Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Review – “FZZT”

Sorry it’s late again. I’ll try to get these out more quickly in the future.

Cast and Crew Information

Clark Gregg as Phil Coulson
Ming-Na Wen as Melinda May
Brett Dalton as Grant Ward
Chloe Benet as Skye
Iain De Caestecker as Leo Fitz
Elizabeth Henstridge as Jemma Simmons

Written by Paul Zbyszewski
Directed by Vincent Misiano


A series of bizarre deaths brings the team in contact with an unusual type of threat.

High Point

“I suppose it is. Better get used to it.”

Low Point

They needed to call in the Moroccan office? Correct me if I’m wrong, but wouldn’t that mean over an hour elapsed before recovery? That’s unlikely, given the final outcome.

The Review

This gets originality credit for changing genres again with an above average bottle show. I give it 5 out of 6.

The effects were quite well done, including both the threat and the makeup to go along with it. I give it 6 out of 6.

The story was well paced, and with a different resolution than I expected. I also really enjoyed where they went with Coulson this week in terms of the bigger picture. It’s just the low point that really gets to me. I give it 5 out of 6.

The acting was very impressive. Henstridge and De Caestecker in particular had great material to work with, fleshing out the team as a complete team. Henstridge showed tremendous subtlety in her stressed out moments, particularly with her response to “antiserum”. I give it 6 out of 6.

The production is the Mutant Enemy usual. The switch to hand held cameras instead of tracking cameras was remarkably effective. I give it 6 out of 6.

The emotional response was well above average. Now we just need an episode to help me care about Melinda May as much and we’re all good. I give it 5 out of 6.

Overall, we have another strong episode. We get a good isolated story that lays groundwork for a major season conclusion once more. I give it 5 out of 6.

In total, FZZT receives 38 out of 42.

10 replies on “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Review – “FZZT””

    • Terminal velocity for someone falling horizontally, as Simmons was, is much lower than someone staying aerodynamic, as Ward was. That works. See also GoldenEye, whose opening plane stunt was a physical effect: actual planes, filming actual skydivers.

      • This is your area. It honestly looked to me like they both just jumped out.

        (And no, it didn’t ruin the episode for me, which actually put a central character at risk in an interesting way).

        • JD,
          I watched it time-shifted just a few hours ago… If you go back and look, they clearly show that she is horizontal (laying flat against the wind) and so is Ward, until after he looks around and spots her. Then they are sure to show him shifting to vertical pick up speed in order to intercept. They even went out of their way to show him slow down before contact (impact… to prevent a collision like Kirk and Sulu had after they fell/jumped off of the drilling rig in the first “new” star trek.)
          but that said.- yeah; I know it’s comic-book physics… but they actually went through some effort to do this right. Not that Ward could have spotted her falling while 100mph of wind was hitting him in the eyes without goggles, but I digress.

        • I was actually pleasantly impressed at how realistic that part was. There are definitely ways to make yourself fall faster than someone who’s just flailing around, and they did show Ward using those.

  1. There seemed to be a few more “hints” that Coulson is actually The Vision now.

    “I said I was feeling a little RUSTY”.

    “I feel different now.”

    Anyone else buying it, or are they just playing into the fan speculation?

    • I think they are playing to speculation. Every time they’ve dropped hints someone has been sure it was one reason or another. At this point I wouldn’t be shocked if Coulson suspected he was something different and it turned out that he wasn’t different at all.

  2. This episode was pretty good overall, I liked the Avengers tie-in and explanation. There were plenty of tropes present but it still did OK by them. I seem to be in the minority of people who actually like both Fitz and Simmons and how they interact, and this episode had some great ones. The antiserum bit especially.

    As usual the “science” was comic-book science so I give it a free pass. If an infection can pass via electric shock, why shouldn’t they be able to cure it in a few hours. I’m only surprised it didn’t give Fitz an idea how to harness said bug to come up with an effective levitation mechanism along the way.

  3. I am still skeptical, and I’d place a bet on a bait and switch. The Whedons like that trick (named Moist’s date after it in Dr. Horrible). The Backscatter showed May completely solid, not like a real backscatter. I suspect May is an LMD,or android, or whatever. Coulson might know about them and suspect, hence the weird behavior, but May’s the actual one.

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