Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. 1.06 FZZT **** SPOILERS ****

Episode Summary from

Agent Coulson and the team investigate a series of deaths, involving levitation and gravitational anomalies. The cause of the anomalies is discovered to be an alien virus that found in an alien Chitauri helmet salvaged from the Battle of New York. Agent Simmons is infected by the Chitauri virus and losing hope of finding a cure nearly commits suicide, whereby Ward manages to save her before she plunges to her death from the plane. In the final scene, the helmet is delivered to S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters to the possession of Agent Blake.

Episode Recap from

[i]In Wrigley, Pennsylvania, a group of boy scouts are a bit on edge as ghost stories are told by the campfire. The scout leader hears a humming sound in the distance. He steps deeper into the woods to investigate. Lightning strikes near the campfire. Call it an electrostatic anomaly. The scouts are scared. Screams from their leader are heard in the distance. The scouts step forward to investigate. They see their leader. His lifeless body hangs suspended in mid-air.

Skye is still in the doghouse with Ward. She’s envious of the relationship Fitz and Simmons have with each other. They are so tight. They also have no idea how the scout master is still suspended in mid-air when they arrive in the woods. When Simmons steps up to the scout leader, a spark goes off. She created a shock. The victim falls to the ground. The dead troop leader, Adam Cross, was as good a guy as Captain America as far as Skye can tell. Simmons says the victim’s brain was zapped by something twice as powerful as a lightning bolt. Another electrostatic signal is detected. The race is on to find its source.

The team arrives at a barn where the source of the anomaly occurred. Inside, they find another dead body suspended in mid-air with a burn mark to the head. The first victim also had the mark. They were both friends who worked as volunteer firefighters. Both men were called into action during the battle of New York. The team believes they were killed by the same person. It could be a mystery individual who is seen polishing a metal mask that emanates a definite electric charge.

Coulson informs the remaining firefighters about their fallen partners. He notices that one of the men seems a little off. The souvenir helmet firefighter Tony Diaz cleaned is the source of an alien infection. He knows he’s going to end up like his friends. Coulson orders everyone out while he talks to the guy. He tells him he doesn’t have to be afraid. Coulson says he died once. It was more than eight seconds. He says he wasn’t here anymore, but where he went was beautiful. This puts Tony at peace. He tells Coulson to leave the room. He knows what’s about to happen, and he’s okay with it.

With three firefighters down, the others are quarantined. The helmet is flown to a research facility known as the Sandbox. Simmons is ordered to find a cure for the infection in case the other firefighters show signs of illness. When she learns that the virus spreads through electrostatic shock from person to person, Coulson realizes that Simmons has been infected. She’s quarantined inside her lab immediately. Fitz keeps his frightened friend company on the other side of the glass. Simmons is the only one who can find a solution for her problem. If she doesn’t, the electric pulse she’ll create will kill her and everyone aboard the bus.

Ward and Skye bond over the fact that they both feel so helpless. Couslon learns from Agent Blake that if he has infected cargo on board, he must dump it. That’s an order. Coulson lets Blake know that he didn’t hear that last transmission before signing off. Down in the lab, Fitz bickers with Simmons. It’s an argument spawned by fear, panic and caring. The two agents realize that they can create an anti-serum by scraping cells from inside the helmet. Fitz steps inside the lab to help his partner. They are going to fix this. Together.

The other agents watch from the other side of the glass as Fitz and Simmons work. Despite their best efforts, they fail to achieve their goal. Simmons knows the protocol for such situations. She asks to have a moment alone with Fitz, who refuses to give up. That’s why she knocks him unconscious. Alarms sound. Someone is lowering the cargo hold ramp. It’s Simmons. Fitz watches in horror as his partner stands on the edge. Then she steps off into the air. Fitz realizes the anti-serum works. He wants to save Simmons, but Ward grabs the parachute from his hands. He jumps out of the plane to bring back his fellow agent.

