Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1, Episode 6: “F.Z.Z.T.” Recap

IAIN DE CAESTECKER, MING-NA WEN, CHLOE BENNET, CLARK GREGG, BRETT DALTON

In “F.z.z.t.” the agents investigate a series of strange deaths that leave the corpses levitating. 

Continue reading for a spoiler filled discussion of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1, Episode 6.

Hello Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. fans and everybody else! This is a quick post. I’ll be happy to discuss the episode with you further, including the bits I didn’t recap, in the comments section.

Finally a Fitz-Simmons centric episode! A golden rule of screen-writing is to show not tell. Up until now, we’ve mainly heard characters talk about how Fitz-Simmons are connected at the hip or its implied because they’re in the lab together. But to see them in action helps me to warm up to the duo.

Fzzt” is a good episode that demonstrated the bond between Fitz-Simmons. Separated from each other, they wouldn’t have discovered the antiserum in time. Fitz has been established as a guy afraid of death (or decaying bodies) as well as venturing outside the lab. So for him to put his life in danger for the sake of Simmons by entering the quarantined lab and then try to sky dive to rescue her is a strong character moment. My questions is why isn’t this episode 3?

The tone of the episode is well-balanced. It never got too sappy or cheesy. There’s good suspense by putting Simmons in genuine danger and her emotions in facing her demise is heartfelt. Okay, I’m guessing some viewers secretly hoped for her to go kersplat. The best thrill of the episode is the sky diving Agent Ward; doing his best impression of 007 or was that Iron Man 3?

The procedural aspect of the first act, while isn’t incredibly awe-inducing like the freakiest Fringe episodes, kept me guessing which way the story would swerve until the discovery of the alien virus from the Chitauri helmet. So far, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is not relying on freaks of the week which keeps things from getting repetitive or predictable.

IAIN DE CAESTECKER, ELIZABETH HENSTRIDGE

Aside from Fitz-Simmons, other characters had some moments. Melinda Mays isn’t given a whole lot to do here but she does make the most of it. Her way of showing her concern for Coulson is by asking questions and relating her near-death experience in a non-sentimental way.  I like how she often holds back a warm smile that’s bubbling beneath the surface. A lot of credit goes to actress Ming-Na Wen for adding some layers to her character that might not necessarily be in the script.

With Mays, Coulson doesn’t need to act like the team leader. They’re long-standing peers who bring out a more personable side in each other that we rarely see when they interact with the rest of the team. As a viewer, there’s definitely some “are we more than friends?” tension when Mays told Coulson to take off his shirt but it’s good that scene didn’t go in a romantic direction.

After coming back from death, this episode is the first time that I can remember since the pilot where Coulson directly addressed his mortality. Was he sincere when he told the fire fighter the after life is beautiful or were his consoling words to a dying man just an act of compassion?

Another person from Coulson’s past points out how he’s changed. There’s a rivalry that’s nicely building up between Agent Blake, played by Titus Welliver who reprises his role from the Marvel One-Shot Item 47, and Agent Coulson. Touching Lola before his exit is a way of Agent Blake getting under Coulson’s skin. Their rivalry could get personal and the show could use a formidable adversary that Coulson can’t knock off without serious consequences.

What is did you like or dislike about “Fzzt”? Has your opinion on Fitz-Simmons changed?

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About Eddie@Jaccendo

Movies, TV shows, comics, and video game news & review.

Posted on November 6, 2013, in Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D., Television and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 21 Comments.

  1. By far the best episode of the series, felt like a different better show.

    The character development of Fitz-Simmons was brilliant and I didn’t hate them for once, could actually be my favourite characters now. Coulson was much better in this and that moment with the fire fighter, sitting with him so he wasn’t alone or afraid before he inevitable dies was great.

    Who wrote this episode because they should be brought back and everyone else fired 😀

    • I feel like I finally got to know Fitz-Simmons. I know it’s only 6 episodes but what took so long? Yeah it did feel like a different, better show … from the opening scene to toning back the cheesiness to the character moments. It felt more grown up instead of an after school TV special.

      Haha, I’d laugh if Joss Whedon had to fire this brother and sister-in-law. Can you say awkward family dinners?

      • Haha yes fire the relatives. It was directed and written by different people than the first 3 episodes. But so was the past two episodes which funnily enough where also better if only slightly.

