|Index||4 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This episode was a very pleasant surprise. I was expecting an
alien/super-powered murder mystery and what I got instead was great
emotional character development and interaction as well as the most
tense last 10 minutes of an episode since that one Lost episode where
Nikki and Paulo were buried alive, I shudder just thinking about it. I
wish I was joking, no wait I don't because if I were joking then this
episode wouldn't have been as great as it is.
The mystery, as there must be one, involves a bizarre case in which a person is electrocuted to death and suspended in mid-air due to some electrostatic thingy. As it turns out it's a virus from a helmet belonging to one of the aliens from The Avengers, which you should probably watch before watching this show, that causes your brain to explode from the inside. The helmet is found and quarantined by SHIELD and the situation appears to be resolved in a very emotional "hero fails to save someone" fashion... and we're still 20 minutes in.
The rest of the episode is the characters reacting to a situation they are powerless to stop, and while I won't spoil it for you, it became really intense. For a second there I thought something really bad was going to happen, and while we do get a happy ending overall, the depressing act 3 really hit hard for me and developed two characters that up until this point haven't really been in the spotlight and I'm glad that they are now.
Overall this episode is an interesting murder mystery that halfway through shifts gears into a depressing character study that works really well and has a great ending and payoff. It comes highly recommended, 9/10.
What was great about this, including the X-Files/Fringey intro was that
it was all internal. No Ms Flower-Dress, no Centipede, no Hydra.
Instead, it was a leftover Chitauri Helmet with leftover Dandruff. And
it occurs mostly on Coulson's CGI Shield Plane, and even that is
getting a little better.
When we first see the Helmet, and "Tony" (Vincent Laresca) apparently handling it, it's Macguffin City. That got me, I thought this was gonna be a new creep. In fact, Coulson's scene with this dude was rather heartbreaking.
So we think, oh no, new Bad Guy, found one of Loki's Dirty Socks in NYC now he's Wreakin' Havoc with it from a Firehouse in Wrigley, PA.
But it is none of these things we regularly see in comic books or have seen in this series: It's ain't an Alien, well, it is an alien, but not an alien dude. It's not a robot, or a Life Model Decoy, or Mystique pretending to be Liz Henstridge just so we can see great blue nude skin shots. It's not Red Skull sycophants or Extremist Extremis Jerkies.
So what was it, causing people's brains to explode and then make them float in the air? Was it an Osmium Bullet like from Fringe? In fact it was something so normal we forget to think about it, which makes it more interesting.
What made X-Files and Fringe great - And even CSI for that matter, was the investigative process, or the "Procedural" episode. Which this was the first official "Agents of S H I E L D" Procedural Ep. No Mythos, except for mention of Chitauri... And maybe once Coulson says, "But don't call me Iron Man".
This focuses on The Fitz-Twins, and Jemma steeling herself to do something, not what Coulson wanted: so of course she has to be browbeaten by Coulson. Was Coulson a bit more harder edged in this?
Harder Edged, and harder Head. It takes May to soften him up a bit, and this is also a standout scene. "You FEEL Different, because you ARE Different".
Enter S H I E L D Pencil-Beancounting person, Agent Blake (Titus Welliver) who was a great Slimeball in Star Trek: Voyager Equinox parts I and II, he threatens Coulson and runs his finger on "Lola".
Again, no Rating system this week, 10/10, they are all 10/10
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
One of the reasons I enjoy Agents of SHIELD is that this team cares
about people. It's not just the innocent victims they're trying to
save, the members of SHIELD need saving too. If the writers continue to
focus on the hearts of these characters, Agents has a chance to expand
into something truly valuable in the Marvel Universe.
On first glance, there's no way a show like Agents could hope to match the splendor of The Avengers. The budget of a television show pales next to the tens of millions spent on even the lesser Marvel movies. But if you look closer, it's not the spectacle that has kept Marvel fans coming back for over fifty years. It's the characters.
Tony Stark is a billionaire who uses his considerable genius to create amazing machines, but above all he yearns for a personal connection. The Mighty Thor is a god with unknowable power, but he was happiest when he was a simple human. And Captain America is, at is his core, a small man struggling with the greatness thrust upon him. We may initially watch the Avengers because they do big deeds but we return to them because they are still people, flawed and trying to find their own way.
To date, I have read many complaints online about how Agents of SHIELD isn't up to Marvel's usually stellar standards. How the action is subpar, the plots aren't thick enough, there's not enough tension/danger and the characters aren't that interesting.
Arguably the first five episodes of Agents have had only limited degrees of success in finding the right combination of action, super/technology, mystery, suspense and drama. I believe episode six, F.Z.Z.T, is the first episode to get it right.
F.Z.Z.T focuses on an alien virus that causes static electricity to build up in the body until it becomes fatal. Initially contracted from a Chitaurian helmet found during the Battle of New York, the virus kills three firemen who performed search and rescue after the fight. Then, in the process of SHIELD's analysis, Jemma contracts the virus. Without any knowledge of alien biology, the news is a death sentence.
How each member of the team responds to the upcoming tragedy solidifies their individual characters and makes us care about them not just as heroes but as people. Coulson's stoic denial of death, Grant's silent horror, Skye's frantic helplessness, Fitz's desperate measures and Jemma herself, terrified and yet still able to find courage in her final moments.
I will not do the reader the disservice of spoiling the ending. I will just say this: Watch it. If you don't feel something by the end of this episode, check your heart beat. You may be suffering from an alien virus yourself.
Marvel's Agents of SHIELD doesn't have the budget, sets, star-power or CGI that a Marvel movie does. F.Z.Z.T proves the show doesn't need them. It's the heart of the characters that really matter.
The tagline of the show says "Not all heroes are super." This episode proves it.
I tried to like this show, I really did and I gave it 6 episodes to
convince me it was worth my time, but the sad truth hit me with this
episode. FZZT. I read the other user reviews on this episode *before* I
dived in to watch it, as I was debating already whether to continue
watching or not. There were 3 user reviews and they were all glowing
with positivity! "9/10 This is the episode we've been waiting for"
touted one and I thought, alright, I'll give it one more chance to
bring the goods.
The sad truth is that this show is boring, the characters are trite and the plots are riddled with holes and cheap McGuffins to push things forward. The two science nerd clichés really grate my nerves every episode so far and Ep 6 is no exception to this or the other criticisms that I have made. The opening sequence is supposed to be scary and at least it tries to set itself up a little like an episode of the X files, but it just falls flat. It doesn't get better after the opening sequence. It's a yawn festival.
I am done with this show as I see no reason to devote more of my time to it, when there are so many shows of far higher quality available.
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