Ward catches up to Simmons in the air. He saves her life. Coulson reads them both the riot act once they are both back aboard the bus. He’s very glad they are alive. So is Skye. She gives Simmons a big hug. As for Coulson, he lets May know that his health test results indicate that everything is fine. But he doesn’t feel fine. He feels different. May checks out the wound on his midsection. She says the point of the scar is to remind him that there’s no going back. There’s only moving forward. As for Simmons, she assures Fitz that he’s a hero for what he did for her before giving him a sweet kiss on the cheek.

Agent Blake is waiting for Coulson at the Sandbox. He warns him that if keeps disobeying direct orders that someone may just take away his little dream team. Coulson says. “I’d like to see them try.” Blake sees this isn’t the same man he used to know. Coulson agrees. He advises Blake to get used to it.[/i]

Please use this thread to discuss the series’ sixth overall and first season sixth episode FZZT. Rule: Please keep spoilers limited to those revealed during the series up to this episode only.

Notable Quotes:

Simmons: “Working up a good sweat there, sir?”
Coulson: “I don’t sweat, I glisten.”

Skye: "This guy makes Captain America look like ‘The Dude.’ … The Big Lebowski. Seriously? "

Coulson: “I got hurt once…pretty bad. And I…I died. Some say it was only for 8 seconds but I know it was more than that. I know I wasn’t here anymore. I was there.”

Coulson: “Blood work finally came back. I’m perfectly normal. A little heavy on the iron. But don’t worry, you don’t have to start calling me Iron Man.”

What didn’t we see in this episode? Remember, this was orignially a 6 episode series buy for ABC so I would have expected more in the story to help wrap things up in case the entire season wasn’t picked up.

  • Centipede, or any continuing investigation into the organization
  • Raina (The Girl In The Flower Dress)
  • The Clairvoyant
  • Skye’s parents
  • The Rising Tide (perhaps no longer relevant?)
  • The organization behind Akela’s strings (Centipede or someone else?)
  • Gravitron
  • Ian Quinn (Again, Is he part of Centipede, the other organization that had controlled Akela or is he a third independant party/organization)


One of my favorite parts was Coulson sitting down and comforting the fireman, I found it not only very moving but another peek inside his scarred psyche. I like how this show breaks from the usual action oriented shows in that it is not afraid to slow down and have good character moments, to remind us that these are people; and that they have emotions, frailties, strengths, secrets and fears. And that it will take many trails, stumbles and tears to forge them into a team. It is the human drama that makes them more than mere action figures, and it is moments like the one with Coulson fearing he may not be him anymore that will make me keep tuning in. To me these are more important than the Marvel movie tie-ins. Oh, and I guess it was cheaper to rescue the lady with a parachute than using Lola, it is ok, I understand budget restraints.

its kinda obvious that May REALLY knows what happened to Phil…though I do like Phil 2.0 with a lil bit of balls to him now…the last lines of the show were a nice touch

I do like that they showed the deal on Skye’s wristband and what it does…she can still do her thing, she just has big brother on her wrist now…I never got the jealousy sense from her for Fitz-Simmons…but I did get that she wanted to be in their lil clique…I thought the Ward wisecracks with each other was a sign of that (kinda ironic timing to see co-worker hazing and grief being given to each other matching the timing of this ugly John Martin deal in the NFL though)

I groaned pretty loud when Ward jumped out of the plane to get her…I thought it would have been ballsy and new to have Simmons meet her end not knowing she was cured…it could have helped push all the characters along and unified them after failing like that…plus it would add to the Jamie curse…every time she grows to like a character on a show we watch something bad happens to them (re: boomer in BSG I still laugh at that!)

…was there no preview for next week?? Ours got cut with election results…

I wasn’t really thrilled with this episode. It’s not bad, but it’s not great either. Obviously Whedon continued the thread to tie SOMETHING in to the Marvel Avenger movie universe. In this case it was the Chitauri helmet. But it wasn’t a huge bang for the buck. Who cares? It’s just a left over helmet. And while I appreciate the Coulson story there wasn’t a huge revelation there. It was just a little tiny small incremental movement forward in that storyline. May’s and Skye’s storyline were moved forward even smaller steps than Coulson. Yes, we got more of Fitz and Simmons but I still haven’t become enough emotionally attached to Fitz or Simmons to care yet. And we got NOTHING more of Ward. And in the I really don’t care department we get a new SHIELD HQ Agent. Blake whats his name. If I’m Fury I know where my money is.

