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“Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” episode 6, title “F.Z.Z.T.” was personally an episode I’ve been waiting for because it puts the spotlight squarely on Fitz/Simmons and their relationship, as well as what they mean to the team. I felt it was a pretty good episode, and we found out some more stuff about the rest of the team as well.
Fair Warning: the format for these reviews will be the same, but I’ve decided to untie my hands and go a bit more spoiler heavy. Not really spoilers if the episode already aired, right?! For those that DVR the show, though, stay clear until you’re ready to join the discussion.
The episode focused on some unexplained deaths, with the bodies of the deceased floating in the air. You know the typical strange events type of thing from “Fringe,” “X-Files,” etc. It is quickly deduced that some sort of electromagnetic or electrostatic pulse was the cause. Fitz and Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge and Iain De Caestecker) are tasked with figuring out exactly what, and we see a little friction between the two where normally they’re on pretty much the same page.
After Skye (Chloe Bennett) finds a connection between the victims, Coulson, May, and Ward (Clark Gregg, Ming-Na Wen, and Brett Dalton) head to a firehouse where it is discovered that these aren’t killings at all, but the symptoms of an alien virus that was contracted from a Chitauri helmet taken as a souvenir by the firefighters after the Battle of New York. Fitz discovers, after hearing the latest victim tell his story, that the infection is actually transmitted by static electricity, and it was the cleaning of the helmet of what they thought was rust that caused the outbreak.
Unfortunately, Fitz has contracted the deadly disease as well, and to make matters worse, they are over the Atlantic on their way to drop the helmet off at a S.H.I.E.L.D. biohazard site. Coulson estimates that Fitz has about 2 hours to find a cure, while the plane ride will be 3 hours. After several failures and a heart to heart between Fitz and Simmons, they come up with a plan that may just work, and Simmons exposes himself to Fitz in order to work side by side on the cure. After what looks like a final failure, Fitz shows true courage by tossing herself out of The Bus, as she knows her death would blow the plane out of the sky and killing the entire team. However, Simmons realizes that the cure did in fact work, and rushes out to save her after whipping up one last batch and throwing it in his custom made delivery system. Ward takes the cure and a parachute and does his best Superman impersonation (and it’s pretty good) to save her.
What I really liked about this episode is that halfway through it became very personal for the team. After last episode’s tense fracture due to Skye’s betrayal, the team for the most part has been pretty forgiving, except for Ward. Coulson I expect to give her a second chance, but for protocol and because he’s not stupid, he has her wearing a tracker for constant surveillance. Some time has gone by, and she’s trying to be a good little S.H.I.E.L.D. agent. Agent May hasn’t said much about it, and Fitz/Simmons have resumed their friendship with her as if nothing happened. Agent Ward is still hurting a bit, and it shows.
Once Fitz is infected, though, sentiments change, and you see how close knit this group got in so little time. Going on death defying missions and experiencing all sorts of insanity together will do that, I guess. In a rare moment, we get to see the more tender side of Ward, as he shares his discomfort with being helpless to protect his team from things he can’t fight or understand.
I left Coulson for last because there was a lot going on with him in this episode. First of all, the mystery of Coulson’s return was again hinted at. More accurately, his death. In a great scene where he sits down with the last victim before the man dies, Coulson explains what it was like to die, and that whether it was 8 seconds or 40, he was gone and he knows it. Agent May has been his sounding board and we learned a little about her through their interactions. It seems Coulson knows he’s different and wanted to know exactly how and ordered a physical. He got his blood work back and it says he’s the same man, but Coulson feels different. May has him look at his scar, courtesy of Loki, and basically states that the trauma of dying changes a person, for better or worse, but it changes them, and asks, “Do you know how long it took me?” To which he replies, “I know.”
So did May also die and come back? Is that why she was reluctant to go into the field? And was Coulson a part of that? And does this mean that Coulson is really just Coulson? I doubt it’s that simple, but hopefully we’ll get some more info soon.
Another great moment is when Coulson is confronted by a fellow S.H.I.E.L.D. agent about disobeying orders. The man tells him to be careful before they take his little dream team away, to which Coulson responds, “I’d like to see them try.” The other agent is taken aback by this response, saying Coulson isn’t the man he used to be, to which Coulson responds, “No, I’m not. Get used to it.” If we don’t get a chance to see the man Coulson was before all the superhero stuff happened, I will be kinda upset.
Personally, I’m looking forward to where “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” is headed. Next week’s episode “The Hub” has Maximiliano Hernadez reprising his role as Agent Sitwell from the “Item 47” and “The Consultant” shorts, along with cameos in “Avengers” and “Thor.” I was hoping he’d show up, and it’s looking like the episode pushes things further, leading to the crossover episode from “Thor: The Dark World.”
“Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” may have gotten off to a slow start, but I think the second half of the season will really pick up. Stick with it, Marvel fans! See you next week!