Written by: Paul Zbyszewski
Directed by: Vincent Misiano
Plot: When floating bodies turn up, Coulson and the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D must hunt down an elusive killer. No one is safe, not even the team.
Review: First, let me get this out of the way….I honestly wish this show had an opening credits theme song.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is the first Mutant Enemy show to not have one, and it does help get you into the mood of the TV show before watching it. And for a show that’s about spies and looking into the crazy unexplained, the fact that this show doesn’t have a blazingly fun theme song is a bummer. Maybe I’ll get something with the second half of the season.
Ok, on to the actual episode, one that I found to be a really surprisingly stripped down of any hardcore frills, and one that might be one of the most effective episodes yet in the series.
Personally, I’m getting really tired of the mention of New York, the Chitauri and Phil’s dying, but this episode was actually a really effective use of those threads.
I liked that this episode was about facing death on all different angles, especially when death comes when you least expected. (FYI: I’ve just been assuming that you’ve already seen the episodes once you get around to reading my reviews…right?)
This time out, the enemy is not a person but a virus. This thing is something that is out of their control, and it really shakes the team up quite a bit.
It was a nice fake out with the firefighter Tony (wonderfully played by actor Vincent Laresca) holding the Chitauri helmet, making us think he was the killer only to find out that he also a victim of this situation. It leads into that great scene between the firefighter and Agent Coulson. I love this scene, as the dialogue that focuses on how one handles death was executed very nicely, and how Coulson uses his experience from Avengers as a way to comfort Tony. I love how Tony slowly accepts his fate. Plus, the performances from Clark Gregg and Vincent were very good.
But the real meat of the episode comes when the show finally focuses on Fitz/Simmons, as we find out that Simmons was infected too (in a really great reveal might I add).
This turned out to be a pretty great use of Fitz/Simmons, and the first time I was convinced that you could do more with these characters.
One of my biggest problems with them is that I felt that they started to be too redundant. They were both British science nerds who spoke way too fast for everyone else. The joke was getting stale, but here we got a good idea of their relationship.
I get the idea that since Fitz and Simmons were close friends for so long, they don’t really see each other as anything but. We do learn that it’s Simmons idea to have them be a part of the of Coulson’s team, and that Fitz generally goes where Simmons goes, because that’s their relationship.
Agent Ward even gets to have a bit of a crisis here, showing the frustration that he wishes the enemy was something tangible…and hittable. Ward has been showing signs of loosening up in each episode, and while I’m not really a big fan of his yet, I can at least acknowledge that they are making the efforts.
The last big scene in the episode occurs as a result of Simmons believing that the cure she and Fitz had been working on doesn’t work. Knowing that the electrostatic shock that would kill her would take out the entire plane, she knocks Fitz out and jumps out of the plane to sacrifice herself. Right when Fitz comes to and gets his bearings, he sees that the cure they were working on did in fact work. Unfortunately, he is too late to prevent Simmons from jumping out the cargo hold.
But hey, they have LOLA, Coulson’s flying car! They can easily……
Oh…so Ward just jumps out of the plane? But…they have LOLA. Why not use LOLA? Is it budgetary reasons? If so, why bother having LOLA there if you can’t use her?
That frustration aside, this was another really strong entry in the series. This time out, it succeeded in having me be actually somewhat emotionally invested in the characters this time, and Elizabeth Henstridge (Simmons) and Iain De Caestecker (Fitz) did a great job in this episode, selling their friendship and making me help care about their characters.