Coulson’s a smart guy. He knows he is different than he used to be. He’s trying to figure it out on his own with the self ordered physical and related tests. But he doesn’t find anything. Simmons’ doesn’t note anything unusual. May doesn’t react adversely to the huge scar on his chest. Other than a high amount of iron in his blood he is fine. But we were given one clue as to what happened to him. Coulson has high iron in his blood. I’ll stash that away in the Tahiti file for now.

Skye’s got a long way to go to redeem herself. We are seeing part of what her bracelet can do. But Skye’s parents? Not even mentioned. She does still have her front row seat to freakville.

The best moment in the episode was Coulson talking to the firefighter, Mr. Diaz, before he died. Coulson was doing everything he could for him knowing that no matter what he did Diaz was going to die in a matter of minutes or seconds. He ripped out the earpiece so his entire attention could be with Mr. Diaz. The scene of May and Coulson somberly looking at the fire station after Coulson steadily walked out and then were bathed in the blue light knowing that it had just ended a man’s life was powerful. They looked straight at it with eyes on the station the entire time. It showed they were in it to help people as much as they could on a personal level. And Coulson was leading the charge. The question is how long will Coulson be able to keep this up with so many lost around him. Plus we haven’t even returned to Dr. Hall/Gravitron yet. I suspect failures like Scorch and Gravitron will weigh heavily on him and effect his ability to operate eventually.

You could also tell how painful it was to quarantine Simmons into her own lab on board the bus. Coulson is a man who makes hard decision after hard decision after hard decision. Again, it’/s amazing that he keeps going. I’ll bet most average SHIELD Agents would have cracked by now. It’s the only time I’m heard him use Simmon’s first name to date too. “I’m so sorry Jemma.” The first name made it even more powerful for a man who is normally as respectful and formal as possible.

I did have a little chuckle when Fitz was having problems with Simmon’s characterization that the Chitauri who wore the helmet was female.

I suppose the one thing that makes me hate Agent Blake is the way he touched Lola as he was departing the Bus in the sandbox. Bad Agent Blake!


The human drama is where Whedon excels. I would expect more of it. But without the movies this series would be an impossible sell these days. There’s not enough there on it’s own yet to make it. Of course Star Trek The Next Generation didn’t hit it’s stride until mid season 3 either. Season 3 Episode 15 to be exact: Yesterday’s Enterprise. I sure hope Shield doesn’t take that long - it can’t afford to. Perhaps there will be a huge bump after the Thor movie this weekend. We’ll see.

And as far as using Lola? I assume Lola is strapped down in the cargo hold. It would have taken far too long to eject Lola. Wade did the only possible thing at that point in my opinion.

I disagree with you on if May knows what really happened to Phil. I think she is simply reacting to what she’s observed with Coulson so far. Phil 2.0 is awesome. I had the opportunity to have Iron Man on in the background at work today and paid close attention to the scenes with Phil. Coulson has definitely come a long way since Iron Man, but 2.0 was always in there from the start.

Have you ever seen a sports team member attempting to re-integrate back into the team after a horrible game-costing mistake? That’s what Skye is faced with. Her joint laughter is the first step in that reintegration process. But it doesn’t heal itself overnight. Skye still has miles to go to prove herself. Her closeness to Simmons was cemented when Simmons told Skye that Skye has forgotten a button on her shirt when the team was departing Miles’ home. It was at that point I knew those girls were going to stick together no matter what.

The preview for next week referenced a covert operation at clearance level 8. Here’s the preview for Episode 7, No Way Out.

I knew a girl who said that about all girls. It ripped me out of the moment as I recalled that blonde hottie from high school. I’ll be in my bunk.

If you didn’t stand up and cheer at this line you are dead to me.

Clearly this scene defined this episode and elevated it. Coulson is my man.

A little heavy handed, but I’ll give it to them. It shows more of Coulson’s brand of humor when his guard is down.

Overall I have really, really enjoyed this series. Each episode stands out on its own, brings something different to the table and has something it needs to work on. The only thing I think this episode got wrong was the floaty virus…wait, why do they float? More importantly, what does floating do to forward the plot? It doesn’t. It was cool and different, but didn’t add and therefore wasn’t needed.

