Butler County Times Gazette
  • Costello: Latest 'SHIELD' episode feels more like CSI, gets emotional

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  • Full spoilers ahead
    The latest episode of "Agents of SH.I.E.L.D." entitled "F.Z.Z.T." was dramatic and had a small amount of CSI flare to it. It was emotional at times, and it had a climactic ending.
    Writer Joss Whedon knows how to write episodically, that much is clear. But this episode, while intriguing and suspenseful, wasn't all that fitting of the superhero show. Maybe that's a good thing, maybe not.
    Agent Coulson and S.H.I.E.L.D. discover a pair of deaths that have at least one thing in common: floating dead bodies (the quick hooks of all these episodes have been unique, that's for sure). As Coulson and his team do some research, they quickly discover the two dead men—Adam Cross and Frank Whalen—worked together as firefighters and were among the first responders during the events of New York (in the "Avengers" movie).
    Fitz and Simmons discover the cause of death was not external, as first believed, but rather from a virus. When people become infected, they release electro static pulses that can explode and kill from within (whoever comes up with these ideas certainly is creative). Simmons is tasked with discovering a cure.
    Meanwhile, the origin of this virus is traced back to a Chitauri helmet (The Chitauri were the aliens in Loki's army that had the flying vehicles in "Avengers") that was scavenged from the Battle of New York and still causes trouble. While scarce, the references to the Marvel Cinematic Universe still try to tie everything together. Late in the episode, Coulson conducted a physical and found out he had a little too much iron in his blood, prompting a "Don't worry, you won't see me turn into Iron Man anytime soon" line.
    The Chitauri helmet must be flown to "The Sandbox," a cool nickname for a research facility at an unknown location (not, it isn't Area 51).
    Fitz and Simmons have been role players to this point in the show, but now they take center stage. Simmons becomes infected with a virus, further motivating herself to discover a cure. In her isolated science and medical lab, she and Fitz have one of the best dialogue exchanges in the show to this point. The two argue with each other about how it was the other who led them to this point in their lives, retracing the steps they've shared together throughout the years. There was plenty of emotion and unspoken care for one another, a clever writing touch. This was especially needed to give some dimension to the two, who, at this point, have only really been utilized for some humor and were too similar to each other.
    Just like in CSI, Simmons somehow discovers a cure in the nick of time (a little too quickly, really) and, after a dramatic, well-shot skydiving scene, everyone is saved.
    Page 2 of 2 - While the episode was good, it didn't really seem to open up a whole lot of, if any, plot points. Rather, it focused on getting a little deeper with some of the core cast. It also didn't really answer any questions from the previous couple of episodes (Skye is still on probation, and that is all). It's unfortunate, but it seems every show hits lulls when it needs to build characterization, and "S.H.I.E.L.D." might be in the middle of doing so. At one point during the episode, Agent Ward expressed how helpless he felt in the situation because he knows nothing about viruses. He wants to fight against something he can see, and crush. Like an actual villain.
    Yeah, that'd be nice.

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