Television: Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., "F.Z.Z.T."

In a nutshell:

Firefighters in Pennsylvania begin to die from a strange phenomenon that ends with their bodies levitating. Has to do with electrostatic shock. Further investigation by our S.H.I.E.L.D. team reveals the root of the problem: These firefighters were responders in the aftermath of the Battle of New York (remember, from the end of the Avengers movie), and brought back to the firehouse a souvenir Chitauri helmet. The helmet carries a virus that passes via electrostatic shock.

The sum total of all this is that Simmons, while investigating the phenomenon and hitting up on the realization that it is a virus (alien germs don't play nicely with human bodies), is infected and quarantined on the Bus (because, again, they can't tell modes of transportation apart for some reason; meanwhile, any two-year-old would tell you—quite correctly—that is is, in fact, an airplane).

Coulson is told by higher-ups to "dump any infected cargo" (that would be Simmons), but of course he doesn't.

And so it is the ever-so-predictable race against the clock to see if Simmons can find an antiserum to counteract the virus before she herself dies—and brings the plane Bus down with her.

Lots of drama between Simmons and Fitz, who finally goes into the lab to help her look for a cure, even though it puts him at risk. It would be sweet if it weren't so cliché.

And then, of course, they come to the point where they think all is lost . . . Only to discover the antiserum works after all . . . Hooray.

Two main thoughts about this episode:

  1. Fitz and Simmons—and I really do like them as characters, and I think the actors are great here as well—but there was something about the interaction this week that made me think/wonder . . . Like, did they grow up together or something? Or, it does seem they at least went through a lot of school/training together. Just something about the whole thing sang of the old story: Two friends, but maybe one (or both) wants to be more than friends, and yet that might mess up the friendship, etc. And I can't decide if I like that take or not.
  2. The firefighters being infected made me think this was a backward way of commenting on all the responders of 9/11 who have become ill from exposure to chemicals, pollutants, whatever else (I can't pretend to know the details of this). Though I'm not sure what the comment was or would be exactly. That we've got to help them? Or maybe it was just a good jumping off point for a story and nothing more. Dunno. But it definitely evoked that parallel in my mind anyway.

It's a good show. Just . . . So by-the-numbers. Which one expects from the movies, but I'd like to see the television series be a bit more clever.

On the plus side: Lots less Skye this week! So glad they gave her a rest.

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