Other than that. Great ep. Go listen to the Clark Gregg episode of Nerdist. You think you like Coulson? Clark is even cooler.

That’s just, like, your opinion man …


I’m not here ( ask Ferris )

OB ( The Black Pearl )

I just had a Twitter exchange with a medium-time TV critic about SHIELD.

I think the guy has an unrealistic sense of entitlement, and he’s expecting too much too soon. He said something like “We shouldn’t accept a mediocre show due to a sense of geek gratitude.”

I see where he’s coming from, and his general theory is sound. But they’re now pawning some mediocre show on us. It doesn’t matter what you’re making; it takes time to get the product going. Especially when you have as many intangibles and moving parts as a TV show does.

Yes, SHIELD is a Whedon show, but it’s not exactly a Joss Whedon show. It has the Dollhouse team, and I believe that’s what we’re getting: Dollhouse, not Firefly. They also did Dr. Horrible, and that was great from the get-go. But let’s be reasonable: It takes time to get the vibe, mythology, and everything else up & running. Buffy season 1? Meh. Dollhouse season 1? Boo, for the most part. They’ll get there.

Also, I’m not gonna make a SHIELF joke; that would just be base and crude.

Also, ya know whut? It’s good genre fare to watch with your kids.

The series isn’t totally grabbing me yet. I like it. I’ve watched every episode multiple times, but it still doesn’t have me as a whole. Coulson has me and May is starting to turn me around to her (no small feat since I had a definite negative impression of Ming-Na from Stargate Universe) but Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. doesn’t have me yet. I’ll keep watching and hoping for more.

SHIELD’s ratings continue to decline. It was down to a 7.15 this week bringing the season average down to 8.5. While that’s certainly better than most SyFy network shows I’m not sure if is enough to compete on Network prime time. It is fairing better than V did, however. At this point in the series V took a nosedive from a 7.03 to 5.79 rating but it did have a higher average rating of 9.39. I am hopeful that the upcoming Thor tie-in will help increase ratings in order to maintain the show in ABC’s stable.

Good observation. The only plot issues that I can see that might counter you point is that the floating piece is what attract’s SHIELD and specifically Coulson’s team in the first place. The floating also helps to diagnose a false-negative at the end when Fitz-Simmons think they have the antiserum and Simmons is running out of time leading towards her stepping off the bus in flight. So it may help forward the plot from a certain minute point of view.

Yup - even Star Trek The Next Generation didn’t get reasonably good until Season 3 Episode 15 - Yesterday’s Enterprise. I’m willing to give it some time and just hope it hangs on long enough to strike it rich with the ratings and allow the production team time to start giving us really good story.

If you didn’t stand up and cheer at this line you are dead to me.

What if you just laughed like an idiot?

Touché Monsieur Pussycat, touché.

If this tv critic’s complaint made sense people would stop watching. Yes, the numbers have dropped but they are still strong. What was the best BSG got? 4.0? I think we are doing fine.

You are completely right of course. I hadn’t considered the total arc impact of the floaty bit. Still weak, but it is the catalyst.

I liked it. Good one-off with some great character moments. They can’t all be steeped in the season- and series-spanning arcs.

I too wish Fitz had jumped out, but I love how quickly Wade did it. Like he was relieved he finally had something to do.

I suspect this would not have been episode 6 if they didn’t get picked up for more episodes. We’ll probably see bits of what would have been that episode in the season finale or something. This is probably the first of the “if we get more episodes” episodes, and possibly the need to get it made quickly is why it has no ties into the greater arcs of the show. And I’m fine with that. It was a fun ride and I’m looking forward to watching episode 7 in a few minutes :slight_smile:

I think your observations on the original episode 6 are spot on. Without spoiling, Episode 7 brought a couple of the larger story arcs forward but only a little bit. I think the show staff is doing a fast and dramatic shift to try and make a great additional 14 episodes while still plugging into the movies such as Thor that is out in the theater now and the upcoming Captain America movie.

As for Fitz, watch episode 7. That should answer your comment on whether he should have jumped out of The Bus or not.

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