        Hopefully they’ll keep going to other people and clearly give them more control over content 😀

  2. I haven’t seen this yet, maybe tonight. I’ll let you know what I think after I do 😀

  3. Best episode so far! A decent storyline for FitzSimmons – separate but together at the same time – was a great balance, and it actually made me care for them, unlike the last episode with Skye.
    As for Mays, she has such short appearances but does a lot with that time. Enjoyed the closeness of Mays/Coulson but do not want them to be anything more then friends.
    The scene with Coulson and the firefighter was genius – a lot of emotion but didn’t go overboard. I love Coulson more and more each episode. Let’s hope the writers continue their form from this episode in future ones. Less Skye and Ward seems like a winning combo for viewers.

    • It’s good to see Fitz and Simmons working together to come up with a solution that they couldn’t solve on their own. It’s a simple idea but well executed. I also liked how they were willing to sacrifice themselves, especially Fitz since he wasn’t infected. This made me care for them too. I agree this was missing from the previous episode with Skye.

      I’m looking forward to the show exploring Mays/Coulson dynamic without getting into soap opera territory. This duo is much more interesting than Skye/Ward and Fitz-Simmons.

      The fire-fighter scene is great. Usually a scene like that would be the hero frantically trying to save a life but it turned into a thoughtful, touching moment. I thought the tone of the episode hit its mark and there’s wasn’t a scene that felt out of place. Yes, let’s hope the writers realize they can use this episode to build upon future ones.

  4. I think I was one of the few people who liked FitzSimmons from the first episode so I’m really glad they got an episode to prove to everyone else that they can be good characters given the right material. I actually thought they were going to kill off Simmons for a while there-this being a Joss Whedon show and all but I’m glad they didn’t.

    • Very cool you saw the potential of FitzSimmons before most fans of the show. Yeah, they really needed a good story to prove their worth and this episode hit the mark. For a moment I considered if the writers would kill off Simmons. I also thought maybe Fitz would take the flying car down to rescue her. In Joss Whedon’s Angel, Doyle went out in heroic fashion in the first season. Simmons is safe for now but anything can happen on a Whedon show. 🙂

      • I thought Fitz was going to use the flying car too-bit disapointed he didn’t. I was thinking of Doyle as well during this episode. Great review of the series!

  5. Hey dude thanks for commenting on my review, much appreciated as usual (I’ll be sure to comment sooner enough)

    Anyways about this episode, just want to highlight a few points I never touched upon in my review. Firstly as you said why wasn’t this in an earlier episodes? Fitz and Simmons have been an interesting duo, but have never gotten the spotlight they so desperately needed. I personally needed this AoS to show me why they’re quintessential to the team or at least give them so personality. And this was a beautiful, heartfelt episode for them, I love them arguing, the point when Fitz jumped into the quarantined area to help Simmons and Simmons’ suicide attempt was amazing. Good stuff, that’s the point when she became a key person for me.

    Outside of that the tone of this episode was nice, a much needed change from what we’ve gotten before. After watching Item 47 I can see the relation in tone (though I believe Item 47 should be the tone for the entire series as it feels more like the kind of show I’d not only watch but what everyone should get).

    Also I’m glad the show addressed Coulson’s change is behaviour and personality and the moment he had with May easily could have been romantic which I initially thought it might be, but I’mn so glad that didn’t go down too. Agent Blake was so awesome and I too liked his little moment when he touched Lola on his way out.

    • It’s my pleasure to read your awesome blog and reviews! And thanks as always for commenting on my posts too!

      Very nicely said about Fitz and Simmons. It would have helped the show if they didn’t wait so long to develop FitzSimmons (I know its only 6 episodes in). I think focussing on good characters moments can really help a show especially when the stories are not exactly original or amazing. The way that I read into their relationship and please correct if you think differently is that Simmons has a thing for Fitz, but Fitz didn’t realize it until now. I also think Fitz has a big crush on Skye and Simmons knows it.

      I think Item 47 is the basis for what inspired AOS although like you said, the tone for AOS could use some adjustments. This episode’s tone worked a lot better for me.

      I think Coulson and Mays should be the core relationship of the show not Skye and Ward. By relationship, I don’t mean romantic which is too early in the series to go in that direction. The actor who plays Agent Blake pops up in a few different shows I’ve watched. He’s a really solid actor and hope he plays an on-going role in the series.

  6. “There’s good suspense by putting Simmons in genuine danger and her emotions in facing her demise is heartfelt. Okay, I’m guessing some viewers secretly hoped for her to go kersplat.”
    I really couldn’t stand Fitz-Simmons before this episode and when I saw the trailers for this episode I thought this was the end for her. If one had to go I was hoping for Fitz though but was happy either way. Then came this episode which did such a fantastic job of making me actually care about her that I didn’t want her to go anywhere, that I was generally sad at the prospect of her death. What an accomplishment!

