riveting storytelling. Made me damned jealous. But I loved it!


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