IAIN DE CAESTECKER, ELIZABETH HENSTRIDGE

For the first time since the show began, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. may have hit the mother load with “Fzzt.” It gives us a break from the anomalies that send the group on wild goose chases and injects real development. It allows a couple of key characters to grow through an arc that will pull at your heart strings.

The Players:

  • Director: Vincent Misiano
  • Writer: Paul Zbyszewski
  • Cast: Clark Gregg, Ming-Na Wen, Brett Dalton, Chloe Bennet, Iain De Caestecker, Elizabeth Henstridge, Titus Welliver

Episode Title: “Fzzt”

The group is called to a random campsite where they find a body floating in mid-air. Through some investigation, it’s revealed to be a strange alien virus that finds its way into Jenna Simmons (Henstridge). Now the team must find a cure before her and many others are killed.

The Good:

  • Real Character Development: Ever since Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s debut, we’ve been force-fed character development mainly on Skye (Bennet). On the surface there’s nothing wrong with that, but she’s the most annoying character of the bunch. We already know about Coulson, but what about everybody else? Throughout “Fzzt” we got a better look inside the friendship of Fitz-Simmons, or what could possibly be the slow start to a real relationship between the two. They have been somewhat plaguing our minds for a while, considering they seem inseparable and sibling-like. They practically finish each other’s sentences. This week, we saw what they really thought of each other. We also saw how  strong-willed Simmons is as an individual.
  • Coulson, You’re Fine: Coulson’s (Gregg) reappearance in the Marvel universe was a surprise, mainly because we thought he was dead. While some may be upset to learn there’s nothing wrong with him right now (no clone hints here), it’s a neat reflection on all of our speculation embodied through the episode’s B story.
  • The Music: It may have been the heightened tension that reigned throughout “Fzzt,” but the show’s score finally stood out. The slight ringing of the beat is still going through my head as I type this out. That’s a first because most of the Marvel properties don’t have too many distinct themes.

The So-So:

  •  The End Result: When it’s revealed that Simmons has the alien virus flowing through her veins, Agent Coulson alerts the rest of the group that a cure must be found . Now Fitz finds it in time for Simmons, but she jumps out of the plane, convinced that the anti-serum didn’t work and all hope is lost. When Ward (Dalton) grabs a parachute, skydives over and catches her, he injects her with the anti-serum that Fitz had. One of the immediate reactions to the injection is an electrical pulse going off. If that were the case, Ward would have been blown to smithereens. Instead he’s shown in the next scene without a scratch. I know it’s a minor detail but it bugged the hell out of me.

The Bad:

  • Weak Intro: You never would have guessed that “Fzzt” would turn out to be a fantastic episode with that lukewarm opening. We see a group of campers being told a ghost story, the next thing you know they’re running for their lives after their leader is struck by an electrical force. The lighting was shoddy and it felt like a cheap and weak intro. Thank goodness it quickly improves after that point.

Overall:

“Fzzt” is just what Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. needed to catapult the show to the next level. Hopefully, from this point forward we’ll get deeper, more interesting character development with an equal amount of cool stories that won’t bore us to death. And here’s to hoping they really fix up Skye’s character as the show continues.

Rating: 9/10

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on ABC.

What did you think this week’s episode?