    “The procedural aspect of the first act, while isn’t incredibly awe-inducing like the freakiest Fringe episodes, kept me guessing which way the story would swerve until the discovery of the alien virus from the Chitauri helmet.”
    It was like two episodes for the price of one!

    “After coming back from death, this episode is the first time that I can remember since the pilot where Coulson directly addressed his mortality.”
    I love those little hints of many fans’ theories that he is a robot/L.M.D. including this one here where he mentioned being RUSTY and the elevated IRON in his blood. Also, Coulson is simply great and I couldn’t imagine the show without him. His acting is top notch with the speech in this episode being superb!

    Overall, I love how the show if getting a little more serious and dramatic. If I had to grade the episodes so far:
    1. Episode 5
    2. Episode 6
    3. Episode 1
    4. Episode 3
    5. Episode 4
    6. Episode 2

    Great review! Hopefully those ratings stabilize though….

    • The trailer where Simmons is teary-eyed got me hopeful that this would be an episode with an emotional punch. That’s amazing how one episode can make you go from wishing a character’s departure to rooting for them to live! It’s a sign of finally some strong writing, character development and the actor getting something to work with. When she jumped off the plane, I thought there is so much unexplored potential in her character and it would be a shame if she died (but I wouldn’t have shed a tear) :).

      I missed out on him mentioning being “rusty”, nice of you to share that! Yeah those little hints are fun to catch and theorize on. I hope they continue to give him those dramatic moments which he can pull off really well in addition to his loveable dry humour.

      In grading the episodes so far, Episode 3 would be at the bottom of my list. I think the two most recent are the strongest which is a good sign. Yeah let’s hope the ratings don’t drop any further and that fans will comeback to a show that starting to find it’s footing.

  7. Ok, after having seen it this weekend, I can say this is perhaps my fave outside of the pilot. I like the emotional plot involving Simmons, it proves that the two scientists’ jobs are just as crucial and dangerous as the rest. It’s got some fun humor too, Ward is actually funny here when he pokes fun at himself, and that parachute scene is very 007-ish indeed. Nice recap!

    • This is episode also one of my faves, mainly because of the heightened emotions and getting to know Simmons & Fitz. The humor worked better in this episode and anytime Ward can make me laugh it’s a step in the right direction for his character. 🙂

  8. Good review! I really liked the Fitz-Simmons character development in this one. There were some nice moments between these characters. I think they actually may be my favorite characters on the show now.

    • Thanks for the kind words! It’s nice to see both Fitz-Simmons get several nice moments and change viewers opinions in a single episode. They’re both good hearted people and quickly becoming likeable. 🙂

  9. I enjoyed this episode and am pleased too that Fitz-Simmons are in the spotlight here. They are unusual characters in that the ‘brainy one/s’ in an ensemble are usually older and uhmm, not so goodlooking, haha. The actress Elizabeth Henstridge playing Simmons is gorgeous in a Keira Knightley sort of way. Great suspense at the end, especially the part where the last of the lab mice turned out okay after all, but too late as Simmons was going to jump off the plane anyway. It would had been heartbreaking if she had indeed went kersplat.

    I also like the scene where Mays showed her support for Coulson. I agree Ming-Na Wen is a good actress. I’ve liked her since she voiced the Disney character Mulan. Also, when Coulson comforted the fireman. I think he was being sincere and was really affected by being with someone who knew he was going to die. I thought it was very moving.

    • I liked that this episode put the spotlight on Fitz-Simmons and I started to care for them. Yeah typically the science people have a geeky look but not the case here. Now that you mention it Henstridge does have a resemblance to Knightley plus they have similar accents. One of the best moments is when Simmons jumped out the plane, it surprised me.

      Ming-Na Wen has been acting for a very long time and looks almost half her age. I remember when she was a new medical doctor on ER television show and from Joy Luck Club. I think Coulson genuinely cared about the fireman too. As the season goes on it will be interesting to find out the truth about Coulson’s mysterious resurrection or whatever the case may be and the magical place in Tahiti he talks about. I enjoyed discussing the show with you, hope to hear your thoughts on the upcoming episodes too!

  1. Pingback: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Season 3, Episode 2 “Purpose In The Machine” Review | Sidekick Reviews

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