Raise a glass for dear friends. They’re not dead, but S.H.I.E.L.D. vets Bobbi (Adrianne Palicki) and Hunter (Nick Blood) have been disavowed and sent off to survive on their own. It’s a big Marvel universe though. They’ll find where they belong soon enough, in the studio’s hopeful pilot Marvel’s Most Wanted starring the MCU’s best bickering divorcees.
“Parting Shot” lives up to its title, as swan song for two fan favorites, Bobbi and Hunter, the Mr. and Mrs. Smith of S.H.I.E.L.D. It’s also a literal parting shot, an emotionally heartbreaking bar toast that few of S.H.I.E.L.D. have had the privilege to receive; Grant Ward’s (Brett Dalton)’s twist deprived him of a loving send-off, while Trip (B.J. Britt) was too ruined by the Obelisk in Season 2 to get a real solid farewell. So it means a lot to actually say goodbye to some of the S.H.I.E.L.D. family, even if no one says goodbye literally.
After a mission in Siberia goes south that forces Bobbi and Hunter to distance themselves and protect S.H.I.E.L.D. from igniting war due to the organization’s training of Inhumans, the two leave without hugs to a dive bar, abruptly forced to begin anew.
But this is family, and you can’t get rid of family so easily. Called a “spy’s goodbye” by Bobbi, everyone in S.H.I.E.L.D., including Coulson (Clark Gregg) buy shots from afar.
That’s when the waterfalls begins, with wet and red eyes from everyone (Bobbi especially). With credit to Bear McCreary and his gripping and sweeping romantic score, the scene is really sold by big Mack himself (Henry Simmons), as S.H.I.E.L.D.’s muscle and heart can’t bring himself to drink — or symbolically, say good-bye. It’s a beat heart-rending enough to make even jaded S.H.I.E.L.D. viewers to come down with a case of “all the feels,” as Twitter put it.
In the grand scheme, this teary au revoir in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. may not mean a lot. Should Marvel get Most Wanted, the spin-off starring Palicki and Blood as sexy globe-trotting spies picked up, fans will have their regular fill of Mockingird and Lance Hunter (he, um, doesn’t have a cool codename).
But even if Most Wanted is passed up, at least fans will always have this moment between friends that’s as tender as a teddy bear, a warmth that’s needed in a universe as violent and gigantic as Marvel. Like, where else can fans find this sort of sweetness? Daredevil?